We started solids a few weeks ago. Even though Holden hadn't quite hit the 6 months mark, when we arrived at playgroup a few weeks ago and he was the only one not eating solids yet, we decided it was time to start. What can I say...we were caving to peer pressure already.
Through some information I had found on some blogs and a friend who had tried it with her son, we chose to started with Baby Led Weaning. But as much as we wanted it to work out, it just didn't. Holden gagged on each piece of food that we tried regardless of how small I made them. Each bite was terrifying for us. We would sit nervously on the edge of our seats, hands frozen in mid air behind him, waiting to force the food that we anticipated getting lodged in his throat out with a hard thump. I worried that as much as we were terrified, Holden was rightly fearful as well. I figured that choking wasn't the best introduction to eating and I didn't want him to begin to associate eating with that horrible feeling of gagging, so we switched to pureed foods which went down a lot more easily and took the fear factor out of the equation.
We started with bananas. I think Holden was interested in the concept as a whole, but maybe not as much in the bananas themselves. Amidst the looks of distaste, disbelief, and shock, there were deep inhales of excitement, squeals of delight, and ecstatic smiles, as H realized that he was eating just like us. He was so proud of himself. I could almost see his chest swelling with pride.
In addition to bananas, we have tried:
- sweet potatoes
Each food we have tried has been a hit or miss. One day he'll seem disinterested and then another night I won't be able to shovel it in fast enough, but overall he seems to love bananas, avocados, and pears the most.
While I'm excited to watch my little baby grow (who can resist a baby with food smeared all over his face), I know that this is the beginning of the end to breastfeeding. Something that seems so inconsequential will actually have a big impact on me. Essentially, starting solids is the very beginning of weaning ::sob::. The word wean causes my stomach to tighten, as if in anticipation of something horrible about to happen. At the mere thought of the word, a heart wrenching reel, a video I must have seen somewhere at sometime in my life of a baby calf and mother cow being separated as the calf is being weaned from his mother, immediately begins to play in my head . The calf crying out for his mother, the mother crying out for her baby. The cries are heartbreaking. It's enough to bring tears to my eyes every time. Is this what weaning is going to be like for H and I?
Luckily for me, breastfeeding came easily to Holden and I (thanks in part to help from my mother, a certified lactation consultant). It has been such a bonding experience for me as a mother and I love every single part of it. I think I'm going to have a very hard time letting this go. Although I never thought I'd be the mother to breastfeed past 12 months (and I may have even been judgemental about other mothers who did so in the past), I think that selfishly (or not so selfishly) I may just end up continuing on because I love it so much.