comment problem fixed!!
Every now and then I realize I have no idea how to be a mom.
Like…schedules. Yesterday my bestie Tara asked me what times Annie usually went down for naps, and I said, “Oh…she sleeps a few times a day…usually morning-ish…with some some other times later in the day…” and then, just to show me up, that little kid went and fell asleep on my shoulder right then and there – something she NEVER would have done at home. She sleeps on her own terms – and those terms usually involve falling asleep against her will while she stands in her jumper.
Now I’m freaking out because it’s time for Annie to really start solids. And so far, she’s taken to it like a champ.
But, I don’t know anything about feeding a big ol’ baby! We had to fatten up all of Maddie’s foods, and she had a meal plan laid out by a nutritionist. With Annabel I have to wing it, which means I am just sort of like, “Um, here are some sweet potatoes! Want some peas? You can feed yourself, right?” and I just picture her becoming the world’s pickiest eater because baby peas are nasty! You guys, I can’t even feed myself. And then! How many bottles is she supposed to have in between meals? How many ounces of baby food is she supposed to eat? Where is my instruction manual?!
Also, I haven’t showered in a couple days, and I’m considering stealing some of Mike’s boxers for purposes other than pajamas because the laundry has become a…situation. Luckily Annabel’s wardrobe is extensive, and she can really pull off the diaper-only look.
I have the love part down pat. I smother my Annie with so many kisses that sometimes I think, “Self, maybe you should cut down on the kisses and do some laundry. Also, something stinks and it’s probably you.” But then I reply to myself, “no…the laundry can wait. MORE KISSES!”
So clearly, my child is growing up in a late 90s Sandra Bullock movie, where the mom is fun but she smells and talks to herself so she’s obviously craaaaaazzzzzy. This isn’t bad, though, because if movies have taught me anything it’s that very soon Annie will learn how to cook and clean and take over the mother role, all while keeping a spunky attitude! I’m actually kind of excited about this.
But until then, how do I manage all this momming stuff?
Solids are fun! I remember my oldest sitting in her chair, noming a piece of steamed asparagus
Wish I’d taken more photos!
Also, at 6 and 8… I still have no darn clue what to do about this parenting thing…
Everyone does the best job they can with the tools they have been given!
Manual?!? You don’t need no stinkin’ manual!! XOXO
Manual I wish!!! As far as the solids just wing it. Try one for about a week then switch. Start off with stage one then as you feel she’s more hungry move on to stage 2! When I started solids with my daughter I mixed formula with cereal and then once I went to the jars I just gave them to her plain! And I just have to say Annie is just SO stinking cute I can’t stand it!! LOL
Pieces of a Sometimes Extraordinary Life says:
I’ve always thought about how crazy it is that we’re given these most complex, precious pieces of machinery without operating instructions…It’s like that weird, terrifying feeling when they hand you your baby and you walk out of the hospital and think OMG, they think I know how to work this thing??? And so you buy books and ask friends and pour over everything written on the internet, and get completely conflicting information and want to tear out your hair because you’re sure whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong…
My daughter is 3 months behind Annabel, so I’m counting on your blog here to help me out. HELP ME OUT, Heather! I’ll be reading comments and hoping at least somebody knows how to make our girls run on solid fuel…
(That really carried the metaphor too far, didn’t it.)
I think you’ve found your next Annabel Spohr production – a parody of that wacky Sandra Bullock movie!
Kids don’t come with manuals because there’s no way in hell a father would read an instruction manual.
You’re so right, father’s wouldn’t read it. lol
NEVER cut down on the kisses!!! (something tells me you won’t). … The photo is so cute! It gave me a big smile myself.
I’m like you, I wanted a manual….try this site…
Heather, you are too funny! Give Annie a week or two, I’m sure she will have the laundry done, and be solving some sort of advanced mathematical equations or something. she seems sly like that.
My mom advice–I don’t know much but my daughter is 14 months–go to the gerber website. they have info on planning out meals for babies and toddlers. they will also send you little pamphlets that give meal planning advice. even if you don’t use gerber, I found it to be incredibly helpful. when my daughter was really young, my mom and I made her baby food (a lot easier than it sounds if you have an electric steamer and a food processor). for the store bought stuff we really liked the plum organics pouches–so easy to use!
also, my daughter goes through phases one day she would devour the baby food and the next not want much at all. keep giving her bottles to make sure she is getting enough nutrition.
As someone who has “raised” dozens of kiddies, there is no manual b/c they are all so darn different. Follow Annie’s lead. If she finishes her food and still seems hungry, give her more. Mix fruits or veggies in her cereal so it will have some taste (that cereal is very good for her!!) Go for two naps a day…morning and afternoon. When she sleeps you can shower or do laundry…OR you can take a NAP!! (Always my favorite!!)
the cereal is also filling so she wont load up on too much of the veggies and fruit… which could make her stomach upset (just like ours).
I would start with a bottle first thing in the AM then an hour or so later, some cereal with fruit. Bottle again around lunch time then mid afternoon then before bed. You can add another round of solids around dinner time – cereal plus a vegetable always was a big hit in our house! You can also try those Gerber Puffs or Cheerios if she can grab them herself – plop her in her high chair and let her try to eat them (or feed them to the dog!) Good luck -mine are 5 and 7 and believe me, I wish there was a manual!!
Heather you are doing great – every mom thinks this at some point. Some moms and dads are not scheduled = i personally am over scheduled I was a wreck about our first baby so I read all the boks – shecdules, sleep training, blah blah blah and really my kids are on a schedule so tight that I often findmy self more stressed because we are missing it. It is getting better for me now that they are 3 and almost 2. But we still eat and sleep around the same time everyday!
Nap from 12-2 sleep from 7:30 – 7:30
everyoen is different so just go with it!
as for the food – start with veggies or she will get a sweet tooth and you wont be able to stop it. I alternated bottle, food, bottle food, and so now … feeding both my babies “food” for Breakfast, lunch and dinner it was about in 2-3 hour intervals. It worked for us – and once they started eating food I dropped the formual to the
# of oz my Dr was fine with them having at that age. I think min was 12 and that was about what they got total for the day 4 3 oz bottles in bettween food. with food i gave them water out of a sippy cup – took some time to learn. WOW when I write it out it sounds like a lot but they are both 45% in weight 75% in height and 45% in head so, so far so good I guess.
PS I did dinner closer to bed I usually did dinner, bath bottle bed.
your house sounds like my house! Especially the laundry part! As long as you have the love part down you are all set!
During the first year of Adam’s life, I would call the “nurse line” almost every week to ask those questions (how many oz. of formula does he need, how much baby food, etc.). It really got embarrassing by the 6th month or so… not that it stopped me from calling, haha. =)
Adam was also not on a regular sleep schedule until he was about 1 years old. He took 2-3 naps a day, basically when he felt like it. After he turned 1, a friend told me to put him down for a nap after he was up for 2.5 hours… that seemed to work. I stress over everything… but him not being on a “regular routine” didn’t stress me out (shockingly). Not doing laundry as often as I should often doesn’t… especially since Adam has more clothes than my husband and I combined!
I agree with you… just give lots & lots of love…. that’s what they’ll remember, I’m sure… not the face that Mommy wore the same shirt 2 days in a row! =)
Expat Mom says:
No need to worry, Annie is SURE to let you know if she needs something different. I had a friend who was all about schedules, she even wrote down sleep and poop times and had them on her fridge. I felt SO unorganized next to her. Then she’d freak out if her little one changed anything like slept for 30 minutes instead of 32 minutes.
