M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, August 19, 2005  

Today on my way home I was behind a car whose license plate read "HRUDUDU." It made my eyeballs feel all wiggly.

Today's best search phrase: "My baby won't eat." Damn, Search Phrase, why you gotta bring a guy down like that?

When we first brought M. Small (then M. Tiny) home from the hospital, he wouldn't eat, either. As I may have mentioned before, they sent him home before he was readily and consistently finishing his bottles. Which were all of two fluid ounces back then. He'd have an ounce or so of formula, and then loudly refuse to eat any more. He'd throw a twenty- to thirty-minute wobbler right in the middle of the bottle, and eventually get worn out enough that we could finish getting the rest into him.

This was the worst part of parenting a newborn for us. Not the usual complaints, like the lack of sleep, or the poopy diapers. Although both were certainly exacerbated by the primary issue. Fighting with a wiggling rape whistle for the better part of an hour is bad enough. Doing it at two and five a.m. is worse. As for the poopy diapers, quite a bit of the joy of that ritual was sucked out by the fact that we were helping him get rid of stuff that he never wanted put into his body in the first place.

All the books say not to force your baby to eat if he really doesn't want to. You want to avoid giving him a complex about food, at least not until he's old enough for you to exploit it.

Meanwhile, we were getting a complex of our own. We didn't want to force him, but we didn't want him to have to be readmitted, which is what would happen if he didn't have a certain amount of formula each day. For a while we were keeping track of his intake in CCs (about thirty of those in an ounce), and nervously adding them up at the end of the day to see if he'd met his goal or exceeded it by five or ten milliliters. It was nerve-wracking, especially because at any given time of the day, we were either getting ready to feed him, beginning to feed him, feeding him, waiting for him to calm down so we could finish feeding him, finishing feeding him, or recovering from feeding him. Except for a five-minute window equidistant between the two nearest feedings, at which time we were dreading feeding him.

Eventually--maybe a month after his actual due date, I'd guess--he made his peace with the bottle. We started measuring his intake in ounces instead of CCs, and we quite writing them down in the notebook, because at every feeding he was meeting or exceeding his per-feeding quota. Now we actually have to limit his formula consumption, because of all the nutrients and calories he's getting from baby food and small pieces of regular food. So, yeah, he'll eat now, and as of his last official weighing over a month ago he was well over 22 pounds. So it turned out okay.

But if your baby still won't eat, I hope you're asking somebody else about it besides Google. Or me, for that matter.

posted by M. Giant 4:11 PM 5 comments


A rhududu is what the rabbits in Watership Down called a car or tractor. That's awesome.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2005 at 9:12 PM  

I feel you, dude. When we brought young Master Sam home from the hospital, his weight (a formerly hefty 8-1/2 lbs) went into a downward spiral. That, combined with a pernicious case of jaundice, made us nigh frantic. Nobody likes having a skinny newborn. It makes us feel bad about ourselves.

I won't bore you with how we got past all that, but suffice it to say that Master Sam had his four-month check-up, and his doctor (non-judgmentally) referred to him as "one of the chubby ones." Joy!

By Blogger Doppelganger, at August 19, 2005 at 11:36 PM  

my unadopted son (it's complicated) turns three on Tuesday. he eats when he wants to eat. he's lived with us since he was nine months old and he's always been like that. he is not malnourished in the least, is in the top 98 percentile of his group and the height and weight. he is strong as an ox and doing just fine. I would say don't worry.

By Blogger just sayin', at August 21, 2005 at 12:19 PM  

Some good friends of mine had an exceedingly small preemie- I guess Abby weighed about 3lbs when she was born?- and had jaundice. She looked like Homer Simpson and I was the only one who'd tell them so. She did the cc-eating thing for a long time, gained enough weight to go home but then- catastropically- stopped pooping. As the near-resident baby expert, I had them give her very diluted prune juice, the a little diluted prune juice and by day three, told them to take her to the doctor. There was no obstruction, but apparently her poor preemie instestines hadn't finished whatever it is they are supposed to finish before kids are expelled from their comfy cozy wombs and we were told to "exercise her." Periodically we'd grab her by the legs, pump them, and hope for the poopy best.

This kid's now six years old, scarily smart and two years ago, passed a gall stone because she doesn't drink enough. Now she drinks whatever she wants- all the soda, etc.- her six-year-old body can stand. Who knew?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2005 at 10:19 AM  

Wow, a "Watership Down" reference. I got that one right away. I still love that book (yes, yes, I know, it's about bunnies...)!

Nothing else, except that your boy is gorgeous. Baby boys rule!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 2, 2005 at 7:19 AM  

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