This week, the Dallas Moms Blog contributors have come together to create a series of posts inspired by so many moms who feel alone or lost in this unique role. We recognize that motherhood isn’t easy, but as we get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day, we embrace this incredible, rewarding journey that even our own moms couldn’t have prepared us for! Join us for this Mother’s Day Series :: “Things My Mom Never Told Me About Being a Mother”
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When I got pregnant with my son, I bought and read all the latest and greatest baby books, researched on popular baby websites, and of course talked to my mom and mother-in-law about their experiences.
Somehow in all my preparing I missed the fact that I would spend a huge part of my mothering days dealing with food and number two. Why had my mother not prepared me for this???
New moms are quickly thrust into the land of all things food the very second their babies are born. Should I breastfeed or formula feed? Is my baby getting enough ounces? When should I start solids? How on earth do I choose a bottle from the millions of options displayed the at baby store? Will my baby actually eat pureed chicken? Should I buy all organic food?
How can I get my toddler to eat a balanced diet? I am still working on that one.
Let’s not forget the burping, spitting up, and most importantly all things Number Two.
It astounded me in the early months how one tiny baby could explode a diaper and clear a room in one split second. My husband and I quickly developed an alert code for this kind of occasion. My personal favorites are “Five alarm fire!” “He/she dropped a BOMB!” “We need Hazmat in here!”. Two running fans and a pack of wipes later, we were back to business as usual praying it was the last “event” of the day.
These kinds of questions and situations continue into the toddler years and honestly seem to multiply. It is enough to make any momma’s head spin. It is difficult making all these choices and even tougher to know when your child’s food and number two are not normal. How do you know as a mom when there might be a problem with your child’s eating and or digestive system?
My first child was born healthy at a whopping 9 lb and 3 oz. Our hospital stay was smooth and three days later we went home. The first night on our own my sweet son cried the entire night without stopping. I did not know what to think of this. The next three weeks were filled with lots of projectile spit up, crying, and visits to a pediatrician. I was reassured repeatedly that my son just had regular baby reflux and that he would grow out of it. This did not sit well in my heart and I ended up taking him to Children’s Hospital in Plano.
They admitted my son, ran some tests, and he had surgery on his stomach the next day. Afterwards he had to be on reflux medication and special formula for a milk intolerance until he was fifteen months old. I spent most of that time covered in spit up but relieved my baby was thriving.
Three years later my husband and I adopted our daughter from Taiwan. We were blessed to have received medical reports about her health and felt ready for what she would need. The day after we picked her up I tried to give her a purée for lunch. The second she tried to swallow it, she choked and gagged. It was very alarming. Again, I did not know what to think of this.
Also our daughter seemed extremely constipated. Weeks went by and my mom gut told me something wasn’t right. I was very forward with my pediatrician and he referred my daughter to Children’s Hospital in Plano for a feeding evaluation and visit with a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. My sweet baby ended up requiring feeding therapy for sensory issues, physical therapy, and medications for chronic constipation and silent acid reflux.
Through these experiences, I learned some great tips from doctors, therapists, and other moms. Here are a few:
- Trust your mom gut! If you sense something is not right, don’t be afraid to question your pediatrician or get a second opinion. Pediatricians do not see your child every day. Your opinion and observations matter.
- Baylor Our Children’s House and Children’s Hospital have nationally ranked doctors and programs that can address food allergies, feeding issues, and digestive problems.
- Acid reflux is often misdiagnosed as colic. Not all babies with acid reflux spit up. This is known as silent reflux and can be more difficult to diagnose.
- Yes, babies and toddlers are notoriously unpredictable and picky when it comes to food. However some are picky due to food allergies or feeding issues. Seek a medical opinion if you are concerned with your child’s diet or reactions to food.
- Try not to make meal time a battle. This is easier said than done! For a lot of little ones, the more you push them to eat the more they will refuse. Some children will need several introductions to a certain food before it is accepted.
- Lastly, here is my personal tip to future moms and new moms:
You will be amazed how quickly you get used to all things food and number two!