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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How I Skipped the Baby Food Stage, and You Can Too!

Okay, now that I've got a bunch of raised eyebrows from the title of this post, I am going to start right in on what I think has been one of the best decisions I've made as a mom for my child's health. (First, let me just say, this is all my opinion. I am not recommending you do this with your child. I am not a doctor. I am not a know-it-all, super-mom. I am just sharing with you what worked for me. Educate yourself and make the best choices for you and your family)

No Baby Food. Imagine that...

 no more hours wasted pureeing tons of baby food
 no more frozen baby food falling out of the freezer every time you open the door
 no more money wasted on buying natural, organic baby food at the store when you are sick and tired of  making your own
no more splats of baby food around your entire dining room and kitchen from struggling to actually get your baby to eat the food you spent hours making
no more frustrated moments using the airplane trick and any other trick imaginable to get the food in their mouth

No more!

Let me tell you my story of how I have done this with my 3rd child, my daughter Brynn, who is now 11 months old and still hasn't had any baby food.

It all started with her sweet birth in our home with my lovely midwives. I was able to give birth naturally (read my whole story here), start breastfeeding and bonding with my baby immediately, and I credit that all (and good nutrition and supplements) to being able to successfully exclusively breastfeed my daughter all these 11 months of her life. Now this was quite an accomplishment for me, considering that I really struggled to breastfeed my first child, (who was born at the hospital with a midwife and an unfortunate epidural) and actually ended up supplementing with formula and starting baby food at 5 months.

The reason it is so important to me to breastfeed my children is that I truly believe that is the best thing I can give them to set them up for a healthy life. It is the gold standard for baby food! Here are a few reasons why:
  • Numerous studies from around the world have shown that stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis occur less often in breastfed babies and are less severe when they do happen. Exclusive breastfeeding (meaning no solid food, formula, or water) for at least six months seems to offer the most protection. 
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to have allergies, inflammation and other health issues.
  • Breastfeeding is good for mom too! It helps to calm you and releases oxytocin - the feel good hormone. 
  • It also may guard against obesity, SIDS, cancer, and may even boost your child's intelligence!
  • Your breast milk is specifically tailored to your baby. Your body responds to pathogens (virus and bacteria) that are in your body and makes secretory IgA that's specific to those pathogens, creating protection for your baby based on whatever you're exposed to.
  • Breastfeeding may also help children avoid a host of diseases that strike later in life, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and inflammatory bowel disease. In fact, preemies given breast milk as babies are less likely to have high blood pressure by the time they're teenagers. For babies who aren't breastfed, researchers have documented a link between lack of breastfeeding and later development of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • One large study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences showed that children who are breastfed have a 20 percent lower risk of dying between the ages of 28 days and 1 year than children who weren't breastfed, with longer breastfeeding associated with lower risk. 

    Now, just because breastfeeding is great to do, doesn't mean that it is easy, always convenient, fun or even possible for everyone. My intent is not to put any of you on a guilt trip. No, sirree! There is enough of that out there. I am just trying to educate and encourage.

    My daughter has done very well exclusively breastfeeding. When she was first born, I nursed her about every 2 hours until she was 3 months old or so. At that point, I was feeding her about 8-9 times a day. A few months later, I cut out maybe one of those feedings. When she was about 7 months old, she was showing a bit of interest in food, as she would sit on my lap at meals. I would usually give her a toy to play with or chew on during meals. I would also make sure she wasn't hungry by nursing her before meals. At that point, I was still nursing her about 7-8 times a day. At around 10 months old, I cut out one of the early morning feedings. She had 6 teeth at this point, and she liked to chew on cucumber slices or take a bite of banana here and there at meals. That is when she started getting just a bit of solid foods.

    Now, at 11 months old, I breastfeed her 6 times a day. She has started eating a few more bites of banana or avocado, chewing on carrots or cucumber, but I still haven't opened a jar of baby food or spoon fed her anything. It makes life with 3 kids so. much. easier!

    Plus, beyond ease, I truly believe this is the best choice for my daughter. She loves nursing, is happy, and very healthy; in fact, she hasn't gotten sick at all her whole life. It has created a wonderful bond between us, and I love our special nursing times each day.

    When she turns one year old and gets a few more teeth, I think she will be ready to eat the food we eat on a daily basis - skipping the baby food stage completely! 

    Think about it. Research it more. Make the best choice for your family! Most importantly, enjoy the first year with your little one!


  1. I skipped baby food with my son. We started him on banana, then avocado, then zucchini, then carrots, then watermelon, and a few days ago he started cauliflower. He loves it! I wrote about it on my blog =)

    1. Awesome! I love hearing how great your son is doing!


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