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Babys Loves Avocado Part 1

Hey, Chic*a*la’s!

Okay…I haven’t done a mommy post in a while so we were due for an update!

[disclaimer: this post is only meant to share my personal experience. I believe every baby is unique and mothers should decide, along with their doctors what is best for their little angel πŸ™‚ ]

When I was pregnant, I absorbed every book I could, Baby Center, message boards, and all of you for all things pregnancy related. I made sure I was getting all of the nutrients that Ella needed, exercise regularly, but safely; and above all…took time out to rest and relax. Which I appreciate more now than ever.

I always hated when people said “get your rest now while you can”<—like you can “bank it” or something. But now I totally understand what they meant. It means more-so enjoy these last days of having your baby in your belly, and enjoy these last moments of quite…because you won’t get it again until that baby goes to college πŸ˜‰

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was like…oh cr*p! I better start reading up on breastfeeding because I have no clue what I’m doing. That’s when I consulted with Diane [lactation consultant/sissy in laws mom] who gave me a bunch of great resources and tips. There was also some great sections in my pregnancy and baby books I read up on. La Leche League, Dr. Sears, post by Averie [lactation consultant and mom], andΒ  Erin [RD that works with lactating moms] also gave me some good info in different areas I had questions.

Luckily, once Ella was born I had no problems nursing, aside from the fact that my nipples killed me the first 3 weeks...but I got past it and sucked it up, and they felt normal again. It wasn’t until I was going back to work and had to start doing the whole pumping thing that I needed more support [future post].

The first three months of Ella’s life I was just focusing on being a mom, taking care of my new baby, and taking care of myself [trying to get back to feeling like a human].

I decided against cramming and studying ALL of the baby books our there because frankly, my motherly instincts kicked in for one, and number two, I personally did not want to read all of these books and feel like I was being a bad mother if I didn’t follow everything they all suggested.Above all…it was overwhelming trying to pack my brain with info from all the mommy manuals.

I know a lot of them are very useful to new mothers, and have some great information in them. It wasn’t like I went in completely blind. I studied up a little, did browse through a few books and spent a lot of time on baby center and other sites just to see what I should expect. I also got a really nice package and book from the hospital on safety issues and other mommy must-know stuff. Whenever I needed help I luckily had a support system to turn to, my mother, my mother in law, sister in law, Ella’s pediatrician, and again, all of you moms out there in the sphere!

Now Ella is almost 5 months old…and here I am again, thinking oh cr*p….I REALLY need to read up more on starting her on solid foods. Again, I have read a little on it but haven’t really made a decision [there are SO many differences in opinions out there!]

I’ve been feeling a little bit of pressure from my mom who’s been saying that Ella is “starving” and needs “rice cereal.” She always told me she would support me no matter what and not tell me what to do[as a mother], but on the other hand, she and my dad both always innocently said how they can’t wait for her to get on “real” food.

My mom raised 4 kids, and my pediatrician was old school. Like he was about 80 when I was a baby. Back then, or in his day at least, they started babies on rice cereal at 6 weeks old. At least that’s what he had my mom do for my siblings and I. We only got a spoonful or two a day. Which I don’t even know how it was possible with the whole tongue thrust reflex, but my mom claims we did.


Ella’s pediatrician told me at Ella’s 2 month check-up that at her 4 month check-up we could discuss introducing her to solids. I was on the fence about the whole rice cereal thing though. Why would I give Ella a processed-fortified carbohydrate when it’s something that I wouldn’t eat? I understood why it was recommended, but I was still undecided. In the meantime I picked up a box of whole grain rice from whole foods to have on hand:

 

Luckily my pediatrician told me that I could do rice cereal and all fruits and veggies, but didn’t seem to be hell-bent like I HAD to start her on rice if I didn’t want to. I just had the word “rice cereal” shoved down my throat because that’s what my mom, my mother in law, and all the other moms out there said they did with their children.Β  The reason it’s typically recommended to start on rice cereal is because it’s a food least likely to get an allergic reaction [and apparently easier on their tummys]. However, all of the symptoms my pediatrician warned me about, in a handout about introducing food, as well as all the things I read made me decide otherwise.

I learned that at 4 or 5 months old, babies do not have the enzymes to break down carbohydrates yet. In fact, many sources [including Dr. Sears and AAP] say that babies digestive systems are not ready for solid food until they are around 5 or 6 months old. I believe that there in no magic number and that age can vary greatly [hence why I decided to toy with some avocado with Ella when she was almost 5 months].

Babies started on solid food before their digestion systems mature are more prone to food allergies. I have written about this in respect to dairy and diabetes in children, and I found it interesting that the same thing happens with food in general for babies when it comes to allergies.

Then there is this whole movement of baby-led weaning!Β  Suddenly I felt overwhelmed in deciding what I thought was best for Ella, being the best mom I could be, making sure my family would be supportive and just being sure she was readyΒ  and at the same time anxious to embark on the adventure.

