Kung Fu Panda playing with his toys this morning
At nearly 8 months, KFP is hitting all the developmental milestones contained in the books What to Expect the First Year and The Dr. Sears Baby Book. At every well visit, the doctor tells us how healthy and alert he is. "Keep doing what you're doing," he tells us.
In fact, the doctor agreed with advice from the Dr. Sears book that we should wait until six months to start solid foods, since KFP was gaining weight at a good rate on breast milk and formula. We've been slowly making our way through the list of foods Dr. Sears recommends introducing at six and seven months. So far, he's had bananas, applesauce, and purees made from pear, carrots, avocado, and squash. These are usually mixed with rice cereal made with formula. Of these new foods, his clear favorites are applesauce, pears and squash. I plan to introduce sweet potatoes this week.
At six months, we were just trying to get KFP used to the idea of solids, so we served them about once a day. Lately, I've been giving them to him at lunchtime and dinnertime, while giving him breast milk in the morning, in the evening, and for an afternoon "snack" when he wants it. I feel good about this, too, because the registered nurse who taught our breastfeeding class said that ideally, we should plan on breastfeeding for the first 12 months.
Try explaining all of this to the random person on the street. Typically, this is a mother with an older child and presumably a different theory of child rearing. They ask, "Is he eating solid foods yet?" When I reply that he is, but that we just started, they start bragging about how early they started with their kid. "We started solids at four months and he was practically weaned by seven."
Someone asked me this morning, "Is he eating Cheerios yet?" No, and he won't be for quite a while. He's still working on his first two bottom teeth! I'm fairly certain teeth are required to eat Cheerios safely.
Fairly soon, I'm expecting people to ask me if he's eating steak. Or cookies and ice cream.
I guess I should do what I do when it comes to other sorts of parenting advice: take what I find useful and let the rest go. If someone doesn't understand my desire to make him homemade fresh purees, as often as possible using organic foods, that's fine. If they can't understand why we're going slowly and testing each new food for at least three days to make certain he doesn't have a bad reaction, again, not my problem.
Maybe the next time someone brags about how early their child started eating, I'll brag about the fact that he actually paddled his arms in Water Babies class this weekend, or that he's doing daily "baby workouts" practicing his assisted standing and cruising skills, building his baby muscles for his first steps.
My husband, The Gryphon, made my day this morning by sending me a link to an article about feeding babies too early and the possible link to obesity, something my sister had also told me about. The subject of the Gryphon's e-mail? "Yer Doin' It Rite." Made my day!
Being a first-time mom is like wearing a sign that says "Tell me what I'm doing wrong."