She planned out her baby’s foods, carefully introducing ONE new one every four days on the dot.
Meanwhile, I was giving my kid solids at four months because he wanted them, giving him pretty much whatever we had but in puree form and not worrying about allergies. He slept when he wanted, had way too many bottles . . . and guess what? Both kids turned out smart, cute and totally awesome (ok, they’re only 4.5, but I think they have great potential)!
In other words, forget a manual, you’re doing fine! All that love? It works with the food and stuff too, just trust your instincts and Annie.
Sounds very Lorelai Gilmore-ish I’m recalling a moment on the show where Rory said, “Mom, don’t we have ice?” and Lorelai responded, “you know I don’t cook!”
I can’t give you any specific advice on the feedings, but every mom goes through that feeling of “not knowing how to be a mom.” Anyone out there with a newborn whose house looks perfect is obviously spending a fortune for a housekeeper!
Oh, and as for the baby green peas, maybe they’ve changed since I was a kid, but they were about the only veggie I’d eat until I was 6.
I have an 8 month old son and a 3 y.o. daughter and I totally forgot how to feed an infant too!
I started by nursing him before giving him food because he would have much rather had the solids than the BM. But, some babies are the opposite, they would much rather have the bottle or boob than the solids so you have to start those babies with the solids.
Annabel is 6 months, right? I think Jameson was doing at least a jar of 1st foods 3x day by then. Sometimes he probably did a jar and a half. Now we are up to a jar to two jars a meal.
You can always kind of tell when they lose interest and I go by those cues (or try to). When he begins to spit it out for his amusement or look around, I can tell its quittin’ time.
But, I understand your worry. I never want to over feed him but I don’t want to under feed him too. I always think: “Well, if I underfed him, he’ll eat a lot next meal!”
I should say we are now up to 2 jars of 2nd foods a meal now. He can pack it in!
LOL! Sorry! I keep thinking of things to add!
My mom was a Peds nurse for 35 years and she always told me that when you first start them on solids for every meal to wait at least 4 hours between servings. Not sure why….
Heather you are perfectly fine. With the amounts of solid foods I would just let her lead you. She will let you know what she likes & what she doesn’t, when she wants more & when she is full. Just try different things with her. I pretty much did this with my kids. But I was one of those that ignored the Dr’s “Only formula for blah blah…” and started giving them cereal mixed with formula really early because my boys were huge & ALWAYS hungry & formula alone just didn’t do it for them. I let them lead where they needed me to go & they are very healthy adults now
Just go with your instinct. Honestly…it won’t lead you wrong.
Heather, my kids are 20 and 22 now and if you think you need a manual when you are raising an infant, wait until you have a teenager! You hang on and do your best, give them lots of love and keep talking to them even if it seems like they’re not listening. You’ll do fine! I took great comfort in a line from an old Dr. Spock book, which was probably the only childrearing book available to my parents’ generation – it said something like the gut instincts of well-intentioned parents are usually pretty good. Your gut instinct right now is to love and take care of Annie, you’re fine. You may want to work in a shower now and then however – you’re a great mom but you need to take care of yourself as well as Annie. Love your blog!
Sara R. says:
I’d highly recommend the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. It’s the closest thing there is to a manual when it comes to feeding a baby. It’s mostly about making your own baby food, and it’s very anti-meat, but it has everything you need to know about how much to feed, when to introduce what foods, and all kinds of other fun things to make and do. I think it would be useful even if you’re using jarred baby food.
And good luck! I have a 6 month old as well, and I periodically freak out that I should be doing X, Y or Z but if what you’re doing is working for now, I say stick with it until it’s not working anymore!
thats exactly what I was going to suggest. Super Baby Food is a fricking phenomenal resource. I had avocado and broccoli ice cubes in my freezer for well over a year…. And to this day, my kiddo will basically eat anything i put in front of him. Except beets. he HATES beets.
Bathing is over-rated. Kissing is not. Laundry? Not as much fun as kissing.
I’m no momma, but I say feed the kid when she’s hungry, lay her down when she’s sleepy, and kiss and love on her the rest of the time. You are doing a GREAT job!
By the looks of that gorgeous baby, it seems as though you are doing just great…but, fair warning: the laundry never ends!! 16 years and 5 kids later, I am still trying to catch up!
My son is 13 months old and our ped told us he still needs about 16-32 oz. of milk/day. He’s still nursing twice a day so I give him 8 oz. of whole milk. I don’t recommend that, obvi, because Annabel is still so little! She needs bottle milk (or whatever you’re doing). But at her age babies still really get their nutrients from the bottle, the food is for fun/taste/new things. I didn’t even start my son on solids until he was 7 months (there just wasn’t a need for it) and then if I skipped a day it was ok. I wouldn’t worry about it too much until she’s about 9 months old, and then you can start really doing the baby food/puffs 3x a day. My son didn’t switch from baby food til about 11 months when he made it perfectly clear that he wanted things to chew. And now I still give him some baby food veggies and lots of other big people food. But also talk to your ped, they can give you some good thoughts about how much milk they need. I just wouldn’t worry about nutrition from food until she’s starting to wean off the bottle (which will be a ways yet). Not that you should feed her crap til then…
Oh yeah, and as for the sleep thing, don’t worry about that, either! My son didn’t had a regular nap time until he was TWELVE MONTHS OLD. And that was really because it took that long for him to want a nap. He’s EVER only taken one nap a day (ok, so in the newbie phase he slept more, but he was never a two-a-day napper) and so I just did what worked. If he was tired at 9am – NAP. If he was awake til 3pm, so be it. The only thing we did was start putting him to bed REALLY early at 6 months. He slept 15ish hours a night until he was 12 months old. But the moral of the story is don’t stress about it. You’ve got to do what works for you, especially when it comes to babies and sleeping.
Trial and error, baby! Trial and error. My daughter was easy. I made her her food instead of buying it. I bought one of those had puree thingies, and went to town. Most of the time, though, she would mooch off of my plate. My son was a different story. He would only eat the Earth’s Best oatmeal, and REAL food, not that mushed up junk. You’ll figure it all out!
With this mom gig you are just kind of stuck with winging it for the most part. Maya was not a huge fan of solids and would hardly eat any. The thing that worked best was to offer it to her at meal time and see how it went. Annie will tell you if she likes it and when she has had enough.
check with the pedi on bottles. She should be able to tell you the minimum amount of oz she should have in a day. When it comes to baby food, the best thing that worked for us was veggies first. Then they don’t develop a sweet tooth. We did mashed avacado 1st and then sweet potatoes, etc. We did some fresh and some jarred for convenience. Some were just easier because if we were having baked sweet potatoes, we could just mash some up for Rory. We bought these cool ice cube tray looking containers you can find on amazon. It allows you to freeze small baby jar size portions and then throw them right in your bag when you are headed out the door.
Wait wait wait weren’t you making fun of me about 6 months ago when I was looking up menus and schedules and how many ounces of milk I should be giving on Gerber?
I distinctly remember this…
Don’t worry though, the routine comes quickly and it does get easier. And anyways the transition to real food has been MUCH harder. Hee
Get the Baby Led Weaning book by Gill R. BLW is awesome!!!
My first advice is to simply relax. Annie will let you know when she’s hungry, when she needs sleep, etc. Overly scheduled days are not necessary.
She’ll also let you know when she’s full. She’ll turn her head when you try to give her a bite. Or she won’t take her bottle.
As for your personal care and housework, fit them in during naps or after she’s in bed for the night.
