Right before Thanksgiving, we started feeding 80 … food. It seems redundant to say feeding food, but up until this point, she’d only had breast milk and formula.1. We decided 80 was ready for food because she’d been staring at us eating in front of her and my impression was that she thought it looked like fun, she was sitting up well, and she generally seemed game to try new experiences.
I’d read a while ago about what to feed babies, and at the 6mo checkup, our doctor reminded us about the things NOT to feed babies until they’re older. You might find it surprising what’s not OK: honey, peanut butter or peanuts, any dairy, salt, sugar (everything I love, basically). I checked my favorite parenting site Moms4Mom to see what other parents have opined about what to feed your 6mo.
I knew the basics, but was surprised to find out about feeding theories that weren’t covered in the books I had read. I had come to the site to find out if I should start with rice cereal with breastmilk, or some sort of vegetable. I wasn’t expecting to find anything else. I settled on rice cereal as 80’s first food, because it is iron fortified, and at 6 months there isn’t much else she needs other than breastmilk.
The other feeding theory had caught my eye. At the time, I was impatient to start in on the food, and didn’t want to wait, so I made a mental note to look it up later.
I also read about other good first foods, things that are easily gummed. I decided that 80 should also try avocado, because I find it so incredibly delicious. Plus, as Keem says, “It’s the cheese of the vegetable kingdom.” So we sat down to try eating.
And it was awesome! The rice cereal was mostly milk, and 80 slurped it down. There was no pushing it out of her mouth with her tongue (this being a reflex that younger babies have, and a good indicator that they’re not ready for food yet), and not that much mess … until she realized that the spoon was the food vehicle. Then it was not so awesome. She wanted to hold the spoooooooon. Why couldn’t she just hold the spoooooooon? (Answer: because she would gnaw on it, not give it back for a refill, and couldn’t get it into her mouth without rotating it so all the cereal fell off.)
But whatever, it was eating food! This meant the eventual freedom of my boobs.2 It meant new adventures.
Within 24 hours, I was reminded of the other aspect to starting solid foods. The poop. I’d forgotten that it changes, even though everyone who’s had a baby talks about it. I wouldn’t have been so excited about food if I’d remembered. I now understand why people get a Diaper Genie.
See, breastmilk poop doesn’t smell that bad at all. I think it smells vaguely like bagels. It’s a subtle odor. Everything-else poop is wow. Like adult poop.
We realized we’d need to start using a sprayer or liners with her cloth diapers. The trash can in her room was suddenly smelly. My favorite baby book ever, Be Prepared, suggests having a trash can outside the window, and dropping diapers out the window into the trash can below. I seriously considered it.3
What can be done about this new development in diapers? Nothing. As long as we keep feeding her food, her poop is going to stink just like everybody else. Perhaps we could just feed her roses.
Next up, I’ll explain moving from shoving gruel into my angry baby’s mouth, to the much more fun Baby-led Weaning!
1. We gave her formula the first week of her life, as a means to flush out the jaundice she had.
2. This was a bigger thing than just having my boobs to myself again. I have a low-level amount of worry that 80 will be hungry and I won’t be around.
3. I’m sure the other condo owners are glad I didn’t.