Posts Tagged ‘introducing solids’

Baby-led Feeding

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Baby-led feedingPerhaps your baby shows signs of being ready for table food. Maybe he or she hit that magic age where solids are to be introduced. Perhaps you find yourself strolling down the baby aisle at the store and considering all those pouches of puree that seem to be all the craze these days.

Baby-led feeding is generally referred to as baby-led weaning because the introduction of table food is the beginning of a longer process of transitioning baby to table foods full-time. Of course this process takes many months (or even years). Weaning, then, is not a loss so much as a transition in the relationship that occurs overtime.

Numerous resources already exist if you’re looking for more information about the process, if you and your child are ready to begin baby-led weaning, and ideas for recipes and general tips to make the messy transition as simple as possible.

KellyMom is a well-known resource on breastfeeding but they don’t leave you cold when it comes time to shift. KellyMom.com offers numerous articles written by those knowledgeable in the field about weaning. Specific situations for mothers who primarily pump are also included. The website continues beyond recognizing if your child is ready to also include information about timing the weaning process, ensuring you do not move too quickly or cut out other needs your child might not have as often with decreased breastfeeding (like cuddle time or other one-on-one attention).

If you are working through your own feelings on the subject know you aren’t alone! Le Leche offers insight into a variety of feelings and thoughts that moms might need to process as the consider or are in the midst of baby-led feeding. They also offer specialty articles such as weaning twins or anxiety associated with this transition.

When it comes to the food Wholesome Baby Food at Momtastic offers a number of recipes and weekly menu ideas to help get you started or out of the “bananas and avocado again” slump. The site also includes age-specific information for weaning. Of course if you prefer holding a book to read up on the subject, several primers exist on the subject.

Simple Bites is a mommy-driven website that incorporates baby-led weaning to the table with their general interest in including the whole family around unprocessed meals. Mama Natural also speaks with similar interest and authority found mostly in personal experience and research. Both sites offer numerous ideas and recipes to help introduce anyone to the concept of BLW.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

First Foods at the Holidays

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

First Foods at the HolidaysWhen I think of the holidays, I think of all of the yummy food I get to eat. This year will be a little different since I will have newborn and need to calm down on my eating and start focusing on taking care of my postpartum body. If you have a baby who has recently started solids, the holidays can be a fun time of discovery.

According to USA Today, 40 percent of moms start solids before 4 months old. For me, I waited until at least 6 months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics now suggests waiting until 6 months.

If your baby has hit this age mark and you feel that he or she is ready, Thanksgiving can be a fun time for baby. Here are some baby-friendly foods for Thanksgiving:

-sweet potatoes (These are loaded in Vitamin A! Skip the sugar and marshmallows and if you have an older baby go for finger food.)

-green beans (If you have the casserole prepared, wash off some of the salty toppings first. This one could get messy!)

-pumpkin (Try adding this to cereal or yogurt. Yum!)

-squash (Like all veggies, this should be mashed, thinned, or blended with breast milk or formula.)

-stuffing (Keep this moist. Finely chop the veggies and even add some breast milk or formula.)

-apples

-cranberries

-potatoes

-turkey (With all meats, make sure this is blended or mashed to a consistency baby can handle easily. If your baby is older, you can do small pieces.)

With all solid foods, make sure to introduce new foods to baby slowly. Don’t just give them a whole plate of new foods and expect it to go well. Remember how sensitive a little baby’s tummy can be. Remember to keep the consistency mushy and easy for baby to digest. My babies loved sweet potatoes at the holidays, just like their momma.

Remember you are the mom. Don’t let family just feed your baby anything. I can remember a family member feeding my daughter chocoalate pie at a holiday gathering before we had started solids. I was mortified. Of course, babies don’t need eat sugary desserts and family should respect your position as mom and ask your permission before offering foods to baby.

Different solid foods are recommended for different ages. There are products now like Baby Brezza and Baby Bullet that make creating your own baby food easy and affordable. I am a fan of the Baby Brezza.