Simply trust yourself, your natural instincts. You’ve done a wonderful job with both girls. You’ll be fine.
Believe me, I started the mom journey at 18 (scared to death) and tried to follow everyone’s advice. My poor daughter. By the time my son came along, I decided that I knew myself and my children better than any book or “expert”.
They are now 17 and 19 and doing quite well. If I can successfully raise children, anyone can.
I was never good at schedules either. I think there are advantages to not being a schedule person. My kids are used to variety. They can nap at other people’s houses. When we go to friends houses and stay out past their bedtime they usually do fine. I have friends who have to be at their house for nap time and bed time their kids are used to the exact same thing at the exact same time. I enjoy the flexibility of a loose schedule. Once my kids start preschool, we give them a regular bedtime so they get enough sleep but other than that we remain flexible. My 1 year old takes a nap sometime between 12 and 5 for about an hour.
For food, I recommend vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. You are creating her preferences and tastes for life. She isnt really getting much nutrition from solid food during the first year so she still needs the same amount of formula that she has been drinking. As she grows the formula probably wont increase because the solid food will make up the difference in required food. I try to avoid sugar and I feed vegetables before fruits. Read labels, even baby food has some sugar in it sometimes…bleh.
She will of course love sweets just like everyone else but if you limit her sugar in the first few years then you give her the gift of liking healthy food too.
Ok, sorry this is so long…good luck, you are doing a great job!
oh, and I live by cheerios. They are the greatest invention ever for feeding kids. And whole wheat pasta.
Once they start eating more solid foods, I buy the small cans of veggies instead of baby food. All my kids loved the canned carrots, peas and asparagus
the canned veggies arent good for you. They have TONS of sodium in them. I’d never give my baby canned veggies. Frozen is better if you cant make fresh.
Angie…creating her tastes and preferences for life….really?? Because I don’t remember a single thing that I ate when I was 12 months old…and I’m pretty sure that my Ma didn’t feed me sashimi back then…but it’s my fav now! (I’m just joking) I started all four of my kiddos on table food from the start. Little bit of Mom’s sweet potatoes…a few carrots from the roast…mashed up…whatever looked like they wouldn’t choke. My kids will eat anything.
I say just stick with the lots of kisses and skip the laundry and showers. Mike will eventually need some underwear too and then maybe he will do the laundry and you can just keep kissing baby.
As far as the solids, it is so different with so many people. I remember with my fist child, I think our doctor told us baby food at six months and around nine months we started doing solids mashed up. With our second we couldn’t get into our regular pediatrician at her six month so we saw a different doctor and he told us she could eat anything we were eating at six months. That was not going to happen, I was not going to have a baby in my house choke.
Just do what feels right, she will be fine.
Check out : Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. Made it simple, healthy and homemade!
Im with you on the peas.. I hate peas!! ( Yuck)
As for laundry, I would rather give kisses to!
This sounds just like me last year when Jake was starting solids. I was clueless! I had to learn by trial and error. But we got through it and now at 16 months he will eat just about anything (he loves broccoli).
Annie will let you know when she’s had enough or if she wants more. Just follow her cues.
Kisses ARE more important than showers or laundry! Your girl will love you no matter how you smell.
Some babies thrive on schedules and some babies thrive on “winging it”. Same goes for Mommies. It sounds like you both are perfectly fine doing the “winging it” thing. If you want her to have a schedule, I’m sure it would be easy, she seems like a pretty laid back kid.
As far as eating, just let her be the guide. She’ll eat when she’s hungry and won’t when she’s not. If she starts to spit up a lot, you can decrease her intake a little and see if that helps.
You have a Mommy instinct for a reason and I think you are doing an amazing job. Take her in the shower with you or put her in her exersaucer while you shower-that’s what I always did when mine were babies and it worked out so well. Do a little laundry at a time, maybe one load a day. Then there’s still lots of time for kisses!
You’re an awesome Mommy. Annie is obviously happy and healthy and thriving. You’re doing lots of things right!
As for the “schedule,” here’s what worked for us – it’s the “2-3-4” plan. Basically, I put her down for a nap 2 hours after being awake, another nap 3 hours after she wakes up from that one, and then bed about 4 hours after she wakes up from the afternoon nap. It doesn’t bind you to a strict time each day – it just revolves around when they woke up last. It seemed to keep my daughter from being over-tired, and then she didn’t fight her nap/bedtime. If she got over-tired, then sleeping was oddly more of a struggle.
As for food, let Annie be your guide – she’ll let you know when she’s hungry or wants more formula. And for now, food is for fun, and formula is for nutrition, so have fun with it! Try avocado – it was a huge hit around our house at that age!
After you teach your kids to do the laundry, like any new chore, they only think it’s cool for about the first 3 loads, then they realize that it’s was much easier when mom did it….I still pray for the laundry fairy to come daily.
we’re in a 90’s sandra bullock movie over here, too!
this makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER. i’m totally clueless regarding solids (just started my 5.5 month old…) as in NO IDEA.
i put little blobs out on a plate and sort of shrug each time. like…maybe this is enough? i guess i follow the idea that she’ll close her lips when she’s done and keep opening if she wants more. uh i hope that’s correct?
i also just found out that i’m supposed to add water to her diet now that she eats food. what??? why did nobody tell me?
my cousin, mama to 3, finally mailed me her old copy of ‘super baby foods’ which i highly recommend. i’m getting a TINY bit less confused now…
(and seriously — who WOULD want to eat those baby peas? gagamaggot)
Annie Y says:
My 2 youngest were on a schedule because they were in day care. With the youngest, he has been home with me since day one. He isn’t really on a schedule of any type other then he eats at some point in the morning, some point in the afternoon and sometime in the evening in addition to snacking and having juice and milk sippys throughout the day. He takes one nap, and that time comes when he says “Nigh nigh Mommy.”
I also have a huge laundry problem in addition to dirty dishes, filthy floor and I think that stench is coming from me.
My Boos LOVED mashed avacoado. That was their first vegetable. I am an Aunt, but was there for the whole first year living with the twins because my sister was sick, and I agree with everyone else, dont get her started on the sweets yet, veggies all the way.
Doesnt matter anyway in the end, because when they are 4 ALL they will eat is chicken strips.
Melissa — TRUTH!!!!
My daughter had jar baby food when she hit solids. For my son I cooked and pureed organic vegetables, and froze them into ice cube trays.
Now 5 & 8 and seven days a week all they want is McDonalds.
Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts says:
My son liked avocado too, but beware. It makes for slimy diapers!
I steamed and pureed organic vegetables for my son’s solids, and I got him eating triangles of organic tofu long before he ever knew what a chicken nugget was. He’s 7 now, eats everything, and only ever wants McDonald’s when he knows the toy in the happy meal is good.
I made my own baby food mainly because I had the time and because the look of the jarred stuff grossed me out. It sounded like a lot of work, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. Especially because you’re doing it in bulk and freezing the extra in ice-cube trays, so you get many, many servings from each time you do it.
A couple of tips, though: if you do steamed pureed green beans, you have to also strain them. Otherwise it’s a trip to the pediatrician when the belly gets bunged up. We learned that the hard way. Also, when you give her blueberries, go easy. Especially if you want to be able to stand the smell of blueberries ever again. (I still can’t eat them.)
Heather, you know how to be an awesome mom. You have been an awesome mom for a long time!
I can’t believe I’m actually qualified to give Mommy advice! Wow! Tear in my eay. Anywho.
