Just when you think you have the hang of this parenting thing, the pediatrician throws something new again.
“Now you can start introducing foods.”
Those are six of the most intimidating words a first-timer can hear. We were already certified in baby and adult CPR and Heimlich Maneuver (I highly recommend it – the Red Cross offers a great class that we took at our local hospital), but there were still so many other questions. Like, what are we going to feed her? These babies don’t come with handbooks, but thank goodness for websites like Baby Center!
Fellow Lionheart blogger Christy sent me this article that spells out what types of foods babies should eat at each stage, as well as portions/balance. I wasn’t just worried about WHAT to feed her, but wanted to make sure baby girl was getting all of her nutrients and developing healthy eating habits early! (Now that our baby is 13 months old, they have a great article on toddler nutrition as well.)
Here are some lessons learned from this first-time mama:
1. Don’t go out and buy a ton of baby food at first. Better yet, don’t buy every single baby food container they have on the market in hopes that you’ll make your own baby food (guilty). Because here’s the thing – our baby only ate baby food for a few weeks, and we were left with TONS of leftovers. And, we only got around to making her special baby food ONCE. Each baby and family is different, but my advice would be to buy a little at a time to avoid waste.
Same goes for utensils. We have friends who SWEAR by one type of baby spoon or another. We just used some hand-me-downs from a friend, and my daughter didn’t realize she had options. Save your money.
2. Invest in a lot of bibs. Eating is messy business, and you won’t want to do laundry every day. We liked the idea of those plastic bibs, but found that they were always hitting her high chair tray, so we went back to the regular, old-fashioned cloth bibs. At the very beginning, we also used a dish towel and chip clip for FULL coverage (you’ve got to be creative to be a parent).
3. Baby preferences can be finicky. One day, my baby LOVES strawberries. The next, she won’t touch ’em. Or she can’t get enough turkey, then a week later, she feeds all of it to the dog. They’re learning, so just because your child doesn’t like something the first time doesn’t mean she’ll never eat it.
4. Know which foods cause constipation. My daughter LOVES bananas, and I can hand her a quarter of a banana and she can feed herself for a few minutes. It’s bliss for both of us! But… nobody tells me that bananas can stop babies up, and after a week of daily bananas (okay, sometimes even twice daily – they were SO CONVENIENT), my poor baby was absolutely miserable. Here’s a great list of foods that can cause constipation, as well as foods that can help relieve it.
5. Have fun. Food is like a messy adventure. It’s so fun to watch your child experience new things for the first time. We tried to keep a laid-back attitude about it, and as she got better with foods, we try to give her a taste of whatever we’re eating, even if it has (gasp) sugar, or is mildly spicy. Our little girl has eaten Indian food, Chinese food, Cambodian food, African food…some of it she loves, some she spits right back out. And that’s totally fine with me.
About Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.
Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.
At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.
To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.