Mamas, starting solids seems so simple right? Such an exciting milestone. Nobody told me that I would have so many conflicting emotions before starting! Woah, they snuck up on me like my dog tries to sneak up on squirrels while we’re out for walks. I had been Vincent’s primary source of food, nutrition, and sustenance up until now and I did not want to give that up. What if he doesn’t need me anymore?! Irrational, I know, but I couldn’t help that thought playing over and over in my head for weeks leading up to his 6-month birthday.
I found myself wrestling with the excitement of this milestone and him growing up ((which is happening all too quickly)) and with the loss of his being little and only relying on me for food. Yes, I know in the beginning solids aren’t really for nutritional value they are more for fun, but it was still really hard on me. Why isn’t this talked about? I surely can’t be the only mama to feel like this!
Then more questions; were we going to follow baby led weaning or do purees? Was I going to do store bought food or do all homemade? Of course, I wanted to do everything all organic and all homemade and I wanted everything to be fresh and the purest it could be for Vincent. Some of my other mom friends had already started solids and they were doing homemade. I felt so much pressure to do everything right! It was honestly crazy making! I was feeling all sorts of mom-guilt. I needed to take a look in the mirror and take my own advice. There are no perfect moms, there is no perfect way to do anything.
The day before Vincent’s 6-month birthday, Brian and I decided to try some oat cereal with him. Brian fed him for the first time while I videotaped. It was really SO much fun to watch him explore the texture of the cereal and watch his facial expressions with each bite as he was deciding whether he liked it or not. With each bite and each day feeding him my anxiety slowly seemed to melt away. I started looking at this experience as a new chapter with him. A milestone to celebrate. He is also still breastfeeding pretty much the same amount as he was prior to starting the cereal.
We waited the 4 days before introducing any new foods… all his new introductions have not gone as well as the cereal. So far Vincent does not like; sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, peas, or avocado!
Side note: I read that sometimes it takes babies trying a new food 15-20 times before they start to like the new flavor so to just be patient and keep reintroducing the foods every couple weeks or so.
So here we are. My thought process has completely shifted in just a few short weeks. The thing that made me so worried and anxious has now become one of my favorite things to do with him. I was hellbent on only making his food and now I buy some and I make some.
In short; starting solids has been much like my mothering journey as a whole – I thought I knew exactly how it was going to go and then it completely changed and a great reminder to roll with the punches.
My Mama Tips:
Trying to introduce solids is a really good lesson in PATIENCE!! I spend the morning making whatever new food he is going to try that day, I get so excited to watch him taste it, and with each time he spits it out and makes a seriously disapproving face! So far, my picky little boy will only eat cereal and as of two day ago; he won’t even eat that!
Mamas, give yourself a BREAK! It’s ok to buy food. It’s ok to make their food. It’s ok to do both.
Have fun. Take your time. Let the babes play and explore.
Give your little one their own spoon while trying to feed.
STRIP EM DOWN!! Oh my gosh, we didn’t do this the first time and he had cereal EVERYWHERE. It is so much easier to wipe them down naked then it is to wipe their dirty clothes down!