Saturday, October 22, 2005

Solid foods?

When SA was about 3 months old, he slept through the night for the first time. We were thrilled - he continued to sleep 9-12 hours every night through a road trip to visit R's family and my sister's wedding, which made for a great little vacationer.

But a month later, he started waking up to eat in the middle of the night - one night in three for a while, then every other night, and now he wakes up every night. I assume this is because he's grown to need more food than he did (though I went back to work around the same time, so I suppose that could be related).

At his 4-month appointment, the doctor recommended waiting until he was close to 6 months old before starting solids. But after a solid week of being awake from 3-4, and often not getting back to sleep until it's time to get up, I'm considering advancing the schedule. He's a big eater - he goes through 16 ounces of milk while I'm away for the day, then eats at least 3 times while I'm home (90th percentile for height and weight - not a child who misses meals. Yes, he's related to his parents.) And solids might help him sleep at night, plus reduce the pressure on me to pump my breasts umpteen times a day, which is getting a bit cumbersome.

Of course, the books suggest that solids don't help babies sleep through the night. But anecdotal evidence seems pretty uniform to me - and it seems logical. If he wakes up in the middle of the night and he's hungry, he won't be able to get back to sleep - and breast milk digests so quickly that he'll likely be hungry. In any case, no one suggests that a little rice cereal will be harmful to a 5-month-old.

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