C is for:
Ok, so not the most attractive topic, but it kind of kills several birds with one stone. It fulfils the brief for the Carnival of Poo over at Notes from Home and it fulfils the brief for today’s letter ‘C’ in the A-Z Challenge (I’m so winging it with these A-Z posts!).
I’m not talking about my own constipation you understand, but that of number one son. After my B for Breastfeeding post on Saturday the follow up is, inevitably, baby starting to eat solid foods and then being fully weaned. This process in our house was quite slow to start as I was really unsure about starting solid foods. I didn’t want to give baby jars of pre-prepared food as they always seemed like sludge to me and I was (and still am) too lazy to contemplate cooking up batches of veg and freezing it blah, blah, blah. I had seen my lovely friend, the Old Fashioned Mummy, puree feed her daughter and it really didn’t seem ‘me’. Nevertheless, that was what you did and we started feeding baby with bought jars of food. This led to the worse case of constipation I think I have ever seen, and certainly had never, ever imagined for a baby.
Baby had always been a very regular pooer – a definite once-a-day-man, if not more but after a couple of days of pureed food, I noticed he didn’t go. Ok, a day without, that’s fine. When he didn’t then go on days two, three, four or five I decided to take him to the GP and was told (after a thorough examination – can’t fault them there) that some babies do get constipated when going on to solid food and not to worry, but give it another few days. We continued to feed him as before and he was also still taking breastmilk – he was by no means off his food – but he still failed to go. On a couple of occasions, you could see he wanted to go, he was trying but there was just no joy, so back to the GP. On this occasion we were given lactulose and glycerine suppositories as she could feel that he had a bit of a firm tummy – but was confident that it was still in the early stages and he wasn’t suffering from a total blockage (which was my fear).
We treated him with the lactulose and suppositories and he was able to go on the second day of having that. I won’t go into details, but there was much screaming from him and much sobbing from me and I was filled with dread that I would have to keep giving solid food even though he was in so much agony just to have a poo!
My friend, Old Fashioned Mummy came to my rescue yet again on this score. Although it was too late to use the method with her daughter, she had heard about Baby Led Weaning (BLW) and told me about it. The basic idea behind the method is that pureed food is unnatural for babies to eat, as being spoonfed does not allow them to get an idea of how much to put in their mouths and can lead to more choking incidents as they do not learn to clear their own throats. It also aims to let babies see what they are eating and pick what they like the look of, allowing them to experiment with their own flavours and it is eventually supposed to make them better and more adventurous eaters. I won’t go into how to do BLW here, as this post is about poo, but there are some really good books and websites, including Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (sponsored link) by Gill Rapley, that can show you how to do BLW with your children.
After using BLW for only a few days, the difference was amazing. Baby was happily eating finger foods, including plenty of fruit and veg and – joy of joys – he was as regular as clockwork! It was quite rewarding to change his nappy and realise that the things that I’d cooked for him were actually making it out the other end so we were all really happy with it!
After this disastrous attempt at puree feeding baby 1, when baby 2 came along we were happy to go straight to BLW and he has never (touch wood) been constipated at all, in fact, they are both quite regular these days – so much so that I very often forget to take nappies with me when I go out. I know this will probably backfire on me at some point – if you pardon the pun!