Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Is he a good baby? 6 to 12 months.

As my little person nears the 6 month mark (insert sad teary face here) I thought to touch on sleep and feeding habits of the slightly older baby, the 6 to 12 month old. In this age of baby there is a much greater societal expectation of “good behaviour”, I think what they mean by good baby is a baby that is sleeping well (and through the night) and breastfeeding less (than when he was new), as well as taking good amounts of solids with out being fussy. Hmmmm expect much?

So what is normal for infant sleep at this age? It’s so very common for this still young baby to be “cat napping” during the day. Also needing comfort measures to get to sleep be them feeding to sleep, rocking or carrying or simply mum or dad’s presence. Night feeds are normal, and important. Night feeds keep up the milk supply and help with continued baby growth and brain development. To ignore your baby’s cry is to ignore its most purest emotion, that cry is your baby expressing his love and need for his mother, why would a baby simply switch this off at any particular age, just because culturally we expect him to.
Is he a good baby? Sure he is settled all night long, he has about 4 boobs through the night, some times more some times less, his needs vary.

This is how we roll, snoozing in the ergo around home.

Babies between these ages can go through many different feeding patterns. One baby may be feeding more than ever as he developmentally is needing the comfort the breast provides as circumstances around him changes (mum starting some part time work for example), or perhaps he’s experiencing a stage of separation anxiety. The next baby might struggle to have a couple of feeds during the day, as he is learning to crawl and experience the world around him, this baby will probably make up for missed feeds at night. They’re clever like that.
Is he a good feeder?  He’s really clever, if I just follow his cues he lets me know when he wants milk, breastfeeding is great like that.

The solid thing gets so much more attention than it deserves at this age, or any stage during the early years for that matter. Babies and children are very clever and regulate their intake to just the right amount for them, this is why feeing the baby according to his need (demand feeding) is all that he needs. Family foods in the second six months of life are all about a learning experience, baby learning textures and tastes and how this eating thing works. Nutritionally the solids between 6 and 12 months and in many cases longer mean very little; provided, once more, the baby is fed according to his need. Baby led solids is a fantastic approach to introducing family foods and is very breastfeeding friendly in that it doesn’t look at foods for this age as meals and maintains breastfeeds as the main nutritional intake.
Is he a good eater? He loves exploring his food; he feeds himself lots of different foods as he plays. Food under one is just for fun.

Rhys looking pretty proud of himself after a play session with a mango seed 5 and a bit mths.

There is no such thing as a bad baby, babies are not manipulative, nor do they exist to have mum be the brunt of an evil baby led conspiracy theory. Our babies are little people we are growing, baby animals that need every thing we can give, love, comfort, food and affection. The freshest newborn needs these things to thrive and be safe and secure in this big wide world, the bigger baby and even bigger child needs them all the same, maybe even more but definitely no less.

Till next time

lou x

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