Monday, March 21, 2011

Baby Food or the Lack Thereof - 10 Points to Clarify

1. I'm OK with being weird. I'm a homeschool graduate, after all. I'm not crazy about labels (For instance, I do not label myself an "attachment parent" although Philip says I might as well own up to it.) but I guess there are worse things in the world. Also, upon further consideration, it seems obvious that I was feeling unnecessarily defensive yesterday. That's my own fault. So, mea culpa, apologies for over-reacting.

2. We've gradually, somewhat instinctively, been pushing back when our girls start with solid foods. Like I said in my previous post, we started Polly on cereal as soon as the pediatrician said it was OK to try. With each child we've started later and later. There don't seem to be any compelling reasons to start early.

3. More anecdotal evidence: Polly started on cereal at four months old. But still didn't sleep through the night until 1 year old. And is our pickiest eater to this day. I don't think that proves anything one way or the other, but I find it interesting.

4. Philip tells me that I probably enjoy nursing more than most people. When he first said this I was a little taken aback because it sounds kind of freaky. But really, I've never {knock on wood} had any problems with yeast, thrush, or mastitis. It's my understanding that those types of problems are a serious pain in the...well, you know.And, as I mentioned before, I am blessed to stay home with my girls, so we haven't had to fool with supplements, formula or what-not. All that to say: nursing is easy and convenient for me.

5. Until Lili got sick two weeks ago we didn't even own any baby bottles. The pediatrician gave us one to try. The older girls went straight from nursing to sippy cups, though I'm not sure what will happen with Lili since I'm kind of leaning toward the "no sippy cups at home" position. {Sigh} I guess that will have to be another post...

6. I wouldn't actually have a codified opinion on this except for my friend MacKenzie had some posts about baby-led weaning and what she does with her daughter Lucy. I had never heard of such a thing, but I read up on it and discovered that yes, I mostly agreed with the philosophy. You can read two of MacKenzie's posts on the subject here and here.

7. Dr. Sears - the attachment parenting guru, weighed in and you can read his take on baby led weaning here. And, just one more link about baby led weaning.

8. I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I do think formula companies and baby food companies have an interest in pushing their products "early and often". This post addresses the history of baby food and those type questions.

9. I'm not sure history is the best guide here. I get a kick out of reading old books (go figure - Karen likes books!). The 1930s editions of the Childcraft books suggest starting baby on orange juice around 3 weeks old. (!) By the 1960's (I own the 1964 edition), the editors had backed away from such ideas and actually encouraged nursing your baby because "it has certain advantages". Just one generation ago cereal as soon as possible was recommended, although, once again, that was based on anecdotes instead of any actual research.

10. Now we wait and see what happens. Lili will be 6 months old this week. (!!!) She's starting to enjoy sitting in the high chair and she's been known to play with spoons in recent days. She watches what we put in our mouths. (She also tried to grab Philip's coffee mug yesterday. Sorry, Lili, but coffee is not one of the foods you get to choose - it's baby led weaning within reason around here!) She's working on that pincer grip skill. I suspect these things mean my baby will be ready to eat some mashed sweet potatoes or peas sooner rather than later. Except for the fact that we're already "later", of course. And I'm still not going to buy that cute little cream and blue box of rice cereal.

 Previous post can be read here.

1 comment:

April said...

My third baby just turned one last week and went straight from nursing to table food. Her iron is fine, she is in the 80th percentile for height, she is healthy. I didn't do it from an agenda-- "delaying solids", actually I admit her "baby food age" just kind of snuck up on me and passed just as fast and before I knew it she was just eating what we were eating. Wish I'd saved myself the trouble with the first two!!

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