Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Thinking About Solids

**I hope it goes without saying that the things I write about here are just my experience as a Mom. I totally understand that other Moms have different experiences and make different choices and I 100% support whatever makes your family happy**

Paloma is 5 months old. Now, she is sitting up on her own (although she still topples over from time to time so I have to keep a close eye on her) and she is grabbing any and every thing within her reach. Last night, after dinner I picked her up and sat her on my lap while Andino and I chatted. I still hadn't cleared the supper dishes, and in 2 seconds she pulled the placemat towards her and was grabbing at my plate! We bought a high chair but haven't set it up yet.

She is sitting up on her own, she has a high chair... the next logical step is baby food.

I feel so emotional over starting solids. I guess it's the fact that she is growing up and she needs/wants more than my body is able to give her. For 9 months my body grew and nourished her, then we had an amazing labour & delivery and then a great breastfeeding relationship for the past 5 1/2 months. (Except for the first week, when I was soaking in the bath tub and I actually peeled scabs off both of my nipples. Oh My God...) And now it's time to start thinking about adding solid foods to her diet. I had planned on exclusively breastfeeding my baby for the first 6 months since the day I found out that is what is recommended by:

I trust all of the experts above. I trust their research and reasons for making their recommendations of breast milk only (meaning no water, juice or foods) for the first 6 months. Unless I was physically unable to breastfeed my baby, I had always planned to follow those guidelines. From day one, I made it clear to anyone who asked, that Paloma wouldn't be fed any supplemental food/water for the first 6 months. I mentioned that the World Health Org. and Health Canada agrees with me, but some people still made comments which really get under my skin. I have to learn to let comments like those roll off my back because because it's not worth wasting my personal energy dwelling on them. I'm still learning how to do that.

Anyway, we've got the high chair. I've got a few baggies of squash and sweet potatoes all mashed up and frozen, all I have to do is thaw them, add breastmilk to thin them out and freeze them again in ice cube trays. Our plan has always been that on her 6 month birthday, Andino would be the one to feed her her first solids. He's never really been able to feed her before, so it will be extra special for him. We plan to feed her avocado (mixed with breastmilk), and to video the whole thing. Do I think if I were to feed her solids now, a few weeks before her 6 month birthday it would really make a difference? No. I don't think a few weeks on either side of her 6 month birthday would really make a difference, so I'm choosing to do it then because I've been planning to make it to 6 months exclusively breastfeeding and I don't want to do it before then. I know it's silly to fixate on a date on the calendar, but if it's important to me and it won't make any difference to her, then why not? 

I'm definitely going to continue breastfeeding her. Aside from the fact that it is just so easy  to not have to worry about cleaning bottles, I still very much enjoy it and the bonding time we have while she nurses. Not to mention, it's still the easiest way to put her to sleep (next to putting her in my wrap when she's sleepy and letting her nod off on her own.)


I feel like starting solids is a huge transition. Moving from infant to baby. Her first step away from Mama... I have two weeks left of exclusive breastfeeding and I am going to soak up every day of it. Babies grow so fast. Before I know it, she won't be nursing at all. Before I know it she will be sitting around my dining room table eating with the rest of us. Why not slow down and take the time to enjoy her as an infant for as long as possible?
If you have children, how did starting solids go for you? Did you feel emotional over it or is it just me?


14 comments:

  1. Awww I totally understand being sad about transitioning to solids...I am dreading it myself and plan to put it off as long as possible (age 12??)! But I REALLY can't believe people would say 'poor Paloma'!!! That is insane!!!

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  2. Not just you! Our situation is a bit different, because of Girl Wonder's prematurity and Down syndrome (she's still only 4.3 kg!), so at going on seven months we're juuust starting to think about solids, but I totally get it. The truth is, it IS a big transition and a movement towards some kind of physical independence. On the one hand, I'm already mourning the end to her true infancy, on the other, I think it'll be exciting to watch how she responds! We're planning on trying 'baby led weaning' (I'm using quotations, because how is that even a Thing?! It seems like it would just be standard/obvious to me...) Good luck with your forays into solids! Should be fun :)

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    1. I'm going to look into the baby led weaning thing a bit more. I had heard of it through some other blogging friends before, but I've never read much about it. It seems so popular, it may be something I am interested in trying as well! Thanks for reminding me :)

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  3. Pickle will be six months in just over a week. I planned to wait until exactly six months, but she was showing so much interest in food and trying to grab things off plates so I have given her a few things over the last couple of weeks. It feels bittersweet, she's growing up so fast but I see myself as her steward, it is my job to help her grow and learn and attain independence.

    In keeping with baby led weanings 'food is fun until they're one' it didn't upset me that the avocado pretty much went everywhere but her mouth. She ate the pumpkin a couple of days later though and seems to enjoy gnawing on cucumber - I think the cold helps her gums. It was a god-send today as I was late coming back from the hospital and Mr D had no expressed milk for her. He successfully kept her hunger at bay/distracted for about 40 minutes with some avocado and cucumber.

    I'm in no hurry to wean her even though I wish I could stop breastfeeding nearly every day. After reading this article I decided I'd wait until she stopped wanting breast milk herself.

