Archive for December, 2008
Babies: A case study in why control groups are FTW

After we got home from the doctor’s last night, we got a call from the pediatrician.  She had consulted with another doctor in her practice about H’s facial swelling and they concluded that the swelling and redness is more likely due to windburn/injury from the cold than from an allergy.  I am relieved about this, but I also feel terrible.  Did I take H out in 6 degree weather last Friday to mail a job application?  Yes.  Did I know that we were going to be hit by a massive snowstorm while we were out?  No.  Was I prepared for the high winds and onslaught of snow? Nope.  Did I have the cover for the stroller to protect H’s face?  Nope.  

Three things happened to H in quick succession, making it difficult to disambiguate the cause(s) of the facial swelling and the diaper rash.  1)  He started eating apples for the first time, 2) We started using cloth diapers at night, to save money, 3) He was exposed to cold wind.  It’s easy to see why we attributed the facial problem to the apples, especially when considering that the facial problem didn’t crop up until 2 days after the wind and cold exposure.  The doctor now thinks that the diaper rash is a yeast problem, so we picked up some antifungal cream last night to see if that will take care of things.  I am also going to discontinue using cloth wipes, as the wipes solution I made seems to be irritating H as well.  It has tea tree oil in it to keep mold from growing on the wipes, which can be irritating to sensitive baby skin.  At this point, I’m just ready to bite the bullet and pay for the damn disposable wipes (chlorine-free and biodegradable of course), just so I can be done with this harrowing mess.

I’ve been applying aloe to H’s cheeks which seems to be providing some relief.  They don’t look any worse than yesterday, but they certainly don’t look better either.  I’m going to keep him away from apples in the interim, just in case.  Doctor says we can try them again in another month if we want.  I was hoping to take H out sledding for Christmas; instead, I plan on keeping him inside so his skin can heal.  I am disappointed, mostly in myself, for allowing this to happen to him.  Yet I am relieved that he is likely not experiencing a reaction to his food.  Apple allergies are rare, but do occur from time to time.  From my cursory reading, it appears they are more common with raw apples than with cooked because the reaction is typically triggered by pollen on the skin of the apple.  Cooking degrades the allergens, thus making a reaction to cooked apples much less likely.  

Our fingers are crossed that our little guy makes a speedy recovery…..nothing compares to the guilt one feels when their little one is hurt (especially when it was completely preventable).

6-month check-up

Our little guy is starting to slack with the growing.  He now weighs 21.375 lbs. and is 27.5 inches tall, which places him in the 96th and 85th percentiles, respectively.  His appointment went well, except for the fact that the pediatrician suspects that Holden has an allergy to apples.  We had eliminated apples after just two days, but his face and bum continue to get worse.  His cheeks are really swollen although he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.  I am really upset because food allergies are such a total pain in the ass, and I am hoping that this doesn’t portend issues with other foods down the road.  We were instructed to keep a close eye on things and to come back in on Monday if it’s still a problem.  

On a good note, we were given the green light to drop those middle of the night feedings if we are so inclined.  The doctor says Holden has plenty of reserves to hold him over during the night (which is a diplomatic way of saying that he is a portly fellow), so from a medical standpoint, he should be fine to go all night without feeding.  I’m prepared to try this although it will be weird to not respond to his mumblings at night.

6 months of H.

6 months of H.

It’s already been a wild ride, bud.

(Original photo mosaic on Flickr with a little help from BigHugeLabs.)

Six months

It’s hard to believe that our not-so-petite sir has been in our lives for half a year already!  He gets more interesting all the time—and he continues to surprise us with how different he is from Rob and myself.  Holden is still mellow, gregarious, and unafraid.  He engages with others effortlessly in social situations that even some adults would find overwhelming (e.g. loud noise and lots of people don’t bother him at all).  It’s typically around this age that babies start exhibiting separation anxiety or “stranger danger,” but Holden doesn’t seem to mind being around unfamiliar people or places.  As for the separation anxiety, Holden hasn’t been away from me very many times (I think I can actually count on one hand the number of times we have been apart since his birth), so it is tough to say how well he actually deals with being separated from us.

