She Says… Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said

Yesterday was Owen’s 4 month visit with our pediatrician. Since we’ve gotten a few weeks of great eating under our belts I was excited to see how much weight he had gained and ask some questions about how much he is eating (a lot!) and discuss sleep, solid foods, etc.

Although he’s gained a FANTASTIC amount of weight since our last appointment, Owen is still a little guy in the grand scheme of things. He is 25″ long (50th %ile), weighs 13 lb 11 oz (22nd %ile) and has a head circumference of 41 cm (17th %ile). A little on the small side, but a big jump from where he was last month and the weeks that followed during our breastfeeding issues. Go Owen! His little body looks different too. There’s finally a bit of a belly and some adorable rolls on his legs. What a cutie pie.

The doc and I talked a lot about eating. The last few days Owen’s reflux seems to have returned, and she said that’s because he’s getting bigger and needed more meds. I was so relieved… I thought the meds just weren’t enough anymore, and I was dreading having to work through another medicine to test it out. No worries, though! She just increased his dosage of Prevacid, which is like magic and has changed his eating habits entirely. He can actually make it through an entire 7-8 ounce bottle now without flailing and choking and arching and crying. It’s a beautiful thing.

Given that he’s eating upwards of 35 ounces a day and shows a great interest in food (opening his mouth and moving his tongue when we’re eating, reaching his hands out for our cups and utensils, etc.), my pediatrician suggested that we start him on solid foods sooner rather than later. While many people believe that waiting to start food until 6 months cuts down on allergies and is “better”, I think it really depends on the baby. And my doctor and I agree that Owen may be trying to tell me he’s ready for something more than just milk. I am so excited to introduce him to the wonderful world of food out there! We may even start today.

The doc mentioned that once we fill Owen’s belly more during the day, he will probably stop waking up at night to eat as well. Phew! She suggested that I also start reducing the amount of milk he’s given at night to send his body the signal, little by little, that eating should be done during the day. She said given his weight and body mass, he should absolutely be able to go all night without eating. That’s just what I needed to hear! Now I KNOW I’m not starving my baby as we work toward sleep training in the next few weeks.

Owen also got his 4 month vaccinations. Two shots and one oral. Just like last time, he was a total trooper! He didn’t even cry through the whole first shot, just stared up at the nurse with a quizzical look on his face. Then when she did the second shot he let out one big wail, and then smiled through his teary eyes. What a sweetheart. I gave him the rest of the bottle he’d been working on and it seemed like he forgot all about those big, bad shots. Didn’t seem feverish or irritable for the rest of the day either. We’ll see how today goes.

So… now I’m off to do a little more research on food and maybe we’ll start today at lunch! I’m thinking avocado is a perfect first food (since I am going to try to stick to whole foods rather than boxed rice cereal for now). What was your baby’s first food? How did it go? Any tips for me?

13 responses to “She Says… Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said

  1. (not sure if this worked the first time I hit “post” – forgive me if it’s a duplicate)
    Hooray, so glad he is growing well and looks so healthy! (My daughter has ALWAYS been in about the 5th percentile, so 22nd sounds big to me!)

    My favorite baby food resource was Great recs on what foods to start with, as well as how to cook various items if you’re unsure.

    My two favorite pieces of advice that served me well with solids:
    1. Think of solid food as an activity, not as nourishment or sustenance. His primary source of nutrients will still be breastmilk/formula for several more months. Introducing solids is all about trying new tastes and textures. Do it at a time of day when he’s generally in a good mood. If he’s digging it, have a blast. If he’s fighting it, don’t push it. Some days he’ll be more into it than others, and that’s no big deal. Activity, not nourishment.

    2. Throw away your own ideas of what tastes good. This was straight from the website I recommended, and while it’s good advice all around (i.e. don’t skip foods just because you don’t care for them), I found it especially useful when we started to do combinations of food. My kids never cared for pureed green beans or peas. But mix it up with some sweet potato or apple? BIG HIT. Or anything with mashed banana. We’d end up with avocado, banana, and yogurt all mixed together. Sounds nasty as hell to me, but they loved it.

    We did sweet potatoes and oatmeal as our first two foods. Again, check the Wholesome Baby Food website, they’ve got some great suggestions for good first foods, thinking outside of the rice-cereal box. (Anyways, rice cereal only made my kids more constipated… no thanks!)

  2. Oh that’s so exciting! Very much looking forward to getting in on the feedback on solids. Cameron (3 weeks younger), only drinks anywhere between 3 and 6 ounces in a feeding and it completely varies. I think his daily intake (and he’s getting VERY pudgy, especially his little cheeks!) is only around 20-25 oz/day and he weighed in at 13 lbs at his 3 month check up 2.5 wks ago. I’d venture a guess that he’s upwards of 15 lbs now, but still only drinking moderate amounts so he’s definitely not close to being ready to need more than milk (which I kind of wish he were because I’m anxious, like you, to experience that first with him). Goes to show you how you have to follow the baby’s lead on when they are ready and it certainly sounds like Owen is!