For solids, what we did with V, was at first introduce a food at a time, and i would always let her eat as much as she would eat and let her be the guide. She almost instantly picked up shaking her head no when she was done and still is very good about letting me know when she’s done with a certain kind of food or completely. And with bottles, the “schedule” we did was something basically every two hours. Solids, two hours later, bottle, two hours later, solids, etc. You get the picture.
I totally can empathize on the needing a manual issue, and as everyone will tell you (and me for that matter), you just do the best you can and hope for the best. Lots of love and hugs and kisses will carry you far.
And to comment on your previous post about negative comments, there’s nothing that irritates me more now as a mom when people give unsolicited advice or make unsolicited parenting type comments. You’re definitely not alone and for me, I’ve gotten to where it’s in one ear and out the other. Our families are what matter.
Here it is!
If you figure it out, please let me know!
I wish I would have fed my babies a smashed up version of whatever I was eating for dinner instead of food from the jar. They ate whatever I fed them when they were little but now they mainly only eat chicken fingers & fish sticks. Drives me crazy!!! I swore I would never be THAT parent but…
My son Anthony is a former 26 weeker preemie. I remember really having to bulk up his meals. Everything had rice in it. And I was always stressing about him getting enough. He was such a small kid and still is. (he’s 3 now). At 1 year old he was 18lbs. Now I have a almost 6 month old daughter who is already like 19lbs! 95%. Now I worry about feeding her too much, although I never force feed her! Right now she gets 4 bottles a day and 2 meals of solids (breakfast, dinner) I give the solids about an hour after the morning and evening bottle. Hope that helps.
I am not a mom, but when you write that manual, will you give me a copy for future use?
My good friend just had a baby and honestly, it makes my head spin trying to comprehend how she remembers everything that involves taking care of P. It’s insane…but I’m sure you’ll get it figured out!
The Suburban Housewife says:
I wish there was a manual for moms. But I have come to realize that kids are so different from each other that there could never be a manual to cover everything. So, we are left to wing it. I had 3 of my four girls in the 90th percentile for height and weight for most of their first year, and I freaked out too about how much I should be feeding them. Some loved to eat, and would keep going until I cut them off, and then the other two would eat just a couple bites and be done. I wish I could offer some tried and true tips, but there are none. Good luck!
Trisha Vargas says:
Okay, so the only things I do know that are fresh in my mind because I just went through this with Dannica are:
Babies on solids should only have 32 ounces of breast milk/formula a day.
Introduce orange & yellow veggies and fruits first and only try one at time for several days to check for allergies or stomach upset.
Rice cereal first than oatmeal, mixed and barley.
We mixed up morning & evening cereal for Dannica and she had lunch & dinner veggies & fruits with all her bottles in between throughout the day.
The evening cereal washed down with a bottle seemed to help her sleep better through the night too!
Cook a few washed sweet potatoes and a bunch of carrots in the oven. Cool them down and than puree in the blender with a little water added to thin it out. Freeze in ice cube trays and pop them out about 30 minutes before lunch or dinner and you are ready to go. Saves money on those expensive little jars.
That’s all I’ve got to offer. I basically flew by the seat of my pants and these few things worked best for me.
You’ll do fine with this whole solids things. I am sure of it!
((((HUGS)))) from Florida
I cannot communicate clearly enough how awesome it is to have a snack basket within the reach of my daughters so that they can snack at will! But seriously, most reassuring thing I ever heard: gauge their diet over a 2 week span, as in all fruit for week (holy blowouts) followed by a week of veggies = win.
I’m sure you’ve gotten all kinds of great ideas from everyone above, I’m at work and don’t have time to read them:) But I got a chart from my pediatrician. It was very helpful in the amounts area. I was all about the organic and everything…until I realized how much work it was and I just don’t have time to make my own food! My daughter eats great, just try to get her to try everything:)
I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now – you are doing a wonderful job with Annie. She is adorable and has the most wonderful chubby cheeks! My little one is going on 3, so she’s lost all of that baby chub and is now looking like a little girl. It makes me sad how quickly they grow up!
Anyway, we didn’t really do a schedule either and she is just fine. We also had a very adaptable baby – some babies need a schedule, but ours just went with the flow. It sounds like that is how Annie is too. By the time she gets to about a year, she’ll probably start setting her own schedule.
As for the showers, I always put D in her exersaucer right outside the bathroom door while I took a quick shower. She enjoyed playing peek-a-boo with me using the shower curtain and I got a little time to refresh.
I was also overwhelmed with solids! We started with cereal and she always had that for breakfast (or mid-morning). For lunch/supper, we did a bit of cereal, a bit of vegetable and a bit of fruit. To start with, I just put a couple of spoonfuls of each on a plate and added more if she ate it all. We built up to where she’d do 1/2 a container of fruit and 1/2 a container of veggie along with some cereal/Cheerios/or Gerber puffs. It was always my intent to make my own baby food, but life just gets in the way and it is so much easier to buy it! Also, if Annie is watching you eat something really intently, smash it up and give her a bite. D tried a lot of things that way and then we didn’t have to use quite as much baby food.
I’m not sure how much formula they are supposed to have, but we did a sippy cup of water or watered down juice with meals and bottles in between and right before bed.
Seriously, no one knows Annie better than you and Mike. Just go with your gut feelings and know that she’s so obviously a healthy, happy, well-adjusted baby!
As for the laundry, all I can say is one load at a time. If the laundry fairy shows up here, I’ll send her out to you!
When the kids go on solids, you’re life is made because schedules are born and life starts to get back to normal. Here’s how my kids did it: Wake up – bottle. An hour later – some kind of cereal and fruit. They just ate until they were full. Then an hour later, nap time! They woke up, bottle and playtime. go to park, run errands. Then home for lunch, usually veggie or fuit and some kind of protein. bottle to get them sleepy, and naptime! They would sleep, (sometimes, sometimes not) and when they woke up, playtime! Agter a few hours I would feed them dinner, play a little, bath time and then bottle and bed! Heather, if you can’t get in the shower, take one with Annie. I did that from day one with my daughter and it was the best thing I ever did. She learns to love the shower and it will save you so much time now, and down the road, and it’s a ton of fun! Good luck!
You know, with anything else in parenting, I’ve really come to embrace the fact that everything falls into place on it’s own no matter what great plans you make. So just play it by ear and she’ll create her own eating schedule. For now just introduce new fruits, veggies, cereals every few days to make sure she’s not allergic and feed her bottles in between when she’s hungry. My ped told me that the first month you feed her solids give her 1 meal/day of solid foods. Second month, 2 meals and third month 3 meals. If she likes a bottle with her meal, give her one. If she likes a bottle between meals, give her one. I really wouldn’t be concerned at all about how many oz of milk she’s getting or how much of this or that. Just follow her schedule and she’ll let you know how to do this! Just keep trying gently with lots of variety even if she appears to hate something. Sometimes it takes babies many tastings before they’ll take to something. Good luck and don’t worry…before you know it, she’ll be stuffing her face with a cupcake at her first birthday!
I was a WRECK when it came to the solids thing. I had the same exact questions as you.!! It lasted for me till they were about 18 months and completely eating table food. I got a little help from some books on the subject……and then just had to wing it the rest of the way. I always say that was such an annoying period….having to figure out how to feed them once they go off just bottles. Then when they decide they don’t like baby food and want REAL food but aren’t quite able to chew it so well yet, that’s even harder I think. But if I got through it, anyone can. Get a few books maybe…….they can give you recipes and ideas about how much she should have a day.
