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You probably remember that a couple of weeks ago the kids and I were very, very sick. It was bad. Both of the kids lost significant weight (and I only a little, what is that about? ;). For several days, neither child would eat much of anything. Kaitlyn nursed and Brayden drank, but only water or pedialyte.
Several days after they started to feel better, they got their appetites back. They came with a vengeance! Here is where the adjusting schedule as needed comes in. Both kids ate breakfast and lunch at normal times, though they ate extra food. The evening is where they needed their adjustment. Here is the normal schedule for us:
3:30–Kalltyn gets up and nurses and then has independent playtime. She will then eat some finger foods while I make dinner. It usually isn’t much, just a snack to hold her over.
4:30–Brayden gets up.
5:00 or 5:30–we eat dinner. Kaitlyn eats food with us. Again, this isn’t much–it is basically so she can practice eating, be with us at dinner, and try out “adult” food.
7:00–Kaitlyn nurses and eats baby food.
When the appetite returned for the kids, they had some serious catching up to do. Kaitlyn was down to 18.1 pounds at 11 months old. She weighed more than that at 8 months old. Brayden was down to 31 pounds. Nearly a year ago, he weighed 30.5 pounds. So that gives you an idea how much weight they lost.
Brayden would eat dinner at 5:00/5:30. He would eat a HUGE dinner. He ate about as much as I did. Then, like clockwork, at 7 PM he announced he wanted dinner. The first night he did that, I instinctively within myself thought, “no, you have had dinner.” But I quickly thought it through and realized he ate a huge dinner, doesn’t ask for food usually, and was likely finally hungry and trying to get his weight back. This was not a case of him not eating dinner when it was time and wanting it later. He would then eat another HUGE dinner at 7. For you LOTR fans, I referred to it as “second dinner.” This only lasted 4-5 days, but he has definitely made up for his lost weight. Currently, he is still eating more at meals than he used to, but he isn’t eating two meals anymore.
Kaitlyn shifted her schedule basically by having an eating marathon. She ate a lot after independent playtime. She would have a short break between that and dinner, then would eat a lot at dinner. She would then have a short break before her official dinner and eat the normal amount for it (except one night she was too full by the time we got to the last course). Nearly a week ago, she was up to 20.5 pounds, which I was so happy about. She has more make up work to do than Brayden did. She is still eating more, though maybe not as much more.
I post this to assure you that if your child needs you to adjust the schedule for sickness (or something else), you can definitely do it. You are the parent; you always control the schedule. Remember that Babywise is Parent Directed Feeding (PDF). That means that you use your intelligence to decide what is best for your baby at the moment. So don’t get discourage during sickness. Sicknesses happen, and happen a lot. Some will disrupt your schedule a lot. Others will come and go with few, if any, disruptions. Don’t worry, you can always go back to normal. Remember, your schedule serves you, you don’t serve your schedule.