Last week was Abhi and Achu’s 16 month old wellness checkup appointment at their pediatricians office. I was worried about going to this appointment because I would know Abhi’s weight at this appointment and how he is doing on that. From the time he turned some 6 months old, his weight dropped to 10-15% of average group. He has pretty much stayed there since then, even dropped to 5-10% in the last checkup. Both Abhi and Achu are fussy eaters like other kids. Resisting food and vomiting is a part of every meal. Add to that, Abhi doesn’t look ANY different than how he was when he was 6-8 months old. Except that he grew taller and crossed few milestones (a little lately), he still looks like some 8 month old baby. All one year+ size dresses are still smaller for him.
But, in the last few weeks we made some changes to what/how they eat. We transitioned them to eating what we eat plus started giving them more breakfast and another mini meal after their dinner. Resisting food and vomiting (Abhi, mostly) didn’t go away, though. So I wanted to see how he was doing. I went to the appointment, mostly ready for the bad news.
During the checkup, nurse measured their weights. I wasn’t even going to ask her, because I was prepared for the news, but, before I even said anything, she exclaimed and said, ‘Wow, Abhi is now improved to 25-50% of weight range. That was such a pleasant surprise to me. I got a tiny bit happy about it, but I asked her, what range was he close to? 25% or 50%? She said ‘he is still close to 25%, but he moved from 5-10% range so he is like two ranges above than 3 months ago.’ I was particularly very happy to hear that because it meant to me that our efforts were paying off . Still, being around 25% is no better, but at least he was on the side of improvement. I would have been very disappointed if the results were otherwise, because in the last 6 months, I have been told by almost every one I know that I am feeding them more food. Its so easy for someone to say that or ask us to not feed them the minute one of them gags. But its so much difficult to be persistent about feeding kids. I was not doing anything like feeding them a lot of food. We were simply splitting the food dose into multiple doses so that they wont throw up. Never mind all that, anyway. I am happy they have shown some improvements on the weight side. I particularly asked the doctor if it was ok to give them another mini meal after their dinner. Not stressing on it, but, in case they want to try eating it. My main goal here is to not feed them more and more, but to teach them to eat new foods. Our nanny gives them lunch and dinner during the day, but that time cannot be always used to teach them to eat new or textured foods. So once in a while, I make new or spicy or textures foods and make them eat with their hands or teach them to use spoon etc. Since I freak out A LOT when Abhi and Achu don’t eat well, I am not asking our nanny to do this job. I feel better when they get their food during the day and we can let them try new foods during this meal time. Once in a while, during this meal, they eat some good fat foods or leftover food from their last meals etc. Doctor said that was fine. Now, I hope no one blames me for trying to feed them. I am only a mom trying to make her kids eat well.
After I mentioned that Abhi and Achu watch TV during their meal time, our doctor said that’s not recommended. She insisted that we teach kids to eat by themselves. Doing the cooking and preparing the meal is or job. Eating is kids job. Somehow, they have to figure it out themselves. When I heard it, that didn’t make any sense to me. Like I said, I freak a lot when kids don’t eat well. So teaching them all this now, means they wont eat well until they figure it out. That would mean their weight going down again. 😦 I was very sure that I wasn’t going to try it anytime soon. But, the more I think about I am realizing, she may be right. Taking Abhi and Achu’s sleep for ex, we decided to fix their sleep problems at the earliest and teach them to sleep on their own. Compared to Achu being rocked to sleep many weeks ago with when she started sleeping on her own, she sleeps much better. It is so much less stress for us and she does look refreshed after waking up. Earlier, she used to go to sleep crying and wake up crying. That means, teaching them do this on their own is much better. I am considering doctors advice, but I still haven’t made up my mind to do that now. I need to prepare myself for that first. But, I will keep it in my mind. I am thinking doing this is a good idea.
In other milestone news, Abhi is little behind on his motor skills (because he walked a late etc.), but he is doing pretty good on his language skills. He is at advanced stage, she said. 🙂 ( Having no TV is paying off too. :))She said Achu was the same, but, I think, Achu is the other way. She is pretty good at using her hands and legs and only says few words compared to Abhi. Achu is a tad bit taller than Abhi (Stop smiling Murali. :)), also weighs a bit more than Abhi. At this appointment, they also got three shots. 😦 Doctor said Abhi also looked anemic, so they did a quick blood test (another poke), but everything turned out normal.
Leaving my worries away, at least Abhi and Achu had fun during the trip. Our pediatrician’s office has an aquarium. The minute we stepped out of the elevator, Achu spotted the aquarium and started saying Issh..Ishh… 🙂 Unlike last times, this time they walked around the office more freely. Abhi went by calling every kid he saw, baby. (Some kids were really offended that they were being called baby :)). They entertained pretty well seeing all the fish and the bubbles in the aquarium. Achu even spotted the mirror image of aquarium bubbles in the glass window and showed it to all of us. They get pretty excited when they see water and fish (I guess we can do another trip to aquarium. 🙂 ). There was also this rotating doctors chair in the office and Abhi, Achu rotated on it, in their diapers. 🙂
We will going back for another appointment in two months, hopefully, Abhi and Achu will at least maintain the same weight range and not drop down again.