Hybrid Strategy

We’ve started feeding Roman solids. Even though he’s only five and a half months old, we (mostly Jenny) have noticed his food-ready signs for several weeks. Nothing was more telling than his intense focus on us while we were eating–his eyes would follow the food from plate to mouth over and over again, and at those times his drool wasn’t entirely from teething.

All that attention to how food works has paid off for him, because he knew enough to dive right in as soon as a cereal-loaded spoon made its way close to his mouth. It will take practice before he’s efficient enough to keep a whole bite in his mouth without pushing some of it out, but most of the bite usually stays in by the second or third time we scrape it off his chin and shovel it back into his mouth. He definitely wants the food in his mouth–any short break in the rhythm is enough to make him scream for more. Roman is clearly not meant to live on cereal alone, so his culinary options quickly expanded to include pureed bananas and sweet potatoes.

Roman only eats solids once per day, so most of his sustenance still comes in liquid form, from nursing and formula. We worry about his weight and about how much of his fussiness seems to be connected to food, but it isn’t easy to figure out how to solve those problems. Our current hypothesis is that he has a soy sensitivity, so Jenny has altered her diet and we’ve switched to a specialty formula. There are some downsides to this approach: soy is found in almost everything (including chocolate), and the formula is rather expensive and smells terrible. Although the results haven’t been uniformly positive, we have noticed general improvements, for instance in the quality of Roman’s sleep. He now weighs more than 14 pounds, which is still on the very small side, but at least he’s gaining weight steadily and seems to be tracking along a growth curve instead of dropping off of it.

We’ll keep stuffing him full of as much food as we can, and hope he continues to make progress. In the meantime, we continue to enjoy his happy times. Jenny took Elena and Roman to story time at the library today, and someone approached Jenny just to tell her how cute she thought Roman was. It’s always nice to hear compliments like that!


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