When do you feed babies their first foods?
When do you feed babies their first foods? And what foods do you introduce first? I feel like these are loaded questions these days. Or maybe I’m just too plugged into the mommy network of blogs, BabyCenter boards, Twitter, etc. But there seems to be so much drama and finger-pointing out there in the mommy-sphere about baby’s first food.
Five years ago when I was introducing food to Olivia I just sort of went with what I thought was best. At 5 months, I tried oatmeal and rice cereal – she didn’t like either. A week or so later I tried sweet potatoes on Easter – she was too tired to eat. In another week I tried avocado – she loved it. We kept going from there. The whole process was fun!
Now that Owen has passed the 5 month mark I’m feeling a bit stressed and confused about the whole feeding thing. At his 4-month well baby visit his pediatrician suggested that I start him on solids because of his low weight. I definitely didn’t feel as if he was ready. He could barely hold his head up at that point. Plus, I wasn’t ready to sacrifice my breastmilk supply unnecessarily.
I turned to a parenting board with parents (mostly moms) of children born around the same time as Owen. I thought it would be helpful to hear what others were doing. Bad idea! I couldn’t believe the heated arguments and judgmental posts surrounding this topic.
There are those that started feeding their babies around 4 months (the “old” norm) being judged by those waiting until their little ones are (at least!) 6 months. And those who are making their own baby purees being lambasted by those who are doing baby-led weaning. Before last month, I thought baby-led weaning was letting babies naturally stop breastfeeding. Nope! This is a new (I think?!?) method of introducing solids where the child feeds himself from the get-go rather than starting with pureed food. And if you feed your baby rice/oatmeal cereal you basically just need to keep quiet because you’ll surely get a long post from someone about why rice cereal is bad for your baby. Really?!? Like being a mom to an infant isn’t hard enough.
Honestly I’m not sure how first time moms navigate this information. It’s hard for me to not get caught up in it despite already successfully chartering this stage.
So what am I doing? I have decided to shut off the noise on this debate and do what I think is best for Owen. I have introduced a few foods to him – avocado, sweet potatoes and carrots so far. I am making homemade purees (for now!) and watching proudly as he uses the spoon and his hands to touch it, taste it and ultimately smear it all around his face and highchair. I am not feeding him on a schedule – just giving him practice some nights when I have time. I skipped the cereal because frankly I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store to buy it. I mostly shop at Trader Joe’s and a local farmstand – neither of which sell baby food.
It seems to be working for me…and him. And that is the point really. How about you? When did you introduce your baby to food and what was it? No judgments here just busy working moms trying to do right by our babies!