Is your baby getting the hang of eating? It might be time to move up to coarser foods. By seven months, your baby's chew-and-swallow reflexes are fairly well developed. Serving chunkier foods now allows your baby to get used to texture in small doses before moving up to full-fledged table food.
If you make your own baby food, stop adding as much milk or water. Instead of aiming for a smooth puree, leave a few small chunks. (While choking is no longer a major threat, it's still a good idea to avoid large chunks.) You can also try things like mashed small-curd cottage cheese, mashed cooked fruits and veggies or scraped pear or apple.
Don't worry about how much your baby is (or isn't) eating. At this point, eating is still just practice; breastmilk or formula remains the main source of nourishment.
Speaking of breastfeeding…has your baby tried biting you yet? It's not uncommon for babies to experiment with their new teeth, but that doesn't mean you need to become a teething ring! If your baby bites, firmly and calmly say, "No biting," and remove her from your breast. Your baby will get the message pretty quickly.
Physically, your baby may have discovered him, uh, privates. Babies this age are fascinated with their bodies, so when the diaper's off, they're hands may go straight to their vagina or penis. Don't freak! After all, did you freak out when your baby started playing with his feet? To your baby, it's the same thing; he's simply learning about his body. Save the Playing Doctor talk 'til later.
Sick days. They're the bane of a working mom's existence. What do you do when your baby is sick and you need to go to work?
Ideally, you'd be able to stay home with your feverish child, but that's not always possible. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to send your baby to daycare either. If your baby has a high fever or a contagious disease, she'll need to stay home until she's better.
Your best bet to plan ahead. A back-up care provider, such as a loving grandma or friend, can be a lifesaver. If that's not possible, see if you can work from home. Of course, it's best to discuss work-from-home options with your boss before your baby is sick. Also, be realistic about what you can accomplish while caring for a sick baby. Make arrangements to work early or late on another day to pick up the slack.
Another option is to split the sick day with your partner. He stays home in the morning while you go to work, then you take over sick duties in the afternoon while he heads into the office. Obviously, this option only works if you both have flexible jobs.
No matter what you do, take steps to stay healthy. It's easy to neglect your own needs for sleep and nutrition while caring for a sick baby, but it's absolutely essential to look out for your own well-being. You won't do any good—at home or at the office—if you're sick too.
Moms Like Me
I know that some of the questions I never thought to ask probably would still apply. questions for daycare: 1) what is their sick policy? when is a child sent home or told to stay home? Is a sick child separated in any way from the other kids until the parent comes to get them? How does she handle emergencies? i.e. what happens in the event they have to call 911 for a child (I ask b/c it happened at DS2's old daycare for a child who had a 105 fever and was somewhat unresponsive) If they are a home daycare and there are no other adults there, how is that situation handled? —twolittlemen2love