If you have noticed that there is no longer a blog post per day, it’s because things quickly got hectic in our house. It was so gradual that I almost didn’t notice. I used to be superwoman, or as my husband referred to me, “every woman” (he still tells me I am every woman). Ava and I would spend the morning together, and then once nap time came, I entered the “nap time hustle” as some of the moms like to call it. This means that I would have approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to hustle and complete an entire day worth of tasks while daughter dearest slept. During that time I would throw in a load of laundry, make the bed, workout, shower and dress (dare I say I sometimes put on makeup as well), make a cup of coffee, and write a blog post in that order. I would even prep dinner (did I say I am every woman?). Like all phases of parenthood thus far, the “nap time hustle” has shortened significantly. Lately, I have only had time to workout and shower before Ava wakes up. She has decided that she wants to nap less and play more, which is totally fine. In fact, it’s a healthy part of growth and development! The consequence is that Mama loses a bit of “me time”. Oh well; such is life. My baby is growing so fast! Speaking of which, let’s talk about how we started her on solids this past month . . .
If you read my previous post about losing my milk supply, then you will know that it was quite stressful. I won’t go into details, but basically, I felt bad that I couldn’t naturally provide nutrition to my kid. Feeling bad was such a waste of energy. Although it was stressful, it was also the perfect time to introduce solids. Of course, baby still needs milk or formula as her main nutrition right now but introducing fruits, veggies, and even pasta has helped to bridge the gap of my lowered milk supply, and has been so much fun! Please keep in mind that my experience is in no way a substitution for medical advice. We consulted with our pediatrician prior to making any choices regarding Ava’s nutrition. Your baby needs to be ready for solids before you make the leap. If you have any questions or concerns, definitely consult with your doctor. Read on to learn about our experience!
When it comes to introducing foods other than breast milk or formula to their baby, some moms are super excited. Others are resistant, and some are nervous. I was definitely a mix of nervous and excited, and come to think of it, I was a bit sad. I was nervous because “the unknown” always makes me a bit uneasy. I was excited to start a new chapter and to see how Ava would react to new textures, colours, and flavours. I was sad to begin the end of an old chapter filled with skin-to-skin bonding, nurturing, and love. But wait a minute. I’m still nurturing and loving my child even if I’m feeding them with a spoon, right? Absolutely! Again, read on.
Ava loves her new and improved feeding time. It is a chance for her to interact with me (or whoever is feeding her) in a different way. She gets to sit up in her high chair like a big girl and is able to babble and communicate. Sometimes she tries to hold the spoon, and when she likes what she is eating, she hits her tray. That’s my girl! I also take time to describe to her what she is eating. I point out colours, textures, and I mimic her eating. You can literally turn any activity into a learning experience. It’s awesome and we are bonding in a different way!
Before starting solids, make sure you have everything you need like:
A High Chair- We have this Fisher Price 4-in-1 High Chair, and we love it! It comes apart so we can take the seat portion to visit people. The straps are made of plastic so they can be wiped clean which is brilliant. It is also very easy to assemble. I did it myself. I highly recommend this high chair.
A Blender or Baby Bullet if you are making your own food. We received a Baby Bullet as a gift and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s effective, easy to clean, and it comes with a silicon freezer tray to store your premade purees.
Baby spoons and dishes
Washcloths and good bibs with plastic backing
Once you have the basic feeding necessities and a positive attitude, you basically just go. Like everything in raising a child, it is trial and error. As long as Baby can’t choke on what you are feeding them, it will probably be all good! Foods we have tried so far are:
Rice cereal- we purchased one that is intended to be mixed with breastmilk or formula, rather than with water. It is also iron-fortified. I learned that by 6 months, babies have used up the iron they stored while in the womb, so it is important to start feeding them iron. This was a recommendation from our doctor, and he said we can even try giving her pureed chicken and other meats when we are comfortable.
Bananas- I have yet to meet a baby who doesn’t love bananas. I purchased a jar from the grocery store to see if she liked them. She LOVED them. Since then, I make my own banana puree using our Baby Bullet.
Applesauce- again, I purchased a jar from the store to see if Ava liked it and have since made my own. I peeled, cored, and sliced three apples, boiled them until they were soft, and then blended them in the Baby Bullet. Voila! Very cheap applesauce.
Pureed chicken tortellini- I cooked tortellini one night for dinner. Seeing as Ava is half Italian, I thought she might like to try some. Mama knows best. I stuck it in the Baby Bullet for a few seconds just to grind it down a bit, and she LOVED it. I have never seen her smack her lips and make ‘mmmmm’ sounds so much.
Scrambled eggs- I scrambled them very small to make them easy for her to swallow and eggs were a hit. Consult with your doctor prior to trying eggs, as they are known to be an allergen food.
Sweet potatoes- she loves the taste of sweet potatoes but they make her very gassy. I am going to hold off on them for a while.
Squash- so far she has tried butternut squash, and spaghetti squash, and loves them both.
Mashed potatoes with no-salt-added chicken broth- she LOVED this.
Overall, introducing solid foods has been lots of fun! It is awesome to see the look on Ava’s face when she tries a new flavour and loves it. So far, we have had luck with all foods. She loves everything. I am going to continue to try new foods with her every few days. This will encourage her to not be a picky-eater (hopefully). I was told that introducing a new food every few days is better than every day as you allow baby’s tummy to digest foods easier and you will be able to see if anything causes an allergic reaction. I like this idea so I stick with it, but you may have a different philosophy. That’s okay! Just remember to always check with your doctor if you feel hesitant or unsure.
I will continue to post updates on our adventure and new food ideas as they come. I will also have two Guest Posts in the near-future, one from a Registered Dietician, and one from a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. It is great to learn different opinions, so stay tuned!