Wednesday, 29 June 2011


I found this in a box in my attic yesterday.

It’s a little black book. No, not that sort of little black book. 

This dusty-smelling tome is from another life. On each page are rows of numbers, painstakingly recorded and incongruously neat.

This little black book is my daughter’s feeding record from when she was just a few weeks old, which I started to keep after her hospital feeding tube had been removed. 

Each day, as I struggled to get her to drink her milk from a bottle, I noted down the amount she managed at each feed. At the bottom of each page is the total, plus information on what times of day she was ‘active’. (As a weak and floppy baby with Prader-Willi Syndrome, ‘active’ is a relative term).

Leafing through the pages now, I can remember my whole world revolving around these numbers. They became a stark measure of my parenting skills. I was carrying out an Ofsted on myself as a mother and provider of sustenance. And a lot of the time I felt like I was 'failing'.

The book finishes when she was four months old, when bottle was swapped for spoon and milk for food. This was when our frail baby began to find things easier. And when I first felt that maybe I wasn't going to be put on 'special measures'. I might be up to the job, after all.

Of course, nowadays, there'd be an app for this.

Video is Stephen Malkmus - Black Book


  1. heh heh ,thought i was the only one who'd done this.As my girl was prem (28 weeks) as well as light-for-dates (2lbs 2oz) ,and my partner and i fed her at different times throughout the day,it was easy to check who'd given her the vitamins, how long it took to get up to 400ml down her (1 hour) and how long to wind (1 hour with a lot of bouncing about to Bob Marley) .The book was kept for a year.It's a decent record of milestones i might have forgotten,too.

  2. erratum (it's been a long day...) :- the 400 ml was total Per Day. each feed ( 5 a day) took 1 hour each etc. We kept the book from the time she came out of SCBU at 3 months till she reached 13 lbs at 15 months old.
    X Beth