 

My original plan was to do a post on the blog discussing the pros and cons and open up the comment section to see what other mothers did before I made my final decision.

I felt like I would be judged if I waited and judged if I decided to go ahead and feed her now [and judged on WHAT I fed her].

After looking over some books, reading a ton of information on the net, message boards, etc…I decided that I would introduce<——[key word here] Ella to what many call “baby’s perfect food.” Avocado.

She did great. I’ve only fed her a few times…she is still getting pretty much all of her nutrition from my breast milk. I decided to do a happy medium of the things I learned. I’m really not comfortable with sitting her in a high chair and putting raw veggies in front of her just yet [baby led weaning]…but I did hand her the spoon and she was happily feeding herself avocado. It was everywhere…but most of it did get in her mouth ear, nose,and eyebrow. She actually would cry every time I took the spoon away to put more on it…because she wanted more! πŸ™‚ And she does seem pretty interested in food. However it’s hard to tell because babies want everything in their mouth at this point!

I did what made me comfortable. However I do worry still about her digestive system being “fully matured” but she shows the majority of signs that she’s ready. And it’s not like I am feeding her food all day/every day. Just a few spoonfuls at dinnertime. She liked eating with mommy πŸ™‚ My plan was to “introduce” and wean her into “solid” food. I believe breast milk IS “real” food so I will not use that term.

Part 2 I will talk more about baby-led weaning, sites that were recommended to me [I linked a bunch here], more on why I chose avocado [my family thought I was crazy], iron fortified foods, and the whole process of feeding her, when,Β  how much, etc…as well as feedback I got from this post!

—–

Moms…when did you “introduce” solids to your little one? What was their first food?

If you didn’t start on a grain, when did you introduce grains?

How do you feel about baby-led weaning?

xxoo

-L

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21 Comments

  • Reply Pure2raw twins

    oh man this one reason I am nervous when I have kids, people telling me what I should be feeding my baby. My oldest sister has been getting hell from people because she is not feeding her baby (my niece) cows milk. She gets other non dairy milk and is doing just fine πŸ™‚

    so keep doing what is best for you and Ella!!

    September 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm
    • Reply laury

      Oh, Ella will NOT ever ever ever get cows milk!!! The problem is people have it stuck in their heads what they learned that’s now outdated. Like “milk does a body good”–most criminal ad in my opinion!

      September 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm
  • Reply Shanna, like Banana

    I have a feeling this post will come in handy about 8-9 months from now πŸ˜‰ I haven’t read a lot about what happens after baby, but I know I want to breastfeed for 4-6 months and then will start some sort of solids, but I definitely have some reading to do.

    Thanks for sharing love!

    September 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm
    • Reply laury

      You will learn!!! All my posts will be organized too to come back to. And you could always email me anytime. I will need the fashion advice when baby #2 comes along!

      September 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I still remember what that rice cereal stuff tastes like… eck. (Don’t ask how… perhaps I snuck some of my siblings’)

    Good luck with the solids… you seem to be taking it slowly for now, which is great. I’m sure the diapers will be a good clue to how it’s going…

    September 26, 2011 at 12:10 am
  • Reply Lisa

    Sounds like you’re following a great plan—avocado is definitely the perfect baby food! Of course—there’s no perfect answer…babies are individuals too! I’m not a mom, but I was the primary caregiver for my nephew when he was a baby. We started with avocados at 5.5 months and sweet potatoes after that. I didn’t read a single baby book—until “too late” since I didn’t know I’d need the info until the day he was born. I think he’s turning out ok πŸ™‚ —but the outside opinions can be overwhelming!
    I’ve done a lot of research on the pregnancy/baby nutrition topic for clients, and I cringe every time I hear about someone feeding their baby rice cereal (usually I see it randomly posted on facebook…so it’s not really a place where I feel like giving unsolicited opinions).
    You’re such a great mom, and I’m sure whatever you choose will be just right for your little cutie pie!

    September 26, 2011 at 6:42 am
    • Reply laury

      Thanks so much, Lisa. Being a primary caregiver definitely gives you credibility! I was wondering how you knew so much πŸ™‚ I think everyone giving rice cereal is just doing what they were told was best for their baby. Most doctors and everyone a generation ahead says that’s the best….and the allergy thing I think scares people! I am so glad I read up and looked into my reservations…or else I would have probably started on rice too!

      September 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm
  • Reply Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Great plan, great post, and thanks for the linky love πŸ™‚

    As we chatted about, I skipped the rice cereal b/c it’s a nutritionally inferior food compared to breastmilk or to other foods. Just about anything has more nutrition in it that…white rice.

