Infant feeding: Adventures in eating with a new baby
Go with the flow and other lessons this mom learned while feeding baby No. 3.
With every new baby starts a new adventure, especially when it comes to food. When my daughter Roxana was born, I was ecstatic to have the chance for a third such adventure. The third time’s a charm, right?
I was a little too laid back and a bit overconfident because my boys had both taken quickly to nursing and later to eating solid foods. In fact, they loved most foods from the start. I found out quickly that my girl was going to be different. Here are some things I learned about feeding an infant the third time around.
1. Be prepared to adjust your infant feeding plan.
My first two children never needed any formula, so I assumed such would be the case with third as well. Roxana was very small at only 4 pounds, 6 ounces. When she had trouble keeping her blood sugar at a normal level, I heeded the doctor’s request to supplement with formula. Thanks to the supplement, Roxana maintained her birthweight and was discharged from the hospital when I was.
2. Go with the flow.
I spent months trying to get each of my boys to take a bottle. In the end, I had to throw away my expired frozen milk supply because my boys didn’t want to drink it from a bottle. With Roxana, I tried the bottle a few times rather than daily, as I had with my middle child. When she also refused, I chose not to push the issue. My flexible work schedule and willingness to feed her more at night helped us make it through the months of exclusive breastfeeding. So, whether you want to bottle feed your infant or breastfeed, remember — baby might not be on board.
3. Wondering what to feed infants? Try avocados as a first food.
I was talked out of starting with avocados as Roxana’s first solid food. I tried every traditional fruit and vegetable, jarred, rehydrated and homemade, over and over (and over again!) until I finally decided to try an avocado. She LOVED it! For a couple of weeks, it was the only food she would eat. Soon I started mixing more traditional foods with avocado. I learned to be patient and creative at meal time.
4. Do not discount vitamin supplements.
With my boys there was a suggestion, but not a big push, for vitamin supplements. There was not as much information available on the incidence of low vitamin D in breastfed babies. I did not supplement the boys, and when tested around preschool age, both boys had lower levels of vitamin D. Talk with your pediatrician about the potential benefits.
Introducing food to babies is an adventure every time, and I became excited to see what kind of eater Roxana would become. My approach was to expose her to a variety of foods to hopefully give her a better chance of being a good eater later.
*Please make sure to discuss the nutritional needs of your baby with your pediatrician.
This post was written Shabnam Aminmadani, a blogger, human resources professional and mother of three.
Did you have a certain food that your baby preferred? Do you have any tricks or tips to get babies to eat different foods? Please share your stories and your advice in the comments below.