I remember diligently listening to my doctor’s recommendation to begin introducing Colum to solids with runny rice cereal mixed with breast milk and then to sloooowly introduce one food at a time, looking out for signs of allergies. I bought organic, brown rice cereal and painstakingly expressed fresh milk for each feed.
Irene had a similar start only I had wised up and just kept a bottle of breast milk in the fridge to use for cereal at first. I soon realized that pureed fruit make an excellent baby cereal vehicle too.
Both times I thought long and hard about what and when I would introduce my baby to solids. I looked forward to it. It was a big deal. This time I thought maybe I’d skip the baby cereals altogether since they’re really only so much filler and the iron absorption rate for babies is low. I would probably buy some organic produce and start with that and then move on to meat for iron. And I’d definitely wait until she was fully six months. I thought.
Fast forward to last Saturday. My hand is cramping up from squeezing the manual breast pump for so long and I still only have six ounces of expressed breast milk. That’s actually not a bad, uh, harvest? I just haven’t started pumping early enough to get as much as I wanted. I’m attending a couple sessions of Podcamp Toronto and then meeting some friends for dinner and may be gone as long as six or seven hours. I think about dashing out to Shoppers for some “just in case” formula, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on formula we’ll hardly use and I’m already running late.
“Here’s six ounces of breast milk,” I tell Ed, “Give her two three-ounce feeds and there’s a jar of baby apple sauce and some rice cereal in the cupboard. Feed her a little of that in between to fill her up. It’ll be fine.” And then I leave.
Yep, two ingredients instead of one; non-organic, ultra-processed rice cereal given to me as swag from somewhere; and a jar of organic baby food Santa had put in her stocking for the benefit of her older sibs. Oh, and she’s still two weeks shy of six months. And you know what? It’s fine.
Ed was kind enough to record this milestone for me. Let’s watch together:
She’s saying she wants more, Ed! Why aren’t you listening!? Thanks for having your sister’s back, Colum and Irene.
I’ve continued giving her a little pureed apple at dinner time (which is when she really wants to join in and eat with the rest of us) sans rice cereal. Last night I put some steamed broccoli from our dinner through the baby food mill and she gobbled it up. Interestingly, she had an easier time swallowing the more textured broccoli than the super-smooth jarred apple sauce that sometimes was thrust back out. I think it’s because it’s less like a liquid and therefore less confusing. I really don’t get why babies over five-months old need super thin purees.
The only thing I’m really sad about? Breast milk poop! Oh how I’ll miss that mild-smelling, water-soluble poo. Here comes months of mushy, stinky, real food poo and new adventures in cloth diapering. I’m really going to need a lid for the diaper pail now.