Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Her Plate

Six months ago, Alaine and I were in a nursing crisis.  She fought me every time I tried to nurse her, but yet she cried to be fed.  We never had to resort to supplementation (though I did wonder whether we'd eventually need to), but after weeks and weeks of nursing struggles, she moved into a stage of acceptance, and finally the stage she is in now: the stage of total dedication.  She asks to nurse many times in the daytime hours-- when she's bored, when she's tired, when she's thirsty, when she's nervous, when she's hurt.  You get the picture.  She sleeps well, though, and only wakes to nurse once (or none at all) in the middle of the night.  (Don't hate me.  She is the first baby I've had who has almost consistently slept through the night before 18 months.) 

When she went for a well visit at 7 1/2 months, her pediatrician asked if she was eating any solid food.  I've never used jarred baby food and since Alaine had not shown any interest in table food, I told him that no, she was still exclusively nursing.  A few days later, I was eating a banana and she practically wrestled it from my hand and into her mouth, but she was not overly impressed.   At 8 1/2 months old, Alaine was still content to nurse and maybe sample a nibble or two of banana a couple of times a week. 

And then something snapped.

Suddenly, she wanted it all.  Banana?  She needed it!  Peaches?  She wanted that, too.  Oatmeal?  Yes, please!  Tomato?  Rice?  Cole slaw?  Yes, yes, yes.  Admittedly, I threw the conventional "1 new food every 3 days" advice soaring out the window. She could not get enough.  Between every bite, she cried (literally) for more.  

Healthy eating at its best...or not.

Alaine will be 11 months old on Monday.  She now eats three meals a day in my lap.  We gave away our big highchair before Benjamin was born so he used a booster in a chair at the table.  I have been reluctant to monopolize a chair this time around so I put off taking that step and simply hold her while we all eat together.  Our toddlers usually move to their own seat at the table between 15-18 months old anyway so it should be short-lived. 

At breakfast, Alaine usually eats from my plate, but I fix her a separate plate at lunch and dinner.  I feed her the messy stuff, but she can capably handle finger foods, and she is beginning to use a spoon, too. These are Alaine's  before and after plates from a meal we had last week.  (Her plate is a small dessert-sized plate.)

Before:  half of a twice-baked potato, diced raw tomato, 3 small pieces baked chicken, diced peaches and pears

After: potato skin, 1 small piece of baked chicken

For such a big eater, she is still the smallest baby I've had, weighing in at about 18 pounds.  (Owen was 18 pounds at 2 months-- no kidding!) 

One last thing: I tried introducing a sippy cup about the same time she began eating voraciously, but she couldn't get the hang of it so I put it away in the cabinet for awhile.  (I made sure she was getting enough fluids through nursing.)  Around 10 months, I tried the sippy again and she caught on right away.  Now she sucks down her water almost as enthusiastically as she eats her meals!  
What are your baby's eating habits?


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I've really struggled with what sorts of things to feed my little man this time around. He's just short of a year and I'm stuck in a "dairy" rut it seems. Lots of yogurt and cottage cheese... occasional other things. All while nursing of course, but I plan to ween when we get back from vacation in a few weeks, so I'm really going to need to vary his meals a bit. Feel free to share some more of what you're feeding her! :)

  2. Love the picture of Alaine with her "healthy" popsicle! :-D

    Alaine is her own person...not surprising that she is learning to eat in her own way. And so nice to see the great variety of foods that she likes!

  3. I would have given anything to have this type of a 'chatroom' when I was a young mother. I did have wonderful people in my life and we did great, but how fun to be able to peek inside someone else's home to see the details of how they handle these new progressions! Keep up the good work with all of those beautiful babes...

    Blessings, Debbie


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