Long time no blog! I’ve missed sharing with you all this week, but have been so excited about the ideas and comments we’ve been getting. Please continue to share our blog!
So, on with the show! When we decide what to write about, many of our ideas come from frequent questions that you – our followers, and our families ask us. One of the biggest questions that parents ALWAYS have is, “When do I start to introduce baby food?”
It can be such a big decision! Joey was my first baby, and the first grandchild. I wanted to do EVERYTHING right, by the book! (HAHA…poor Sydney 3rd kid…)…But really, who doesn’t want to do the best for their child?!
I was a bit of a wreck! Were you??? I was nursing exclusively…and was DETERMINED to wait it out if I could. Everything I read, and everyone I asked suggested beginning solid foods between 4 and 6 months. There are actually physical reasons for this, such as baby’s ability to move the baby food from the front to the back of the mouth with the tongue, and the digestive track’s “readiness” for the introduction of foods. So, don’t feel that introducing sooner is necessarily better, HOWEVER some families have had positive experiences with earlier feeding….and I’d love you to SHARE your experience!
Back to Joey…so, here’s the plan. I worked and planned and planned and worked. We prepared for the big day…the DAY WE INTRODUCE SOLIDS! Daddy is a professional photographer, so we had the camera ready. We bought the single grain rice cereal, pumped fresh breastmilk….Really, people. Hours of preparation, careful thought. I can look back and giggle at myself!
I compromised with the recommendations and decided that Joey was ready at 5 months old, when he was very interested in what we were eating. We got him up in that shiny, barely used high chair, picked out the first bib, buckled him in to every strap (where was he going to go?), picked out the first bowl and spoon, and got the tray ready. I was SO EXCITED!
I mixed up the 1 tsp of rice cereal and 4 tsp of breastmilk and was really very perplexed! This was just super runny cereal! Almost like spooning breastmilk…AND THAT’S OK! Tip: Don’t be tempted to toss it in to a bottle because of the thin texture. The introduction to spoon feeding is very important!
So, after all that preparation, it was a relatively small event…but LOVELY! And guess what? I don’t remember the first feeding for either of the girls! So, this is a sweet memory to have!
Going forward…and to help you out…the next steps are to continue to slightly thicken the cereal until it’s a creamy, spoonable texture. Begin to offer a single ingredient (no salt, no sugar) pureed meat, fruit, or veggie – making sure to leave at LEAST 3-5 days between the introduction of the new food. You can also try single grain oatmeal and barley cereals. Your baby’s main source of nutrition will continue to be breastmilk or formula for quite a while…these days are less about the amount of food that they take, and more about gaining experience with flavor, texture, and feeding skills.