Can you believe it? Mary Ellen is six months old already. I know!! How is that possible? It’s like I was pregnant, just yesterday.
Mary Ellen does a great job turning over (video HERE — WordPress won’t let me insert Flash video, so you have to visit Flickr to see the video), and now it’s hard to change her diaper because she’s so quick at flipping. I take my eye off her for a second, and she’s rolled over on her belly with her behind waving in the air. It’s pretty funny. Good thing I usually change her while I sit on the floor!
Now we’ve reached another milestone in that Mary Ellen got her very first taste of “real” food. Some folks will start feeding their babies at four months or even younger, but for me, I’d rather wait till six months. For one thing, I have girls, and it seems like they don’t need the food as early as boys do. For another thing, Grace has a peanut allergy, so I’d rather hold off on food anyhow.
But the main reason for holding out on food is simply that I am a lazy mother. Making up a bottle four times a day is no big deal. It’s easy, and then I have an excuse to sit on the couch quietly while Mary Ellen eats. Giving your kid food is something else entirely. You have to get her in the highchair or booster seat, you have to make up some food, and then you have to sit there and spoon-fed it to her while she does her best to spit it right back out again. It makes feeding a very long and frustrating process for you both.
That’s why I’d rather wait. It makes the baby food stage so much shorter. Soon enough Mary Ellen will develop her pincer grasp, so she can pick up Cheerios, and her teeth will come in to make eating table food easier. At that point, I’ll just cut up whatever the rest of us are eating for dinner and spread it on her plate. She’ll be able to feed herself and make as much of a mess as she’d like — and I don’t have to sit there and spoon-feed her.
I do make a fair amount of my own baby food. I know that goes contrary to my lazy nature, but really, homemade food tastes so much better and looks and smells better too. There is nothing nastier than cracking open a jar of jarred green bean baby food. Yuck! I will puree my own peas, green beans, broccoli, and whatever else is green. Ooo, zucchini would work! I’ll have to try that when ME gets big enough for veggies. I love to do my own sweet potato too because it turns out so velvety and smooth, the absolute perfect baby food. Chicken works well too, though that’s the only meat I do. I puree up whatever it is that I’m making, then freeze it off into ice cubes, and reheat whatever I need when it’s time for the baby to eat. When the child is old enough to combine flavors, then I start to mix sweet potato and chicken, or peas and chicken. It actually makes the meat go down better because pureed meat just never tastes right, at least to an adult palate.
Yes, it seems like a lot of work to make one’s own baby food, but it’s a lot cheaper. And as I said, it smells a lot better too — both going in and coming out!
So tonight we tried Mary Ellen on the classic first food — rice cereal.
Mary Ellen’s got the cereal in her mouth, and now she’s just thinking, “Hmm, what is this stuff?” She wasn’t quite sure what to do with the new sensation and generally worked on trying to spit it back out again. She might not be ready for cereal, but we’ll try again.
This photo just makes me giggle:
She’s really mad and frustrated, wanting a bottle because she knows how to eat that, and I’m not being very cooperative. She actually did really well, even though she wasn’t grasping the concept of getting the cereal down her throat. I think it’s good for her too because she didn’t spit up hardly at all after this meal, where sometimes she seems to spit up half of the bottle she’s just sucked down.
So that was our excitement for the day! Tomorrow we’ll try her again on the rice cereal to see if she takes to it better. I just can’t wait till we can start giving her fruits and veggies. Yum!