Raising a fussy eater

The one day she eats like a champion, eats everything I give her and even lets me feed her. The next day, she hates everything on earth (even though I spent hours in the kitchen making something special for her), spits everything out and throws the rest on the floor and its all met with a very mischievous smile.

The Reality

I read so many articles about “the ideal 15 month old” and these usually include some fantasy universe that I have never heard of – “three balanced meals a day, no more milk and 2 snacks” ; what !? I have days where she eats 3 cubes of cheese and has 4 bottles 🙈 and trust me, its not from a lack of trying or for me not caring, its after I have tried to get her to have 4 different meals with pasta cooked 3 ways and every little trick you can think of. It’s exhausting to the point where once she does eat those three cheese cubes it feels like I just won the lottery haha.

I have tried everything under the sun to get her to eat, one week everything goes great, the next she spits out everything I give to her, but make no mistake, she demands a piece of whatever I am eating, just to spit it out on the carpet and step on it, some days it takes real stenght to take a deep breath and try again. But in the end I do, and we just try again, its a learning curve to be honest, and every littel thing that does not go according to plan makes you very anxious as a new mother, hopefully I will be much more relaxed with the second one.

It gets worse

So I have been ranting on about how she does not want to eat anything, but what I did not tell you is that she is also going through “nap regression”; she is tryiing to drop one nap a day, which means she is transitioning to only one nap a day (keeping a toddler busy for most of the day is an adjustment for both of us haha). The problem with this is that she still falls asleep with her bottle, so at about 10 in the morning she is tired, cranky and yawning, so she is tired right? WRONG! haha, she lies in her bed with her bottle, has it, then throws it out the cot and yells till I go fetch her (this continues for about 2 hours before she actually goes to bed in the end), after which she has had about 3 bottles already (granted, only 90 ml each, but still). This leads to her skipping lunch because she is full, and we are nowhere closer to getting her off the formula.

Success

I have however found a follow up milk for after formula, we have been on it for a day and it is going great, her appetite seems to be a bit better as it does not make her as full as her formula does and then she is more willing to try new foods and to let me feed her what she cant eat herself, its early days so fingers crossed.

One thing I have realized since becoming a parent is that the whole thing is a learning curve, you learn as you go haha, each child is so different and they all have their own ideas about how they want things to go , and as much as we would like to say that our kids do not rule our worlds, lets face it , they just do.

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New mom tips for starting solids

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait to start solids. It is such an exciting time for both mom and baby, experimenting together, and finding out what your baby likes and dislikes, its messy and its awesome!

What I did not know is that babies actually don’t like food the first time you give it to them (ha ha), its new to them, so it’s up to you to now teach your baby to eat food (how weird is that, we don’t think of it like that, I mean we love eating, and need it to survive), for babies, they only need their milk, so learning to eat these new things is a very big change to them (and their tummies, but we wont talk about solid food diapers on here).

My baby girl had butternut as her first meal; she full on gagged. I laughed so much at her, now, two weeks later, butternut is her favorite meal of the day.

This is our plan, and how we started solids.

PS. In no way am I saying that this is the best meal plan, and that it would work for any baby, all babies are different, and moms have different goals, this is just a guideline for new moms that want to start somewhere, try this and “tweak” it to suit your household and your baby.

Introducing Solids

Little fact that I did not know going in to this – Your baby might not like what you give them the first time, they simply are not used to it and must learn to eat it first (like red wine, olives and whiskey). Keep giving one food for a few days just to make sure and to ensure that your baby is not allergic to the specific veg or fruit you are giving him/her.

I have a blender/steamer at home so I make my own veggies (the only reason for this is that we live 70 km’s from the nearest town, so making my own is just easier), it was such a great day and so exciting, she did not think so though and hated every bite, but it was a start and I felt so proud that we had reached this point.

Here are some tips to remember;

  • Start with only one meal a day
  • Usually two hours after a bottle and when they are in a good mood to try something new
  • Don’t add any sugar or butter to your food if you make your own (babies’ tummies are sensitive)
  • Introduce a new veggie/food every 3-4 days
  • In the beginning; these veggies/foods need to be pureed, no chunks or pieces (these can be introduced a month or so later)
  • You can also start with baby cereal, many moms believe that this is easier, as the rice cereal is mixed with the baby’s milk, and this is a familiar taste for them, so they enjoy it more.
  • Try to stick to basics, don’t add too many ingredients to your baby’s food as they start out, one veggie at a time in the beginning is more than enough for them.
  • Enjoy it, don’t let it stress you out and don’t force feed your baby, this will only result in vomiting afterwards, and your baby not enjoying feeding time in the future.
  • Start giving your baby sips of water after a meal, some babies don’t like water, but just a sip or two will get them used to the idea (in summer, keep a bottle of water in the fridge so it is cold, this also helps soothe irritated gums when teething)
  • There is no need for snacks in the beginning, but teething biscuits are a great start (its messy, but try and let your baby have fun with it, you can always change their clothes afterwards- this teaches your baby to hold food and place it in their mouths themselves)
  • Fruit, Dairy and meat are only introduced a month or two after starting solids, the reason for this is that your baby’s tummy needs to develop enough to digest these foods (once again, all babies are different, and if you feel that your baby is ready for fruit a little bit earlier, feel free to try it)
  • After a week or two (depending on your baby) you can introduce a second and third meal a day, and before you know it, your baby will have a routine and will even get excited once they see their food being prepared.

Have fun with this, it is such an exciting time and remember that every baby is different, some babies will like baby cereal more than others do – after all; they are also individuals.

Starting Solids |Butternut For The Win

So I started my baby girl on solids yesterday !

It feels like I have been waiting for this FOREVER ! I was just so excited to start that I couldn’t wait a minute longer ! She is now 5 and a half months old , and showing interest in food and almost sitting by herself.

I just decided to ignore all the controversy on when to start and just following my “mom gut instinct” . 🤪

This is so exciting for me as a new mom , trying new things and learning with my baby about what works best for both me and her !

She was not too impressed yesterday , but today she actually swallowed some of her food , so I see that as a win 🤣

It is all just so amazing to see her grow up and go through all these stages in her life , I am so blessed to be her mother and cant wait to teach her so many things ! She is just such a joy !

Am I the only mom that gets excited about these little moments and documents everything she does ?!

Treasure every moment with your little ones , because as we all know , time gets away from us and we get caught up in the day to day things and forget to take a moment and just appreciate the people that we love .

Angelique