It’s still kind of hard to believe that I have a child who eats solids! Never mind time flying by. I feel like I blinked and the first six months of Willow’s life had gone by.
Solids was a big deal for me. I was still breastfeeding Willow every two hours, sometimes day and night and a lot of people had told me that putting her on solids would help with that.
She was spacing her feeding out quite nicely until she hit four months old (every three hours or so) and then she had a growth spurt and seemed to go backwards in terms of sleep and eating.) My theory? The girl is hungry. And I totally understand because if she’s anything like me she has a never filled pit in her stomach that needs constant tending to.
So we decided to go ahead and start solids. In the spirit of full disclosure she was over 24 weeks old when we started and we started very slowly. The doctor was on board with the plan based on Willow’s development and growth rate. She was sitting up on her own, had great head control, showing interest in food (trying to take it off my plate) and making chewing motions with her mouth. Plus she had two teeth already.
I made the decision not to start her with rice cereal. We wanted her to have a healthy relationship with food that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life. I also wanted her to enjoy vegetables. So we started her on different pureed veggies and they went down like a treat. She loves cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, parsnips and courgettes! She enjoyed avo the first time I gave it to her but has since rejected it and isn’t very keen on sweet things.
Our strategy was to give her a new veggie every two days, just a few baby spoons full, for a couple of weeks. She only had one solid feeding a day – we always did lunch. Recently she has started demanding more food so we increased the portion sizes a little bit and that work well.
In the last week I have started giving her two feedings a day – breakfast and lunch. I have been giving her a plan veggie in the morning and then a blend puree in the afternoon. We’ll keep doing this for the next month and then move her up to three meals a day.
Since starting solids her poos have gotten more solid and stinkier – we didn’t see too much change on one meal a day, but there is a definite difference on two. She is still taking her breastmilk very well and the doctor has encouraged me to give water (which is a battle, she just doesn’t want to drink it!) but I’m very conscious of constipation. If anyone has any tips on getting babies to drink water please send them my way!
Constipation worries aside, her feeds have stretched to three to four hours apart! And her day time naps and night sleep have improved! Also since starting solids she is now introducing vowels into her vocalisations. Apparently this is because learning to use her lips and mouth to eat is important for speech development.
The books I have found most useful for our solid journey have been Ella’s Kitchen which has a great guide to introducing foods as well as awesome recipes. I found my copy at Woolworths, but I’m sure Exlusive Books will have too.
I love that she’s sleeping better and that she continues to grow well. I am in love with the fact that she enjoys food and the eating experience. Feeding her is so much fun and I’m really enjoying this new phase in her life!