Jake videoed me feeding Sophia her first bites of food on Saturday, April 26, so this is the only picture - but trust me, she was cute!!
Here in Bolivia, babies are practically fed blended soup right from the beginning, and it’s hard for Bolivians to understand allergies. (They actually rarely have any, compared to those from the US.)
So off and on since Sophia was born, I’ve read articles on starting baby on solids, but I kicked into high gear the past few weeks. I read at least 3 books I have and more articles and studies. It became overwhelming! What different opinions and methods. The worst is when authors contradict each other!
Take advantage of the "developmental window"… Wait until your baby has 4-6 teeth
Always puree…. Introduce different textures
Give fresh juice in a bottle… NEVER give juice in a bottle
Must feed raw for the enzymes… Must cook to aid digestion
Carrots are great first food (or juice)… Carrots are dangerous due to nitrate content
Introduce many different foods… Only fruit till age 1
No nuts… Nut milks in bottle
Meat broths… No meat
Start with fruit... Start with vegetables, to not get baby used to sweet
Freeze baby food… Never freeze, always make fresh
Add salt or butter… Never add anything
One of the more bizarre ideas I read in several articles was the encouragement to let your baby play in the dirt (and eat it) because of the iron content. We’re probably not going to do that on purpose in Bolivia!!
However, one common thread of thought is the importance of feeding babies good whole, fresh foods, and avoiding processed food for the first year or two. The focus is always on fruits and vegetables. Why do we stray from that as adults? It’s just as important at age 5 or 50 as at 5 months.
It’s also interesting to read the theories behind waiting to introduce grains for as long as possible. Many say to wait until at least 12 months of age or until the molars come in (along with more digestive enzymes), especially if there is a family history of allergies.
By mid-April, I was growing weary of feeding every 2-3 hours around the clock. For some reason Sophia has never stretched to every 4 hours, except for rarely at night. I know that food doesn't fill the baby up at first and that breast milk needs to stay priority for good nutrition, but I started plotting Sophia's first foods.
Finally, we chose avocado! Fruit? Vegetable? Well, there you go. :)
After a few days, we introduced banana.
What IS this stuff?!?!?
More comes out than goes in as she figures out this whole food thing
After just a couple small banana feedings, she decided she liked it!
Lapping it up!
But, alas, the banana quickly stopped her up. Once I realized, we went back to avocado, but things didn't get better until feeding her papaya. Meanwhile, we had some of the crankiest, hardest, two days and nights since she was born!! And with this baby, that's saying a lot!! Jake and I were wracking our brains on what was wrong. Before meeting our baby, we've both been quick to assume that difficult babies were a product of their parents. Seems like Sophia lives a pretty charmed life as "la princesa" according to her brothers, and is our long-awaited, cherished (bio) firstborn, so our soul-searching.to the backdrop of screams didn't reveal anything. She wasn't happy more than few minutes at a time, no matter what we did, and was pretty generally inconsolable.
But thankfully, just when we were at our wits ends, Sunday was better! Monday was a little better - and today, Tuesday, she was a little DOLL! Jake will say that I'm jinxing everything by saying this publically, but I'm going to take the rare chance to brag on how SWEET she was today!! She put herself to sleep without the swaddle blanket and without screaming not once but twice today, and went to bed fairly peacefully, too. She was even self-entertaining. WOW!!! As if that's not enough, she only woke to nurse TWICE last night.
I told Jake I'd take a dozen like this. He just gave me a look. :)
Oh, but back to the subject of this post.
Seeing as how she was liking the banana, and wasn't too crazy about papaya even after several attempts, last night Jake suggested blending them together in a 1 to 3 ratio. I grabbed the hand blender and did just that with a small chunk of banana and several slices of papaya.
NOW we have a winner, folks!! She got SO EXCITED in true Sophia style.
We're still doing great in the digestive department, and she lapped up the whole bowl in less than 24 hours.
I love watching Jake feed her since I've fed her 99% of what she's eaten this first half year!
Messy hair, yes. I planned to bathe her after one of her messy meals!
...Especially with her most, ah-hem, messy brother helping her eat!
She goes nuts for this blend! I don't know if she appreciates the pureed texture more (versus mashed) or how the banana masks the papaya, but it's the best entertainment of our day to watch her growl and jabber and pant and sigh for joy over her food! I've always thought she would be a good little eater.
I can't wait to see how she takes carrots, and even more how she does having at a peeled pear by herself.
We love watching our baby grow and change!
Here's a little video I made last night, at the boys' insistence. They are talking more than Sophia in this one, but it's still cute. :)