This is a long overdue post…but better late than never.
A few weeks ago we went to the doctor for Natalie’s 12-month check up. We found out that she is healthy and growing (but not too fast). She is still a string bean, a touch over 29 inches (40 something% on the growth chart) and 17 pounds 12 ounces (4% on the chart). For those tracking her growth, she has grown two inches since her last appointment (9 month), but has only gained a little more than a pound…which means we are now free to pump her full of calories. The doctor instructed us to put butter on everything and put cream in her whole milk, seriously.
Basically the doctor said that because Natalie isn’t totally interested in eating (she just wants to walk all over and see what she shouldn’t touch) that we should try and make each bite as highly caloric as possible. So add the fat we have. The only problem is the extra fat hasn’t sparked Natalie to eat it all up. I’m not worried any more, I’ve thought it over and she is very happy and healthy (I mean, hello, she hasn’t ever been sick – knock on wood). We will keep offering and if she won’t accept we will just keep offering.
The other instruction given to us by the doctor was concerning sleep and eating at night. Because Natalie normally nurses to sleep, the doctor said this means she doesn’t know how to fall asleep on her own so we need to “teach” (train) her how to do this, which she suggested we do by letting her cry-it-out. (I feel bad just typing those words…) She said that if Natalie knew how to put herself to sleep that if she woke up in the middle of the night she would just put herself back to sleep without us. So, we figured that 1. Natalie already falls asleep on her own for naps, so doing it at bedtime wouldn’t be that hard and 2. If she cried, it wouldn’t be that bad…well we were wrong, on both accounts.
When Natalie was born we decided that we didn’t want to be the cry it out parents unless we had to, we figured (at the suggestion of my mother) that comforting her and going to her when she cried would help to build a happy, healthy and secure child (I mean it worked for me). So far, we have been on this path – and other than a few nights of almost crying it out, we hadn’t done it. So the Tuesday before Thanksgiving we decided to see if Phil could put Natalie down without letting her cry. It didn’t work, it was horrible, she cried and cried and so we decided that we would change the bedtime routine a little, but stick with me nursing her to sleep.
Our new bedtime routine involves Phil giving Natalie her bath and getting her totally ready for sleep without me. Then, he passes her to me, kisses her goodnight; I feed her and put her down. Because the doctor suggested that we stop letting Natalie eat at night, we also decided that if she woke up in the night that Phil would be the one to get up with her and see if he can put her down. If he couldn’t then we would cave and I would feed her and she would either sleep with us or go back in her crib for the rest of the night. So far, this is working. She has been waking up more than normal lately, but not needing to eat.
The other part of this story involves weaning. It was always my plan to nurse Natalie until she was 1 and then wean her over the holidays (and by wean I mean, let her wean naturally with a gently little nudge). Well, the whole feeding to bed might extend the nursing for a while, who knows. I’m along for the ride and hope that it isn’t a ride that goes on longer than expected. I’m hoping that my mom is right when she says that it will just happen and it will be quicker than expected and not to really worry about it. Easier said than done, but I guess she has been here and done this before (three times).
So, there, that is my update on Natalie. Now that I have all that updating done I’ll be able to update you on the new outfits Natalie has, our holiday plans (which might involve a trip to somewhere sunny), painting projects, holiday decorating, and anything extra that is going on in our lives. For now, I'll leave you with the below. We are teaching Natalie Bulgarian, in this video she is being asked "where are your shoes"...she is brilliant