Since having Will, I have barely read anything. (Unless facebook from my phone with a sleeping baby in my arms counts?) If I start reading, about a page in I can’t remember what I read the sentence before and not long after I am usually asleep. Soon after Will was born I ordered this book on Amazon and if I hadn’t been so sleep deprived, I would have had a hard time putting it down. Luckily, I had a lot of time to read when feeding Will at that point and in about a month I had finished this book. Yes, I do believe that was a huge accomplishment.
I loved this book! It was honest, funny and very helpful. So much so that I’d like to read it again now that Will is a little older. Since I finished it, Grant and I have conversations where I bring up “the french book” often. It put into words some of things I want to do and be as a parent and gave me a lot of new ideas to think about too.
“The French book” says that in Paris kids eat a wide variety of foods, they sleep well and are well behaved. Eating is the only area where I’ve really been able to test out some of these theories because Will is still pretty young, so I’ll focus on that.
I’m not sure I’m totally convinced that getting kids to have a mature palette is one hundred percent the result of the kinds of food that you feed your child (we all know or have been picky eaters ourselves), but it definitely can’t hurt to feed your child a wide variety of things, right? The rule is that they need to try everything. If they don’t like it, fine but at least they’ve tried it. I also liked the point she made about snacking. Kids that snack all day are not going to be hungry at meal times and as a result, they won’t eat their meals.. Makes sense, right? I’m the same way. (Que my mum: “don’t ruin your dinner.”)
One of the ways we have incorporated some of these ideas is that Will only gets one snack per day in the afternoon. He eats a good amount of solid food at meal times and usually has 3 or 4 bottles per day (about 24 oz total). He is a great eater and loves food! There are only a few things that he won’t eat but we’ve also found the packaging to make a difference too. If it’s a veggie on a spoon he may not eat it, if it comes from a pouch that he can suck on, the likelihood of his eating it increases quite a bit. (We have tried the Infantino Fresh Food Squeeze Station for his veggies and so far so good. It means I can make the pureed veggies myself and he will eat them. It also means we don’t have to buy quite as much pre-made food which can get expensive quickly).
For a while, even after he started eating solids, we would have to give him bottles every 2-3 hours. I wondered if we would ever get into more of a normal routine but before we knew it, we had established a pretty good schedule. He i s 9-months old now and this has been our routine for the last month or two. Between 7:00 and 7:30am Will wakes up and has an 8oz bottle. We have to be quick with getting the bottle ready, or he gets very upset! Around 8:00am he has cereal and fruit. We try to sit and eat with him during meal times too and he usually eats his bottles sitting on our laps. An hour to an hour and a half after he wakes up, Will goes down for his first nap. This is the only consistent nap of the day because Will says so. (He is a terrible napper, always has been. But this morning nap is super easy to get him to do.) He sleeps for about an hour and a half. Around noon we have lunch. He usually has a fruit and a vegetable for lunch and dinner. We’ve started incorporating some meat and eggs into his diet in the last week or so. After lunch at around 1:00pm we attempt to get a second nap in. Some days this works, others we spend forever trying to get him to sleep. If he doesn’t sleep we will go for another walk or run errands. Getting out of the apartment is a must later in the afternoons. All I can say is I’m thankful he sleeps well at night. At 3:00 I give him his second bottle of the day, another 8oz. For now, this is his snack. A few times I have given him some teething cookies or cheerios as a snack too, or maybe a slice of apple in this teether. Dinner is usually at 5:30 or 6:00pm, and we are working to try and all eat dinner together at the same time. This has been tricky simply because it has been hard to prepare dinner before Grant gets home and the poor kid gets hungry. Will also goes down for the night at 7pm after polishing off his third 8oz bottle.
We are still novice parents and have a lot to learn about raising our kiddo. I enjoy that there is advice to be found from friends, family and books, blogs, etc. At the same time, my mum always says that being a parent and nurturing a child is instinct and that I need to trust that too.