The yoghurt con

Now that the Dude is beginning solid food, I’m starting to take note of the kinds of foods kids eat nowadays and what’s out there. The trend seems to be centring around these yoghurts designed for kids which come in convenient little squeeze packs. They’re easy, fun and healthy… Or are they?

Yoghurt
Image via Wikipedia

No one’s debating just how convenient and downright cool it is to be able to twist off the lid and let your little one suck out that yummy fruity goodness – it’s fun! And best of all, if they don’t finish it, you can pop the lid back on and save it for later. What a clever idea! But there’s one BIG problem: they’re full of junk.

When I say junk, I mean mostly refined sugar. But it’s yoghurt, it’s healthy, right? Sorry, wrong. I checked out the labels in my local Coles, a massive supermarket that stocks three different brands: Valia, Yoplait and Nestle. And they’re all full of refined sugar. I’m talking at least 10% pure refined sugar. That’s not taking into account the other additives and things like gelatine to keep it at the right consistency because it’s not naturally set yoghurt.  They say on the label that it’s ‘full of vitamin D’ for healthy bones, but firstly, why are they adding vitamin D to yoghurt when we get it from sunlight anyway, and secondly, why do we need extra vitamin D?  Because it sounds impressive on the label?  Yeah, probably.  I noticed Valia even make yoghurts they say are ‘suitable’ for babies over 6 months and toddlers: which baby is eating cow’s milk yoghurt with sugar in it?!  I can’t believe a parent would blindly buy this stuff for a baby or toddler!  And I’m not impressed with these companies marketing their junk to young children under the guise of health food.

I’m so disappointed! Such a clever packaging idea, but why the shitty ingredients? It’s going to be a while before the Dude has any yoghurt, but unless these companies stop contributing to the bad health of Australian children and preying on the ignorance of their parents, I’m going to be sticking with the wonderful Jalna.

I really wanted to say something to the mum I saw buying dozens of these things for her little girl who was understandably desperate to eat one before they even left the supermarket, but it would be rude. Wake up Aussie parents, think about what you’re feeding your kids, read labels, don’t be fooled by marketing!

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Nearly five months

Gosh, has it really been that long since I’ve updated?!  So much has happened!

So the Dude is going to be five months on Sunday (I think he’s 22 weeks this week, kind of losing count).  He rolled from front to back for the first time at 19 weeks and has since done it a handful of times.  He mostly doesn’t do it though, when I put him down for tummy time.  He does stay down longer than he used to, without losing it, but daddy still hasn’t seen him roll!  And then yesterday for the first time I witnessed him roll from his back to his front!!  I couldn’t believe it, it was awesome, he just did it with a little effort.

I took him to visit a friend yesterday, who has a little girl two months older than him, and she is really wriggling about, twisting and turning over and over, pretty much crawling.  When I put him next to this little girl, however, I suddenly realised just how massive he is!  He is slightly bigger than this little girl, even though she’s so much older.  And she’s not a small baby, I’d say probably around average.  But he just sort of lay there and watched her wriggling about in awe, like, wow, why can’t I do that?  ha ha!

So speaking of his size, I did take him for his first check up.  We went to the doctor as I’d had a blocked ear for ages and although I’d killed any infection in there with onion juice, my ear just wasn’t clearing.  I finally relented and went to the doctor (the same one I’d gone to when I was first pregnant).  She’s a nice woman but god she’s so ignorant!  The things she said to me during the appointment, I had to really make an effort not to laugh.  She actually started telling me how to ‘discipline’ my four month old baby and she even referred to babies as being ‘like puppies’!!  Can you imagine!  She didn’t help my ear problem either.  She just looked in it, confirmed it was blocked beyond syringing (der, that’s why I went to see the doctor!) and then told me to go and get Ear Clear from the pharmacy!  Seriously, I could have just gone and asked the pharmacist, what a waste of time and money that was.  She weighed the Dude (which is main thing I was interested in) and he was 8.14kg!  So he’d doubled his birth weight!  He is in the 97th percentile for weight, height and head circumference, so yes, he’s a biggie.  She asked me if I was practising ‘attachment parenting’ and I was like, erm, I don’t actually like to apply any labels to things, I just do what I do, but I guess it’s along the lines of attachment parenting.  She thought we were co-sleeping because it was AP, but it’s got nothing to do with wanting to practise AP, it’s just about what feels right and what’s simplest and easiest.  She also asked if I was vaccinating and I said no and got her to sign the conscientious objection form, which she had no issue with (yay!).  She looked at his skin and advised me to get a cream with cortisone in it!  I didn’t say anything but there’s no way I’d put it on him – I wouldn’t put it on my own skin, let alone a baby’s!  Anyway, so the only good things to come out of the appointment were finding out how much he weighs and getting the form signed. Ho hum.

You’ll be happy to know my ear has unblocked itself (although the infection soon arrived in the other ear, which I killed with onion juice again and the blockage is just about gone there too).  No thanks to Mrs Useless GP!  She means well, she’s not a bad person, but gawd, ignorant as hell!  I could provide a better service and I have no medical qualifications!

I don’t want to wish time away, as there’ll never be another time where the Dude will be little like this, but I really can’t wait for him to be more mobile and to sit up by himself.  He gets so frustrated that he can’t, I can tell.  Anyway, it’ll come soon, he’s almost there.