    I think its great Andino is so keen to get involved with the feeding. He just needs to be on-board with the cleaning up after feeding too... L. x

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    1. Ok I am definitely going to look into baby-led weaning. I've been giving her celery and carrots to chew on to help her gums, but they were not cooked, so she just sucked on them and didn't eat anything. My Mom said she used to do that with us as well.

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  4. We waited until Izzy hit 6 months as well. I was excited to feed Izzy solid food because I knew it would result in funny pictures (which it definitely has!). I mixed some purees with breastmilk and the bm helped but in the beginning, they don't like much. I read somewhere that babies automatically make a disgusted face every time they try something new...so don't frown or get upset- instead smile and keep trying foods over and over again. Eventually they get it!

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  5. We started a little on the early side because Amelia was hungry but the increase in the amount of liquids she was consuming was upsetting her stomach. We are doing purees, but I bought the Baby Led Weaning book because I'm curious about trying it (despite my choking fear). You have to do what's right for you and Paloma, and what you're comfortable with. But I will tell you that solids are fun! I've been making all of her food and she just LOVES everything. Fruits, veggies, plain full fat yogurt with a little fruit mixed in... I know it's a big step, but we've been having fun with it. She had a little whole grain oatmeal in the beginning with milk mixed in to get her used to it, but now she eats everything by itself. Good luck! Can't wait to read about your experience.

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  6. We waited until 6 months. I was really gung ho to try baby led weaning, but our pediatrician wasn't on board. Mostly because they were preemie and at 6 months, they were only 4 months adjusted. She wanted us to give them only purees for 2 months. It was tough. They did not take to it very quickly at all. Even now, they get a mix of solid finger foods and purees. We are making progress, but solid food has definitely been a long, slow process. I really think it's all about them being preemie. I don't want to scare you!
    I wasn't emotional about it, but by then I had been bottle feeding them and supplementing with formula. If I had been exclusively nursing, I might have felt the same way you do. I was mostly overwhelmed and terrified at the whole prospect. I am really scared of having picky eaters so we are trying to expose them to all different flavors. Not sure how well we're doing, though, because we have so little time to cook. I read the book "French kids eat everything" and have to remind myself that it is possible for kids to eat something besides chicken nuggets and mac ' cheese. Apparently, it can take 15-20 times of tasting something before a kid likes it so you just have to keep trying.
    I think it's great you are so in the moment and aware of how fleeting this time is so you can enjoy it and soak it in. That's something I definitely need to work on!

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  7. I love how you have a plan and that you've been fortunate enough to stick to it! If I were able to BF, I would totally be putting off solids for as long as possible :)

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  8. This is a current topic of debate in my house! I am also in favor of waiting as long as possible (6 months minimum), but my husband, mother-in-law, and, most alarmingly, Molly's doctor are all pushing for me to start her now (she's a week shy of 5 months). Too soon! I wouldn't care too much about the mother-in-law and the doctor thing (I've been disagreeing with him on lots of things, and I usually just do what I want regardless, provided it's not hurting her health in any way), but Eric is especially vehement that we need to do solids.

    Question for you - I see you're doing pureed veggies and fruit. What's your stance on rice cereal? I've seen a lot of conflicting information, but that's what they're all recommending, and I wasn't sure I wanted to give her that at all. Just curious.

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    1. I personally don't love it. We started her on whole grain rice cereal (my mom pushed that as a first when we were all on vacation together). We gave her Earth's Best whole grain rice and then I switched her to whole grain oatmeal. She has three small meals a day and 4 bottles. In the am, two ounces of her formula with two tablespoons of oatmeal and one tablespoon of homemade puréed fruit or mashed banana. Around lunch she has 2 ounces of baby yogurt with a tablespoon of homemade pureed fruit. And then at dinner she has about four ounces of veggies and I mix it up. Sometimes it's half of a mashed avocado. Sometimes it's a little squash or sweet potatoes or broccoli. I kind of just go with it and didn't really take the doc's word as gospel. The only thing is... If you're still breastfeeding, the cereals are iron fortified. So if you decide to forgo them I'd probably double check to make sure she's getting enough iron in her diet from other sources. Just my two cents!

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  9. We started some purees but it hasent been a big scary no-more-nursing event. They still nurse just as much as always (though I know that we change eventually) so it hasn't been a shock to my system. Our doc says that good is just for fun till they are 1. Nursing is still their VERY primary form of nutrition. Now, when that changes I may be a basket case!

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  10. For me it was sad to let go and accept that my little baby was growing up and I couldn't give her everything she needed anymore. I was pretty emotional. I was more emotional when she didn't want to nurse at all though, she would push me away and say "done!" It's sad, but exciting to see them grow and develop.

    Always do what's right for you and your family. I admire you for sticking to your guns, even with the outside pressure!

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    1. I would be SO emotional if Paloma was the one to initiate weaning instead of me. I know it happens, but it would be hard if you weren't expecting it to happen so soon.

      It's SO hard to stick to your guns when there is outside pressure. Luckily for me, Andino is ALWAYS on my side. I can imagine it would be way harder if he were trying to fight me on these issues.

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