What the Baby Eats

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Breastfeeding… if you don’t have interest in the topic, see you tomorrow, its going to get honest here! People have such strong views on the subject. Some people are so pro breastfeeding they do it well into the toddler years. Other people think its gross and give formula from day 1 without ever trying. There are obviously people in between as well (like myself) but this subject can be touchy.

I breastfed my 3 year old until she was 14 months. Her first word was “boob” at 8 months. She said it in a deep voice very drawn out “Booooooob”. She said it before ‘mama’. Needless to say, she very much enjoyed it and honestly I did too. Well, after the first month that is…

For any of you new moms out there or pregnant ladies I’ll be brutally honest, it freakin hurts when you start to breastfeed. Don’t beleive the whole “it only hurts if you have a bad latch” business, its far from the truth. That first month is painful. Like bleeding, blistering, I want to cry pain. But usually only the first 20 seconds of each time they latch on. It was this way with both of my girls. I saw lactation consultants each time and they said the girls were latched perfectly, but still, OW! But I stuck with it hoping the pain would go away, and it did. After a couple weeks we were both enjoying it and the past pain was totally worth it. Its a great feeling knowing I can solely nourishmy baby.  I have now been nursing my second baby for almost 6 months and love it just as much. Its a great bonding time and lets not forget about the massive calorie burn! (And so I don’t scare you too much, its not this terribly painful for everyone I’ve heard, just my experience).

I take nourishing my baby pretty seriously, I want to give her the best start to life as possible. They say you can eat whatever you want and the baby will just get first dibs at the nutrients, leaving the mom void. That doesn’t sound too good to me. So I try, even harder than usual, to make sure I eat a variety of healthy foods. I try to get in at least 2-3 serving of dairy a day for calcium, red meat once a week and lots of leafy green for iron, fatty fish once a week  and lots of flax/chai seeds for omega 3’s, pretty much all of my grains are whole grains, and I eat a mass amount of fruits and veggies, probably double the recommended 5 servings a day. And then I throw in dessert and treats as well because I like them, for one. And two, its honestly kind of hard to meet my calorie needs by eating only super healthy. I rarely cook with oils, butter, or salt so I figure I can afford some dessert.

I quickly learned while nursing Alyssa what foods gave her gas. No onions, garlic, broccoli, cualiflower, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes or pasta sauces. That took a lot of food out of the picture. I avoided all of that food until I reintroduced it later on when she had a more mature digestive system. Since I knew all those foods hurt her belly, I just avoided them with Cassidy from the get go. Cassidy is the easiest baby ever, never fussy. I think this plays a part. Now that she is 6 months I am starting to reintroduce some of those foods back into my diet and so far so good. I don’t mind avoiding these foods if it makes for a happy baby. Stay up all night rocking and bouncing an inconsolable baby as you watch her clinch with belly pain and you’ll agree its not a big deal. I would hate to think that just because I wanted some pasta with sauce that I caused my baby girl to hurt. And then no one gets sleep which makes for a rough night and next day.

So…A day in the eating life of Cassidy…

She wakes around 830 am ready to eat! She won’t even let me change her diaper first before she is clawing at my chest. Then at 11 am, 2 pm, 445 pm, 715 pm, and 830 pm. She is actually a slow eater compared to my first and takes about 20-30 minutes each time (except for her last feeding of the day which is just to top off the tank and takes about 5 minutes).

I pump after her morning feeding since she can only eat the milk from one side, leaving me quite lopsided and uncomfortable. Let’s just say I make plenty of milk and my body may be confused that it needs to feed twins. She refuses to take a bottle however, she’s a boob girl, so this milk just piles up in my freezer. I have a couple hundred ounces frozen and just gave a little over 100 oz to a friend who can’t breastfeed because of a past surgery. I needed some room for my frozen veggies! She about had a heart attack when I mentioned it was going to go bad before I could use it all, so I offered her the “liquid gold” and she was SO excited.

Yep, that is the contraption you pump with. It looks scarier than it is.

At 8 pm Cassidy gets 1 oz of the pumped milk mixed with oatmeal cereal and a touch of banana sometimes. She actually hates it and its a battle to get most of it down. It’s a rare night if all gets down. The banana is just so she will tolerate the taste.

Last night at dinner she had some of my baked sweet potato that i smashed between my fingers. Again, not much went down. Maybe a pea sized amount? She also got a pea sized bite of avocado at lunch time when I was making my sandwich. She is still not a big fan of solid foods but much prefers it fed to her in pieces. Maybe we will be skipping the pureed food stage and go straight to really mushy solids.

It is so fun watching her try new foods. Starting from scratch and forming her tastes is important. Alyssa was an amazing eater from day one and is the most unpicky 3 year old I’ve ever seen. It makes me so happy I never have to make a separate meal from her. She does not have any “texture issues” like I know lots of kids (and adults) have. Its just one less thing i have to worry about. Cassidy on the other hand seems to be picky already. She hates both rice and oatmeal cereal. She will suck on apples or sweet potatoes but she doesn’t like being fed spoonfuls of food. Lets hope this changes soon!

Now that she is almost 6 months, it will be fruit and veggie time. She has tried a couple but I have not actually sat down and fed her a meal yet. I plan on making her baby food myself, like I did with Alyssa, and introducing veggies first so she doesn’t get accustomed to the sweetness of fruit. Let the mess begin!

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