Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Questions about Baby-led Solids (baby-led weaning)

While chatting online with other moms I found there were a lot of questions about giving baby table and finger foods and baby-led solids.  I figured since this is a blog about starting baby on solids I should go ahead and try and answer some of those questions here.  Sort of a FAQ section.  So here are some of the most common questions about introducing your baby to foods other than purees.

*Disclaimer: I'm not a professional anything, just a mom sharing her experiences and knowledge from her own research, hoping to help other moms.  I am not a pediatrician or a nutritionist, this is just what has worked for us and what I've discovered talking to other moms.

Q: When should I start giving my baby solids?
A: The general rules of when to start solids are
  • No earlier than 6 months- to ensure that baby no longer has an open gut
  • When baby can sit unassisted
  • When baby has the motor skills to pick up and move food to her mouth/has developed the pincer grasp 
  • When baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex
         Baby does not have to have teeth before you offer solids, some of the solids may even help to alleviate teething pain.We started offering at 6 months, but she didn't really start taking to them until 7 months.  There is no harm in starting to late, but it can be dangerous to start too early, even with purees and rice cereal.  (Not that I think you should give your baby rice cereal, that stuff is gross!)  The minimum a baby should be given anything but formula or breastmilk is 6 months.

Q: What foods should I offer my baby?
A: A good first food for baby is Avocado- lots of healthy fat and nurtrients.  Good "finger foods" are the Gerber Puffs, Yogurt Melts, Mum Mums, and teething biscuits.  Most fruits are good to cut up and give to baby. Mercy's favorite is peaches.  As they get older you can offer a wider variety.  At 8.5 months Mercy mostly gets what I'm eating.  I just try to stay away from "junk food"- no fast food, nothing high in sodium or sugar or bad fat, and I avoid things that have high acidity like citrus fruits or large quanties of tomatoes or sauce.  And always stay away from hgih allergy foods like peanuts, shellfish, strawberries, or any allergies that run in your family. 

Q: How should I prepare the food to give to baby?
I usually either give them in slices, (like cucumber, or apple slices) sticks (carrots) or stalks (like broccoli).  Shapes that are easy for them to hold on their own and eat.    When she gets some of my meat like chicken or steak, I make sure it is a big enough chunk for her to hold in her hand so she doesn't try to cram the whole piece in at once.  I do not usually cook any fruits or veggies before I give them to her.  I just rinse, cut, and call it good. (I plan on making an entry in the future demonstrating how I cut and prepare most fruits for Mercy, with pictures so its easier to understand.)

Q: Do you give the baby food right off your plate, salted and seasoned too?
A:Salt-no. Spicy- no. Seasoned- yes.  When I know I will be sharing food with Mercedes I do not put salt and pepper on it (or I only put a little).  Regular cooking seasoning though I don't worry about.  Babies like flavor too! 

Q: I'm worried about choking, what do I do?
A: It is important to remember that there is a difference between choking and gagging.  Gagging is normal and is just part of the learning process.  Baby is use to a liquid diet from either breastmilk or formula, gagging teaches baby how to move food around her mouth and what size pieces she can handle and what she can't.  Never leave your baby alone with food so that in case of an emergency and your baby does choke you can help.


I think those are the basic questions,  If I've missed any, or you have any  I haven't answered, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer for you.  Good luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009


The other day my mom was telling me about how when we were little, my sisters and I would play a game to sneak drinks off her soda.  One of us would go out and distract the adults with a song or dance or something along those lines, while the other would steal a drink.  Then, the other would go out and sing or dance while the first stole a drink.  Apparently this is an inborn genetic trait, because my girl and her cousin have already got it down.

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs248.snc1/9535_161888572851_588667851_2871475_5396212_n.jpgI was having a chicken caesar salad for dinner the other night and Minna was having some split pea soup.  Sami being the piglet she is kept trying to go after Minnas dinner.  Baby+hot bowl of soup=not good.  So, I was trying to occupy her and keep her from mauling Minna.  We were all sitting on the bed, Sami next to me, Mercy sitting in front of me.  I had given the kids some bread and lettuce to munch on, but Mercy kept half heartedly trying to grab from my plate, and Sami kept trying to crawl for Minna and her soup.  At one point time I got distracted by the tv and then Sami made a run for Minna again, I grabbed her, pulled her back, look back forward, and Mercy had leaned forward and grabbed two handfuls of my salad and was shoving them in her mouth!

These kids are too smart for my own good. Just look at them! Plotting against me.

And a special shoutout to Miss Jenfly for motivating me to get off my butt and write at least 1 of these entries I've had floating in my head for the past couple days!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Table food

Well, Mercy's solids intake has greatly increased since we arrived in Hawaii.  She is also mostly getting food from my own plate instead of me cutting up some fruit for her.  The other night we had chef salad for dinner. My sister and I were sitting on the bed and would give the babies a piece of broccoli, or cauliflower, lettuce, chicken, whatever.  They would munch on it a little bit, and then charge at us and try to grab more food off our plate!  It didn't matter that their food was from our plates to begin with, they wanted to take it for themselves.  They were getting pretty pushy.  It was amusing.  I decided next time I'm just going to make them up their own plate of salad, especially since everything on it was baby appropriate. I also let her munch on some of my meatloaf and a couple of the boiled potato pieces while I was making potato salad.  She enjoyed it quite a bit. 

