For me, introducing solids to my baby is a tricky time.
I'll be honest I don't really enjoy it.
I find it complicated and difficult to know exactly what to do.
Sylvie - 9 months old
I wish that once babies hit 6 months, they could just eat. Eat anything and there was no milk first until they're 9 months, then milk second and meals first, no dairy, but cheese and yoghurt at 8 months, no cows milk until 12 months of age etc, etc. I wish that you could somehow skip the learning how to eat part and just eat!
But that's not going to happen is it?
Both times I've found that I have just muddled my way through.
Here's how it all went down for us...
With Claudia I exclusively breastfed her and on the very day she turned 6 months old I began her on pureed food. Then I followed exactly what Plunket recommended (first child!) I had wanted to try Baby Lead Weaning, however when I attempted to give her a chunk of cooked sweet potato for the first time she gagged so badly I couldn't handle it and pureed it all! She was still eating mushed up food until she was 18 months old and has been through so many different phases, not eating any meat, hardly eating anything, eating anything as long as it was mixed with yoghurt, and so on. I worried about a lot of things including her weight, which, has always been well above average until she started walking and is now little, and slightly below average.
I believe then, as a parent, I was quite fussy (ahem...anal) about it all. And did basically everything Plunket told me to. Exactly.
With Sylvie, I decided to chill. the. frank. out and take it as it came.
I exclusively breastfed her until she was 8 and a half months old. (This is not Plunkets advice) Then, at one of her weigh ins I discovered that she had only gained 500 grams in the previous 3 months. (Maybe this is why Plunket doesn't advise this?!) So then started Baby Led Weaning (I can handle the gagging a little bit better now) It's going really well so far, after me getting over my mothers guilt from the lack of weight gain. (I did really up-the-anty with her food and after 2 weeks got her weighed again. She'd gained 270 grams. So don't worry people, she is not being starved. Anymore.) Sylvie was born 9lbs, however has very slowly gained weight over her 9 months. Now she is well below average, but a bouncing, healthy babe, who can sit up on her own and sleep through the night.
I believe now, as a parent. I am much more relaxed, much more pro-active in getting my information, and not just taking all of the advice from our governments health professionals. I read more, and ask more questions.
I definitely don't have it right, nor do I have any answers.
I guess that is the thing though.. what is right for one family isn't for another, and what's right for one baby is not for another.
And that doesn't just go for food and solids either. It's everything.
Personally, I feel, for myself, the one very important thing I can do for my babes is exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. That is my one must do, and I will do everything in my power to make sure this happens. That's just me though. And I have has two healthy girls with an abundant milk supply. If things were different who knows what I would do??
How have you found the transition to solids? Complicated? Easy? What has worked for you?