His skin has been pretty bad, comes and goes, so although I didn’t think he had intolerances I think the dairy does contribute to his skin so I’m going back off it again.  My eating, that’s a whole other story and not for this post… anyway, he has what seems to be eczema, and also recently started getting red blotches with white dots in the middle randomly on him, and they’d disappear as fast as they appeared so I think he’s allergic to something, possibly the wool fleece my mum bought him.  I am just keeping an eye on it really, I think it’ll come and go as his constitution works itself out.

We had a couple of very successful osteo appointments where there was total relaxation achieved twice, it was great, and he’s been much more relaxed since.  And we took him to a wedding about five hours drive north, and that was fine, we managed, although I was quite illegal a few times and just took him out of his seat to feed him while we drove.  Meh.  I used to sit on my mum’s lap for every long trip we ever did and nothing ever happened, so I’m not worried.

Must stop, as he’s just woken, I can hear him chatting to himself in the bedroom.

Nearly four months

So the Dude will be four months old on Friday.  How time flies!  He is extremely cute, getting a lot bigger.  I was reading the latest from The Feminist Breeder yesterday, and was reminded yet again how different babies really are.  Among other things in her first post back since the August hiatus, she mentions that her little girl (who is about 3 weeks older than the Dude) began rolling over at 3 months.  Really?!  Wow!  I was kind of shocked actually because the Dude is nearly four months and still hasn’t rolled over.  I haven’t paid much attention to what it says about when babies are meant to do certain things, but it really made me think about how different babies can be and how all that stuff about milestones really means nothing.  Actually, to be honest, I initially began to worry – why isn’t he rolling over, why isn’t he reaching this crucial developmental stage, is there something wrong with him?  Yeah, apparently that’s what mums do, worry.  In terms of muscle strength, he’s got it all, and then some.  He can easily roll from his back to his side and back again, and I’m sure he’s got the muscles to roll right over, but he just doesn’t do it, doesn’t have the motor skills yet I guess.  Typical boy, bit behind the girls.  On the other hand, TFB also said her little one has grown 4 inches since birth.  Really?  At first that sounded like a lot, but then I converted it to centimetres and realised the Dude has grown more than double that since birth!  17cm and counting in fact.  Which, if my calculations are correct (2.5 centimetres equals one inch?) is roughly equivalent to 10 inches.  Freaking massive!  So I’ve decided all his energy is going into growing lengthways and he’s not had a chance to learn about rolling yet.  It’ll come, in time.

On the other hand, despite not rolling, he is definitely roly poly, a real little chunk.  Actually really bloody heavy!  I haven’t had him weighed since his 6 week check up with the midwife, where he was 5.5 kilos I think, but I’m banking on him being at least 7kg now, probably more.  He is very solid!  And boy does he like to sit up!  Of course he’s nowhere near doing it for real in terms of his balance and motor skills, but he gets so angry if he’s put in a semi-reclining position, and he strains to pull himself up to sitting, and actually manages it a lot.  I can no longer leave him for a second propped up in the corner of the couch, because he pulls himself up and then goes forward onto his face and tries to go head first off the edge of the couch!  He also loves to ‘stand’ – ie. be held under the arms and bear weight on his legs.  The look on his face is one of real triumph, so smug, like, ‘oh yeah, look at me!’

He’s also begun to have some really full on conversations with us.  He does this thing with his eyes as he chats where he scrunches them up, it’s so cute.  And his grabbing is getting really good.  I can now leave a toy within reach and he’ll grab it for himself.  He still gets frustrated very easily, and often tends to protest about something before it’s even happened yet.  It reminds me of the type of kid who, when mum says, ‘okay, how about we go and do….’ and before she even finishes explaining the plan, starts saying, ‘no, I don’t want to do that!’  He shouts and protests just because.  It’s cute, but I’m sure it’ll get to a point where he’s big enough to understand that shouting isn’t always the way, especially when you don’t really know what you want!

Did I update on the osteo? Well if not, the outcome wasn’t great.  He couldn’t finish the adjustment because the Dude had a meltdown!  The guy was like, ‘does he always do this?’ and I had to say, yeah, he does!  He reckoned he was in pain with his digestion and gave me instructions on going wheat and dairy free.  I had resisted up until that point, but thought, hey, maybe he is sensitive.  So I tried it.  And actually managed to avoid wheat and dairy, it was amazing, as I’ve never stuck to any kind of diet for more than about 48 hours before.  I’m convinced it hasn’t made that much of an impact and I realised later when the Dude fell asleep within about five minutes of being in the ergo after the osteo appointment that he was really just tired and I’d timed the visit totally wrong.  Since going dairy and wheat free we really haven’t had any proper meltdowns where he just gets distraught and I sit and let him cry in my arms, but at the same time I’ve begun a routine around sleeping.  I’ve started putting him to bed earlier, like by 7pm, sometimes earlier, and he’s having a bath every night, fresh outfit, then bed.  He hates being changed, but I’m sure he’ll get used to it.  The bath is going really well, he really relaxes and kicks around and makes little noises.

Anyway I’m still sticking more or less to the diet, and it’s definitely reduced the amount of mucus in my system and possibly in the Dude’s as well.  He’s definitely not intolerant, but I think he’s just like any normal person – too much dairy or bread and he doesn’t digest as well.  I also stopped taking all my supplements at night and I think that’s made a difference to him.  I take the odd bit of olive leaf extract in the morning, but I’m not taking anything else and he seems much less vomity than before.  Of course he still vomits but he’s full on, it’s what he does, and he drinks too much milk, but what are you gonna do?  As with everything else, the old adage still applies: this too shall pass.