Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Watching bananas ripen

I am thinking about starting Michael on solids.

I am not at ease with this. I'm definitely over thinking it.

The recommendation these days is to delay solids until 6 months, but opinions differ. Our pediatrician wanted us to start at 4 months, to which I said, "I don't think he's ready." My ped protested me a little and I just flat out ignored him. I got a tiny thrill out of blatantly ignoring his advice. But truthly, Michael wasn't ready at that time. Among other signs that were missing, he couldn't sit up well enough and I believed that he should be able to sit up pretty well before shoving a spoon in his mouth.

The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. I mostly agree with them, but I have also read some of the papers that they base their recommendation on and they are actually less convincing on their own.

But probably the most sensible advice to me on this subject is: Watch your baby, not the calendar.

So I have been watching him, and I think he's ready. Actually, from watching him, I don't know that he's so much ready to "eat" solids as he is ready to familiarize himself with the concept, which I think is usually the goal of the first feedings anyhow. He's intrigued when he watches me stuff my face, I think he wants to know what that is all about.

And I've been reading a lot off of Dr. Greene's website. I can't find the article, but he recommended that for a baby's first feeding that you use a whole food and to eat some of the food in front of the baby. Let the baby feel the food. Mash it up in front of him. Let the baby understand that food is actually something and not just some mysterious mushy stuff. This advice really appealed to me and makes a lot of sense. So for Michael's first feeding I decided it would be best to try a banana.

So there are a couple of bananas ripening on my counter. Theoretically, when they get nice and ripe, Michael will get his first solid feeding. Probably Friday or Saturday from the looks of things.

He's ready, but I'm not. I see this first meal as the beginning of the end. My baby's first step towards becoming a big boy. I don't want him to grow up. I want him to be my precious, little baby forever. I loathe those bananas. I hope they stay green FOREVER, but they are already starting to spot. I do not want to do this... I could put it off. Wait a few more weeks until he is 6 months, but I don't really think that will make me feel better about it.

I love how things are right now. I love that I can feed and nourish my baby with my body. That I can hold him and cuddle him and he can be 100% happy with nothing else other than me. I love the perfect moment of watching his eyes get heavy as he drifts off on my breast and starts to comfort nurse. I wait for him to fall off. Then I hold him awhile just to take in that moment for a little longer before I put him in his crib.

I know starting solids isn't going to be an abrupt and imminent end to breastfeeding... I just don't want my baby to grow up.

ETA - Found that article: Brown vs. White Rice: A fork in the road


Celia said...

Right there with you boo. As insane as it sounds, part of me is sad that Petey does not need me to hold him 22 hours a day. I know. Crazy. But my baby, less and less a baby and more and more independent. Sigh.

We are holding off on solids till six months.

Good Egg Hatched said...

I totally understand how you feel -- I felt the same way. But H was showing signs at four months, so we started him on rice cereal then. We've since added veggies like sweet potato/carrot. He's definitely still getting the vast majority of his calories from formula/breast milk but he enjoys the process of eating. I think once you start you will see that it complements your continued nursing...there's something really sweet about feeding them the solids, too. H looks up at me as I feed him with those curious, trusting eyes and I melt!

Jessica White said...

I honestly don't see the push to start solids....we did rice cereal, on occasion, at 4.5 months. At 6 months I got a bit more serious with veggies and fruits, but after some constipation issues we backed off. DD is 8 months and I'm only now just getting back into solids on a meal by meal basis. There is no rush; our pedi said if we wanted to wait until a year that would be fine.

It's entirely about the baby and what they're ready for. Go with your gut....don't do it because you feel like you have to.

I know what you mean about the growing up goes much too fast.

Mrs. Lydon said...

So I have a question I am new to your blog and I have been diagnosed with PCOS for a year now. We are currently Struggling to get pregnant and one of the things i have been worried about is that PCOS patients have a hard time breast feeding...Hearing that you have been able to for so long gives me some hope! You have never had trouble?

Amanda said...

Mrs. Lydon - Yes, breastfeeding can be more difficult for PCOSers. I had a lot of trouble early on with latching, bleeding nipples, mastitis, and that sort of thing (read here: But I have been pretty lucky on the supply side of things. But I will say that I still take metformin (never quit after getting pregnant) which helps. I also take fenugreek like candy (I seriously don't even know how many of these I take a day, but if I can't remember the last time I took some, I take 3 more then and I order it by the case). Also, I think it helped that my baby constantly nursed the first couple of months. It all that nursing helped to build supply. I haven't read the book, but I would recommend checking out The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk before giving birth.

I hope she doesn't mind the reference, but if you would like to read a blog written by a very dedicated BFing mom with PCOS that has experienced significant supply challenges, then you should check out Kate's blog:

Good luck. I hope you are able to achieve a sticky pregnancy quickly!

Kate said...

I started solids just before 4 months, though I might not have done so if I'd had abundant milk. I had the blessing of two pediatricians.
The only thing I found was reduced by waiting to 6mo to introduce solids (when looking at a bunch of studies) was the risk of GI illness between the ages of 4-6mo.
Maybe I'm weird, but I'm loving the way my baby is growing up and getting more independent. It's great how she's able to play on her mat for extended periods of time now, and how she's so much more interactive and fun. I can understand how you feel though.
PS. Thanks for the reference! I so admire you for getting to where you are with BF despite initial difficulties.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. These milestones are bittersweet, and for me, starting solids was a huge emotional one. It helped that I have had supply issues and am hoping that increasing solids will reduce the amount of formula I need to give, so she gets breastmilk + solids instead of breastmilk+formula. I love the idea of mashing up whole food and letting him explore as an introduction. I wish I had read about that before starting Birdie on foods.
We tried rice cereal a few times between 4.5 and 5 months and she wasn't interested. We tried bananas a few weeks later and she was lukewarm. A few weeks later, we tried again and she was so ready and has loved everything we have given her. Rice cereal made her seriously constipated so we are only doing the P fruits right now (peaches, pears, prunes) to get things back to normal, then we might try oatmeal cereal and veggies.
Good luck, and take lots of pictures!