Holden has become a relatively confident sitter, although not without the occasional topple.  He can sit and reach for his toys and keep himself entertained for minutes at a time.  His newest favorite activity is playing with the beautiful wooden train sent to him by his Aunt Annie and Uncle Jerry.  He loves it!  He is still trying to figure out how those wheels work!

Holden is also enjoying tummy time a bit more, although it is not his favorite way to spend his time.  He does little mini-pushups and is starting to creep a little.  He now rolls over effortlessly, but never when his Papa is watching!  He can pivot his body to face his toys (or the cat) for a better view.  If he sees his shadow, he will pause to stare at it, then he will start moving again to watch his shadow change.

Holden is doing very well with solid foods.  He has enjoyed rice cereal, carrots, peas, pears, and applesauce, and knows exactly what to do with them.  As soon as I dip into his bowl with his spoon, he opens his little mouth, ready to receive the first bite.  There isn’t as much of a mess anymore when he eats as he has gotten really efficient with moving his food from the front of his mouth to the back without pushing it out with his tongue.  He makes little chewing motions with his mouth, and emits little sounds of satisfaction “Mmmmmmm” as he chews.  Exercising those little mouth muscles is actually pretty important for speech development!  I’ve been having a lot of fun making baby food for Holden.  Here’s an array of frozen purees:

Along with canned applesauce that I made in September from apples that we picked at the local orchard:

Eventually we’ll just puree whatever it is that we’re having for dinner so he can have it too, but for now, we’re just introducing things pretty slowly.  He is learning to sip water from a sippy cup as well:

Unfortunately, the apples seem to be causing some problems so we stopped offering them at mealtimes.  As soon as he started on apples, he got a bad diaper rash and a rash on his face, which still hasn’t gone away.  I can only assume that it’s from the apples (they have a very low pH), but who knows what the real culprit is.  We’ll just keep him away from them for now and hope that everything resolves.  I just feel terrible every time I look at his sweet face and see those large red patches on his cheeks:(

Two weeks ago I took Holden to the Hearing Outreach Program through the VT Department of Health.  I have no concerns about Holden’s hearing, but the hospital suggested that we do a hearing check since I had a history of chronic ear infections and hearing loss as a baby and young child.  His newborn hearing screening came back great, and luckily, so did the screening that was performed a couple weeks ago!  In fact, the audiologist told us we don’t need to continue to check his hearing unless we have specific concerns.  So that was really good news.  

Last week we also had the first professional photographs taken of Holden.  They turned out great!  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if I have to, it’s going to be this:


And of course we had some cheesy family pictures taken as well:

The thing that I love about this picture is that we could have stepped outside and gotten a picture with real snow, real pine trees, and a real sled—-but we’re rocking the faux winter scene regardless.

And for the heck of it, here’s some more (because let’s get real, it’s impossible to just pick one or two):

Where are my hands?!!!

Tomorrow is Holden’s 6-month appointment and I will be sure to post an update about his growth on here.  He is a gentle soul with a wonderful sense of humor and Rob and I feel so privileged to have shared the past 6 months of our lives with him.

Facebook Bans Breastfeeding Photos

Facebook apparently has placed a ban on breastfeeding photos and will remove photos from a user’s profile if they happen to show a little baby non-non-nomming away.  I was unaware of such a ban and quickly checked to make sure that one of my breastfeeding photos was still there and luckily, it was:

If you disagree with Facebook’s position on this, please consider joining the group “Hey, Facebook, Breastfeeding is not obscene!” and participating in the virtual nurse-in on December 27th.  The nurse-in consists of changing your profile photo for the day, to a picture of a nursing child, and adding the sentence, “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!” to your status message.

Please encourage your friends to join as well; send a message that nutrition and nurturing are nothing to be embarrassed about!  None of us should feel shame for doing something so good for our babies.

For your enjoyment, please check out my other “obscene” breastfeeding photos: