Feeding the Little One Solids

7:47:00 PM

Deciding on when to start giving your child solid is really a personal choice. People from my parents generation used to feed babies from the age of 4 months. Even if you read on the net, they say that it is safe to start giving them solids at 4 months but advisable to only start feeding them at 6 months.

We chose 6 months however occasionally giving her fruits to suck on from 5 months, just to get her used to eating. Being the typical excited 6 month old parent, we also prepared puree for her. We started off with pumpkin - because of the iron content which is important for her at 6 months. We also followed that rule of thumb when introducing solids to babies - introduce one food at a time for 3-4 days before introducing another type of food just in case they have allergies.

However, our excitement was ruined when she didn't want to eat! So I thought maybe she doesn't like pumpkin so I made apple puree the next week, and then carrot the next week and then spinach the next week but it all turned to waste. So can you imagine all my hopes, just gone like that?

My mom bought Cerelac, the popular baby cereal. I didn't quite like the idea because I wanted fresh food, not some powder from the box. But you know what, at that point, I thought let's just give it a try - as long as she eats! She didn't like it too. And then I started buying every other brand of food on the babyfood shelves, organic, pouched, dried fruit, baby biscuits, you name it... none of them worked. 

I did more reading and it seems that some babies are fussy and some, are just not ready to eat yet.

The thing about Aisya is that she is not that type of baby that likes to put every single thing in her mouth. Her sense of recognizing things seem to be her hands - the sense of touching and not tasting. So every time something foreign comes near to her mouth, she will immediately shut it tightly and push away.

From 7 month onwards, we just kept on forcing the spoon into her mouth - just so she knows what 'eating' is. Some days she just swallows them unconsciously. Some days she pushes them away. Mealtime seems to be a nightmare for all of us haha. Some of our attempts include:
  1. Turn Barney on and when she's excited looking at Barney and open her mouth, quickly push the spoon into her mouth. She will swallow it and then continue looking at Barney - just simply uninterested with eating. 
  2. Because she seem to love drinking plain water, we trick her by changing between water and food in the spoon. 
  3. Pretending to eat her biscuits and all and she was still uninterested. Like "Ya mummy... whatever..,"
  4. We also did a simple experiment - where we give her the same food with the baby spoon and then our usual spoon and realized that she will only eat the one with the 'adult' spoon and 'adult' bowl. When we switch back to her plastic spoon, she will shake her head and push the spoon away. 
  5. Bought a solid feeder where we can put fruits in and she can suck through it without getting the chunks into her mouth but only the juice - didn't work. 
Solid Feeder - by Munchkin.

By 8 months, she seem to show interest to eat when she looks at us eating. She started imitating her cousin Khyra (who is 3 months older than her) when she was eating biscuits - then only did she understand that the biscuits are meant to be eaten and not thrown everywhere. When Mr eats oats, she seem to want them too and opens her mouth when we give it to her but only for about 4-5 spoons. 

By 9 months, she has already learn to open her mouth when we bring a spoon nearer to her mouth. Sometimes she requests for food too. We feed her practically anything that she requests when she sees us eating- bread, rice, apple, soup. We also realized that she needs to be seated at a certain seat to understand that 'it is now time to mamam..'. 

Magic Bullet
I didn't invest to buy any baby food blender and only use mom's food processor to blend Aisya's puree initially. But now that she's eating well, I've bought the Magic Bullet Blender from Lazada so that I can blend small portions of food instead of stacking a whole week's supply which needs to be defrost everytime before meal time. Some choose the baby version of the Magic Bullet called the Baby Bullet - but I find that they're both the same only the Baby version has extra storage containers which I don't need. Some buy the Avent steamer + blender however its a little too expensive for me.

I would love to feed her fresh food all the time but I realized that as a working mom, I cannot be expecting others to sacrifice so much so something minor so I've decided to only give her fresh food for dinner and also during the weekends. Other than those times, I'm okay with Cerelac.

Before this, we feed her solids 3 times a day: at 9am when she wakes up, at noon and also at 6 in the evening. However, Mr. did some reading and pointed out that maybe she needs more than just 3 times so we changed her schedule to 4 times a day: 9am; noon; 4pm and 8pm. Now, when it's time to eat, she starts complaining and gets all excited when she sees her bowl.

Syukur alhamdulillah. Another milestone indeed :)

I guess its true what they say: not every baby is the same. Starting solid at 6 months is the advice however it seems that mine was only fully ready for it at 9 months. Just make sure that you keep on feeding your baby milk especially mummy's milk as no food can replace the nutrients in the mummy's milk.

Yes, I am a strong believer in breastmilk!

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