    Good for you for sticking to your guns and listening to your mommy intuition πŸ™‚

    September 26, 2011 at 7:50 am
    • Reply laury

      Thank you, Mama! You’re the best πŸ™‚

      September 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner

    I am, of course, clueless on this topic, so I certainly won’t offer you any advice, but I do want to say that you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone πŸ™‚ It sounds like you are making smart decisions and of course you have Ella’s best interest at heart. You and Ella will be just fine. And thank you for all the info you have shared with us. Hopefully it will be useful to me someday πŸ™‚

    September 26, 2011 at 11:59 am
  • Reply Laura

    I gave my second daughter food at 6 month. Breastmilk was enough for her until then. When I started giving her food, I let her try anything I was eating. I didn’t introduce things in any certain order. If I was having fruit, I’d give her a tiny bit (she loved avocados too). If I was having a vegetable, she’d get a tiny amount. We never did store bought baby food with her. I just made sure the food I was giving her was mushy enough. She loves all food now and has no allergies.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thanks for sharing, Laura! So good to know! I hear so much how you need to do things in order or one food at a time. Once Ella is 6 months I will do the same!

      September 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Ari@THE DiVa DiSh

    I have to say how proud I am for you taking the initiative as a mama, and making the best decisions based off of what YOU feel is best. I had my in laws and my side of the family who would shove any kind of food in my daughters mouth, even at 4 months!! It would make me soo mad!!(and it still does, if you can’t tell lol)…now my daughter is extremely picky, and won’t touch really anything. Her extended family continues to give her processed nasty food, even against my saying, and it has really affected my daughters diet as well as food preferences. You are lucky your mom will support and trust your decisions! πŸ™‚
    I’m sure ella is doing great! She looks healthy and happy, and has a smart mama to take care of her! πŸ™‚

    September 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thanks, Ari! SO happy to hear from other moms. Ugh,,,that is something I am worried about also. That was another reason I had reservations about rice cereal. I SO want Ella to have a sophisticated palate and not be picky [like my husband]. I will need to lay the law down….luckily, hopefully, my family will be supportive when it comes that time!

      September 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm
  • Reply Mini Banana Nut Protein Cake

    […] for the comments on my introducing solids post. The next one will also cover my fears as far as “eating habits.” I don’t want […]

    September 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm
  • Reply Heather B

    I’ve been reading for a while but this is my first time commentin bi waited until 6 months to introduce any kind of food. My son liked fruit and veggies and we tried the whole wheat rice cereal too and he just didn’t like it. Especially after having all the other yummy sweet fresh fruit or veggies. I kept at it because they say the rice cereal is a good source of iron but honestly, he hated it. So I mixed it in with his purΓ©ed food and he didn’t notice and he was getting the nutrients he needed. Your breastmilk has enough iron up until 6 months and then they either need to eat it or take a supplement form. I give him a supplement now but once they can have finger food, beans, chicken, etc all are good sources. Sorry so long winded but breastfeeding is a fun subject for me. Don’t feel pressure, do what you feel is right as a mom and nurse that baby as long as you can despite people trying to push good on her!!

    September 27, 2011 at 10:47 am
    • Reply laury

      Hi Heather!

      Thank you for your comment.

      I found this article really interesting she talks about the whole iron fortification issue…

      http://yourgreenbaby.blogspot.com/2010/10/rice-cereal-vs-real-food.html

      I am so long winded so your comment is nothing to me πŸ™‚

      It’s so tough with all the pressure from family but I am going to stick to what I think is best!!! Thank you so much for your input and advice πŸ™‚ Much appreciated!

      September 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm
  • Reply Katy @ MonsterProof

    I have read a lot, but amazingly, have started to just go with what “feels right” when it comes to food. We’ll see. My son is 4.5 months right now. He is HUGE. 85th height, 80th weight. Sits up solidly, no tongue reflex, all of those things that they check before giving the “go ahead.” That said, we tried (Earth’s Best) rice cereal (even though I was uncertain about it) last week per the ped’s recommendation. He was THOROUGHLY uninterested. So we dropped that idea. Today, I couldn’t take it. He was wanting to nurse every hour, and I couldn’t keep up. I’ve already pre-made a lot of fruits and veggies and frozen them, so I pulled out a cube of squash. You would’ve thought he died and went to heaven. INHALED it. So…we’ll see. I can’t say for certain what my path is going to be, but I loved this post and all the info!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    • Reply laury

      Hi Katy!

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Sounds like he was living it and ready!

      I have since this post held off on giving her anything..but I am going to try again in a few weeks. She did love the avocado. Excited to explore squash and peas and other good stuff!!!

      October 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm
  • Reply Melbourne Road

    I totally understand the feeling like you are judged for doing and for not doing. boy.
    With my oldest 20 years ago I did the rice cereal, with the second 17 years ago I did sweet potatoes. The last three I did mashed banana and apple on the advice of a nutritionist.
    Lori

    October 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm
  • Reply What Does My Baby Eat?

    […] was a personal decision to skip rice cereal all together. There are many different stances on this. Some argue that since rice is a processed […]

    February 14, 2012 at 12:07 am
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