Remember that there will be a lot of food around during the holidays and babies like to grab food. Use safety and precautions with your little one to avoid choking or unnecessary tears.

What are some fun holiday foods you have fed your baby? Did they like them? Have fun during the holidays with food and your little one, just remember to be smart and that you are supermom!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Arkansas where she is now ready to eat turkey and sweet potatoes.

API Principle #2: Feed with Love and Respect

Friday, November 11th, 2011

This is the second Friday of our 8-week series where we examine an Attachment Parenting International Principle. Today’s principle is Feed with Love and Respect. API recognizes that feeding your baby is deeper than simply providing nutrients; it truly is an act of love. It’s a way for you to connect with your child by meeting this basic need in a lovingly, gentle manner. After the birth of my first son, I quickly discovered the joy of feeding him. In fact it led me to enjoy foods in a whole light. I see four distinct milestones around feeding your baby. They are as follows:

Pregnancy – Although API doesn’t cover prenatal nutrition in their second principle of Feed with Love and Respect, I feel it’s worth mentioning. After all it’s really your first opportunity to nourish your baby. Making healthy food choices during pregnancy is equally beneficial to you and your growing baby. If you experience nausea during your pregnancy, this can be especially challenging. In that situation you are hopefully able to find a few healthy foods that agree with you. :)

Breastfeeding – API states that “Breastfeeding satisfies an infant’s nutritional and emotional needs better than any other method of infant feeding” (http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/feed.php, 2008). However they do recognize that some babies are bottle-fed and offer suggestions on how to do so that maintains a secure attachment between mother and child. Suggestions for bottle feedings include behaviors that mimic breastfeeding such as holding baby, positioning of baby, switching sides, and making eye contact. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding they strongly encourage that you feed on demand and respond to baby’s early hungry cues such as smacking lips, opening and closing mouth, sucking on hand, or rooting. Additionally since sucking is highly calming and organizing for newborns, API also encourages mothers to allow babies to ‘comfort nurse’. In other words, your baby might not actually be hungry and need milk, but simply wants to be close to you and nurse.

Solids- The introduction of solids should begin when a child demonstrates readiness cues such as able to sit up without support, an increase in breastfeeding, can pick up food using a pincer grasp, or demonstrates an interest by grabbing at your food. Typically this happens around 6 months of age, but it is certainly okay if your child is not ready for solids until several months later. Ideally the initial introduction to solids is not meant to replace the calories or nutrients of breast milk. Rather it is an opportunity for your baby to explore new tastes and textures. Solid foods are a whole new sensory experiences for babies that can be quite enjoyable and pleasurable for them. Moreover it provides the foundation for long-term healthy eating habits and a positive relationship with food. Mealtimes with baby should be positive and free from stress or pressure. Mealtimes can be a fun, social time for baby to connect with their family members. Optimally foods offered to baby are a nutritionally dense whole food prepared and presented according to baby’s needs.

Weaning- One of my favorite books on this topic is a publication from La Leche League International called “How Weaning Happens”. Several years ago a family member happened upon it at a thrift store, purchased it, and gifted it to me. My son was about a year old at the time so I figured the book was a subtle hint that it was time for me to wean him. However after reading the book, I felt strongly encouraged to continue our breastfeeding relationship. The book shares many personal accounts of how weaning happened for various families, under various circumstances, and at various ages. Most of the families in the book practiced extended breastfeeding and some tandem nursed as well. Many of their stories align beautifully with how API views the weaning process. API believes that weaning should be a gradual and gentle process that is started when a child shows signs of readiness. They recognize that breastfeeding provides far more than nutrients to babies; it is a source of tremendous nurture and comfort for little ones. Therefore they encourage families to have a tender, loving approach to weaning.
What has been your experience with feeding with love and respect? Where you able to follow your child’s cue s for breastfeeding, introduction to solids, and weaning?


-Sarah