feeding time

The Volatile World of Burp Negotiation

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How sweet!

One of the constant struggles between the baby and her PaPa is the never-ending battle of the burp. This is a contest of wills that never goes the same way twice. At first glance, who knew that this seemingly simple act would become such a hotly contested issue? To help better understand the stages of burping, we have broken Maddie’s reactions down into categories.

Hostile Takeover:  Sometimes the baby sees the attempt to gain a belch as a hostile takeover and who can blame her? She’s enjoying a nice satisfying meal when some thug robs her of the bottle and chucks her over his shoulder. Maddie is less than impressed by the audacity of such an intrusive act. She strikes back with a series of primeval howls aimed directly into the eardrum of the offending party. This doesn’t actually sidetrack the burping process – it just makes it a little more enjoyable than anyone ever really thought possible.

Fast and the Furious:  This quickfire challenge is truly every parent’s favorite. The moment you push the baby up onto your shoulder – a thunderous burp echoes through the house. No fuss, no muss – just a violent burp that allows the feeding to resume immediately. This is a win-win for all parties involved.

Snickers Burp (Not going anywhere for a while?)  This is when you boost the baby up for a burp and time seems to stand still. Maddie takes her time to enjoy the scenery, think about life and ponder future moves for her fantasy football team. After several minutes, she gets fussy and restless and starts to struggle. During this scenario, it’s actually the struggle that triggers the burp.

Wild Banana:  This is when the baby goes up for the burp and wildly struggles to get down. Her mother refers to this behavior as the “Wild Banana,” because Maddie will kick, punch, head butt and scream to get back to the bottle. This process has it good and bad points. The BAD part is the beating you have to take to get the burp. The good part is that it usually doesn’t take too long.

T-K-O:  The TKO is truly the baby’s version of a technical knock out. You lift the baby up for the feeding and before you know it, you here a very soft purring or growling sound. These sounds mean that Maddie is down for the count. (Sound Asleep!) And this is not just any sleep, but a deep slumber that means mealtime will have to be rescheduled for a later time.

Splashdown:  It’s always important to be prepared for the splashdown!  Your burp cloth should already be strategically in place when the baby begins to spit up copious amounts of that creamy regurgitated milk. We think this action actually takes the place of a good belch, but we have yet to confirm the validity of that statement.

Baby Lets Loose for Some Friday Night Fun

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Maddie celebrates 12-Week birthday in style!

The baby’s fussiness meter soared off the charts Friday night leaving her Stay Home PaPa in dire straights. Maddie had been in a great mood all day long, but as the late afternoon drifted in – the baby went off the reservation.

The baby had been living the good life in her Amazon Rainforest bouncy chair, complete with swinging monkeys and bobbing tree frogs. But somehow, Maddie got lost in the forest and there would be heck to pay. The crying came on in a vintage Zero-to-Sixty fashion. One minute the baby was frolicking in the jungle, the next minute she was ready to burn and pillage.

She stopped crying immediately and gave me a big smile when I lifted her out of the chair – surely there had been some kind of misunderstanding, my little girl was as happy as a clam! But are clams really happy? Don’t people pry them apart and turn them into clam chowder?

Two minutes after I took Maddie into my arms, she came undone and began crying in fits and starts. I checked the usual suspects, no diaper issues, no gas problems and she wasn’t hungry. But the crying grew in intensity and we both struggled for the better part of 40 minutes. Time to get the baby outside for some fresh air.

I wrapped her up into a swaddle blanket and we hit the great outdoors. The cool air and the sounds of traffic calmed Maddie down – but she was determined that there would be no sleep on this evening’s docket. As soon as Maddie began to get drowsy, we headed back inside where she started getting upset all over again.

I passed her off to her Mom who was able to ease a little bit of the baby’s angst, but Maddie was still filled with restlessness. It was at this point when Gina passed the baby back to me and told me to just snuggle the baby tightly. Women never cease to amaze me with this type of intelligence – Gina was absolutely right as Maddie passed out into my arms.

About a half hour later, there was a huge wet tug on the knuckle of my index finger, kind of like a fish on the end of a line. Maddie had woken up and decided that my knuckle must be a great source of protein and nutrients. She shook the finger wildly, trying to draw on it’s hidden source of mother’s milk. I struggled, trying to draw my finger back from the snapping jaws of the child. I could feel my strength fading as the mighty beast ravaged the defenseless knuckle.

Sadly, it took very little time for her to realize that the knuckle had run dry and another food source was needed to satisfy her insatiable hunger. Lucky for us, feeding time marked the end of the screaming and her righteous indignation. The problem with events like this is that we never get to learn what actually caused the meltdown. But at least now I know to keep my knuckles well nourished and ready for the baby’s next feeding session.

Baby Finds Appetite, Unleashes the Fury

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Protesters trigger another outburst!

Almost a week after Maddie’s 2-month vaccination ordeal – her appetite is finally coming around again. But her newfound hunger has come with a loud and painful price – a new and exciting screaming and crying bug.

I pulled out all stops and tried everything I could to tame the Mad Madster – but all of my efforts were fruitless. As the day wore on, I could feel all of the energy being sucked out of my body. Every time I almost coaxed her to sleep, she would come on like a wolverine squealing and protesting my feeble efforts.

I already consider myself cosmically blessed that Maddie has always been so sweet and agreeable during the day – but today was a whole new experience.

The pattern evolved like this:

  • Desperation eating
  • Hour of happiness
  • Hour of carnage

The entire morning and afternoon devolved into a contest of wills – I desperately wanted a nap, but Maddie was committed to crying and screaming. This scenario repeated itself throughout the day, which left both of us completely drained.

