He's now been on the outside longer than he was on the inside

The little Kiran, as anyone who has spoken to me knows in exhausting detail, is not sleeping for long stretches at night. Part of the problem is that at 9 months he isn't really eating much solid food. He is breastfeeding pretty much 3 hourly around the clock. Meaning the longest streatch of sleep I get is about 2.5 hours.He refuses all our attempts to feed him. Back when I was childless, and knew far more about parenting, I thought that a baby like that just needed a firm hand and a bit of persistance but it doesn't work that way. This kid is really really stubborn. Stubbornness, I believe, is a tempramental thing, not something acquired, and I'm holding on to the thought that it can be a really positive trait, something that will serve the little guy really well when he has gown-up goals he wants to work toward. It's kinda grasping at straws, but I need something to get me through this time.

So, being the problem solver that I am, I've been thinking about why he doesn't eat and how I can help him eat a bit more food. I think at the beginning he didn't like the sensation of swallowing, because of the sense-memory of mucous and suction from when he was sick with whooping cough as a tiny baby. Now he's a bit older I think the reason he doesn't eat much is to do with his stubbornness. It's a bit freaky having power and control dramas with a kid under one - I had always associated that kind of thing with toddlers, with two-year-olds asserting their independance.Anyhow, the other day I plonked a bowl of weetbix down in front of him and let him at it. To my surprise he knew what to do with it. He stuck the spoon in the bowl and then in his mouth and then actually swallowed what went in his mouth, rather than spitting it straight out.

So I've just been running with that, letting him make as much mess as he wants, helping him out when he seems to want it. As soon as food starts coming out of his mouth again I wipe him off, wipe the highchair, wipe the floor, remind myself that there will be less wiping up one day and we do something else. At best he's eaten about 60ml (3 tablespoons) volume of food in a day (yesterday) which doesn't seem to be enough. I know a five-month-old who eats that much each meal. Hopefully soon it will start being more satisfying to him and he can get more of his calories during the day so he won't wake so much at night. And the No-Cry Sleep Solution will help me to get him to sleep better by himself and if it doesn't then we'll be off to Tresillian because I'm getting pretty close to the end of my tether here.

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