I gotta tell ya, transition to solid foods wasn’t as smooth sailing as I thought (check out my half-way-failed-attempt here). Since Quincy loved solid food for three days, and then abhorred them for the following week, I had to call a Do-Over. I halted the whole solid foods stuff, switched back to just strictly nursing for a few days, got in some good reading and advice from friends, and started from the beginning.
A dear friend of mine loaned me her copy of Babywise, Book Two: Parenting Your Pretoddler Five to Fifteen Months, which I found to be very helpful. It has a great approach to raising children and guiding them from the start so as to avoid “retraining” them later. I definitely recommend picking up a copy; I especially liked the section on Moral Foundations. Here is a great quote from the book:
“At birth, a child has no functioning conscience. By that we mean the child possesses no awareness of standards of right and wrong. From the start, parents should strive to raise a child who regulates his own behavior from within, in accordance with the rules of common ethics. Until the child internalizes healthy moral principles, parents are obligated to make value judgements and moral decisions on behalf of the child.”*
These moral foundations can be applied to every aspect of a child’s upbringing, including food and eating, like teaching them not to put their fingers in their mouth while they eat or learning to sit with the family and have a meal together. They also had a straight-forward approach to starting solids, and since Quincy seemed to back-track on solids, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try.
They suggest starting with one meal a day where you give them rice cereal, and always follow the cereal with either nursing or a bottle (much like you would accompany a meal with something to drink). Since Quincy had taken to solids before, I pretty much started doing three meals a day instead of building back up, though in the beginning he didn’t each much compared to a week into having cereal.
|Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal|
In order to make the rice cereal, you need to add water, breast milk, or formula. We used the above whole grain rice cereal, and, hoping that the taste of breast milk would encourage Quincy to eat well, I opted to pump. You can read my previous post about pumping, the other side of nursing, as this did (and still does) pose some challenges for me. The instructions for rice cereal said to add 1 Tablespoon of cereal with 3-4 Tablespoons of milk or water, but this made it super runny and wouldn’t stay on the spoon. Instead, I found that a 1:2 ratio was much better (1 Tbsp cereal : 2 Tbsp Milk).
After about a week of cereal, I switched to adding in servings of butternut squash, though at a more gradual pace than the cereal. (The book recommends waiting two weeks of having all meals with cereal, but again I started sooner since Quincy had already done some solid foods before). I tried it at lunch before giving him cereal, and then later added it to his evening meal. Eventually, the cereal servings for lunch and dinner were replaced with vegetables, and the schedule below is what we now generally follow:
The above word generally is used very loosely. As some of you parents out there have come to find out, babies (and children) can get into a routine and then change dramatically the following day, hour, minute… Basically, they all come with built-in asterisks with a whole lot of fine print. Factors like sleep, outside activities, visitors, car trips, teething, and every other component that affects your child’s mood can change how well (or poorly) they eat. But generally speaking, the above schedule has been good to follow for us.
|Happily Eating Cereal|
|It’s hard to see in this slightly blurred photo, but Quincy has two teeth
(finally) coming in on the bottom; the left one has already cut through!
|He’s actually excited in this photo, if you can believe it.|
|Saving some for later.|
|¡Abre la boca!|
|Excuse me? Next bite, please.|
|OOOH, SO GOOOOOD.
(use a Cookie Monster Voice for full effect)