You take it one day at a time. That’s why I’ve always liked being a nanny/babysitter. There was never any guess work. I was told the times the baby ate, went to sleep, played. I just had to feed, change, and entertain my little ones until mom got home!
I’ve babysat or nannied since I was 12 years old. But do I think I could be a mom? At 28? No. Terrifies me to death the idea of being responsible for a life and being in charge of feeding and changing and clothing one who belongs to *me*.
In my eyes you’re doing just fine. Well except for the no showering part, that could use some work. Everything else? You’re golden.
I remember feeling the SAME way…also, my husband had just deployed (again) and I was SO afraid that my son would starve to death suddenly after 5 months of liquid food. What I ended up doing was giving a veggie and a fruit at every meal. Then when he started eating what WE are (I pureed it) he usually got a veggie/meat/starch. That has stayed on into toddlerhood. He gets a veggie, a meat/protein (sometimes tofu) and a starch. And a cookie for dessert.
I managed to keep my kid growing like a lil’ sunflower even though I had absolutely NO IDEA wtf I was doing. You are so attentive that I am SURE that she’ll be just fine.
Now…about the showering…I went through that too, I still have to force myself to shower every other day because I keep thinking “Oh! He’s in a good mood! I should accomplish something” or “I can wait til he takes a nap” and then he never takes a nap. It’s just something mom’s struggle with.
AND with laundry, you can drop Annie inside the warm laundry from the dryer and it turns into a great game of peekaboo. It’s fun and productive!
I hope I helped, you are doing a GREAT job with Annie, keep up the awesome work!
If you are interested in making your own, The Healthy Baby Meal Planner is awesome. And the author’s name is Annabel.
Heather, you seem like such a great mom! Annie seems to be thriving, so you must be doing soemthing right.
For feeding solids, thoug, if it helps, I really like the American Academy of Pediatric’s site HealthyChildren.org–they have a section on how much your kid should eat at different ages with sample schedules (http://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/default.aspx). (I’m a pediatrician, so I should probably know this stuff already, but I still refer to it for my own kids…)
Heather, we all wing it. She’ll tell you when she’s hungry or tired. My doctor did always tell me not to feed the babe longer than 20 minutes. If she hasn’t gobbled down the sweet potatoes in 20 minutes, she shouldn’t try.
I think kisses are WAY more important than laundry too. Kids won’t remember what they wore, but they’ll remember how much their mommy loves them!
I’ve had 125 newborns and, although not all reached the solid food stage (thank goodness) in my home, I think I have enough experience to offer some answers/advice. It’s free though and you know what they say about free advice.
I start with rice cereal and add a new food every 3 days (or so) to make sure there are no obvious allergic reactions. I move onto apples, pears, sweet potatoes, squash….the bland foods…and then branch out to the others. I leave peaches and foods with pineapple til later on because those are the ones that many of my babies have had trouble with. I move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 when the baby seems to have the “eating thing” down. And, I add new cereals along with other new foods.
I make them try every food, multiple times. Many of us didn’t like a new food til we’ve tried it a few times. It doesn’t matter what I liike, It’s about their growth and experience, not mine.
My seven month old was on three 8oz. bottles a day but since she’s eating solids, I’ve cut back to 6 oz. bottles. She started and has stayed at the 50%ile for height and weight so I think she’s doing well.
My current baby, like Annabel, takes a morning and afternoon nap. Because my cherubs are mostly drug exposed at birth, I firmly believe in schedules to help them organize their lives. They also need “good” sleep, not sleep-on-the-run where they finally drop in their tracks.
I’m sure you’re doing just fine. Look at how happy that little girl is!
I am pretty sure I have never heard a kid say “I wish my mom had loved me less and did more laundry.” If you ask me, you are doing it right.
And just when you figure out the sleeping schedules and feeding schedules she goes on and grows a bit, matures a bit and everything is new again. You have to figure it all out every single stage over and over again……Mine are now 3 and 5 and …it’s just a vicious cycle !
Laundry can wait, always.
No advice to offer. But maybe a distracting story. When my two were little, one day the laundry had reached crisis proportions. I angrily decided the time had come to put a price on my mental health, and by gosh I was going to take every piece of it to a laundry where they do your wash for you and you pay by the load. As I gathered it and sorted it for transport, suddenly it seemed easier just to pop the whites in the washing machine…and then it all seemed manageable, over a period of three days.
I so often feel this exact same way (right now it’s about potty training!). But have you looked at Annie lately? She’s clearly eating enough (I LOVE those cheeks), and she’s clearly a happy little thing. You totally have the right idea–kisses now, laundry later. It will be there. Annie will only be this age for today. Enjoy it and don’t stress! You’re a great mom!
I think for most of us it’s a fly by the seat of your pants sort of thing. You can read a bazillion books, check online, call and talk to every know it all around and still you’re left having to make the choice. As long as you make the choice that you believe is the best for you and your family you can’t go too far wrong.
Domestic Extraordinaire says:
I know when my girls were little I could talk to one of the nurses at the peds office about food and they answered all of my questions.
I do remember to try out one food a week so that you will know if they are gong to have allergic reaction to the food and for their system to adjust.
We don’t have a naptime/bedtime schedule either and I also have no clue about how much I should be feeding my daughter. And now she’s a year old and I’m trying to figure out how to switch from formula to milk… it’s a crap shoot, basically.
My daughter loves her some peas though. That is one food she never turns down!
And you can never give too many kisses!
Have you talked to Dr. Loooove? I found that our Dr was a great resource for helping with all of that feeding nonsense (how many oz milk/day, what to feed, etc.). It’s so much easier when they can talk and stuff. LOL I’m trying to recall those days and I’m drawing a blank.
You’re a great Mommy, and life just gets in the way. The laundry will ALWAYS be there, but Annie won’t always be a baby so relish in these moments!
Tricia (irishsamom) says:
Oh Heather, you don’t need any manual or anyone telling you how to do it. Seems to me you’re doing it perfectly fine for YOU and Annie. You’re realising how important the love is and when it comes down to it, it’s all that’s important. She’s loved, safe and well-loved! Every child is different, every parent is different and although I am a schedule Mom, it’s what worked for me and my kids and they were both so different. Now that they’re older, all I want is some of that time back when they were napping so that I could have them as little babies and love on them even more than I did. As you well know, time is precious and any opportunity to love her is time that is so well spent.
Follow YOUR instincts and your beautiful baby will lead the way. Do what feels right to you and the rest will figure itself out. All that’s important is that she’s loved and adored, not to mention adorable.
You’re an amazing mother and I look to you for inspiration, truely. We are never seasoned at this job, it’s a process of ups and downs and changes all the time. Believe me, my M has just turned 12 and it’s a whole other ball of wax – I feel like I’m learning all over again, just a different phase.
You’re amazing. Give Annie a big ol’ squeeze from me!
Tricia : )
You’ve got the kisses down…I think that’s all that matters! =)
You’ve got the love part… that’s all that matters. It doesn’t look like Annabel is starving. I’d say a bottle and food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bottle in between and definitely a bottle before bed to hold her through the night. Thanks for sharing the pictures. She’s adorable!
Jen L. says:
Dude. I think we’re all just wingin’ it! (anyone who says they’re not? Probably lying!) My kid made it easy on me….whenever he was done eating, he’d spit a mouthful of food all over himself and me, letting me know he was full. Messy, yet effective.
I forgot to mention this during your teething troubles–have you ever used a mesh feeder? The idea of them is fairly disgusting, but they work like a charm. I put frozen slices of peaches in Dean’s and he’d gum it to death.
