I have been patiently waiting the arrival of baby (GIRL!!) number 3! I have been just enjoying the family I already have and not dwelling on all the emotions (good and bad) that make pregnancy feel longer and more emotionally taxing. But being around a newborn the last few days, and talking with friends who are talking about their pregnancies has got me thinking. About a LOT.
What do our parenting philosophies look like on child number three? My poor son is going to be a middle child! Do all girls have the same intensity of personality as my first daughter? Please let this child be easy to nurse. Is this child going to develop at the same speed of my last two (who rolled over both ways from birth and crawled at 3 and 4 months!!)? And that is not even the tip of the iceberg!
I have done tons more research on baby food and baby feeding since weaning my last child, and have decided that I will wean my third child just as I did my first two. Why? Because it is easy, and I believe that research has proven it is easiest on the baby’s stomach, and there are no long term effects on the child (short term either for that matter).
I didn’t know there was a name for this method either time I used it, I just wanted to NOT do baby food. My reasons for this, some important, others not so much, are:
1. There are ingredients NOT listed on the labels that are harmful
2. It is messy
3. It promotes feeding solids at too early an age which can lead to digestive issues later in life
4. I didn’t have a food processor and I’m never even in my home state so it wouldn’t have been helpful anyway
5. Breast is best ;)
I did research on what foods are best to introduce at what ages, I still contain that knowledge, but experts differ so I would NEVER tell someone which ones to feed their child. That is for every parent to decide for their families. But I did start with protein and veggies and did not in any way shape or form allow my child to have gluten until at least 8 months, but it was more like 10 before they ate bread at all.
Honestly, I exclusively breastfed my children to 8 months for my son, and 10 months for my daughter. I accomplished this by not putting them at the table at meal times and not eating while holding them or distracting them while we were eating. They both ate a bite or two of this or that at 6 & 7 months but no meals. The second a child starts eating solids, the less milk fat they receive and the less milk you produce, even if they are nursing the same number of times.
When it was time to begin solids, I just gave my children food from off our plates. They began with green beans (canned because they were soft), potatoes (esp sweet), small pieces of grilled chicken, eggs, bananas, canned carrots and broccoli tops, etc. I just cut them small enough for them to put pieces in their mouth and chew (well, mostly gum since they only had like 8 teeth at the time!).
This method of feeding requires parents to have healthy food on their plates (wink, wink ;), but aside from that, it is super easy! No mess, no hassle, no overfeeding baby, no wondering if they ate enough. Baby ate at his/her pace and Mom could eat in peace! Baby developed the necessary skill of chewing food, and felt the wonderful pride of self-sufficiency. I did not need to travel with any supplies to feed the baby or wonder what ingredients were hidden in the containers (there are so many baby food recalls it makes me nervous!).
So in all my thinking and further research on the topic, I have decided that I am going to nurse and wean baby number three just like my first two. I think no matter how busy I will continue to be the next few months, this moving, hiccuping 1-2 lb baby is going to be in my thoughts!!