And, much to my relief, her nursing hasn't seemed to decrease much.  We mostly nurse when we are laying down for a nap though, or when I am *trying* to lay her down for a nap.  I attribute my supply staying up to the fact that we cosleep and she eats throughout the night.  Yay cosleeping!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Sami loves to give kisses.  Kisses all over mommy, kisses all over auntie, and today, kisses all over Mercy.  Mercy was pretty tolerant the first five or so minutes of Sami grabbing her head and pulling it towards her open mouth.  At one point Sami had hold of both of Mercy's ears and was using them as handles.  A good mom would have stopped it and freed her from her cousins grasp.  I stood back and laughed.  We kept trying and trying to get a picture of it but they'd stop as soon as we got the camera out.

We finally gave up and continued our shopping.  Then after checkout as we were waiting for our food from the Costco concessions Sami felt lovey again.  So she lunged at Mercy and was pulling her head in all ready to give it the proper loving, Mercy started screeching.  Once again, instead of  being a good mom and separating them, I grabbed my camera.  So if you happened to be Costco today, and heard two infants screeching and hollering, I apologize.  But this picture was totally worth it.

Precious Cargo

So me and my sis and the babies went to Costco today.  We decided to get a Costco Pizza to bring home for dinner since its good, and I've never had it before.  We are driving home, babies strapped into their carseat, groceries and pizza loaded into the trunk.  She got a text and was texting back then says to herself  "Don't text while driving Minna."

Me: "Yeah, there is precious cargo in the car."
Her: "yeah."
Me: "I really want to try that pizza."

Then we almost swerve off the road because we're laughing so hard.  It appears texting may have been the safer choice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Mistress Mercy and I are in Hawaii!  We left the 7th for a nice vacation to come visit my sister and her sweet little girl Sami.  I'm so excited to be here and finally meet my niece.

It is so much fun to watch them interact together.  They are always smilin and talking to each other, reaching for each other two.  Mercy thinks Sami makes a great tool for leverage.  She is always trying to put her hands on Sams head and push up to standing.  Sams a pretty good sport about it.   They like to whack one another and poke the other in the eye and pull on ears.  They love to listen to each other.  Sam will be cooing and babbling and Mercy will just start LAUGHING at her, or Mercy will be talking and Sam will turn and start giggling at her and talking it back, its hilarious.
Mercy is kind of a bully though.  I sat them down to eat some fruit the other morning.  I gave Sam a piece of cantaloupe and Mercy a slice of apple because shes teething.  Mercy sucked on her apple a little bit, then crawled over to Sam and stole the cantaloupe! I gave it back to Sam and got Mercy her own piece.  Sam wasn't much interested in the melon so I gave her a baby rice cake instead.  I finish heating up my own food, get back to the living room, and Mercy is sitting there, eating the rice cake!  She also likes to take toys from Sam, and tries to steal her bottle too.  Its cute, but at the same time makes me wonder about when shes older.  Am I going to be getting called in to the principals office because Mercy kept taking toys from the other kids or wouldn't share her crayons? 
Its also so great to be with my sister.  We have so much fun together.  I feel like all the time we're together we are joking and in hysterics.  We randomly break out into song.  Usually Disney songs.  Sophie the Giraffes new name is Nacho.  I was telling her about the teething toys Canned Pie and Sophie, she wanted to know what they were. I explained they were teething toys that squeak and are made out of natural rubber.  Except she heard Nacho Rubber and was wondering what the hell that is.  Four days later and I'm still laughing at that.
Although, for all the fun we have together I have reason to believe she is trying to kill me.  On more than one occasion in the 4 days Ive been here, as soon as I take a drink or a bite of food, she will say something funny and I start laughing and trying not to choke. It might be payback for me repeatedly referring to our babies as reptiles. The other day-
me: "Its so funny watching them crawl all over each other.  Kind of like snakes. In a snake pit."
her: "uh....."
me: "don't like that one?  okay.  how about like kittens?"
or tonight, at dinner.  Sami was eating a piece of bagel, and Minna was sharing how she will eat most of things fine, and then try shove the last bites in her mouth at once, opening her mouth really wide.  My response was "Kind of like a snake, dislocating its jaw to eat animals whole."
Maybe I deserve it.  Choking to death from laughter while eating would be an interesting way to go. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

and in the world of baby-led weaning....