Jen C. says:
Sounds to me like you are managing it just fine! I think feeding the baby goes something like – throw a bunch of food at them, and if they cry, see if they’re hungry. If it works for the three of you, it works! Except the shower thing…you probably do need to work on that.
Mama Fuss says:
Here’s what our pediatrician told me: until they are 12 mos old, they need to get their nutrition from their milk (formula) and the solids you give them are really just “practice.” So keep giving her as much milk as she ever had, and then you can add some solids for some variety. They say to introduce new foods one at a time (so you notice a reaction if there is one). The suggestion is introduce a new one per week, but I usually did 2 jars in a row (spread out over a couple of days, so we’re talking 4-6 days depending on how much/fast she took to the new taste/texture) and then added that food to the group I’d cycle through of ones we’d already done.
And as much as I hate peas (even now!), my daughter loves them – and has since the jarred baby food days. Weird.
alls i know is that while i was at work when the girls were 6 months old, my mom would give them TWO EXTRA BOTTLES A DAY!!! No wonder they looked like sumo wrestlers.
love you and your smellyness.
Off-topic: Heather, I just saw these on Etsy and OMG did I think of you and Annie!
Laurie SL says:
You are super cute, Heather! We all struggle with what/when/how to feed the little ones! This is a helpful site for guidance on answering some of these questions: http://www.babycenter.com/0_age-by-age-guide-to-feeding-your-baby_1400680.bc#3
Annabel looks healthy & happy – two important signals that she is thriving! So keep doing what you’re doing…and don’t forget those all-important kisses!
Ms. Moon says:
Consult your instincts. Trust them. When you eat, if she acts hungry, give her some food. When she acts like she might be sleepy, give her a bottle. Etc. Obviously you’re doing it right already.
Keep giving the same number of bottles, but you add a “meal” — we did one new food a week, and usually mixed it with oatmeal (yum . . . what’s better than baby peas? oatmeal baby peas!). Our ped told us to keep the bottles and she’d slowly on her own just drink less milk over time, which is exactly what happened. Once we worked our way up to two food meals a day, then we cut out a bottle, then two, and by one and a half, she was only having a bottle morning and night, with breakfast, lunch and dinner in between.
Showering and laundry? Totally over-rated. Who needs underwear anyway?
I’m lucky in that Paige was an incredibly easy baby and I had a pediatrician I loved. We didn’t have a set schedule until she hit about 18 months (and even now at almost 2 *cries* we still find ourselves flying by the seat of our pants most days) and she was fine. I just knew her clues…which was nice.
We did 1 cereal at a time (so we’d go through one box of rice, the barley, then mixed) and then started on veggies. I honestly don’t remember how much she ate (blame sleep deprivation), but I know I just followed her cues. The doctor also told us to not give her more than 8 ounces of formula at a time (and we usually only had 3 bottles a day). And when we moved to milk, our doctor told us to go with whatever we drank because babies don’t need the extra fat like they used to think. Which is good considering we drink skim milk.
But no matter what I did, i knew she’d end up okay. She eats vegetables like a champ and definitely has a better palate than me. When all the child wants to eat at Olive Garden is the tomatoes, I know all is okay :-P.
So…the main gist of my comment – follow your mommy instincts. They’ve never lead me wrong and they won’t lead you wrong either!
PS. Schedules stink. They tend to make for a too-rigid day and an inflexible baby! We always let our Sammie B fall asleep whenever, wherever and that worked for us. I cannot stick to a schedule for ME, much less her. It just works for us! I have friends whose kids HAVE to HAVE to have naps at noon everyday . . . and they plan their days around that. Not me. Just not much of a planner in that sense. So far, it works.
As for personal hygiene . . . it’s LA . . . anything goes! You want to wear boxers? Throw on some uggs and call it high fashion ;o).
I had an instruction manual for feeding! I must have looked at this pdf once a week during the solid food introductions, lol.
As for the laundry, mine hasn’t been caught up since I had my first child 18 years ago, yet we all manage to be dressed most days. It’s manageable.
Peggy Brister says:
I never had much of a schedule with my 3 kids either. They slept when theyg ot sleepy, ate when they got hungry. The hospital said to feed them every 3 hours but sometimes they didn’t want to eat until the 4th hour or they got hungry early and wanted to eat after 2 hours. I always followed up a feeding of baby food with a bottle of milk to kind of wash it down with and that usually put them to sleep when their tummy was full. Or made them take a dump, one or the other. She looks perfectly healthy so I think you probably have a pretty good system going so far.
Love the post – I felt exactly the same with my daughter! Then all my type-A-ness was satisfied by this book, which my dietician sister told me is the gold standard in feeding babies and kids:
Child of Mine, by Ellyn Satter
The book is awesome… fun, easy to read, simple instructions, lots of good, non-judgmental advice. It’s a no-guilt kind of book, which works for me! If it works for you, enjoy!
And just read Peggy’s comment (just above) — exactly. If Annie looks and acts healthy, then you have nothing to worry about!!
Marti from Michigan says:
Heather you do not want a manual! When my daughter was born in January 1975, I was handed that so-called manual when I left the hospital with her. When to stop breast feeding, when to bring to doctor for vaccinations and well-baby checkups, when to start solids. Kaphooey! I breast fed her strictly for about 6 months, then started adding baby food applesauce (no lumps), baby food rice and mixed that with my breast milk, which she chomped down!
She did well, thrived, grew up, became the lovely woman she is this day at age 35, and has given me 4 grandkids.
You and Mike are doing a WONDERFUL job, so kaphooey on a manual!
Hilarious! I said, out loud while at Barnes and Noble with my mother today, “well, I don’t know! Where is that damn baby manual?!”. It really would make my life so much easier.
(And, for the record, I put my pajama top back on because the dried baby puke smell was finally getting to me…after sitting on my shoulder for over 2 hours.)
You don’t need a manual, you are awesome! The food is differnt for everyone, as long as Annie is full and happy that is all the matters. Never cut down on the kisses and hte showers well they will come and soon or later the laundry will get done. Never forget what a wonderful mom you are.
Amanda M. says:
Meh, I’m all for winging it. I mean, she’s a baby, she can’t read a clock. Sure when she’s a little older she’ll like the predictability of a schedule, but for now she’s just like “I HAVE A NEED, FULFILL IT, MOMMY! Mm, thank you.”
Your mommy methodology is solid. I have researches to confirm it.
By the time i had my third, I didn’t bother with the jarred food. You’re right, baby peas are nasty and will turn you off green things forever. Even with my second kid, I decided to just wait till he could pick up small bits of well cooked food (carrots, peas) and feed him those on his highchair tray. He is my best eater to date; he loved broccoli right away.
My advice is to just offer little bites of whatever soft foods you’re eating–baked potato, avocado, well cooked carrots, applesauce–and not worry about amounts. She’ll let you know when she’s hungry, trust me. With my first, I fretted about the bottles as well, but he started rejecting afternoon after-lunch bottles, and that was my clue that he was ready to shift over to more big boy foods. He was probably 14 months old at the time.
She’s six months already?! Wow. So cute. For the first six months, it’s breastmilk/formula only. Then ‘table foods’, just about anything except milks, nuts, fish, citrus. Give bottles first. The food is just an added bonus, it’s not really for nutrition. And really, don’t buy jarred food. Surely you can boil/steam your own sweet potato?
