Monday, 09 August 2010
We're baby-led weaning, which means we give Eisley a variety of finger foods to choose from and let her self-feed instead of feeding her pureed foods with a spoon. The theory is that when a baby's body is ready for a particular food, the baby will be able to chew and swallow it. When Eisley isn't ready for a food we introduce to her, she tends to play with it, mouth it for awhile, and then spit it out. In the process, she's still learning about the food.
The afternoon I prepared a little plate of rice, squash, and green beans and set it out in front of my daughter. Immediately, she began cramming it all into her mouth. But as she apparently isn't ready for green beans quite yet, she was only able to gum the mouthful and sure enough, after awhile it started falling out onto her bib.
After we'd been sitting at the table awhile, I had to do the dishes, so I reached in and pulled out a huge chunk of the rest of her mouthful of food, which was about four green beans and a chunk of squash. I left a more manageable mouthful behind, and wheeled her high chair into the kitchen so she could watch me do the dishes while working on chewing that last little bite of food (mostly rice).
Some twenty minutes later I was done with the dishes and noticed Eisley was still working on a little bit of food. Since I didn't want her crawling around the house while chewing on food, I reached in her mouth again and pulled out a few more green beans! I marveled that there were still some in there after I'd thought I got them all out. She stopped making chewing motions and I swept her mouth again just to be sure. Her mouth was empty. I set her down on the floor where she crawled around and played with her blocks for another half hour or so.
After awhile she started rubbing her eyes and I realized it was nap time. Before nap time, I typically rock her in the chair in her room and nurse her while singing "Amazing grace" or another simple, calming song. Gets her nice 'n sleepy.
So I took her up to her room, dimmed the lights, cuddled her into her rocking chair, let her snuggle up to me, and waited for her to latch on as I started singing:
"Amazing grace, how sweet the..HOLY MOTHER OF!!!!!"
She'd bit me! Right in the nipple! HARD. It was all I could do to keep myself from throwing her across the room the pain was so sudden and immediate. Somehow I managed to remain somewhat calm and quickly shoved a finger in her mouth, wincing with pain. The finger was shoved in there so suddenly, and I reacted so awfully, that Eisley looked at me shocked and started bawling.
Eisley's teeth came in about a month and a half ago and she only bit me once or twice right at the beginning. After a few firm finger shoves between her gums and stern reactions, though, she knocked it off. She hasn't bit me since. So I was a little bit concerned at the regression. Why the heck did she bite me? Maybe she wasn't hungry. I turned her around and tried to rock her without nursing, but she struggled and whined, arching her back and pulling at my shirt. Ok, so she was hungry. Maybe she just wanted to feed from the other side? I turned her around the other way and allowed her to latch on, keeping my finger nearby just in case.
CHOMP! Another bite. This wasn't just a nip, either. This was borderline attempt at cannibalism. She was treating my nipple like the green beans she had for lunch.
A light went on in my head. "Aha!" I thought. "the green beans!" Maybe she still had a piece of food or two hiding in her mouth somewhere. That would explain the biting; she was likely just trying to chew and swallow the food before nursing because I'd imagine it's pretty hard to nurse with food already in your mouth. I reached in her mouth and felt all around: over and under her tongue, both cheeks, the roof. Nothing. Not even a grain of rice. Hmmm. Well, what the heck. I tried nursing again. BITE AGAIN! ARRRAAAAGGHHH!
I was done. Maybe this was just her way of telling me she didn't want to take a nap, I considered dumping her in her crib and walking away, but judging by her crankiness level she'd be crying for a good hour before finally dropping off to sleep. Instead I decided to bring her into my room and play quietly to calm her down for awhile and maybe work up a better appetite and then try again. I walked her into my room, set her down on the bed, gave her a little toy to play with, and watched and her gums began to move.
Her gums were chewing something!
In a flash I had my finger in there, reaching up to the roof of her mouth, feeling around, and...EUREKA! Green bean! A huge green bean had been in there the whole time! How the...?
Her gums were still moving! I reached in and found another green bean. And another. And three grains of rice. And a piece of squash.
Holy cow. I think my daughter must have a spare mouth in there somewhere. Perhaps she's really a chipmunk, with little pockets in her cheeks in which she stores food. I have no idea how she hid all that in her mouth so that I didn't find it during the many times I checked her mouth for food. Yikes.
After I'd cleared out all the food and checked her mouth again maybe 10 times, I brought her back into her room and tried nursing her again. She was fine and nursed herself happily to sleep.
I'm thinking we'll wait awhile before trying green beans again.
How did introducing solids to your little one go? Has your little one ever bit you while you were nursing?