Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Early Eating

Choosing the right time to start feeding your baby solids is a little more complicated than it seems. Four months is the earliest recommended age, but some resources suggest waiting until 6 or 7 months. I've given it some thought and I'm glad I started feeding Hannah solids at four months for a few reasons.

October was the perfect time to start preparing homemade foods for baby Hannah because everything was ripe and in season. Apples, pears, squash, and yams are just a few of the wonderful, fresh foods I selected for her to enjoy. Even though you can buy all fruits and veggies throughout the year at the grocery store, it's more likely that the foods are locally sourced when you buy at the right time.

Because we started early, mealtime was enjoyable learning experience. I haven't worried once that Hannah didn't get enough to eat while she sampled her new foods, because her nourishment mainly comes from milk. She learned about eating slowly at first and happily experienced the time in her high chair. I know it was the right time for us because Hannah was very curious about foods. She actively watched me eat and began reaching for my cup or utensil if I held her while eating. She had the ability to turn her head away to indicate that she didn't want more and she sat comfortably in her high chair.

Although I initially hoped that feeding Hannah more during the day would help her sleep through the night, that didn't happen. Some breastfed babies just need the additional feedings at night and I'm ok with that. It's not easy waking up every night to feed her, but I'm happy to provide what she needs and I can't think of anyone else I'd want to wake me up at 2 AM (ahem, Zac!) The nice thing is that she instantly falls back asleep, so even though there are times she wakes up it's still peaceful in the evenings overall.

Here's an older video of Hannah eating. I don't expect you to watch the whole thing because it's really long. Mainly I'm just publishing it in the hopes that some day this will embarrass her in high school. Hehe :)

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