From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com.
At Baby’s four-month pediatric appointment, we were told that we could begin trying baby food if we wanted to do so. Some people recommend waiting until six months, and while there is apparently no added benefit to starting earlier, there also isn’t any harm. According to MayoClinic.com, your baby is ready to try solids between four and six months — and when she can hold her head up, sit on her own, and shows interest in what you are eating.
We’ve been experimenting with solids since Baby was about four and a half months old, but we are really only getting into a routine now — at just over seven months. I’ve read that it’s best for your baby’s development to let her feed herself. Right. Have you tried this?
We have some really hysterical pictures of Baby covered from head to toe with yogurt. She had a fantastic time, but how in the world am I supposed to deal with that kind of disaster three times a day? I like to keep things simple, and — I’ll admit it — I’m a little lazy. The idea of messing up three baby outfits in one day, not to mention cleaning off Baby, which she HATES, makes me twitchy.
We’ve tried varying approaches and I think we’ve finally found the solution. We take all of her clothes off! I briefly toyed with the idea of feeding her in the shower, but our bathroom is a little cramped. Now I just strip her down, plop her in the highchair and let her have at it. A quick wipe down of both baby and highchair with a wet washcloth and we’re back in business.
Now I realize that this may be creating a whole new set of problems, or at least one in particular. I envision trying to explain to friends and strangers why my five-year-old insists on getting naked at the dinner table, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I know that you’re dying to hear what we’ve been feeding her. So, lucky readers, I will tell you! I fully intend to make my own organic baby food. I really, really do. But right now I’m trying to expose baby to a variety of foods that are, quite frankly, a pain in the butt to prepare, especially when she’s only eating a few teaspoons and we have a very small freezer.
Like I said, I like to keep things simple (aka lazy mom), and the idea of steaming and puréeing an entire pumpkin, of which Baby will only eat three teaspoons, makes me very sad. I’ve been using the Plum and Sprouts brands of organic baby food. I’ll make my own baby food, I promise. And this is totally not like when I said I would use cloth diapers.
Or maybe I could just skip making baby food and go the route of Alicia Silverstone. Because chewing up food and spitting it into my baby’s mouth wouldn’t be weird at all, right? And I’m pretty sure that would solve my problems with Baby getting covered in food!
Again, I just know you’re anxiously waiting to find out what kind of highchair I have. Space is a bit of an issue, so I wanted a highchair that we could leave sitting out and that wouldn’t make me cringe every time I looked at it. I went with the solid wood Keekaroo chair. Like the Stokke highchair, it is supposed to “grow” with your child, and can be used as a somewhat odd looking chair for adults. However, the Stokke doesn’t come with a tray and costs about $250. The Keekaroo has a tray and has the slightly less offensive price tag of $160.
People can get really worked up about what and how we feed our babies. I think the important thing to remember is that most parents try very hard to do what is best for their children. We may have different opinions about what that means, but we shouldn’t be too quick to judge.
As parents, we all have the right to make our own choices about what to feed our babies, whether you are making your own baby food, buying organic or non-organic, or chewing your baby’s food for him.