My Baby, The Milk Loving Piranha

When I first thought about this breastfeeding thing, I read the AAP recommendation for 1 year and the WHO recommendation for 2 years and thought “Easy-peasy, yo, no worries. I’ll nurse as long as the baby wants”. I was a very laid back person before I gave birth.

After having the baby and actually trying to nurse, I am relieved to make it through each and every individual feeding. I had to block all thoughts of the future from my head, because thinking about the pain and frustration and sleepless nights for TWENTY FOUR MORE MONTHS made me want to jump out a window. Not a very high window, just high enough that someone else would have to take over feedings for a couple days. I decided if I made it to 2 months it would be a miracle.

Once I started treating my thrush and got the baby off the shield and finally realized I’m allergic to lanolin (you’d think my inability to wear a wool sweater for more than ten minutes would have been a clue but remember, no one said you had to be a genius to have a kid) and stopped putting something that makes my skin itch and burn DIRECTLY ON MY SORE NIPPLES Baby Evan and I fell into a rhythm, lulled into peacefulness by a milky river of cuddles and smiles and easy night feedings we both almost slept through. My original hopes for 2 years of nursing came back with a vengeance. I sat in my comfy chair at breastfeeding support group dispensing wise advice to the teary new moms with their days-old babies, assuring them they would make it through and be just as happy as I was now.

And I bet I would have stayed happy, with no doubts about making it to 2 years if it weren’t for these DAMN TEETH Baby Evan has sprouted. Did you know baby teeth are like puppy teeth? Super sharp and pointy and attached to something that doesn’t know better than to bite you. He’s not really biting me yet, since he doesn’t have top teeth. But the scraping, it is painful. I can no longer fall asleep while he’s latched on or I wake up to a bruised nipple. I’ve become an expert at jamming a finger in his mouth to break suction at the slightest noise so he doesn’t whip his head around and take a piece of me with him. Now that stuffy-nose weather is here it’s gotten worse, since when his mouth is full of boob and his nose is full of snot he can’t breath and yanks off every couple of seconds to gasp for air.

I’m hoping these two bottom teeth were just a freak occurrence and he holds off on the rest for a while. I’m adjusting to our current nursing relationship (and our LACK OF SOLID FOOD relationship – yesterday he actually picked up a Cheerio and put it in his mouth…unfortunately as soon as he tasted it he spat it back out) and I’m very proud we made it through 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. But “exclusive” is no longer a club I want to be part of. Baby Evan is going through a growth spurt and spends most of the day either attached to my boob or lying on the floor going “mmmmm mmmmmm mmmmm oooooooo” *poop*. He eats so much during the night he pees through a size 4 diaper (Which is suppose to work on babies up to 37 pounds. Since the baby only weighs 20 pounds, does that mean he’s outputting 17 POUNDS OF PEE?) at night and I wake up damp and smelly. He’s reached all the important “ready to start food” milestones…except for a willingness to SWALLOW THINGS THAT ARE NOT MILK.

I think the key to my continued breastfeeding success is finding a (baby appropriate) food he’s willing to eat. Cheerios, oatmeal, pieces of banana and applesauce are no’s. I have this butternut squash I’ve been planning to turn into baby food for a week but haven’t actually figured out how to do that yet. I meant to give him a piece of my avocado last week but it was so delicious I ate it all. I’m going to try to find some of those HappyBaby puffs today and maybe pick up a couple more jars of various types of baby food.

Any suggestions? What does/did your kid eat?

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8 Responses to “My Baby, The Milk Loving Piranha”

  1. Natalie says:

    Oh, the teeth…I was on board to nurse for as long as the kids needed it too, and I did…they both lost interest in it for anything more than a quick comfort before bed at 14 months (both were weaned at 14 1/2 months). As for food: Olivia started baby cereal at 4 months (our pediatrician said if she was actively grabbing our food and making mouth movements, she was ready) and she was. SO when Sophia tried it at 4 months we were surprised that she wanted nothing to do with it. She was about 6 months when she finally got into it, and we did start with the baby cereal (the Nature’s Best Organic brand is what we used). Olivia LOVED fruits and wasn’t as keen on veggies, and Sophia was the other way around. She made faces with applesauce and bananas too, so we started her with the green stuff. I made all of my own baby food, and it is REALLY easy to do (so easy).

    With butternut squash I would roast it and then puree it. Just cut it in half, scoop the seeds, lay face down on a baking sheet covered in tin foil, and roast for about 30-45 minutes (until soft to the touch) in an 350 degree oven. When it cools, (or if you are like me, do it fast when it is piping hot…I’m incredibly impatient with food), stick it in the food processor/blender/bowl with stick blender and just puree the shit out of it. It was one of Soph’s favorites. Neither girl ever took to Mashed regular potatoes (I know, right?) but LOVED sweet potatoes. You can just boil them until mushy. The best part about baby food cooking is that you can “put it on and leave it” because you need it to be mushy so it is easier to puree. Buy cheap ice cube trays, put whatever you don’t think he’ll eat w/in three days in the trays, freeze and you have perfect 1 oz cubes to put into little ziploc bags and pop into the microwave when he’s hungry (WARNING: do not put in for more than 30-45 seconds, those suckers get hot fast).

    Let me know if you want any other tips. I have a “Blender Baby Food” book I can send you if you want. (at least I think I still have it–I may have to search for it).

  2. bebehblog says:

    Nat – Thanks for the advice. I’m actually registered for a make your own baby food class (because I’m a soulless yuppie with nothing better to do) next weekend but I don’t think this squash will last until then. Hopefully it’s just baby cereal (I bought that same stuff you did), applesauce and Cheerios he hates and some sort of veggie will go down better.

