So about a month ago, I decided to start Chichi on solids.
I’d actually started about 2 months ago, but after a few tries, decided to delay it for a few more weeks because I didn’t think she was quite ready yet. She still kept thrusting her tongue out and pushing everything out.
The first thing I decided was that I was going to make my own baby food as much as possible. I am much more comfortable with this because I know exactly what goes into her food. I started Chichi with organic brown rice cereal by baby gourmet, and alternating with home cooked steel cut oats.
Steel cut oats has a higher level of nutrients because it is unprocessed, compared to rolled or quick cooking oats. It does, however, take much longer to cook. I would cook the oats in my rice cooker, so I don’t think it is actually harder to cook than other types of oats. I did find that if I grind up the oats first before I put it into the rice cooker, that it would come out smoother and therefore easier for Chichi to eat. While grinding it up did make the oats smoother, it’s not as smooth as the rice cereal. The rice cereal becomes completely smooth, with no chunks whatsoever. Chichi did seem to prefer the rice cereal much more at the beginning, especially if it’s made into a slightly thicker (apple sauce like) texture, but now I think she has no particular preference.
Chichi has also tried avocados, apples, yams, blueberries, cucumbers and prunes. So far, so good. She particularly likes cucumbers mixed with the oats or rice cereal. It has a slightly sweet taste.
So far, I’ve found making baby food rather easy. I buy the freshest possible ingredients, preferably organic, and make it the same day. The easiest way to cook baby food is just to steam it. I don’t use any added oils or salt, and sometimes I can use the water to add into the blender. After the vegetables become soft, I throw it into my Magic Bullet until it’s completely blended. The last step is just to put them into my ice cube trays and cover it up for freezing. The entire process takes about 1 hour.
Feeding a baby solid foods is going to be messy. I’ve found food on me, my hair, and all over Chichi (her hair, neck, hands, eyebrows, nose, eyes, back of her head somehow). She likes to grab at the spoon as I am feeding her, which made things even more messy.
Here’s some tips to help your transition a little easier:
- Keep some towels/paper towels close by to wipe off food as needed.
- Buy a silicone/plastic type bib with a pouch that stays open to catch the food. Very important! Must have!
- Feed the baby when she’s in a good mood and not sleepy. I tried once to feed her just because it was feeding time, but forgot to take into account that she woke extra early that day and was already tired. She was instantly grumpy and pushed all the food out.
- Use a small baby spoon, preferably with a metal handle. This way, there’s no risk of your spoon breaking if you happen to be wrestling the spoon with baby.
- There are going to be days when your baby is not going to want to eat a lot, and other days when they want to eat. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. They still get most of their nutrients from your breastmilk!
One final note: I noticed a change in Chichi’s diapers almost right away. It isn’t as runny, and has become “formed”. She’s also going a lot more frequently, although I think most babies are actually more prone to constipation.