I'm having some difficulties and wondering if the moms out there can offer me some words of wisdom.
Patrick is 10 1/2 months old, eating full on table food for the past month or so. With this comes difficulties. Number one being the time he's hungry in the evening. I generally get him home from daycare by 5:00 but he's hungry by 5:15 or 5:30. I rarely am able to get a good dinner cooked in that time, so he eats leftovers or I've been cooking sweet potatoes for him. Then while he eats, I cook or at least start the meal that Joc and I will eat. Then when he's done he's ready for his bedtime routine (seriously). Joc gets home between 5:45 and 6:30. Patrick's in bed and asleep by 7 every night. Then Joc and I sit down to eat, or if I did manage to get a meal cooked and ate with Patrick, Joc eats alone.
I see many issues in my situation: Patrick is getting used to eating by himself, so if I do sit down with him to eat he gets a little fussy that I'm not constantly helping him eat. (this i think I solve by being consistent in eating with him) Thoughts on that? Also. We aren't eating as a family. I'm not sure we can wait for Joc every night because she doesn't get out consistently and Patrick is a mess if we were to wait.
I'm not really interested in pushing bedtime back, he almost always lays down and falls right to sleep. And we get him up by 7am so he needs those 12 hours (plus his naps are not always great at daycare so he's usually very ready for bed).
He's also become a bit funny with food. He does this thing where he clenches his fists, bears down and moans/grunts and gets all read in the face. I'm not sure what he means by it.... I'm trying to sign language thing but dang it, he's not participating yet and he refuses to tell me what his deal is... (c: He also likes to take a bit, chew for a moment and spit the food out. Yet an hour later he's fussy and wants a snack. He likes fruit and apple sauce... but I need him to like other food! I try to give him fruit for dessert, and only if he's eaten at least half his meal... so he's not just filling up on the sweet stuff. Is this a phase? Do I take him out of the highchair when he's playing and throwing his food to tell him it's not play time when he's in there? Or let him play with the food? Do I try different food in the same meal (if he's not liking what I made for him) to make sure he gets enough to eat? When does the "this is what's for dinner, if you don't eat it then that's your choice" start? I know it's too early now... but he knows what's happening... he knows if he whines and squeals enough he'll get attention... Am I creating a monster???!!! I don't want to get in the habit of cooking one meal for me and Joc and something different for the boy.
Also, how often should I be giving him snacks? I'm trying to start weaning him from the boob... so I'm trying some snacks between meals, replacing the boob... but sometimes I worry I'm giving him too many snacks and that's why he's not eating well at dinner.
What snacks do you give the kids? (I've got yogury puffs, gerber veggies bit thingies, I cut up cheese, goldfish crackers are a new thing... )
Working 4-5 days a week is challenging with a baby...
Any advice would be appreciated.