There are so many things I have to be thankful for when it comes to my mother and the advice she has offered on the upbringing of my children: "Jackie, it is totally different now, from when I was raising you and your brothers. I just don't think I can advise you on that." Yeah, great advice Mom! Hahaha! Honestly, she has said this in response to some of my questions but she always praises me in the choices I have made. One such dilemma was what to feed my beautiful babies once we had them to hold.
Personally, I chose breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months, (for which I continued breastfeeding for about 14 months with each of my two children), then I gradually added the pureed foods. For my first, I made my own food...
This is my Uncle holding on to Mikaala while she has a taste of carrots for the first time.
This is Mikaala feeding Xavier his first few bites of carrots while visiting Grandma.
…and with my second I honestly did try to continue on the homemade path, but I ended up opting for organic baby foods after the first month.
Some questions I personally had (since I was still involved in my education towards my RDN credentials) was when to introduce certain kinds of foods, and when should I offer water or juices. When I asked my trustworthy mother, this was what she pulled from my personal baby book about me:
WOW! Here's what I observe looking at it today:
Breastfeeding seemed to be low on the choices, considering how its explained, "Human milk is inexpensive, healthful, and something a mother may enjoy giving her child."
Offering water, instead of another feeding, was how the baby was kept quiet/satisfied, "Feed about every 4 hours. For crying within 3 hours after a feed, offer water."
It appears as though all babies were the same as far as intake needs since they all required the same amount of food, "1 quart of formula or milk is adequate at any age."
I now know, that each baby is an individual, and their feeding routines are different. Either way, I love having this piece of personal history.
Here are some general guidelines I use when advising new parents about infant nutrition.
Birth to 3 months:
breastmilk or formula; breast is best so possibly talk with lactation consultant
6-10 feedings per 24 hours, about 21-24 oz/day; remember babies are different and when breastfeeding proper growth and development is going to be key as opposed to how many ounces baby is getting.
supplementing with water during these months is not necessary; the proper amount of fluids are obtained in formula/breastmilk
Smoothies were (and still are) my favorite ways to get nutrient-rich foods into my children's diet once I started adding table foods.
Where can you go to find more information, besides your pediatrician, Registered Dietitian and Super Healthy Kids? Here are a few of my favorite sites to refer to when researching or advising parents:
My bottom line piece of advice: Keep mealtimes at any stage of life happy and stress-free! Enjoy the fun early months of your child's food exploration experience!