Oh pediatrician, you make me sad.
Mr. Bunny took Bun Bun in for her six month checkup on Friday, while I was at work. When he gave me the report, it seemed clear that I am an inadequate mother in several ways.
ONE. We’ve started Bun Bun on solids. I’d heard about this baby-led weaning deal where you skip purées and let the baby feed itself, and I thought that sounded awesome. It was a thrill to see Bun Bun picking up pieces of banana and pear and mango and smearing them all over her face and nomming them down in a gaggy sort of way. I’d also done some spoon feeding if we were eating something that was appropriate, like puréed soup. I’d given her some harder things, too, like orange slices and lime wedges, which she seemed happy with. And it made me happy to sit at the table and share food with her. The doctor? Not happy. Choking hazard. Bad mother. I’m not sure which things precisely he objected to, since I wasn’t there to ask, but Mr. Bunny’s report made me feel chastised and depressed. Partly because Mr. Bunny was a bit nervous about the whole thing, too, although he’d agreed to do it. So I felt like I was wrong and he was right. And the truth is, I jumped into it because it made sense to me, and I read a few websites, but didn’t do exhaustive research, so I wasn’t totally sure of myself…
I was also informed that she should start eating three meals a day as soon as possible, instead of my lazy one or two.
And, Mr. Bunny selected a few delicious MEAT SLURRIES (a.k.a. baby food featuring meat) for me to spoon feed her. (I’m vegetarian but have no plans to raise Bun Bun that way.) Those things are fucking GROSS, and not because they contain meat.
So anyways, something that was happy is now SAD. I’ve ordered a BOOK, and we’ll see what I think after reading it. Maybe I’ll continue with the BLW, maybe I’ll modify it a bit, I dunno. I need to figure out which principles are important to me and see if I can keep them alive in a way that Mr. Bunny is comfortable with.
TWO. After being a wonderful sleeper for about five months, Bun Bun has begun waking multiple times a night. Sometimes only two, but sometimes four or five (which, yes, I know, probably sounds good to some of you, but still), and feeding her and putting her back down is no longer sufficient.
Before she was born, I was pro sleep training and Mr. Bunny was con. But she didn’t need it, so we’d agreed that we’d revisit the whole issue if she ever did. When she started her recent waking pattern, we’d been riding it out hoping she’d go back to her old ways. It had been about a month, so Mr. Bunny asked the doctor. Even though I KNEW what he’d say, it still made me feel bad to hear it. The word counterproductive was used regarding my tendency to feed her to get her to shut up. Some version of sleep training was recommended. BAD, BAD MAMA.
And the thing that particularly pissed me off about this one was the fact that, had it not been for Mr. Bunny, I’d have tried sleep training long ago.
Last night Mr. Bunny and I both had some kind of hideous 12 hour bug. (I hope. Please don’t come back, hideous thing.) Mr. Bunny was vomiting and my whole body ached. So we started sleep training using the semi-gentle method described in this book I like because it says I can drink. You choose a 10 hour window and neither feed nor pick up during that window, though you can check in at increasingly longer intervals. It went well, and although it made me cry to leave the room without picking her up, it genuinely seems right for all of us.
I know there are competing views on both these issues, and I’m not ideologically committed to either camp, really. I just want to do what makes sense to me, what I believe best combines all our interests. And hey, I guess this is what parenting is: Carefully figuring out what you think is best, negotiating with your partner if you’ve got one, and then being told you’re doing it all wrong.