Friday, January 9, 2015

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Not Cornbread and Peas

About a month ago while at Buckner's four month check up, the doctor said that we could start introducing solids at any time.  Of course, formula would still be his main form of nutrition since the first year involves mainly practicing with solid foods. He told us that we could choose between a vegetable, fruit or cereal as his first food. I was excited about this next stage and posted on a local mothers' Facebook group page to survey what are good choices for first solids. I had done my research on rice and cereal learning they were just fillers so I had already decided against that option but was curious what other mothers had done.

One thing is for sure, mommies have opinions. Sometimes a little too strong of opinions. I received some great advice but it was quickly covered up by being slammed both in the post and in private messages.  See I made the mistake of starting off the post with "at my son's four month check up" having no idea there are some seriously strong opinions about waiting until six months before starting solids.

Panicky mothers quickly e-mailed to stop me from causing what they considered irreversible damage. You would have thought I was going to fry up some chicken fried steak with a side of greasy cornbread and meat laden peas to feed my child! I was just debating on letting him taste sweet potatoes with the doctor's suggestion.  But to these mothers I needed to switch doctors and not even think about the first taste until six months.

My husband said the other day that in today's time it is so hard to get information and I wondered what he meant because there is SO MUCH information out there. But that is exactly what he meant. With so much information, you also get strong opinions that appear to contradict some other type of advice. As parents you get bombarded with opinions about bottle feeding, breastfeeding, sleep schedules, daycare, vaccines, toys, and the list goes on. Some opinions are benign and easy to overlook. Some are helpful and I truly appreciate the advice but there are a few that can be paralyzing because they initiate crippling fear of doing something wrong that could harm the most precious person in a parent's life. 

During the Facebook slam, I had several supportive mothers who reminded me that only we know our babies and we have to do what is best for them. Comforting words of wisdom. I will say the slam caused me to do some further research reassuring my doctor knew what he was talking about and the time to start solids for most babies is between 4 and 6 months.  I learned there are signs that your baby is ready for solids such as being able to sit with little support and hold his head up without bobbling. More signs include if your baby shows an interest in food, has doubled his birth weight and daily eats 32 ounces of formula or breast milk.

Buckner had accomplished most of those developmental markers at 4 months but we decided to split the difference and start introducing solids after five months. I am glad we waited although I don't think we would have made a huge mistake to start at four months but now we are informed and Buckner seems ready for the next step. We still debate back and forth about making our own food. I have read way too much on the topic making me scared of doing something wrong and accidentally making him sick. Anyone else out there doubt themselves on the process of making their own baby food? So either homemade or store bought, in the next few days, we will strap Buckner into his high chair and put a tiny bite of formula thinned food onto a spoon to let him taste it. And in case you are wondering, we decided to start with sweet potatoes.

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