Several times in the last couple of weeks I have been asked two questions.
The first, when are you going to start Lilah on solids?
I think that people are genuinely concerned when they hear that I didn’t start Lilah on baby food at 4 months (or before). There is a misconception that breast milk is not adequate enough for babies, partnered with an urgency to “buy” baby it’s first foods. My answer is no, but I will begin around the seventh month.
The second question, are you going to make your own baby food, makes me giggle because I assume that they do not ask this question to every mother they know.
So I wonder what gave it away? The fact that I chose to birth naturally, cloth diaper, exclusively breast feed, homeschool? Maybe I need to stop wearing that jumper dress with the apple applique’ (just joking, and not meant to offend anyone wearing one right now).
So here’s our feeding plan, plain and simple.
Come to visit us anytime in the first two months and you will notice that I pretty much have a baby attached to me all the time. And Nathan will be calling us the Booby Buffet, Mama’s Milk Machine-you get the idea. I nurse only and often to make sure I have a good milk supply and that baby gets the hang of it. We choose not to use bottles or pacifiers and are blessed to be able to. But if you need to supplement there are great tips and ideas on pumping and bottle feeding out there.
After 6 Months
~We start with infant cereal. Just a few tablespoons a day until baby “figures it out”. I use breastmilk in my cereal, but you can also use warm water. A friend of mine recently asked how I get the breastmilk in there when I don’t pump. I’ll leave that for you to figure out, wink-wink.
~Next we will slowly incorporate fresh carrot juice to the infant cereal to add a new flavor.
~This is how we make our own baby food from fruits and veggies (it may appear too simple, but that’s because it is).
1. Pick your own squash, carrots, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, peaches, pears, or any other available fruit or veggie from your garden (if you don’t have it fresh in your garden grab a bag of frozen fruit or veggie from the freezer), (if you don’t have any in the freezer go to your local farmers market), (if winter is here you can go to the grocery store and purchase fresh, frozen or canned (no salt added) fruits and veggies).
2. If they are soft foods like peaches and pumpkin you will not have to heat them. Other foods will have to be heated either on the stove or in the microwave.
3. Put them in the blender and add water slowly until you get the desired consistency. When you first start baby on foods you will want them to be super fine adding more texture as they get older.
4. Most often baby will eat the the same fruits and veggies we are eating that day. But if I make too much or have a bushel of squash from the garden I will make and freeze. Just pour the food into ice cube trays and freeze. Once they are done you can dump them into a freezer bag and you are ready for food on the go.
9 Months and Beyond
Around the 9 month mark I start feeding baby mashed up foods that we are eating as a family. This helps me to prepare healthy fruits and veggies for us and also allows baby to become part of the family sharing in meals with us.
Babies milk source will continue to come from me until at least 18 months and then we will add soy or cow milk.
My goal is that baby will have eaten as many foods as possible by the time she is 18 months old (except cow milk, butter, salt, sugar, peanuts or any other food that is labeled inappropriate for infants-it’s an ever changing list).
There is also the cost factor. If you ever purchased jarred baby food you know how expensive it is. And if you haven’t you will probably be in shock when you see the price. Not to mention that baby food has got to have the highest food/packaging ratio on the market!
This method was not recommended by a Doctor and is my own preference for feeding our children.