Most of my posts on here are about how much I love Julia and how cute she is and how much fun we have together. Reading this blog, you get a glimpse at a certain slice of our life. And while the majority of the time she is a joy to be around and she really is a very happy baby overall, there are times when Julia can be very frustrating to deal with. She’s in this funny transition right now where she’s not really a baby anymore but she’s not yet a toddler. You can tell that there are times when she wants to communicate or wants to accomplish something, or has a preference about something but she doesn’t yet have the ability to communicate and she gets very frustrated.
One time this frustration manifests itself frequently is during mealtime. Julia is not a baby anymore, so she likes to feed herself but in a lot of ways she’s not yet a toddler, and she sometimes needs us to feed her. She also doesn’t have any teeth yet so she still needs things to be soft and cut up into small pieces (we can’t give her a big piece of something and have her take bites out of it yet). We are still using purees–either pouches or jars–especially during breakfast or for meals when we are out and about or on the go. Unfortunately, Julia can’t yet eat directly from the pouch (since she ends up squeezing it all over herself) so we need to feed it to her with a spoon. We also need to give her purees once a day because we are able to mix her vitamins in with them. Here’s where the problem arises: sometimes she’s okay with us feeding her purees and sometimes she wants nothing to do with them. It’s very hit-or-miss. When she doesn’t want to eat them, she will stick her hand in her mouth immediately after you put a spoonful of food in her mouth and she will proceed to scoop the food out of her mouth that you have just fed her. (Of course, it then gets all over her hands, her face, in her hair, on her clothing, etc.) When this happens, I usually wait a few minutes and try again but if she does it a second time, I give up and move on to a food I know she will eat (strawberries are always a hit!)
Another thing she’s been doing recently, that’s also very frustrating is this: she’s been waking up between 5 and 5:30 in the morning for the past 2-3 weeks or so. (Prior to this she was waking up closer to 6 or 6:30). When she wakes up, we go in to get her and change her diaper (80% of the time she poops first thing when she wakes up, so we can’t follow the advice of some people to just leave her in her crib until 6:30 AM), and then we bring her into bed with us and I will nurse her. 10% of the time she will nurse and go back to sleep nursing until my alarm clock goes off at 7. These mornings are lovely. They’re cozy and relaxing and wonderful. But 90% of the time, she will nurse for about 30-45 minutes and then sit up, and start screeching. I wouldn’t call it crying or screaming, but screeching. She screeches and starts flailing around. She inevitably will flail around so much that she’ll bang her head on my head and that will make her more upset. So then I’ll nurse her a little more and then she’ll flail around and screech a little more. I don’t know why she does this and I don’t know what to do about it, but it’s getting to be very frustrating. If I nurse her long enough (an hour and a half sometimes), she will eventually go back to sleep, but by then it’s usually time to get up and get ready for work/school. She often will then fall asleep in the car on our way to daycare.
So… the moral of this story is babies are lots of fun and we love them lots but they can also be very difficult at times and sometimes engage in very frustrating behavior! When you ask other mothers for advice, they all have suggestions that they think are helpful but the best advice seems to be that you have to remember that “this, too, shall pass” and that “this is only a phase.” So that’s what I keep reminding myself. This, too, shall pass. It’s only a phase.