Also, for showering, hang a jumper in the doorframe. Or, even more exciting, get or make a shower sling with some polyester mesh, fleece, or Solarveil fabric. Wear her in the shower with you! Or, if she’s sitting up, you can put her in a bathtub ring at your feet while you shower. I really dont’ understand moms who say they can’t shower. With my third, I showered more than with my other two combined, LOL. I LOVE LOVE LOVE babywearing!!!!!
HAHAHA! This sounds just like me, when it was time to start feeding my son baby food, I had no idea how much to give him, or what kind of food to give him, ask your mom they always know those things! Good luck!!
You guess and go by her cues?
Dude. I sent an email to a friend today. On what i should do to get my child to sleep in his own dang bed. My THIRD child. I sent it to her, because I saw that she’d had some issues getting her third child to sleep in the crib too. And cause I have no clue what to do. Am tiredy.
I think it’s all a toss up. Some of it comes easy. Some is a guessing game.
Go light on green veggies, it can give them the runs. Baby cereal and maybe a bit of fruit in the morning? Applesauce, pears, bit of prunes if she has any constipation issues. Um…she’s kinda little for too much baby food. I mean, boob juice/formula is supposedly mostly what they need. If you really want to know exact amounts ask her pediatrician.
Truth? Everyone will tell you something different. Go with your gut babe. You’re a great mom and she is obviously an amazing baby. The rest is just a guess as you get to know what she needs and wants.
mom, again says:
oh Heather! You are adorable with your but I don’t know.
Have you asked your doctor? Your mom? The parents of those adorable cousins?
The whole thing is easier if you cook, you then can just give her some of your meal, mushed down to an appropriate level for her. That is, smooth now, lumpier later, just chopped, and then just bite-sized.
My offer to come up and teach you how to cook was for real. I’m just down here in Orange County with time on my hands and wishing I had an excuse to go somewhere.
There’s a great book called “The Baby’s Table” that I absolutely recommend. As for the kisses-vs-laundrey debate, I think you’ve made the right call!
Just how you have been doing it . . . winging it. Seems like it’s working to me.
The majority of her food should come from the breast (or bottle) until one year of age. Right now food is just for experimenting and playing with. Even if she’s technically of age to start solids, look for the development milestones – sitting up unassisted, pincer grasp. Otherwise she is not ready.
Ditto to this! Relax about the food thing. Let her experiment with the flavors and textures and know that most of the nutrients she needs she gets from the formula.
Also, I really recommend making your own baby food. It’s ridiculously easy and cheap and fun– and you know what’s in there. Just one morning a week to bake, boil and blend and mash a few things up and pop them in the freezer. You can make two or three weeks of servings at a time with very little effort. And you won’t feel as weird about tasting it yourself. Peas were my kid’s favorite, followed by sweet potatoes and squash. And he LOVED a mixed fruit puree I made for him. He still loves his smoothie.
It also doesn’t break your heart when the baby refuses it the first 1-15 times because it didn’t cost much to make and there are no jars to dispose of.
I have pictures of my baby in the laundry basket. She’s 3 1/2 now and still loves to help with laundry.
I don’t think they really NEED solids until they’re like two …or was it twelve (Something that started with a T, I think)….so you can play around with solids for a long time. Don’t think I started until they were over six months- and then it was just so we could take funny pictures of them.
Hey, if you go to http://www.earthsbest.com there is an infant feeding chart you can download (lower lefthand corner of home page–it’s a PDF). Tells you how many ounces of formula/breastmilk plus how much food and at what age. I found it really helpful when my now almost three-year-old started solids.
For sleep, I loved the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. He maps out a schedule most babies follow on their own anyway, if you’re into that kind of thing…
Aussie Mama says:
Here is a link to the introducing solids manual (yes there is a manual!!! Well I guess technically more of a guide) that is given out by the local baby health centres here in Canberra (Australia):
As it’s written for an Australian audience some of the measurements and food types might seem a bit odd but I’ve found it so super helpful. It also has suggestions on how many milk feeds to provide.
Also, the timeframes are just a suggestion. My little one started eating at 4 months so I just adjusted the recommended age groups accordingly as a rough guide and was then lead by my son’s ability and interests.
Good luck and enjoy the mess!
My husband is the WORLD’S pickiest eater and when our daughter was born it became his mission in life to make sure she didn’t suffer from the same affliction. So he got hold of a terrific book called Super Baby Foods and it changed our lives. He made (I repeat – HE. MADE.) every morsel of food that went into her mouth. Let’s face it – jar baby food is nasty. No wonder kids hate vegetables. The book had a clear outline of what foods to introduce when and how to prepare and store them – it was WAY easier than we would have imagined – and WAY CHEAPER than buying jar food, too. Our baby girl was the healthiest kid I’ve ever seen and today (she’s 7) she loves, loves, loves her vegetables. Other mothers look at me with sheer envy when she asks for broccoli or snap peas or squash instead of french fries. Yea, me!!!
Jennifer Hayford says:
I have a little plaque in my kitchen that reads “cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow for babies grow up much to our sorrow, so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, i’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep” I look at this every time I feel overwhelmed and take time to enjoy my babies (who are now 6 and 8 and no longer require rocking!) You’re doing a wonderful job and your daughters are beautiful
I haven’t gone through all the comments but I think it’s been said: I highly recommed making Annie’s food. I am not a good cook by any means but I made everything my daughter ate. It’s so easy and I think better for them. Other than that, trust yourself. You’re Annie’s mom and know her better than anyone. I think schedules are overrated.
you’re doing great.
I have 4 kids and each has been different on the schedule and eating thing, but I will say that they were on a pretty strict, completely self-imposed schedule once I started paying attention.
As for the food thing, do start with the cereal & veggies, then fruit, and I typically fed them all food at mealtimes….but we eat together.
One thing I can pass along that we loved with our youngest (13 months): http://store.ecomom.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=plum
we LOVED these…..and so neat and easy to throw into the bag without worrying about breakage….also? once she’s old enough, you can just hand her the pouch and she can drink it kinda like a smoothie…..very handy in the car when you can’t really stop for a meal with a spoon…..
The sprout baby foods have some great recipes, but I didn’t like their pouches….messy.
Mix it up!
Don’t let her just not like certain kinds of food, if she doesn’t like, say, Peas, just mix up some peas with something she does like, such as Apple. I know, it sounds nasty, but you can gradually get her into Peas. We did this with our son, who is not a picky eater at all now, he enjoys trying new things and is a great eater!
Also, make sure you don’t just stick with certain kinds of foods, she’ll get that orange or green tint to her skin that some kids get when they only eat certain foods, be sure to give her a HUGE variety of foods. (i’m sure you would anyway…)
OH – and about the bottle thing, I would split the amount of milk she has in half, if she is still hungry after her big girl food and her milk, then just get her a little more. You can always add, you know if she is still hungry!
Keep up the amazing work, your little Annie is beautiful and obviously happy.
Baby 411 by Ari Brown is about as close to a manual as I’ve found. Gives good basic info and you can adapt as needed to the individual needs of your kid. I’m with you that the baby will tell you what she/he needs.
Annie seems to be enjoying those solids. CUTIE! And that bouncer is adorable. =o)
I think you will do just fine…
I mixed everything into the cereal! and I would try to introduce new flavors all the time!
If she doesn’t like it the first go around doesn’t mean you should NEVER give it to her again. Allow for her tastes to develop.