Mercy is still only getting food sporadically.  She likes to sit in her bumbo and eat while we eat.  Last night she sat down and had dinner with us.  She got a cheerio peach- a slice of peach rolled in crushed cheerios to make it easier to hold- it was the first time we tried that and she definitely liked it, and there was much less Momma Pick It Up.  She also dined on a few peas, a couple bits of biscuit, and a piece of lasagna noodle.  Quite the well balanced dinner.  It made quite a mess, but thats why Dad was on clean-up duty.

Not much else going on on the BLW front, I'm a bit preoccupied with our gDiapers and decorating them.....


I'm addicted.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My babys got a fluffy butt!

We are on day 2 of our adventures with gDiapers.  I'm loving it.  I didn't think I'd ever be this excited/thrilled about anything regarding diapers.

Heres what we got in our starter pack- 2 gPants, 1 extra liner and 10 flushie inserts.  It also came with a swish stick to use when you flush the inserts, but I live in crappy military housing with crappy plumbing- I'm not going to attempt to flush it. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/tiger_girl467/DSC04217.jpg?t=1254633470
Here is one of the gPants, all loaded up with a liner and an insert and ready for baby!  The flushie inserts are really great, you can use them all the time instead of cloth inserts and not have all the laundry, or use them when out and about so you don't have to carry around a soiled cloth insert.  Since this is what we got in our starter kit its mainly what I've been using, but today I tried using quickie no-sew cloth inserts that I learned how to make from another Mommas blog,   Borders Boho Baby.  She has a lot of awesome tutorials on there.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/tiger_girl467/DSC04220.jpg?t=1254633554Anyways, the flushies are nice, but I also really like using the cloth inserts and I can't wait til my actual gCloth inserts get here.
I'm deeming our first 2 days a success.

Friday, October 2, 2009

How to wear a wrap...

It was brought to my attention that for all my babywearing talk, I have not included anything about how to tie a wrap!

Here are a few links to sites with good instructions on all the different holds you can do.




How to make a wrap

I made a wrap to send to my friend today, and I took pictures so I could teach all of you wonderful people out there on world wide web how to make one too.  My goal is to convert EVERYBODY to babywearing. 

First you need to go to the fabric store, or walmart if you are lucky and your walmart has fabric, and select 5 yards (or 6 if you need a longer wrap) of a stretchy cotton matterial.  The first wrap I made (the pretty lavender one) was 60% cotton, 40% polyester.  It worked nice, but got a little hot.  the stretch was good though.  The ones I make now I try to use cotton knits, usually cotton/jersey.  (Can be found under the "knits" sign in Joannes.  Whooda thunk to look there?) They don't get too hot and have a good stretch.  Plus they are really cute!  This is the fabric I got yesterday, isn't it gorgeous?!
First I fold the fabric in half, and then in half again to make it easier to work with.  (1.5 yards instead of 6)

Then, since my fabric was 60inches wide I folded it in thirds.  (I also could have just folded it in half and had two wider wraps instead of three skinnier wraps)

To make it easier to see where to cut I ironed the edges to make a more definite fold.  If I had just been cutting it in half I could have skipped this step since most fabric is already folded in half on the bolt with a nice crease.

From there I cut along the creases, giving me 3 strips of fabric 20in by 6yds.  3 wraps.  If I were cool and had a sewing machine I would finish the edges, but I'm not cool enough to own a sewing machine yet so they stay raw. 


Chris chastized me for using his daughter for product testing.  I don't think she minded.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good day.


Good day for me.  Good day for babywearing.  Good day for cloth diapering.
Well, the morning didn't start out great.  Had to take Miss Mercy in to get her shots, which is never pleasent, but she did great.  The rest of the day was pretty good.

I went out for a day on the town with a friend and her baby.  I brought two wraps with me, because I was assuming that she didn't really know about them and figured she might enjoy it and that just maybe I'd be able to convert her.  We got to Babies R Us and I asked her if she wanted to try, and then helped her tie it and load up the baby.  We walked around and did our shopping.  We were getting asked left and right about the wraps and where we got them (both made by me), how they worked, and being told how cute they were.  It was awesome.  Then when we went to the fabric store I found some ridiculously cute fabric and snatched it up to make some more wraps out of.  I'm in love.  My whole reason for getting more fabric was to make a wrap for a friend, but it might "get lost in the mail".  I dont know if I'll be able to give it up.  I'll post pics tomorrow when I *hope* to finally put up the "How to Make a Wrap" tutorial I've been promising.  At all our stops my friend wore her baby, and then asked me to make her a wrap, so she bought some fabric and I did.  Meet Jessica and Janiyla, proud new babywearing converts.

http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/droolicious/2008/01/01-07/gdiaper.jpgI've decided to start cloth diapering.  Well, kind of cloth diapering.  I am switching to gDiapers, which were introduced to me by several awesome ladies from Babycenter.  When I was at Babies R Us, the starter kit was on sale so I grabbed one.  We didnt get home til late, and with Mercy being cranky from her shots today it didn't seem like the ideal time to start, plus I want to give it all its glory and get proper pictures and give it its own entry, so we will be starting our adventure as gMum and gBaby tomorrow. I am very excited about it!
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