Maddie and I finally made our way outside for some fresh air, but we ran into some unexpected and unwelcome trouble. A group of idiot protesters were acting like fools in front of the Starbucks and their negative energy woke up the baby and got her upset all over again. I asked the Jersey City Police to crack some heads and shut them up, but I don’t think that fits into their job description. Too bad!

We met Gina at the Path station and made our way home with a very unhappy baby. We fed her as soon as we walked in the door, but about an hour later, Maddie went back on the warpath. After about 20 minutes of anger and fussiness, Maddie’s mom came up with a brilliant solution to our problem.

She told me to cook up a mini-bottle of just two ounces. Maddie sucked it down and for the first time all day, the baby seemed completely satisfied. We put her in the swing and she finally got some real quality sleep. (4 hours worth)

Looks like Maddie just needed some extra vittles – too bad that Stay Home PaPa is a little slow on the draw and thank god her Momma has all the brains!

Waiter Botches Baby’s Bottle Prep

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I would like my waiter medium rare please!

Maddie had her first lunch in the company of another baby on Monday afternoon at a local Thai restaurant. As soon as we came through the door – I could see the look of fear and confusion clouding the face of the young man who was to be our server.

Strangely, having babies in his section was very unnerving for this young man. He stammered as he took our order – casting quick nervous glances from baby to baby as if one of them might jump on his head and bite him in the eye.

On the surface, the concept of using hot water to heat the baby’s bottle seems rather simple – but apparently there are several complexities to this process that never even occurred to me.

I told the waiter that I would eventually need some boiling water for the baby’s bottle. To his credit, he rushed a cup of boiling water right out to me – but Maddie was still sleeping and not ready for her bottle.

15 minutes later – Maddie was stirring, but the water had gotten cold. When I asked the server for a second cup of hot water – things took a very strange turn. He took the cup away and returned moments later with the same cup. I stuck my finger in the cup only discover that he had topped it off the cup with cold water.

Hmmm, I must be missing something. I called the server back and asked him if he could heat it up for me. He took the cup away and brought back a small ceramic teapot with a tiny hole in the top. The water was hot this time – but there was no cup and the baby’s bottle was too large to fit in the teapot.

OK – Let’s try again. I kindly asked the server to bring me an empty cup – sure enough; he came back with another cup – but this time it was full of cold water. At this point, Maddie is more than restless and our server has proven to be more than clueless. Let’s face it – this guy needs to be featured in the ESPN segment called, “C’Mon Man!”

Sorry Maddie – but today you are stuck with milk at room temperature. In retrospect, Maddie probably should have gone ahead and given the server a good bite on the arm. It might have been warmer than the cold water he kept bringing to the table.

Late Night Baby Explosions Rock Household

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Trying to burp Maddie triggers celestial event!

Don’t doubt it for a second when I tell you that Mad Maddie really knows how to throw a late-night party. Our little girl has been very busy lately; adding new twists and turns to her complicated little personality. The newest wrinkle comes in the form of temper tantrums during burping time. This is especially difficult, because burping time is obviously directly linked to feeding time.

This was not always the case – since the beginning, Maddie would take an ounce – Then get a burp – Take another ounce and another burp and so on. Well, apparently our little girl is rewriting the script and has deemed the old format to be completely unacceptable. Her new mindset is that the burping process is some evil plot to starve her to death.


Now when Maddie takes in an ounce, going in for the burp has become a Greek Tragedy where she suddenly erupts like a giant Marlin that’s just been snagged in the ocean.


The meltdown is instantaneous – screaming, flailing and unbridled craziness. Once she finally burps, we go back to the bottle and the trauma has evaporated, but only until the next burp. Therefore, if you have five ounces in the bottle, it translates into five super nova eruptions. (Compliments of Mad Maddie)


How much fun it that? Right?? This has made the late night/early morning feeding process a thing of joy and beauty forever. It also means that whoever is in the house, is treated to the gentle sounds of Maddie’s sonic screams until her hunger has finally abated. I can only hope that this particular stage in her development wraps up in seven or eight years.

Maddie Shows Gremlins How It’s Done

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Gremlins can learn a great deal from Maddie!

My baby girl is absolutely as cute as can be – but when it comes to feeding time, her eating habits become a spectacle that would make the most rabid of Gremlins green with envy.

Maddie doesn’t actually grow the ears and teeth like a Gremlin – but the noises that come from her when she’s really ready to eat, stretch the boundaries and fabric of reality.

Stage one begins with stunted grunts. These noises are very similar to the sounds that come from a very anxious pug. There’s no turning back now – her little shuttle is belching fire and a full conflagration is just moments away.

Stage two is the desperation gulping. Maddie is convinced that someone is hiding in the shadows waiting to sweep away her nourishment at any moment. Therefore she must drink like the wind before the milk-goblins sneak in to snatch her stash of mother’s milk.

Stage three is when Maddie degrades into the same madcap Gremlins that mistakenly got fed after midnight. Pandemonium ensues, complete with snapping, breaking plates and panic in the streets. But there is a distinct difference between the Gremlins and Maddie – her noises are actually very cute. They are urgent, high-pitched squeaks – which gives the whole situation the cute and comical spin that only babies can produce.

Her intensity is off the charts and if she loses contact for even a moment – her lungs send out shock waves that cause the buildings to sway as far away as Midtown Manhattan.

But all of this frenetic activity comes at a price – the second her hunger is satisfied – she plunges into a deep food coma.

Maddie wants to make sure she has your full attention. Her moods and habits are nothing short of an adventure even though they are always bound to change at any minute. One thing is for sure – you never know where Maddie might take you next.