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We were surprised and a little concerned yesterday when Nickel failed to gain weight, despite eating just as well over the preceding 24 hours as Whitey, who gained almost an ounce. OK, call us alarmist, but I think we've earned our paranoia. I kept checking the carrier for signs of hidden poop or vomiting, but the boys have kept it completely clean. So the only strange symptom we've been able to point to for the last few days – a near-total absence of poop – seemed incongruent with Nickel's stalled growth.

Without any better hypothesis, I wondered whether we'd given them too much free rein recently, by allowing them to hang out on their "porch", or ramble around the nursery on their own. Even though we keep the nursery at 80-85 degrees, it's colder on the floor, and it struck me as possible that Nickel was burning calories by stretching his legs or sitting upright and gazing around when he should have been snoozing.

Martha wasn't buying my theory, so we've had a slight tug-of-war over the last 48 hours. She puts the carrier on the floor, opens the front door, and sets up the porch, so Whitey and Nickel can do what they want. An hour or or so later, I put them back inside (along with a warmed heating disk), close the door, and put the carrier back up on the crates, where it will stay warmer. We probably balance each other out, so the boys get a mix of freedom and confinement.

After yesterday's weigh-in, I kept the feeding intervals a bit shorter, and kept a close eye on Nickel. He continued to eat well and seemed fine. Today his weight was up while Whitey's was down, though Whitey still feels bigger and stronger, and hasn't had a bad feed yet himself. Go figure.

One thing we did agree on was that it made sense to start mixing a little A/D canned food into their formula, both to see if that would get their bowels moving and as the first step down the weaning path. So the boys just got their first taste of meat from the bottle at the 10am feeding, and the Taco Bell commercial got it right: "guys love bacon."

filed by: TS



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