Thursday, January 15, 2009

What Have I Done?? (aka The Banana Monster)

So I've been sooo proud of myself for ditching all the how-to parenting stuff and just going with my gut. It has felt pretty darn good. But now I have a problem with that. With the guts. Well, Sam's guts, to be more precise.

So, I offered Sam banana as his first food (well second, because I already offered rice cereal a month ago or whatever...well third, REALLY, because he gets milk...whatever, you know what I'm trying to say). We had a browning banana, I thought I had read it was on the "ok first foods" list, especially since he was now the magical 6 months of age, so I went for it and he loved the sugary goodness. I thought -- wow! We are here! We are on to "solid" foods! He ate banana for a couple of days (We are feeding non-milk food once a day at dinner time, letting him decide how much he eats) and then I was anxious to try another food. I went for carrot, boiling some carrots and mashing them up for him. Upon offering the spoon of orange mush, he was immediately appalled. He could not believe we would offer him such a miserable thing. He would not have it. I don't think we got pictures that really capture the complete disgust that was written all over his body. He was actively spitting the carrot out. So, we brought out the rice cereal mixed with expressed milk -- he would barely touch that. We brought out the banana -- ahh sweet banana -- he ate. I mixed the carrot and banana and he ate that. I had read that if your baby doesn't like something, give it a few days or weeks and try again another time. So, I didn't fret it, for convenience sake he got his beloved banana again the next day, and then here we are, to today.

This morning Sam had his 6-month well-baby check up. He's doing great. Weighing in at a whopping 21 lbs, measuring 27 3/4 inches in length -- he remains a giant baby. I talked to the doc about the solid food stuff, because it is such new terrain to me and it seems like there is no clear path. PLUS bananas can be constipating and Sam's stools had slowed and thickened (as they do with the introduction of other food) and we really wanted to make sure we weren't making things too difficult for Sam (don't want another anal fistula after all!!). Anyway, I left feeling just as confused, I realized. She reiterated the yellow/orange veggies first (which I now realize in my head I thought fruits were in there too) and then onto green beans and peas...But what was sorta weird was that it kind of sounded like the doc was suggesting we use the store babyfood. Not that we had to, but she seemed to think it was a good idea. Started talking about nitrates in carrots and that its better to use the jarred baby food carrots instead of cooking your own -- that and spinach. I hadn't heard anything about this, so I promptly did some research when I got home and I'm not sure she's right.

Anyway, I was excited to try sweet potato tonight. I thought the sweetness and smooth texture would be more satisfying to Sam than the carrot had been. Well, I was WRONG. He was as disgusted with the sweet potato as he was with the carrot. I even let him dig his hands into the bowl of sweet potato and when he pulled his potato-filled hands to his mouth, his face expressed the complete horror of what it found. This time I did not bring out the banana. I just let him eat as much (or as little, as the case may be) of the sweet potato as he wanted, then cleaned him up and that was the end of solid food time.

Tonight, when it became bedtime, Sam would NOT sleep. That is sort of rare for Sam. Some nights are more difficult than others, but tonight Sam just could not settle down. I let him nurse even though it seemed early. He started nursing eagerly but gave up quickly and cried -- as though he was hungry but wasn't getting enough or what he wanted. Finally, over two hours past his normal bed time, I thought "what the hell. let's try banana". Baby in high chair, mushed banana on spoon ... Sam took a good bite. Smiles resume. Sam is happy. Sam eats at least half of a medium sized banana. The world is right again.

Well, really he got a little fussy after he was full, and I think it was because he was sooo exhausted (his eyes were sooo tired looking). Aaron rocked him for a few minutes, though, and he was out.

But here I am wondering if I've started down a bad path. First, did I screw things up really bad by offering this yummy sweet fruit as his first food? Will nothing but other fruits compare? I mean, I'm not shocked he loves the sweets -- his parents are complete sweet fiends. But the guy has to eat something other than banana! Also, if he doesn't like the orange veggies I offer, do I move onto the greens anyway? How did you moms and dads out there start introducing solids? Why is this so complicated for me?

Could he really not sleep tonight because he didn't get his banana fix? Or perhaps my milk supply wasn't providing what he needed? After all, I have returned to work and am away from him for large chunks of some days (he gets my expressed milk when I'm gone) -- maybe I'm no longer making enough?? But I let him nurse as much as he wants and when I miss a feeding I pump when I get home. (I was home all day today so he didn't get a bottle today.)

Sigh. I don't know. I'll just keep at it. But any advice or relevant info is appreciated. About that nitrate thing too. I have read some but not enough to feel knowledgeable on the subject.

Oh, also, he seems to get really hyper after eating banana too. Sugar high?? Do other babies do this? Or just my little Banana Monster?

And, it's really hard going back to work. But I'll save that for another post.


IME said...

Hooray for such a big, healthy boy! We saved the sweet foods for later to avoid the banana monster phenomenon. :) We started with green peas, then moved on to squash, yams, etc. Then apples and pears. I think we then did bananas, avacados, etc. We made all of our own baby food, but I had also seen the nitrate warnings about carrots and spinach. So, we just saved carrots and spinach until the babies were older and nitrates weren't a concern (since they were bigger and able to handle them).

The beginner baby food book I had and really liked was "So Easy Baby Food." I also had some ice cube trays with covers -- cook the food, put it in the food processor, freeze it, and you have baby food whenever you need it. I also used to blend their food really fine in the beginning and mix it with a little expressed breast milk (I thought the familiar taste of mama's milk might help smooth the way).

I'd keep trying him with new things -- sometimes it really does take a few times for them to learn to like it. I used to introduce one new food a week, both to give baby time to get used to it and make sure they weren't having any allergy issues. Good luck!

Tammy B said...

I don't know why store bought food would be better (aside from the nitrate thing). I have heard that you need to be careful with some brands of baby food as they sweeten with cane sugar, which is really sweet and pretty much turns them off of home made food thereafter.

I am just as clueless at you on all of this (being a first time mom and all), but I planned on using my own food. Let us know what you learn.