In the beginning, I was really excited to start Teddy on solids. I have several cookbooks that detail everything I need to know about transitioning from the bottle to the plate. I read the tasty menu options I could start preparing from the time Teddy was 4 months old. Our pediatrician was so gung-ho about solids, she actually mentioned at Teddy’s 2-month appointment that we should prepare to introduce them once he hit the 4-month mark. And so I did: I had my Baby Bullet (complete with small, sealable containers), soft spoons, a box of rice cereal, and plans to visit the farmers market with my handy-dandy list of first foods.
And everything started off swimmingly. Teddy gobbled up his rice cereal—as long as it was precisely the right texture. This sometimes required multiple trips to the filtered-water dispenser on our fridge to add just a drop more water to thin out the mixture a bit. (This might’ve been my first clue that weaning was not going to be as fun and easy as I anticipated.) But if I got it right, he loved it. Then I introduced plain Greek yogurt, and he loved that, too, especially mixed with cinnamon. (I discovered several weeks later cinnamon is a highly allergenic food—oops! Fortunately, he never had an adverse reaction). And when we moved on to veggies, he took to those at first, too.
But then something switched. Right about the time Teddy started “furniture cruising” and progressing with crawling, he lost interest in solids. Too busy to take the time? Considered formula easier and quicker? Maybe. All I know is, he suddenly hated everything—even foods he previously enjoyed. Squash, once so eagerly consumed, was spurned. Sweet potato? Waved away emphatically. Bananas? Wouldn’t even eat them mixed with yogurt, a former favorite. Occasionally, he’d humor me with a spoonful or two, but nothing close to the amount the baby books said he should be eating at 9 months. Two to four tablespoons of fruit and the same of veg, in one sitting? Not a chance. The only thing he appeared excited about was grains. Buttered toast? YUM. Crackers? Bring ’em on. And I could sometimes sneak in a spoonful of something while he was cramming a cheerio into his mouth (which earned me a look of complete distrust). But I didn’t really like that method.
For a while I didn’t fight it. What did it hurt if he didn’t want to eat his produce? We had time, right? I would feed him what little he would allow into his mouth, but at the first sign of those pursed lips, I’d call it quits and prepare a bottle.
But now, our sweet little boy, who slept through the night from the time he was 3 months old (with a brief hiccup at 5 months), has started waking up in the night again, starving. Clearly, the formula he’s drinking during the day isn’t cutting it. With all the exploring the little guy is doing, he needs more calories. And now I have another incentive: I want my uninterrupted eight hours back!
So the battle has begun. It involves a lot of crying (mostly on his part) because instead of caving and preparing a bottle when he refuses to eat, I’m holding out. And it’s working. He succumbs…eventually. (I don’t know if it has helped that I’ve cleared the bottles from the counter so he can’t see them, but an added bonus is that I have my counter space back.) I’m also learning that he’s likely ready for heartier fare. For lunch yesterday, he preferred munching on pieces of fruit over being spoonfed the pureed version. And for dinner, he refused the pureed eggplant but welcomed the chick peas Mike fed him by fork.
So now I’m getting excited again. My book has lots of recipes for chunkier meals that look delicious. Farmers market, here we come again!