  3. Rachel says:

    Oh, teeth. I wish I had advice to give you-Jayden and I adjusted pretty well to the bottom teeth, and he learned quickly to nurse carefully after he got his top ones. The teeth have actually not been a problem until very recently, when the pain of getting molars drives him insane so he bites everything in frustration, including himself. Good luck!

    As for the food… I would absolutely try avocado. J *loves* avocado, and will often eat that when he won’t anything else. Plus, I’ve read that it’s one of the most perfect first foods because it’s the perfect soft texture and so incredibly healthy. Give ‘er a whorl.

    As for the squash… how would you normally cook it to make it soft? I cut mine in half and bake them until it’s soft, mash it up or blend with some breast milk and viola! Baby food. Maybe he’ll eat it if it’s more runny?

    Good luck!

  4. Brigid Keely says:

    So, I’m pretty sure we’ve established that I’m a terrible and neglectful mother, right?

    I just buy jarred stuff.

    Niko eats most of it, although he hates sweet peas with an enduring passion, and gives me hurt and betrayed looks when I slip a spoonful of it into his mouth and then wipes his tongue on things to get any traces of it off again.

    We started with oat cereal, which he didn’t like very much, and then barley cereal which he likes somewhat better, but it’s the fruits and sweet veg he loves the most. Carrots (and for some reason I can’t remember it’s bad to make your own carrots… nitrates? nitrites? something?), squash, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, peaches…

    The first few sessions didn’t go too well as he was all “what. what is this. in my mouth? this is not … what the hell? GET IT OUT.” but he got the hang of it pretty quickly.

    If he rejects something, try it again a few times on separate occasions. Sometimes babies reject things simply because they’re new, or simply because of the texture. Also they are jerks. Don’t try food if he’s too hungry (he’ll be too hungry to learn how to work the spoon, and furious at you for not teleporting food directly into his stomach), or too full. Also, if you let him play with the spoon and get used to it, that might help as well.

    We currently feed Niko (almost 7 months) 18-24 oz of formula a day, and 3 food feedings. If he doesn’t get enough food food he wakes up starving around 1am. Formula isn’t enough for him, not at the rate he’s growing and the amount of calories he’s burning. I generally give him a cereal/fruit mix in the morning, a fruit/fruit meal for one meal and a veg/veg meal for the other meal. Sometimes it’s just “peaches” or “carrots,” but other times it’s “harvest grains and veggies!” or “chicken noodle vegetable dinner!” or “spoonable mango apple smoothie with DHA!”

    N doesn’t have teeth yet, but they’re all gathered and ridged under his gums, ready to erupt annnnnnny day now. As we’ve been saying for well over a month now. His gums have gotten very hard, however he cannot BITE yet. I do not envy you that. Not one bit.

  5. lalaland13 says:

    Put a lock and key over your boobs and say he has to eat some solid food before he gets access back. He’ll either do it or DHS will come out to your house.

    OK, maybe that’s not the best option. But I will defer to the other moms here and hope they’re right that it just takes patience and persistence. Which could be the official mom mantra: Patience and persistence. And poop.

  6. Oh god the teeth. I remember the teeth. Calder had the 4 middle ones at four months and would saw on my tits. It was unbearable. I swear I still get pangs and he’s nearly two. (Incidentally, Calder also wears size 4 diapers so how big ARE Baby E’s thighs exactly?) I had been supplementing with formula all along due to work exacerbating my supply issues so he was easier to adapt to a bottle-only relationship. You mention that you’ve tried oatmeal but have you tried the rice cereal yet? I think that has a much more neutral flavor and a smoother texture so it might be more palatable to the little guy. Especially if it’s mixed in with a good amount of the boob juice. Good luck with it. Eventually you will not be able to remember these struggles. You also will not be able to remember a time when you got a whole one of anything to yourself either.

  7. Priscila says:

    Omigosh! I love your writing. I love your voice in the writing. You’re so funny! I feel your pain. I too was UBER excited about nursing for TWO WHOLE years, or as long as my Olivia wanted to nurse, and by day THREE I was also ready to jump out of a not-too-high window. I remember me CRYING when Olivia started showing signs of hunger, or when two hours had passed since the last feeding. It was horrible! After that, though, it was almost magical how quickly she and I got the hang of it. That was awesome. And now at five months she has started whipping her head around with no consideration to whether or not my boob is in her mouth. But it’s all worth it, right? lol

    I’m afraid I’m a month behind you, my daughter’s 5 months old. Still no teeth for her, and no signs of teething, yet. I am still exclusively breastfeeding her, and plan to do so for a whole ‘nother month. I’ll have to keep up with you here and see what I can expect, or what works for you.

    I can say that in preparation for food feeding we have set up her high chair, and she plays in it for maybe an hour all together (not all at once) a day while I cook, and I got her several plastic spoons. She LOVES to play with those spoons. She sticks them in her mouth the right way, the wrong way, and sideways. At least I hope this is preparing her or familiarizing her with what’s to come.

    Hey and congrats on a VERY cute baby.

  8. hello! i found your blog on, and just wanted to stop by and introduce myself! my baby girl is around your son’s age (i think! she was born april 11th…) i love your blog from what i’ve read so far – and evan is ADORABLE! i had similar breast feeding struggles with my poppy, and i actually exclusively pump now. i SO sympathize with the biting issue; my girl did that from the beginning and i was left black and clue and cracked, so difficult because i was really determined to nurse and it was just plain impossible for us. anyway, thanks for sharing your stories and photos. i’m looking forward to reading your other posts. cheers!

    ~emily bilbrey

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