Starting solids

This post is mostly for our own documentation, so we can look back and see what our little guy has been up to. Feel free to click away if you're bored with baby routines. :)

I'm super invested right now in starting Asher off with healthy foods and hopefully some healthy habits. Our little man is over six months old now and is such a big, strong baby boy. He's also a very hungry boy! We were digressing in the sleep department because he started waking up several times every night to eat. I thought we were finished with that! He was wanting more and more milk to keep up with his growing appetite (and his growing muffin top!), and the middle of the night was the only time he could get the extra milk. He was also starting to get very hungry long before the usual four hours between milk feeds. So we decided to get going on the real food! It's been a learning experience for all of us. (Isn't everything when you're a new mama?) I can't help but think that with our second (if we have a second) child, all of this will be so much easier after doing it one time around!

Here's the basic set up: I have a list of foods that Asher has already tasted and those that I'm going to introduce to him soon, as well as a good idea of the portions he is taking. I make sure I always have these foods cooked, pureed, frozen in 1 Tablespoon cubes, and tucked away in the freezer. (I'm working on the storage system for all of it... Ziploc bags are on the way!) A while before it's time for Asher to eat, I get the food out of the freezer to defrost, putting the cubes in individual ramekins. (I need to find some plates with separated sections.) While a lot of books and "experts" suggest mixing the stronger tasting vegetables together with some sweeter ones, we are mostly keeping it all simple and separate. I don't want Asher to never have really tasted broccoli or green beans because I always mashed them with sweet potatoes or whatever. We will get a bit more adventurous after he's happily eating the plain stuff. So far he hasn't rejected anything, so we'll keep it up as long as he's willing to chow down. (Then I'm certain I will start hiding the veg in pizza and chicken nuggets!)

For a while, Asher was super uninterested in anything other than milk. I think this was partially because we had the timing all wrong. With a few tweaks to his routine, he's now happily attacking the spoon (and any finger foods we give him) three times a day.

Here's his basic schedule right now at 6 months + 1 week:
6.30am (if we are lucky!) Asher wakes up and comes into our room for some sleepy snuggles
7am milk (lots of milk!)
8am breakfast (a bit of yogurt and fruit)
9am nap
11am milk (just a little, we are working on gradually eliminating this milk feed)
11.30am lunch (3 or 4 different veggies)
1pm nap
2.30pm milk
4.15pm nap (only about 20 minutes, just to push him through until bedtime)
5pm dinner (wholegrain rice and 4 grain baby cereals {Is there a better cereal for babies???} and fruit or veggies)
6.15pm milk
6.45 bed
Middle of the night milk (just once the past few nights, yay!)

I try to be flexible and not force him to eat or sleep at exactly those times, but the schedule above is more or less the one Asher has demanded for himself. We tried to do something a bit different, but he made it clear that this was the only way to go. Now that we’ve been doing this routine for a week or so, he will let me know if I'm off even by a few minutes! He is so predictable; hungry and sleepy right when I expect it. It’s funny, though, because I know right when I get this down, something will change and we’ll be re-evaluating again. But for the moment, it’s working well. Now I just have to figure out how I’m ever going to leave the house with that jam-packed schedule!

Anyone have ideas on how I can make the baby food adventure any easier/better? I'm all ears. You know, sometimes it's nice to have someone give an outsider’s perspective.


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