So your baby is ready… or your pediatrician says your baby is ready for solid food. If you’re a first time parent… Yay!
If you’re like me, and this ain’t your first rodeo.. not so much.
Starting a baby on solid food is a milestone for sure, it’s also a huge, fat, pain in the ass. It takes babies much longer to eat solids then it does for them to drink a bottle. They (and their little intestines) have just gotten used to processing breast-milk or formula… now lets chuck some processed vegetables or fruit into their GI tract, or, if you’re really balls-to-the-wall daring, meat. As you can imagine, since it’s only taken anywhere from 4-6 months to get to this point, I’m sure it’s going to be a cakewalk. Keep dreaming, John Lennon. You will end up with something on your face, but it won’t be cake.
Step 1, Dress the part
I have loads of my friends who do Tough Mudders, Color Runs and the like. They wear spandex and tutu’s and they are ready to get dirty and look pretty. Here we concentrate on the former not the latter. You are going to get dirty, pretty… not so much. Be prepared. Be prepared like a Wilderness Girl at the annual jamboree with Phyllis Nefler at the helm. And I don’t mean Gucci bitches… I mean a shirt you hate and comfy pants, maybe even just underwear. But don’t forget some sneakers in case you need to make a fast getaway from a baby about to projectile vomit. New textures can do that to a baby. This is one of the infinite number of reasons every shirt I own is stained with something.
Step 2, Mind your Peas
Some people say cereal first, some say cereal never. Since I’m on my third and the other 2 have no food allergies my doctor said to start him on vegetables. On my 2nd child I thought it would be easier and more cost-effective to make my own baby food. In the end it was neither, and I could never get the consistency right. Just another waste of time to add to the time suck. This time around I didn’t even try that route. We began with peas. Who doesn’t love peas? Let me take that back, lots of kids hate peas when they are growing up because they are green and similarly named to number 1 in the bathroom. But babies? Babies love peas. Although peas are usually a hit with taste, they also look like the dirtiest food to pass from your spoon into your baby’s diaper. And that is gross. You’ll be in hell for the first bowel movement post peas, but they usually eat them up just fine.
Step 3, Have the proper equipment
You need the proper tools to successfully feed a baby solids. A bib is a must (unless you have them shirtless, which I rarely ever do). You’ll need one of those little spoons with the a plastic tip (trust me on this) and you’ll need a 5 point harness of some kind as baby is probably not able to fully sit up by himself. Now you might even want to make sure you have a bucket or garbage can right next to you (especially if you are already pregnant again) while feeding little Johnny because watching him eat, and spit out, and re-eat the spit out, can make anyone nauseous. If you have a really queasy stomach you might want to have Hubby do all the solid feeding and hide in the bathroom with a
bottle glass of wine until it’s over. It’s not pretty.
Step 4, Know your audience
Okay, so you’ve feed little Johnny twice and he’s done really well. Next time you are sure to be over ambitious and schedule a meal when other people are going to watch him. Do not do this. I repeat, do not walk down the path to show off to the Jones’, Grandma, or even your own older children. This will not go over well. Unless you consider Exorcist as movie with a good ending. Just know your role, stay in your lane and keep feeding time under wraps and during down moments until he’s been doing it for months. Then you can try to show off. But I can pretty much guarantee that his first time in front of an audience he will sneeze peas all over grandma, barf on older brother or just refuse anything you offer him outright (thus making a liar out of you). And as cute as it can be to watch him eat, it’s just not worth the aggravation.
Step 5, Expect failure and deal
Solids will start off bad. He’ll spit them out, he’ll cry, he won’t want them. But, like it says on the bottle… Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually, at some point in his life…. he will be a good eater. Or at least an eater. He’s going to get big and learn that he needs food to survive. Hopefully he chooses something other than chicken nuggets and french fries, but lets not worry about that just yet. Right now, it’s your job to just keep shoveling things, lots of different things, into his mouth, and take the massive time-suck that introducing solids is, and make it your bitch.
Best of luck moms! Happy Feeding!