Friday, July 26, 2013

Introducing Solids

Preparing For A Little One

A few weeks ago I wrote about starting AJ on solids. This was a topic that I wasn't sure how to handle. I didn't have any particular way of how I wanted to go about it. Should I exclusively breastfeed until six months without offering any type of solids? Should I introduce them at 4 months like doctors recommend? I had no idea what to do but it was a decision only the hubby and I could have made and after many many many thoughts on it we finally decided to introduce solids at four months.

AJThis decision was not just a personal choice. It was also sort of forced on us since we had encounter some constipation issues with AJ. We weren't sure if the constipation was due to my diet or (thinking back to when it started) to the cereal we had started giving him and honestly I feel that it was a combination of the two. And that's how introducing solids came about. 

I started giving AJ oatmeal cereal at almost 5 months. About 1Tb mixed with 1/2 oz of breast milk once daily, usually for dinner. Then I would breastfeed shortly after. He seemed to like it and enjoy it but deep down I wasn't really sure that I was doing right. My biggest fear was that my milk supply would decrease. And trust me it did, which was scary. It's still scary because I have awhile to go till the first year and I don't want to stop before I'm ready he's ready. 

Either way what was done was done and there was no turning back. Some say and even recommend starting with rice cereal but we went with oatmeal since rice can cause constipation and he was already suffering from that. We did that for almost 2 weeks. Then at 5 months we started with the stage 1 baby food. Since they come 2 in a pack I bought 2 of each of the following: apple sauce, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peas. Again, rule of thumb is to give the veggies first because if they taste the sweetness of the fruits they won't be too thrill about the veggies but being that the doctor recommended giving applesauce for the constipation and he had already started with fruits we continued on with it. He had 4 days of applesauce then 4 days of bananas. I tried to make the transition as smooth as possible so I then gave 4 days of sweet potatoes and 4 days of carrots. Notice how there's a color pattern going on there too. After that we moved on to the green beans and peas. He did just fine with all these foods, no rash or allergies thank God. He had a harder time with the taste of the greens but he is his brothers brother, meaning he loves to eat regardless of what it is ;) I personally don't think that it'll make a big difference if you start with fruits or veggies because us as adults would prefer a fruit rather thank a veggie, in most case anyways. A baby that is just starting to eat will eat whatever you give him/her (well my baby did lol) and if tehy don't like it the first time then just take  break and try again.

Towards the end of the 5th month we introduced juice to his diet starting with just 2 ounces instead of the 4 and not diluting with water because the purpose of it was for it to help with the constipation (I do however recall we did dilute juices, half and half, with water for Steven Jr.). We started substituting an entire feeding of breast milk for either cereal (now 2 Tbs instead of 1Tbs mixed with about 1oz of milk) and juice or water.  We had pear, apple, and white grape on hand. He has definitely not had a problem with that. And he does get water at least once a day in a bottle as well. 

After starting solids I realized that the point of it is to introduce something other then milk to him, to get him ready for eating real food, and to become aware of any allergies from foods. Hence giving the same kind of fruit or veggie only one at a time for several weeks. Now for his 6 months appointment the doctor gave the OK to start giving him table foods since he reacted just fine with the baby foods. This is where things get exciting! So far he's had bread (for this we give him very small pieces and at times, depending on the kind of bread, we pre-chew it for him first. It may sound gross but is not as bad while you're doing it. I think), mashed potatoes, mashed yucca, few sips of orange juice, rice and beans. Kid Loves.It.All! 

Confession: also at five months we gave him watermelon. *gasp* Watermelon is so refreshing and we went through a phase of eating it almost daily at our house during the month of June and OMG watching AJ eat it was priceless. I just had to record it. Being able to have table food during the summer months will be like heaven to him. He'll be able to try almost everything! Expect lots of videos :)

In regards to his constipation he has gotten much better. He haven't had another episode in a couple of weeks now. Yaayyy! 

This is it. This it how we did it.
And honestly whether or not you decide to do solids before the 6th month is no biggie. Is a personal preference that doesn't really have any negative effects on the child. It'll just define how early your child start eating table foods.

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