Saturday, February 19, 2011
When Nora was born, my intention was to exclusively breastfeed her until she is six months old, as that is the current recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), etc. I knew that realistically, we might not make it all the way to six months, but I figured it was a good goal to have.
Then, when we were at Nora's four-month pediatrician appointment in January, our doctor told us that she was very happy that Nora was doing so well with the breastfeeding. She asked how long I intended to nurse her, and I told her six months, which she was very pleased with. However, she recommended starting some solid foods before I originally planned. Her reasoning is that apparently, the "very few" babies who do make it all of the way to six months without starting solids tend to have problems accepting solids. So, our doctor encouraged us to start rice or oatmeal cereal once a day between five and six months old, just to get her used to the idea of eating solids prior to six months of age.
Alrighty, simple enough.
Despite her recommendations, we weren't in a huge hurry to start solids. For one, breastfeeding has been really EASY, and to add another activity (like preparing and feeding Nora solids) into our daily routine is OK, but not something I was dying to do. Secondly, THE POOP. I was not looking forward to changes in Nora's poop--especially since we cloth diaper. Breastfed baby poo is no big deal, easy to handle, easy to clean... *sigh* Change is hard, y'all.
Anyway, on Thursday, when Nora was about 5 months and 1 week old, we figured we better bite the bullet and start working on solids with Nora. And frankly, we had reason to suspect she was ready. For weeks, she has been OBSESSED with watching us eat, trying to grab our food, putting anything and everything into her mouth, etc.
When we got home from work and daycare, she seemed to be in a good mood, so I mixed up some baby oatmeal cereal with some breast milk. (We are skipping rice cereal... at least the white rice variety. Interested in knowing why? We are following the philosophy of the "WhiteOut" campaign.) As I approached her with it, she seemed pretty interested, and even opened her mouth as I moved the spoon toward her lips.
Then came Friday night. I mixed up the oatmeal exactly as I had on Thursday, except she WOULD.NOT.EAT.IT. I placed the first spoonful in her mouth, she spit it out, made a face, and cried. Then refused to take anymore. We figured maybe she was not feeling it that night, but I was surprised because it just seemed like she suddenly HATED it.
After asking for some advice on Facebook, several friends told us that maybe she just doesn't care for the taste of the oatmeal. "Have you tried it? It tastes like cardboard," one of my friends said. A few people suggested mixing some fruit (banana or applesauce) in with the oatmeal to see if she would take it that way. So, tonight, we tried a little banana in with the oatmeal.
FAIL. Complete fail.
Nora started crying as soon as the spoon came toward her lips, and refused to even really taste it. She pursed her little lips together and would not even let me get the spoon in there! I'm not really sure where to go from here...
We're toying around with trying some other "beginner" foods, like sweet potato or pears.
I picked up some whole grain rice cereal; maybe she'll prefer that over oatmeal.
Maybe she's just not ready.
Whatever the case, this is certainly not as easy as I thought it would be!