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Overcoming failure-to-thrive

Every year Matthew is home for the twelve days of Christmas. It’s a tradition in our household and we spend it doing family things, visiting friends and family and on twelfth night we take down the Christmas decorations and put up our eldest son’s birthday party decorations. It’s a good way to round off the holiday.This year had added benefit, in that Ben, our failing-to-thrive eleven month old, decided that he would start to eat and – at the same time – start to sleep. I am still at a loss as to why he decided that he had had enough of the starvation thing, even though I know and have been repeatedly advised that babies often ‘grow out of it’ – ‘it’ being whatever problem they suffer whether sleeplessness, eczema, reflux, diarrhoea, constipation (and of course at twelve months then develop picky eating, night-waking, tantrums, toddler diarrhoea, constipation and all manner of toddler related things) – but I have my own suspicions as to why he started to eat:

1) With Matthew home I got him to feed Ben in the highchair. There was no hint of milk (as I was the other end of the house with my feet up. Or, more likely, cleaning the loos). Ben didn’t know whether I would be back. So he ate.

Not certain about this one because, let’s face it, my boobs are just not THAT great.

2) I only offered him formula at night in an attempt to discourage him having milk at night. There was every hint of milk (as I was lying right next to him and if he could have got into my pyjamas he would have). Even when I was desperate for sleep I didn’t give in.

Also not certain about this one because actually he drank the formula anyway and went straight back to sleep. The same week he started eating so this made no difference. But I can pretend I was doing the good mother thing and refusing him milk that he didn’t need.

3) We put a television in the kitchen. I know, I know.

So I could remove the television and see if he stops eating. But right now it’s the lesser of two evils and so long as he’s eating I don’t really care what it takes.


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  • angelfeet February 8, 2007, 12:21 am

    You are, of course, showing him old tapes of Open University programmes on the TV, so it’s perfectly fine.

  • Violet February 8, 2007, 7:20 am

    Television works eh? But it’s supposed to be bad because they don’t notice when they get full. But that isn’t going to by Ben’s problem at the moment, is it?

  • Sally February 8, 2007, 9:12 pm

    I’m so, so glad he’s finally doing better. What a huge set of worries you’ve had to deal with this past year! Hopefully this spring will bring lots of new sunshine for you.

  • mad muthas February 18, 2007, 11:25 pm

    great news about ben, you must be so relieved.