celebrating 40!! and some baby food making/feeding tips:

Before I say anything else:
HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY to my precious parents!!!
yes, FORTY YEARS, people. that's amazing. :)


My parents are some of the most generous, caring people you will ever know.
They give well, serve well, and love well.
If you know my parents, you know how true that is.
I LOVE YOU, Mom and Dad!!
So thankful for you and for your marriage.
(Wish we were there to celebrate with you!)

- - - - - - - - - -

last week I said I was going to be sharing with you about
my new adventures in making baby food...so I thought Id start today!!

My hope is that these posts can be a "guide" for new mamas who need some tips or ideas,
or just some encouragement to take on the new journey of feeding your baby!

I'll start with a few tips/thoughts that have worked well for me:
{and please note that these are what have worked for US, and definitely not what may work best for everyone...y'all know that. But I just had to say it. :) }

1. We waited until 6 months to start solids.
Most Pediatricians recommend starting between 4-6 months.
When she started grabbing for my food, and watching me bring my food to my mouth,
I felt like she was ready.


2. We chose NOT to start with rice cereal.
Not for any crazy reason, other than that I believe my baby is getting exactly what she needs from my breastmilk and that it was a healthier idea for us to just start with fruits and veggies.
When looking at it, there is just not much nutritional benefit to having the cereal.
Most babies will get all the iron (a big concern for some people) from their formula or breastmilk.

3. It saves money.
I decided to make my own this time around because it is saving a HUGE amount of money.
I will do a post sometime comparing prices...but I have been SHOCKED at the comparison to buying jars! woohoo for money saving! :)

4. We WILL still use jarred food when needed.
I am not one of those moms that won't ever let my child have "commercial" food.
Sometimes the situation (or day) just calls for it...like if you end up going out to eat and don't have anything prepared, or if you are out of town,
or if I will be gone all day and fresh food won't keep.

5. a good blender/food processor is helpful.
We actually didn't have one when Abigail was starting food, but we have an amazing blender now (my very first infomercial purchase and totally worth it, ha!)
If you need one, we highly recommend the "Ninja" Blending system!


6. get or borrow a few baby cookbooks.
some i recommend:

7. shallow spoons are easier starting out.
Through trial and error, I found that the spoons that are "flatter" are a little easier for the first few weeks or months for your new eater.
The more hollowed out spoons are better for later, but for me, the flatter spoons allow for smaller first bites and for baby to "suck" and get used to the spoon.


8. feed baby until she signals she is done.
She will probably turn away or push the spoon away.
My recommendation (and my pedi's) is to not push it. Baby may simply not be ready to start solids at all, or may need to get used to the taste and texture.
Remember, this is brand new for them!

9. some good foods to start out with:
mashed bananas, avocado, sweet potatoes, squash, apples.
{and on this point, remember that their poop might start changing a bit so don't be alarmed!}
we started with just two different food a week, twice a day.
(one food for half the week, another food for the other half of the week)
Abigail started with avocado and banana. Bethany started with squash and banana.

10. Continue to breast feed or bottle feed as normal.
starting out, solids are NOT a supplement to the very needed nutrients they are getting from you or from their formula. eventually, you will be able to "drop" quite as many feedings as they get used to having something else in their bellies. But for now, just know that starting solids is just an addition to their diet.

11. stock up on some ice trays.
and also some small tupperware for the food you will use in the next day or two.
ice trays is an awesome way to store and freeze bunches of baby food!
*more on that to come!


12. Relax and have fun with it!
I know myself, and a lot of other mommies (esp first-timers) can stress about "am I doing this right?" or "I don't want to hurt my child for the long run" etc etc.
But here's my two cents:
YOU are their mother. So just remember that with a little help and guidance from those who have gone before you...you will probably do what's best for your baby because YOU are the one doing it. And there's honestly not much you can screw up here. :)

oh...and take pictures of baby's first bites...
Can't deny loving those sloppy baby mouths!


what are YOUR baby feeding tips/advice for mamas starting out??

I'll post a few baby food recipes later this week!
Happy Monday!!

{linking up here and here today}