Laughing. Picking up toys. Blowing raspberries. Laying down and lifting up her head and legs with ab strength greater than my own for up to a minute at a time if we let her.
Anyone else’s baby do that last thing? Can’t be just mine.
There’s a lot of things that my six month old has learned to do. But, I’ve been the most nervous about letting her learn about solid food for the first time.
At my girl’s most recent checkup, her pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start introducing solids while I continue breastfeeding. With a bit of my own research so far, I’ve learned some pretty cool things that helped me go into this new messy chapter with a little more confidence.
And it is messy.
Firstly, I brushed up on my knowledge of baby CPR. Choking is a scary but common occurrence, and I feel a lot better knowing that I don’t have to be helpless in those (hopefully unlikely!) situations. Learning about allergic reactions is extremely important too!
It seemed crazy at first, but I’ve personally decided to focus a lot on large pieces of real food rather than all purées. Especially early on when the quantity consumed doesn’t really matter as much as experimenting and becoming familiar with textures. My girly has two bottom teeth coming through, but teeth aren’t actually required for exploring solids!
The larger the piece of food, the less likely choking is. Makes sense if you think about it.
So far, my baby has tried and enjoyed banana, avocado, bell peppers, zucchini, and peeled potato wedges. All have been served in big enough pieces for her to grip in her own hands and feed herself.
Something about a tiny baby enthusiastically finishing a quarter of a whole steamed zucchini is hilarious, shocking, and adorable all at the same time. She also got upset when she dropped her piece of bell pepper because she loved it so much.
Now I can’t wait for her to try more things!
I always keep a really close eye on her, and I was surprised how careful she was. She either spit out bites that were too big, or paused for a while to really feel it out before I could tell she needed help.
She had a little bit of a harder time for a moment when her dad made her excited just by walking in the room, and we saw how important a calm environment is while trying solids.
Not that her dad is banned from mealtimes. He’s way too good of a cook and loves food too much for that.
She’ll have to figure it out.
Another thing I learned? The importance of variety. I’ve been told that picky eating is often a result of not branching out enough early enough. I’ve already fallen into the trap of only giving her what she’s familiar with multiple days in a row. Girl loves her bananas, and there’s hardly any prep involved.
No harm done, but mixing it up almost every day is a challenge for sure.
It’ll be a whole new thing when I start making her full and balanced meals! I am looking forward to it, though, as overwhelming as it feels right now. In the meantime, I’ll continue adding a little more for her to try here and there, learning about nutritional science as I go. This is a learning process for mom just about as much as it is for baby!
Can we talk about the mess? It’s fun, isn’t it?
Food time… is nakie time.
But, if clothing or bibs get really dirty, I’ve discovered the importance of starting the laundry before bath time gets going.
Certain foods stain really good when they’re forgotten about! It’s a little less likely that your baby will stain in the same way, so they can wait two minutes. They’re probably having fun feeling their sticky fingers anyway.
If you’re to the point of introducing solids soon, just know it doesn’t have to be scary! Your baby can do this!
It can be an emotional time for mom too. That’s normal and okay. Our babies are going to keep learning and it’s going to be so incredible to see.
Plus… food? On the list of fun things to learn about, this has to be way up there.