The last couple of weeks have been an mushy adventure. My little dude, (Lets call him J Bean) was showing signs of being ready to try solid food since a couple weeks before Christmas, right around the four month mark. I thought this was way too early, even though every single morsel that went into my mouth, he watched with great intensity. I started to wonder if it was more me not being ready for my baby to have aged out of the exclusive breastfeeding (or EBF) club, than him not being ready. I was so nervous I was getting ready to do the wrong thing and by giving him food before the six month mark, I was setting him up for a life of food allergies or gastro issues or something. But he kept on showing all the signs of food readiness and so after consulting our family doctor, (natch) I decided that starting in January, we would try the first food; (if you can call it that) the Rice Cereal.
Yes I admit I used store bought rice cereal. After weeks of research, feeling guilty for not feeling it necessary to grow, harvest and mill my own grains, and reading the back of every infant cereal package I could get my hands on, I decided to just jump in and buy one. I thought I was going to have a panic attack in the store, because after all, this was the first outside food I was giving my baby, and god forbid I pick the wrong one and he ends up being a serial killer or something. Realizing that I'm over thinking the whole thing just a smidge, I end up buying a well known brand name cereal, whose ingredients were minimal and that which required me to ad my own mommy milk as opposed to water (aka the OTHER kind). This put me at ease (at least a little) and made me feel that I was still giving him the same nutrition and benefits he'd been getting so far, just with a little extra mixed in.
The result? He LOVED it. Opened his mouth like a little baby bird and after two or three spoonfuls, he was eating like an old pro. He didn't explode and I didn't get my 'buying non organic, name brand cereal e.g. bad mommy' award in the mail (so far). I guess he really was ready and it was just my total insanity hard at work putting up walls that weren't really there.
After a few weeks on the 'rice mush' as we call it, we introduced some other fun foods to the mix.
First was squash. This was not a winner to anyone. J Bean thought it was pretty gross and looked at me as if to say "it isn't going to all be like this is it?". I even tried some and yep - disgusting! Daddy didn't even get to the tasting point as watching the expressions on me and bean's faces were quite enough. Still though we had a second session with the squash as I didn't want to influence baby with my negative squash leanings or anything. So I smiled as I spooned it into his mouth and I was met with that same sour face that said "Why mommy!?"
A few days later we tried carrots. Being much milder and a bit sweeter than squash I figured it would go over better and it did! He seemed to really enjoy it after the first few spoonfuls, almost as much as he enjoyed making a crazy carroty mess of himself.
It was around this point that I started to notice a difference in the diaper department. By little guy has since about eight weeks old been a once a week pooper. Which apparently was completely normal as our family doctor told us, "Exclusively breastfed babies poop between ten times a day and every ten days, and everything in between." But now things were starting to change. The poop tide was turning if you will. Every two days like clockwork J Bean would get a little cranky, wiggly, then BOOM. I'm just grateful I don't have to conquer these poopsplosions by myself because there aren't enough arms with two of us trying to hold little flailing legs and arms whilst cleaning the offending zone simultaneously. Needless to say I have a good man. Aw hell, whether it needs saying or not, I have a GREAT man. One of the best ever created. Top five in the history of mankind, right up there with Gandhi and Michelangelo and the guy who invented the DVR.
But I digress..
So, two days ago we figured we'd try J Bean on something a little sweeter so I reached for a jar of organic pear mush I had bought. (Yes I'm buying my baby food so far too. I know, I know, bad mommy.)
The result? Happiest kid in the history of the universe. Seriously giddy. Flapping his arms like he was trying to take flight and gobbling the stuff faster than I could dish it out!
I know it's not always going to be like this. I'm not always going to be able to control every morsel that goes into his body for the rest of his life, and I'm sure there will be times when I won't be able to pay him to eat his fruits and vegetables. But at least I can take comfort in the fact that at one time, February 2011, my little dude LOVED pears. And his happiness makes me feel like the best mom ever.
- Mama B