Started Solids

I was going to save this for the 6 month update coming later this week, but we’ve been having so much fun with food that it deserved it’s own post.

Avery’s first solid food experience was on Feb 8th (5 1/2 months old). On a whim when she got home from work one evening, my wife decided to try feeding her some brown rice cereal we had in the cupboard. She LOVED it and immediately took to eating off the spoon and swallowing. I was fully expecting this attempt to involve pushing the food around in her mouth and spitting it out, but nope, she devoured it. 

She’s also had bananas mixed with breastmilk, and prunes, which were suuuper messy but apparently delicious.

Since those purées, we’ve also started a combination of spoon-feeding and baby-led feeding. We can’t seem to time it right (or have the right food on the menu) for her to sit with us while we eat and try what we’re eating (we had the timing right with crêpes with dulce De leche, but that felt a little too decadent for her first baby-led weaning experience…). We do want her to be able to feel the food in her hands and decide if/how much she wants to shove in her mouth. I’ve let her gnaw on a banana that I was eating and we gave her some avacado to chew on. She successfully mashed the food with her gums (and two teeth!) and seemed to enjoy making a supreme mess. Although her face in the avocado picture looks a little grossed out, she really did LOVE the avocado. She polished off everything you see on her tray here. 

While it has been sooo much fun watching her learn new tastes and textures and learn to swallow, I just want to point out that it can be incredibly scary, too. 

Everytime she coughs while eating, we panic. With food covered hands we grab her and attempt to rip her from the booster seat to give her the Heimlich maneuver (so thankful we both took that infant and child first aid course when I was 9 months pregnant). But every time she has been totally fine. I think coughing, or “horking” as it can be more accurately described, is all a part of learning to eat and learning to swallow something lumpier than breast milk. 

So we’ve created a food monster. I can’t eat a piece of fruit without her grabbing at it and crying when I don’t give it to her. I hope she continues to love her journey into the world of food! It’s so much fun for all three of us!

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Sleep & Solids

I’m hopping aboard the sleep struggles train that seems to be going through blogville these days. 

Avery is going through the 4 month sleep regression and for 2 weeks now she has been waking up every 45 min to 2 hours. My wife offers to take a shift, but if she tries to rock her to sleep during her wake-ups she usually gets more upset and more awake with every passing second; versus, if I give her the boob she’s out like a light. 

I watch her on the monitor to make sure she isn’t going to get herself back to sleep before I get up (this happens a couple of times a night, usually she just needs to get herself rolled over and she’s fine), and if the whining intensifies I trudge down the hall to her cozy room and try to get as much enjoyment out of our middle of the night nurses as I can. She falls asleep within a minute of nursing, but the problem is, I usually do to. Even in the uncomfortable wooden arms of the IKEA chair. And then 45 minutes has passed by the time I get back to bed and it’s not long before the next wake-up. 

This too shall pass. This morning at 6 I brought Avery in our bed and she slept in until 9. I feel so refreshed thanks to that. But ask me again at 11:45pm tonight when I’ve already woken up twice …

The other thing that has been on my mind is starting Avery on solid food. I’d like to wait until she’s 6 months because I feel like she’s already so easily distracted during nursing and even though she has plenty of wet diapers she seems so thin to me… So I don’t want to worry about solid foods competing with my milk for her interest. 

HOWEVER, she is really interested in what I eat right now. She grabs for it and watches it disappear in my mouth with awe. I’ve been teaching her baby sign language and I sign “eat” when I’m eating something, with the hopes that she’ll be able to ask for solid food eventually, and keep it differentiated from the sign for “milk”. 

So I think at this point we’re just waiting for her to be 100% stable sitting up on her own and for the tongue protrusion reflex to go away and then we’ll start. We’re going to start with purées because she is high risk for food allergies, but we also like the idea of baby-led weaning/feeding so she can work on her fine motor skills. We’ll probably do a blend of both approaches. 

I had a dream that I was feeding her little bits of cucumber and sweet potato as her first taste of food and my wife wasn’t there. I woke up feeling extremely guilty… Solid foods are going to be my wife’s domain since the breastfeeding was mine. 

So many exciting new stages around the corner… Sleeping through the night, eating solid food… Looking forward to it.