Monday, December 7, 2009

Giving New Things

Today I didn't even leave the house. It is really hard to give someone something when you don't even step outside. But, I persevered.

I gave Brianna apple juice and avocado for the first time today. No, we had never given her juice before. I know, it's a sin or something. Everyone has an opinion on babies and everyone wants to share their opinions. Half the people I know thought we were crazy for exclusively breastfeeding Brianna for six months. By the time she hit 3 months, I was hearing left and right that she should be starting solids anytime now. People were telling me about friends of theirs whose 4 and 5-month olds were eating solids and did I know I can start anytime? Why yes I did.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that "all babies, with rare exceptions" be exclusively breastfed for six months. Heck, the World Health Organization even recommends continuing use of breast milk through two years of age, along with solids. It's just not the "norm" in the United States, sadly. I think it's because there are a lot of doctors that don't encourage it, and there isn't much support in the hospital system either. I don't know what other people's experiences has been with breastfeeding, but I considered Brianna to be a champ from the very beginning. When she was given to me just a few minutes after the delivery, she latched right on with absolutely no problem. The lactation specialist stopped by to see me and offered her number and wanted to stop by the house to help with lactation. I politely refused. I knew I could always call her if I needed to, but I wanted Brianna to have the chance to figure out her act too. I remember having a few questions along the way (Why does she hiccup so much after eating? How much spit-up is too much?) but nothing so major as to constitute a home visit. Any questions I had were easily answered by mom, Google, and my friend Debra. I think if I had had real issues I would have felt comfortable calling the lactation specialist, but not every area offers that type of service. Heck, we even took an entire class on breastfeeding before the delivery. I didn't remember anything from the class, but it was interesting anyway. It just made me more sure I wanted to breastfeed.

Anyway, so yep, we were insane for waiting until Brianna was six months old to give her any type of solid food. Even now, she is almost eight months, and she rarely eats solids more than once a day. When she does eat solids it's a very limited amount - usually between 1-3 ounces and then a lot of times I will even breastfeed her after that. I know, it is so crazy.

The problem with juice is that most juices are not even juice anymore! I mean, Juicy Juice which proclaims that it is juicy juice is not even mostly juice!! Pretty much every juice has corn syrup in it, or something along the lines of corn syrup. (Puts the child at risk for developing botulism. Yikes.) So I have to read labels really carefully when thinking about giving it to Brianna. Well, I guess I don't have to, but I choose to. I finally found some that I can give her - Walgreens brand that they had on sale the other day, and then Mott's brand which I also found on sale. So today she had just eaten but she kept acting like she wanted something else so I figured I would give her some juice. She loved it - I'm sure it's very sweet and delicious to her! I only gave her two ounces - I will try to never give her more than 4 ounces in a day until she is much older... like, years older. After she has juice I give her water to rinse it out of her mouth. She's got little teeth coming in and I'd prefer for them not to come in prepared with cavities. Also, something I usually do for myself and plan on doing it for her, is preparing a mixture of 1/2 juice and 1/2 water. That way it is still good and hydrating but the water is the good stuff that we really need to be drinking.

One thing I might do is make a fruit smoothie for her. Mix up some strawberries (I have some in the freezer) and plain yogurt in the blender - mmm mmm!!

Okay, I didn't mean for this post to become a soapbox. I was just trying to complete my post for the day. That is all.

By the way, Bri liked the avocado (don't ask me why) but after about 4 bites started crying to go to bed. It happens. She'll get some more tomorrow night. She has eaten every vegetable she can have before 8 months and several fruits and has loved all of them. She's going to be like her mommy, I can just tell.


jennifer said...

Preach on, sister!

Brooke and Johnathan said...

You should talk to my sister... she never gave her first baby a single ounce of formula and exclusively breast fed for I think over 6 months. Also, her new baby (10 months) is eating baby food, but no real solids yet... they tried and he got choked.