Friday, June 19, 2009

New Approach

I'm taking a new approach to feeding the Girl.

My Parents as Teachers person suggested a good website - Ellyn Satter. I admittedly haven't read all her books, but I like what I see so far and her philosophy makes sense to me. In a nutshell, her advice focuses on helping you to raise your child to be just the person they were meant to be (which may or may not fit the "ideal" that you have in your mind). A lot of this has to do with a division of responsibility - there are factors you are responsible for as a parent, and there are also factors your child is responsible for. Each of you has to do your part. At the very basic level, there are feeding responsibilities and activity responsibilities. Trust your child to do their part with eating and moving and they will grow up to be healthy.

For us, for now, this means that I am responsible for the what and when of feeding, and the Girl is responsible for whether and how much. If she only takes a few bites and then doesn't act interested, we are done. I put the spoon just in front of her mouth and wait for her to open her mouth to show me she is hungry - I'm not chasing her mouth around trying to shove food in.

She eats great at daycare - TONS more than she eats for me at home. I don't know why, but really it isn't important. She is learning to eat and practicing a new skill. If they can help us with that, so much the better. I am not battling with Girly to eat - we are still having fun. And, I always want mealtime to be fun, family time - NOT a struggle.

For the first meal of the day today, she gets an "A".

Also, worth noting, is that you should seek out your local Parents as Teachers - type group in your local school district. I think most districts around the country have a similar program. They start home visits around 5-6 months of age and come every other month until age 3. It is a free program and I see it as a great resource. Some people may think that the service only benefits inexperienced or low income families, but that just isn't true. While I may know more about child development than the average bear, I most definitely do NOT know it all and I like having an objective assessment of how the Gal is doing. Plus, at least in our school district, you need to start the service with your first child if you want to participate with subsequent children (not that there are any of those on the horizon). Finally - call early to get on the waiting list. I called at about 8 months pregnant and it took until she was 6 months old to get a visit.

A few more gear tips:
- We are practicing more and more with the Tilty cup and I think we both like it.
- Get a stack of baby washcloths or small kitchen towels dedicated to wiping baby's hands and face while feeding. Going through paper towels is wasteful and the bib just doesn't cut it. Colored is even better because those sweet potato puffs stain.

1 comment:

Marie Hooker said...

great idea to do parents as teachers. I think I'll call today!