So, I had a grand idea of how feeding baby E would go. We were going to do vegetables, and she was going to like and try so many different kinds. I would feed her with a spoon, she would open her mouth. Some would spill out and she would have that cute food face. She may even blow a few raspberries while eating just because. But she would eat. Food would be chewed and food would go into her stomach.
Well, that didn’t so much happen. E has a bit of food aversion. I totally think it stems from the fact that I had to give her medication. I started giving her the meds through a syringe but that was NOT going well. She would hold it in her mouth and then forcefully spit it out, no matter what I did (hold her cheeks together like fishy lips, push the plunger far back and into her cheek) nothing worked. So I gave it to her off a spoon, it was the only way I could get even HALF the dose into her. And of course, the medicine started out sickly sweet but had quite the bitter after bite.
This has to be the reason she mistrusts spoons, and me. We are working on eating now. E will allow me to feed her a bit of rice cereal, and she likes to try and eat
Mumums herself. I am feeding her all the things I told myself I wouldn’t. But it is plain, bland and the only things she will eat. My nurse made a good point when I was upset by this whole thing. She said, “If I line up babies who ate store bought and babies who had homemade, would you be able to pick them out?”
No, no I would not. So while it isn’t what I wanted, it isn’t bad for her. She is learning to chew and to feed herself and to trust me with a spoon. So that is a win. We will get to vegetables soon enough.
Because of this experience, I thought I would share 4 things I wish I knew before I started feeding Miss E.
4 things I wish I knew before starting feeding baby solids
They may not want to eat what you are offering
Like I said earlier, I planned on feeding E vegetables and fruit first. I started off strong. I gave her avocado and that went okay. Then we did butternut squash and she wouldn’t really open her mouth. Same thing with applesauce, and sweet potato and blueberries… It got to the point where I would sit her down for food and she would clamp her mouth and squeal when the spoon came near her. She did not want what I was offering.
I had to change my mindset about food. While I was dead against store-bought stuff, that is all that E will eat. Baby Mumums for the win! I am also trying her with rice cereal. While she still will clamp and refuse, I can sometimes get a spoonful or 2 in before that happens. Slowly, I am regaining trust with E and food. My plan is to going back to vegetables and fruit but for now, I have accepted that she isn’t there yet.
Throw that plan out, or at least be prepared to
Like I said above, I planned on fruit and vegetables. I ended up with store bought baby Mumums. Quite a difference. But I had to do what is best for baby and me. As they say, ‘the best-laid plans go awry.’
If I was able to have no birth plan, then having a no food plan should be easy. Surprise, this was harder. I want E to be healthy, I want her to eat all the food. My vision was of us going to eat at restaurants and her eating off my plate. My friends and family being impressed that she ate such a wide variety of foods. Of never having purchased store-bought things! So this plan was very hard for me to drop, or even adjust. I knew I had to and it is a work in progress. Fed is best and right now she is eating, even if only a small bit.
Follow your baby’s cues
E has a slight aversion to foods because of the medicine I had to give her. I don’t want to make that a big aversion by forcing food on her. So I listen to her cues. When she pulls her head back and clamps her mouth shut, I don’t try and shove food in her mouth. If she opens her mouth I put a bit of food in. She clamps shut and squeals, I take that as her sign that she is done eating off a spoon.
I laugh and talk to her, I act calm and don’t get irritated with her when she refuses to eat. Mealtime shouldn’t be a power struggle or a place of stress for either of us. I want to enjoy eating with my daughter and I want her to enjoy it too. She eats what she eats. At 7 months old she is still getting all her nutrition from breastmilk.
Be prepared to get messy. I feed E 3 times a day so she will get used to sitting at meal times, plus it gives me 3 times to try and get food into her.
At breakfast, she only gets rice cereal which I feed to her. I give her these blocks to play with to occupy her hands.
At lunch and dinner, E gets a different cereal, buckwheat and chia, some puree vegetable or fruit, a Mumum and a few strawberry flavoured puffs. I always start with the cereal then the puree and E likes to try and help with the spoon. And by help I mean pull the food off and play with it. She is exploring and learning so if she takes it all off the spoon every time, then she takes it all off every time. No big deal.
Once she has explored with the cereal, and hopefully had a bite or two, I give her broken pieces of Mumum which she devours. I take the soggy leftover bits from the palm of her hand and see if she will let me feed them to her. I am trying to earn her trust, show her that I also will feed her yummy food too! Sometimes she lets me, sometimes she helps me, sometimes she refuses. It is what it is.
I think letting her explore the food is important, but messy, which is why I only do it at lunchtime. But every lunch and dinner she gets to try and feed herself with the Mumum. She is learning about different textures and eventually, I think she will put her finger in her mouth with food and be pleasantly surprised! Or not. And that is fine too!
I know there is a lot out there on food. People have very strict beliefs and ideas about how babies should eat when they should eat, the type of food they should be eating. I don’t want to get into all that. I think you have to do you. You need to do what is best for you and your baby. Be as healthy as you can be but don’t stress yourself out or feel guilty because it isn’t all homemade. Well, try not too. I know it’s hard. No one said having a baby was easy. You got this.
Do you have a picky baby? Was feeding a disaster for you too? Or were you lucky and your baby took to eating like a duck on water? Let me know in the comments!