I’m in the same boat heather. Being a mom is hard enough, but being a mom and doing the rest of your normal everyday stuff? UGH! The best advice I have is this:
A) Keep a chore calendar. Ours has gotten our lives completely on track. Our house used to be so messy some days it was hard to walk through, but finally we realized something needed to change, I sat down with a colored pencil and we listed all the chores that need don, and then we seperated them out through the week.Picking up the living room and doing the dishes happens daily, chores like cleaning the bedroom, bathroom and sweeping/mopping happen every other day alternatively, and things like trash or yardwork happen weekly.
b)I’ll give you the advice my grandma gave to my mom when she started staying home with me, which my mom shared with me when I had my first. Get dressed at least five days a week. That means do your hair (even if it’s just a ponytail), make-up if you wear that usually, and clothes that aren’t pajamas or workout clothes. You’ll feel so much better about yourself on those days, and it’s really worth the extra effort. Doing something like that can release so much stress when an unexpected guest just shows up.
I hope that helps!
Heather K says:
When we started ours on cereal, we mixed breast milk with it. When we started on the veggies, we mixed the dry cereal with the veggie to make it “sit heavier” in their tummies. 1 new veggie every 4 days, to make sure she’s not allergic to any of them. Introduce the fruits last, once she gets a taste for those she may refuse the veggies…LOL…
You’ll find a routine/schedule that works best for you guys. Most important thing is being H-A-P-P-Y and you all (especially Annie) look that way!
God bless all of you!
Are you kidding me? You are a GREAT mom in every way. Look how happy and chubby your baby is. Relax…and go back to kissing your beautiful baby.
You can never give too many kisses!! My daughter is 4 and a half, and I STILL smother the poor kid. And hello – I mean – LOOK at your kid!! It’s all I can do to not kiss the computer screen when I see her!! She was born to be kissed!! I LOVE her.
As far as food goes…… follow her lead. Don’t give her candy or poison and you’re good. You can make yourself crazy wondering if you are doing this or that right…. if she’s hungry, you’ll know. Don’t feed her the forbidden foods, (honey, strawberries, Diet Coke) and it will al be good in the end.
Mrs. Bro says:
Let her eat when she’s hungry. If you set her on a schedule, you set her body to be acustomed to eating at specific times whether she’s hungry or not. My pediatrician told me that because I’m a fatty, and he doesn’t want my baby to be a fatty, too. She will dictate to you how much food and how many ounces.
As for the shower, drag the jumper into the bathroom, crank up the radio and take one! She’ll be fine.
With laundry, I used to make my little one “help me.” She would sit there with me while I explained to her what colors were on what, what shirt went with which pants (I usually caught Daddy listening in on that part), and what patterns were on what. Usually it would end with her grabbing something and hurdling it to the other side of the room, but you’ll find the rhythm…
Hang in there momma!
Heather, I’m so very sorry – what a wonderful woman
Dear Heather, I’m so sorry for the loss of your Aunt. I have only recently started reading your blog. You’ve been through so much. I have to tell you what prompted me to comment was this line “I have the love part down pat. I smother my Annie with so many kisses that sometimes I think, “Self, maybe you should cut down on the kisses and do some laundry. Also, something stinks and it’s probably you.” But then I reply to myself, “no…the laundry can wait. MORE KISSES!”” I SO totally get that. I don’t have children of my own yet.. we have been trying unsuccessfully for over a year now. I can totally hear myself saying what you said there. Hopefully Someday. XOXOXO, Charlene
Put baby in a wrap, mei tai, pouch or ring sling and you can totally give tons of kisses at the SAME TIME as doing laundry.
Heather I swore by this website when Caileb started eating food- it’s the Gerber Healthy Start site and includes all sorts of useful information, but I most enjoyed the nutritional guides- they are arranged by development stages (supported sitter, sitter, crawler, walker, and preschooler). They pretty much tell you what to feed your child, when and how much! Of course you can tweak it to fit Annie, but it is of major help.
Here’s the direct link to Supported Sitter nutritional guide- I hope this helps!
Jodie Brooks says:
I liked this one too!!
You may not *think* that you know what you’re doing with stuff like naps and feeding, but I don’t know any two girls who receive more love than Maddie and Annie.
My daughter is 6.5 months old and we just started solids a couple weeks ago…so I am right there with you. And she’s totally not on a schedule either…though I somewhat wish she was. She doesn’t sleep enough during the day and therefore gets overly tired and ends up going to bed real late and wakes up a bunch because of it. She also just got her 2nd tooth and got moved into her crib…so its all a work in progress…we’re slowly but surely working on it and figuring it out as we go along!
My daughter, the mother of a two-year-old, has made it look so easy. Pureed organic baby food for a while, but by the time she is nearing twelve months: Buy fresh, organic food from Whole Foods.
1. Breakfast: a scrambled egg with shredded cheese and blueberries at breakfast.
2. Lunch: any version of ~an avocado cut up, cooked carrots, cooked broccoli, cooked corn on cob in small pieces, small cubes of chicken or other meat, cut up olives, cherry tomatoes halved in a divided plate. We serve all this cold to her. Also, we add hummus for dipping the veggies and non-sweetened yogurt as “dessert.” Sounds daunting but with shopping weekly and putting the foods into Tupperware containers in the refrigerator with the date, we know it is her food and it is fresh.
3. Dinner: Whatever you are having for dinner cut up, or much the same as lunch above.
4. Snacks during the day: cheese sticks and baby whole wheat crackers, lots of fresh fruit including bananas, kiwi, berries, oranges, melon, watermelon, plums, apricots, everything cut in small sizes.
That’s it. Pretty much the same every week. And as I said, minimal shopping and cooking involved. None of this freezing business. Just fresh, close to the earth food. Every week. She barely knows what a sweet is…other than her go-to fruit…Good luck from a Grandma…
Hi Heather… I can remember all too well being confused about how to introduce solid food to my daughter. A friend recommended the book, ‘Super Baby Food’. The sample feeding schedule for a 5 month old, 6 month old, etc (including bottle/breast and solid meal) was VERY helpful. I liked her information on when to introduce certain foods and the nutritional info she included. The rest I didn’t take too seriously.
I’m a huge fan of routine… When it came to my babies, I liked knowing (roughly) when it was time for a nap, food, etc. It just helped me get through the day… time for myself, time for chores, time for play.
I have read your site for months and months; you feel almost like a friend, so I hope you don’t mind someone else dishing out more advice. My only advice would be to do what you feel is best. I have known so many mommies who won’t feed their baby another bottle, because it hasn’t been “enough” time since the last one. It kinda breaks my heart to hear that. I certainly get hungry at a different rate than my husband, or my friends. It seems so overwhelming to you now, just more and more decisions to make for every single meal and snack. I had the monologue running constantly through my head, too “Is this the most healthy thing, is it too much, not enough,” on and on. If you can, take a deep breath, smile at the beautiful baby, and listen to your mommy instincts. That’s why we have them!
Jodie Brooks says:
You’ll get the hang of it before you know it. My pediatrician had a one page hand-out thing that he gave us and it would state which foods to start out with and how many ounces of milk/formula she should have in a day. Also, I would look to baby websites if I had any additional questions, that way I didn’t sound stupid when asking the doctor basic feeding questions!! Annie looks very healthy, so you must be doing something right, right??? Hang in there!
Super Baby Food – great source for “how much and when?” as well as TONS of recipes if you want to tackle making anything from scratch.
LPN Certification says:
I would look to baby websites if I had any additional questions, that way I didn’t sound stupid when asking the doctor basic feeding questions!! Annie looks very healthy
Laundry? I”m supposed to be doing laundry?