Guess who went to his six month check up yesterday?
He is perfectly healthy, strong and happy, weighing in at 16 lbs 4 oz! He’s now in about the 50th percentile, which is way more than I could have asked for considering his slow start.
At the appointment, we asked our pediatrician how much we should be feeding him, and how often. Ever since he was a little guy, we’ve given him measured ounces every 2 hours, and lately we’ve upped the ounces and started to stretch out his feedings to every 2 1/2 or 3 hours. I never really know if he’s hungry (although he’s always excited to see his bottle and eat!), I just feed him often because *I* feel responsible for his lack of growth in the beginning and I want to ensure his vitality from here on out.
From what I hear, this psychological phenomenon isn’t rare. When I speak with other mamas who had difficulties with breastfeeding, they often tell me they deal with the same internal guilt, fear and worry. We should have known better to begin with, so from here on out we’ll feed them extra to make sure it never happens again.
His pediatrician said to offer him as much as he’ll eat (which is a lot… I’ve never seen this kid want to stop eating!), to pay more attention to his hunger cues and feed on demand. I had to ask her what those looked like again because I’ve been so disconnected for so long, but I think I’ll get the hang of it.
The addition of solid foods has made meal time so much fun for me! The little guy can just eat and eat and eat. I’m grateful that he’s got such a hearty appetite, but of course I also wonder if I’ve already screwed up his relationship with food by not giving him all that he needed in those first weeks.
Everyone I talk to says not to worry so much about it – he’s an extremely happy and healthy baby – but I feel like becoming a parent inherently entails feeling worry and guilt. I had hoped that my issues with food wouldn’t extend to my son, but of course, there are lessons in all of this – especially for me.
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