I wrote A Workable Plan To Feeding Your Baby, a few weeks back. The article was featured here and all the comments and excitement later, I realised how much support new moms need when starting out the first time. Here are more tips to feeding your baby solids.
We are never taught to feed a baby and there is no right or wrong way, really. Most of us start out with the advice our mums, sisters or in-laws give us. Mostly, it is something that is handed down… something that has worked with them and their mums and so on. There are some who never get this advice for a lot of reasons. They rely on doctors or books and the internet. We do eventually teach our children to eat. Some of us worry if we are right or if our children are eating enough. This post is for all the mums attempting to feed their baby solids. This is also for all those mums who have tried and are still not sure about themselves. This is especially for the mum who has been depressed and felt inadequate as a mum.
You are the best mom your child could get. Please, remember that. We don’t chose whose mom we will become. neither does our child chose us. God shose to put us together and he chooses what is the best for us. That means you are the best mom your child could have. You may not know what is good for him or her but neither do they. You both teach each other.
When my husband and I first found out that we were expecting, I remember, my husband had asked me what I wanted my child to learn. I had said, I don’t know but I am sure, we’ll both teach each other a lot. Four kids later, I still say the samething. Every child is different. Each one will teach us a lot of things. No two children eat alike or sleep alike or behave alike. How can they? They are their own little individuals… they have a personality, preferences and they want to excercise their right. Being a mum, I am sure you know by now, that we can never ‘make them’ like something. Oh, it is so easy to make them dislike something but like… never.
When It isn’t working…
Right, so as I was saying, eating is no different. My 7 yrs worth of experience with feeding my children taught me that working plan. That doesn’t mean you cannot have one of your own. My plan is based on the books ‘I’ read, the experiences ‘I’ had and ‘my’ children. Ofcourse, the plan that I wrote is definitely something what most doctors and experts recommended but I also like to add that it is what worked for us. I highly recommend that you follow my plan because it is a guide to feeding your baby. But, at the sametime, I would like you to remember that feeding should be fun and learning experience for your child too. At 6 months of age, a baby doesn’t need solids. Solids should serve as ‘top up’ or ‘extra’. There is absolutely no reason to fret because they are throwing up or spitting in your face. Try after a few days or try something else. Always remember that they will learn very gradually. When you tense up, you communicate that to your child. Your child doesn’t understand why his mum is so tensed. ‘May be it is something hard!’, is what his little mind understands. So be as relaxed as possible. Also, give yourself and them time. Don’t hurry. When you start out introducing solids, it may take atleast 20 to 30 minutes for them to eat even a tablespoon of baby rice. It is okay, if yours is taking that long or less or even more.
When you are travelling…
Sometimes it happens that you have to travel but your child will be six months at that time and you may be away or in a different country with him or in different conditions. Should you start solids now or wait till you are back home?
This has happened to me each time. The first time, my son was 7 months old when we travelled and we were away from home for three months or so. I had started solids for him at 4 months on my doctors recommendation. ( Our first born is above average for weight and height.) I continued as best as I could with cereals, fresh fruits and vegies but sometimes in the middle of our vacation, he caught a stomach flu. What that taught me was to look at the conditions around you. If hygiene or water is something that you cannt trust, do not feed solids till you are back. You can use cereals that you have taken from your country or place but, don’t buy new ones that you have not used before. Their ingredients may differ and I have recently learnt that they make ready to eat stuff more desirable to the market they are selling in. So… you have to decide.
Do not feed from jars. I am talking about bottled ready made purees. They contain additives, there have been many cases of food poisoning and glass being found and worst still, some brands sneak sugars into them. I know how easy they look but they cause allegies too. I have seen quite a few cases in the past few years.
My second and third child, were both introduced solids while we were travelling. I had no choice and very interesting, it worked. There were no allergies or sickness at all. I believe the reason it worked is because, we were in the first stage of feeding. I was sterlising all their equipment and using boiled water or boiled foods for them. While my son was in the finger foods age. I am sure he must have snatched something off our plates with dirty hands! 🙂
With my latest baby, I was afraid of starting solids at 6 months because I had an impending surgery right around the time she was to turn 6 months old. I was sure, I wouldn’t be able to keep up afterwards and that those who took care of her would have trouble with her schedules. She is 7 and half months old today and we have had no problems. She is slowly moving towards stage 2 of feeding. The surgery got cancelled but long story short, it helped to keep her on a routine. The best reason if not anything else to keep your baby on a routine is so that others can take over in your absence.
Is it really that simple…?
I often get asked how I manage my 2 year old with my 7 month old. Doesn’t feeding them both become an issue? No, it doesn’t. I don’t do it all, all the time. Feeding your baby is easy. Giving them healthy, fresh, home-made food requires a little planning. In the beginning it may seem a little awkward because we have never done this before but once you get the hang of it, mark my words, you will enjoy it! I can write a whole article on this but for now let me share with you some of what other moms that I know did. I am sure you will come back here feeling really encouraged and feeling like you can do this too.
Below are a few people I highly recommend. I have a Pinterest board on Feeding Your Baby. Do follow for more inspiration, recipes and tips from some other mums out there. I am always adding more stuff all the time.
More from around the web…
Amanda Talks about Baby led weaning. She has tried many finger foods and lists them in her post. It can give you an idea as to what you can give your child. Feeding your child is not very difficult.
Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures has An Ultimate Guide To Nursing, Bottle, Breast- Solid Feeding Your Baby. Some fantastic resourcses there.
Nate and Rachel have a 50+ ideas post on feeding your baby. That is a massive resource now!
Tarana at Sand in my toes has a Guide To Starting Solids For Your Baby which includes commonly ask questions like spices and dairy, among a lot of other things. If you have questions about safety and need idea about foods, definitely must read.
These are a few extra tips that I had to mention. What would you add or advice a new mum starting out? Do share in the comments or our rapidly building Facebook Community.