According to our pediatrician, babies are ready to start trying solid foods between 4 and 6 months old. As Max is now right smack dab in the middle of that window, Sean and I decided to take a class at Day One to learn more about what this smashed-up-peas, squashed banana on the floor, rice cereal in Max’s ear adventure would really look like. Was this class helpful? Yes, in a “how do you puree broccoli?” kind of way. However, it was taught by a (very sweet) nutritionist who had the word “holistic” printed on her business card. And she may have lived in Berkeley. Consider yourself warned.
Here is what we learned:
I have completely screwed up my kid. Let me tell you the many ways that I have already failed him:
- I am feeding him formula. Without any kind of vitamin supplement. Without a probiotic. So I raised my hand. And asked “What if your formula says that it includes the vitamin supplement and probiotic? Then do you really need extra?” Of course you do. Because the formula companies are liars. And they’re really kidding when they tell you that what they include is enough to meet your baby’s every nutritional need.
- Not only am I a total failure because I only nursed Max for the first month, but his tiny little immune system is suffering. Why? Because he missed out on the very important journey down my birth canal, where he would’ve acquired the “flora” that would have acted as his natural probiotic. Yes folks, those C-section babies apparently drew the short straw.
- Not only did I not birth him through my private parts, and did not feed him primarily from my boobs, but I am committing the eco-sin of making that forbidden formula with BOTTLED WATER. Why? Because BPA can leak from the plastic into my dear son’s water. And he could get BPA disease. “Ummmm….so what do you recommend we USE then?” asked the mom in class who had just dumped the remnants of a bottle of water (that she had been DRINKING from by the way) into her son’s bottle of formula powder? “Well, tap water is actually better” Ms. Holistic replied. “Or, if you can, you can buy REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER from Whole Foods, like I do”. WHAT?????? No really. WHAT is reverse osmosis water????? And isn’t a healthy little dose of BPA so much better than what comes out of our sink (because according to the nightly news, anything that I get when I turn the faucet on contains a tasty cocktail of psych meds, hormones, and other people’s poop)?
Max is almost 5 months old. He has been drinking formula for most of those months. He has been drinking bottled water in his formula for most of those months. And he entered this world through a big ol’ cut in my belly, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about that, other than thank god that he is healthy, growing, brilliant and wonderful. So Ms. Holistic, you can take your reverse osmosis water in your metal bottle, and……
Now don’t get me wrong, we did walk away with quite a few VERY useful tidbits. Like these:
- The 4-6 month window to start solids is actually more like 5-7 months. Max will not be permanently “chew-impaired” if we wait until he is closer to 6 months.
- In the beginning, solids can be given in the morning, about an hour after Max’s bottle of BPA formula.
- We may need to try a particular food 10-15 times before Max decides he likes it.
- A handy list of foods to try, when to try them, and a log to keep so that we can record what foods Max has mashed into his hair, spit out, and pooped a rainbow from.
- Great, detailed information about how to prepare foods for Max, what could be dangerous, and what gear we’ll need to make meal times easier. Answers to all of the questions that we had about who/when/where/how.
Well, now we know.