*warning - baby-heavy post!* I'm writing this after having mopped both Daphne and myself down following an incident which will now be referred to as Butternut Squash Gate. Yesterday her evil Feeder Mother gave her two huge cubes of butternut squash puree, and felt all proud and pleased as she gobbled the entire lot down. Not realising that there is such a thing as too much roughage when you are just under six months old. Ever since, butternut squash has been coming out of both ends (the stuff from the top end going straight down my bra - lovely!), accompanied by lots of tears and gigantic farts. She's finally fallen asleep in exhaustion. I'm so sorry little Chippy.
How much food is too much food for a six-month-old baby? I have literally no idea. Once again it strikes me as crazy that I am responsible for this delicate little baby's LIFE and yet I know more about looking after my Macbook. We've got the Annabel Karmel weaning book but nowhere does it really suggest any ideas for portion size - it's all that same old guff about not worrying if they don't eat much more than a teaspoon. HA. Chip says sit her in front of a 6oz steak and she'll quite happily put the whole thing away, then cry all night with tummy ache. One way to learn about cause and effect I suppose.
I do wish there were clearer guidelines about how much to feed babies and when - it all seems so confusing and there's so much different advice out there. I really am making it all up as I go along. Maybe I'm just really thick but I don't have any instincts as to how much is too much! We were going to do baby-led weaning but Chip was obviously so hungry all the time - when we ate she would watch us and open her little mouth in expectation - but she's not quite mastered the hand-eye coordination thing enough to put a carrot stick in her mouth yet. So we've been spooning puree in, and she's loved it all (except for spinach, which is probably fair enough). Her favourite thing is 'biscuits' (mashed up Farley's Rusks with milk) and she could eat that all day long. I was giving it to her as a kind of supper because I thought it would help fill her tummy before bed, and was quite pleased about it but then I googled rusks and everyone on Mumsnet said they were horrific and full of sugar and I'd be better off giving her a Mars bar. So that made me feel quite terrible - even though we'd bought the reduced sugar ones. Sigh.
It's a minefield. I miss the days of trying to choose between two cartoons of formula that were ostensibly the same anyway. Much easier.
On a more upbeat note, Daphne is finally sleeping in her own room at night! We've even taken down the bedside cot! We moved her in a bit early (the guidelines say that babies should sleep in a room with you until they are six months' old) because she was already napping in there and we were really reaching the end of our tethers with the exhaustion thing. It's made me happy and sad all at once - but mostly happy because we've actually had a few relatively decent nights' sleep since she moved in there about a week ago. She obviously prefers the bigger cot with more space to stretch out, and I am sure that she prefers not having to hear her mum and dad grunting (hmm, that makes it sounds as though we're having conjugal relations, which is definitely not a priority right now) and snoring away next to her at night too, or waking her up when they come to bed at 11pm.
It is a bit weird not having her next to me though, and last night in the middle of Butternut Squash Gate she was waking up every hour or so in constant pain with wind so I gave up and brought her into our bed again (which I secretly loved). I think if she's ever poorly I'm going to use it as an excuse to have more baby cuddles in our bed - it was one of my favourite parts of when she was little - there's really nothing nicer than having a sleeping baby snoozing on your shoulder...
It is bittersweet now when we put her to bed at night, tucking her in and leaving her to it. She's already starting to become independent... sniff sniff!
She's also started to do a lovely long nap at lunchtime which is definitely the most exciting thing to happen to me for years. Or this year at least. I sometimes even get two hours to myself in the middle of the day to do stuff, and IT IS BRILLIANT.
Finally, we've finished Making a Murderer. Thanks to whoever recommended it to me - what little chance of sleep I had before has now disappeared thanks to my new late-night googling sessions of 'who might have killed Teresa Halbach?' and 'why did Brendan confess?' etc etc. It's driving me insane! I keep thinking there's no smoke without fire and surely even with a low IQ you don't randomly confess to raping or murdering someone?! We will never know! Aarrgh!