Monday, October 6, 2008

Peanut, quit it!

It was the most blissful moment. I was lying on my side, feeding Peanut. She had just been bathed, and was smelling of baby soap and powder. I gazed at her lovingly and stroked her soft cheek, thinking this is the best part of motherhood. She raised her own little hand up towards my face, still guzzling away.

And then she brought her hand down on my face to give me a resounding slap.

It was what we marketeers like to refer to as a 'moment of truth'. I was rather shocked, but suddenly saw things with clarity - while she continued to feed, rather unfazed.

It is time to start weaning her.

No, not because of the danger of being slapped again - it's just that at that moment I realized that it's not particularly great for her to be fed by me so much - she's well over that age now. And in fact, she needs to put on weight and eat more of her solid food.

I figured I'd try to at least stop coming home at lunchtime to feed her - that would cut out at least one day time feed. In any case, while it was a pleasure to come home at lunch, it was too much of a mad rush to try and get back, feed her, have my own lunch and head back - besides, she seems to be well settled during the day at my Bua's house. So for the last two days, I've not come home during the afternoons, and she seems to be okay with it, although she apparently gets a bit restless and then pro-actively asks for 'Du-du' - the K obligingly gives her a glass or two. I try to make up for the lunchtime absence by coming back home slightly earlier in the evening. I think it may actually work out better - and I may get more time with her, overall.

The issue is with the holidays - yesterday, Sunday, she refused to eat anything and just kept on trying to lift up my shirt, which is a little embarassing, especially when she does it with company around. In general, she seems to have entered a very clingy phase, and is quite difficult when I'm around - she refuses to go to anyone else for even a minute, and is constantly going 'Mamamamamama....' - this is usually very cute, but not so much when you need to go to the bathroom.

The biggest challenge will be figuring out how to wean her from the night feed - I have been ignoring all the good advice thrown at me from various sources, and have been letting her fall asleep at the breast for the last couple of months. It was just so easy to give in to the temptation of an easy means to get her to drift off, rather than rocking her back and forth for hours, as we had to do previously. She is now extremely difficult (read: impossible) to get to sleep at nights without me and my assets. Oh, we are so going to suffer.

Do you guys have any advice on how to wean a child, one who is almost fifteen months old and extremely finicky about her favourite food? Anyone with anything to share? Anyone? Anyone except Ganju?

Although even Ganju could do better than my mother, because when I asked her yesterday for her advice on weaning, she sagely replied:

'Stop feeding her'

Oh yeah. Thanks, Mom. Could never have figured that one out by myself. It's like asking an enigmatic oracle for some advice and receiving a wise, esoteric reply which is near-impossible to figure out and interpret - only it's the exact opposite. Does that make any sense to you? I thought not. Forget it.

Either way, my family rocks.

P.S - Peanut now also tends to bite to signal to me that she has finished her feed. She appears extremely attached to this mode of communication, despite my protests. Therefore, there are four more reasons to stop feeding her sooner rather than later - two upper teeth and two lower ones. These teeth also regularly dig in nowadays right into the flesh of my thighs -ah, the unmitigated joy of motherhood.


  1. Its totally normal. My imp did the same things, BF her till about 8 days back, when I strtd weaning her(she is almost 2 yrs). she still remembers but also remembers that it tastes funny now.

    Neem Oil! Works wonders. but keep one thing in mind, you need to keep reapplying it. I would reapply just before her regular feed timings. Feed her dinner early so by the time she is sleepy, give her a bottle to make up for the lost feed during the night. the first night she slept wonderfully, second night fidgety, third she was used to sleeping without the feed, and slept through the night. and touchwood, she still is.

    So if it is not the taste, then it is the smell which will definitely put her off. Some children need to be weaned off slowly, esp if the mother is around. She will demand feed in the night, you need to be firm and give her a bottle. Initially I gave in and would feed her once a day, but stopped her after 3 days and it seems to be working.

    Good Luck. But yes she has become more clingy, asking for my godi all the time and for that I have no answer.

  2. no wisdom to share here, y. could you hand off bedtimes to the husband, maybe - once she's done with a full, hearty dinner?
    good luck!

  3. afraid i'd echo your mom.

    broke my heart though both times while they got on fine after the first couple of days.

  4. Devastated. Absolutely devastated that my pearls of wisdom are no longer welcome. Sigh.

    Will I ever recover?

  5. While mine are..I hope.

    I can only share what worked with us - the first night M tried to hold Adi while I tried to sleep in a different room. Adi howled and all three of us were miserable. So I went back into the room and I held Adi but did not feed him. Gave him some milk out of his water bottle (the one he was used to).

    Second night - same thing except he refused milk out of a bottle. He drifted off eventually.

    Third night - Declared successfully weaned!

    Take something for your engorgement. Its painful and people will try to tell you that it will just go away on its own. In my case it didn't. But then I have no problem popping pills :-)

  6. Ah the clingy phase... still much in evidence in these parts. Many a day after a long drive in an air-conditioned car, I rush to the loo as soon as I get home, accompanied by a brat who wants to sit in my lap...

  7. Do you also struggle with gerunds? I can never remember what they are.

    Here's a quick refresher. A gerund is a verb ending with -ing (without the hyphen) and used like a noun. Eg. Mohan Das is in awe of Mahesh's butt-clenching. In this case 'clenching' is a gerund.

    Plus - isn't 'gerund' a nice word?

  8. I guess I'm the only person here to tell you NOT to wean Peanut.
    Biting is a very natural reaction when babies develop teeth.She could be biting because
    a)discovering her teeth (!)
    b)a nasal congestion
    c)she is about to complete another developmental milestone. (which you might discover a few days later)
    It pays to remember that biting is just another phase in Peanut's life.It *will* end. Also, Peanut is at an age where she understands what you tell her, so you can try telling her not to bite -consistently. She will get the message.(And to protect yourself,look for cues when she is finishing nursing-and take out the breast before she bites)

    About her putting on weight and eating more solids -weaning is NOT a gaurantee that she will start eating more solids.In fact, the night-time nursing and her mid-day nursing wonderfully compensate for any deficiency in her complementary food intake.So you can get a good night's sleep knowing Peanut has got the best nutrition she can ever have.
    Here is a link to the WHO recommendation for feeding babies.

    Good luck !!!

  9. Oh.. I'm gohnju.. I know all and prove it by using (and explaining) "gerund"..

    (that's how y would've responded if i said that!)

  10. Adsin Fadsin: Hahaha - spot on. That's exactly how she would have responded!

  11. oh well! no pearls of wisdom here! Cubby was always on combination of breastfeed and formula and was completely weaned by like 9months me thinks.

    all the best!

    thankfully Cubby still hasnt bit me! but then who knows! what didnt happen for 7 seven teeth might happen for eighth!



  12. :) so i'd like to piss you off and say - stop feeding her.

    but i shall refrain. or did i just do the opposite?!

    anyway - point being - you can atleast start by bringing down the number of feeds.

    other than the biting i just weaned when i needed to get away from the kids for a week and couldnt figure out a way to leave a boob behind.

  13. Umm, am guessing you are in for some 'yelling' time from Peanut. But well, good luck, once you get through it, she'll be weaned :) (logic personified!)

    Happy Diwali in advance.....

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