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Thread: New to this... I am SO LOST - and running out of time!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Default New to this... I am SO LOST - and running out of time!

    First baby. My grandmother passed away (the other one basically abandoned my dad so I don't talk to her), and my actual mother is addicted to pills and I don't talk to her... so I don't really have many people to actually ask I guess? So I am learning as I go with this little guy. He is 5 months and a few days. Will be 6 months on the 29th of November.

    I have several questions that I am reading conflicting things online.

    1. Should I do cereal/oatmeal or go straight to veggies and fruits? I read a lot about how this is processed stuff, and it's not good.. but then I also read and am being told by TONS of people that my baby needs the iron from these?
    2. When I do start, how do I know how much to give at a time, how often to give, etc? I continue to read TONS of different things on this.
    3. When I do start adding things, I know I add each one at a time for 4-5 days. But my next question would be.. say one week we do avocados and he does fine, the next week we do peaches. Could I do avocados that week while we do peaches too?

    Any other tips/hints would be good. Unfortunately I don't have many people to ask.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: New to this... I am SO LOST - and running out of time!

    The wonderful world of solids can be so confusing when you're first starting out! I would suggest first of all, take a breath and slow down. Your baby is about to be 6 months -that's when it's suggested that babies start experimenting with food and new textures and all that. Breastmilk or formula should still be baby's primary source of calories. There's a saying 'food before one is just for fun' that gets floated around. And some babies are ready at 6 months for solids, some aren't! So don't feel like you have to have it all figured out before you get started. I'm by no means an expert, but I'll share what worked for us:

    1. I never did cereal with my first and don't plan on it this time either. We mostly did baby-led weaning, meaning DD mostly fed herself, but it was mostly just to taste things and learn motor skills as opposed to filling her belly. I would give her a chunk of avocado with the skin still on so she could mush at it without breaking off a piece she could choke on. Or a big enough hunk of apple that she could suck on. I did do a few purees like sweet potato and peaches, if I remember correctly, but my first DD wasn't hugely fond of being fed with a spoon. She did like holding and playing with the baby spoon though! I'm vegetarian and so is my daughter. I never supplemented her with iron or used fortified cereals, and I had her iron levels checked at 8 months and she was fine. I made sure to offer lots of iron-rich foods, like peas (great for fine motor skills!), mashed beans, sweet potatoes, that kind of thing. I know some other mamas have suggested giving baby a large bone with a little bit of meat still attached to suck on, but I couldn't advise you any more specifically on that one! I did do steel cut oats with her into toddlerhood, but I honestly can't remember when I started that, but she fed it to herself (meaning a lot of it ended up all over her and her chair).

    2. When you start solids, nurse or give a bottle first. If your baby does happen to really take to solids, you still want him to fill up on the more nutritious and calorie dense milk/formula. You can start with one meal/day and see how things go. Again, you don't have to decide ahead of time-try to follow baby's lead!

    3. As long as we hadn't noticed any reaction, we'd go ahead and offer both foods the same week. At some point though, we stopped doing the gradual introduction of things and just sort of fed her parts of whatever we were having for supper. I figure, there are parts of the world where there's no guarantee of having this or that food available for 4-5 days in a row to be able to do that method, and people make it through! Unless you have allergies in the family, in which case a bit more caution would probably be warranted. And the recommendations have changed recently about avoiding certain foods before a year -except honey is still definitely on that list.

    Hope some of this is helpful to you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: New to this... I am SO LOST - and running out of time!

    with the wonderful information and suggestions given above! I would only add the answer to a question you didn't ask, which is: how much should I expect my baby to eat, and how do I know if he isn't eating enough, or if he is eating too much?

    Breastmilk should be your baby's majority food source until a year. It's the healthiest, most complete nutrition you can offer a baby, right? So you don't want solids to cut into his intake of breastmilk. Therefore, you always nurse before offering solids, so baby fills up on breastmilk and reserves solids for fun new learning experiences, like trying new tastes or mushing solids with his hands. If you feel like your baby is eating so much solid food that he is nursing a lot less, you try to cut down on the portions you are offering. Most likely, your baby will not have a huge interest in solids until he is older, and his interest will wax and wane as time goes on. While many kids are initially eager to try solids, many will lose interest after a month or so, and many don't transition to a majority solids diet until after a year of age. At 6 months, trying some mashed banana delivered on mom's fingertip counts as "feeding the baby solids". Once a day is often enough to experiment with solids. At 6 months, the goal is to introduce him to new tastes and textures and oral motor skills, not to lack his belly with lots of food. So don't judge your baby's need for solids by the size of a jar of purée or the serving size mentioned on the side of the cereal box!

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