  3. Sounds like great news all around! We started solids a little before 5 months. Like you (I think), I’d originally hoped to wait until closer to 6, but the little guy was just starving. We started with oatmeal (mixed with formula at first, and later with bananas or applesauce) but avocado was one of our other firsts. He LOVED it. Avocados and bananas are so easy because you just mush them up, no steaming or anything. We never did rice cereal.

    One thing I’m happy we did was to start letting him experiment with finger foods and feeding himself early on, like 6 months or so. He’s almost 9 months now and such a great eater!

    Have fun with it, and take lots of pictures of course! 🙂

  4. With our daughter, we had hoped to wait until she was 6 months old for solids, but she was just so hungry and we had to make the decision between solids and formula. We chose solids! It sounds like you are making a great decision for Owen (I may be wrong, but can’t it also help with reflux??). For both kids, we made our own brown rice cereal. With Juliet, we were very cautious about introducing new foods. With Finn, we have introduced new foods much faster. He LOVED avocados. I think that will be a great first food. We just started giving him amaranth and he loves that. (I think they need to be closer to 7-8 months for that, but I may be wrong). I think the key is to just keep introducing a food even if hates it the first x number of times.

  5. My son’s first food was cereal. Oatmeal cereal. I think the whole foods is great, but I LOVE oatmeal, so, I don’t see anything wrong with my son starting with organic oatmeal cereal (mixed with breastmilk). And, the apple doesn’t fall far, he loves oatmeal, too! He’ 10 months now and is starting to eat table food and LOVES veggies more than fruit. What a weird kid, lol.

    He started eating solids at four months because he was eating every 2 hours again. Then I just told my doctor the next appointment. He didn’t seem to care. I also didn’t give him just carrots for a week. He had different foods from the start. Like you, I didn’t think that was the best way to go. It just doesn’t sound right.

  6. I started feeding solids for both my boys around 5 months. My kids weren’t fans of the rice cereal, although that is what we started with. They liked oatmeal better, and we started right away with sweet potatoes, which they loved.

    I agree with the earlier post that said think of feeding solids as an activity rather than a meal. One thing I found helpful was to feed solids at a time other than meal time. If my kids were really hungry, they would be frustrated and upset instead of willing to experiment and try new tastes. That still rings true today at 4 and 2 – if they’re really hungry they will much more likely eat pasta than anything more exotic.

    I used to get frustrated when they would eat a couple of bites and then either drip or smear the rest all over themselves or refuse it outright, but it’s really about introducing foods, and I soon realized that they weren’t going to get the bulk of their nutrition from solids for a long time, so I was less stressed. If you get in the habit of just giving them a little of everything, they will be more willing to try new things.

    Follow Owen’s lead, and it can be a lot of fun!

  7. We started Eli at 4 months… we went with rice first & then oatmeal. After a week of that we started in on ‘real’ foods. We went with bananas first… which are still his favorite! We tried avocado next, which he refused to eat. 😦 Now he eats pears, peas, sweet potatoes, plums, zucchini & butternut squash. He’s loved everything except those darn avocados! I think I might try avocados again soon now that he has tried some other stuff.

    I am so happy to hear how well Owen is doing… good job, Momma!

  8. Forgot to mention… I am totally with Goddess in Progress on It is a great resource… recipes & tips & whatnot. I also love that for each food they have listed, they give an age range of when it is ok to introduce it.

  9. I know this sounds crazy to me, but you can MAKE your own rice cereal. I have a book with a recipe, but it seems to be way, way too much trouble for me. Plus, you need things like a food mill.

    I was told to start with less sweat things and move upwards on the “sweet scale”. My baby loves sweet peas, squash and green beans. I mix rice cereal into the veggie puree to thicken it and help her reflux.

    Is Owen blowing raspberries yet? If he is, you might get a fun surprise during one of your feedings 🙂

  10. I’m starting with brown rice cereal but just for a few days to get my little guy used to the idea of eating. Then my doctor recommended going from orange vegetables to green vegetables then to fruit. I did this with my older son and he was (and still is) a sweet potato, butternut squash and green bean superfan. I’ll probably also do oatmeal because who doesn’t love oatmeal?! It’s so fun to introduce them to eating, but as I was reminded of today when I was feeding him his first few bites, what a mess!

  11. We also started Lydia around 4 months. She needed the food! We started with rice cereal (mixed with breastmilk) and moved quickly to pureed veggies and fruits. I think sweet potatoes were our first veggie, followed by peas. I agree that is a great resource.

    The things that went well for us: (Note I said “FOR US” because I don’t want you to feel like I’m saying they’re great for everyone.)
    –We made (and still make) almost all of Lydia’s food. We were nervous about her developing a taste for prepared foods that we don’t like to keep around too much and rejecting the (in our opinion) healthier choices we were offering.
    –We seasoned her purees (in a researched, cautious way) in hopes that it might help her develop an interest in different tastes. She is interested in lots of food–two weeks ago she tried sea urchin–but that might be dumb luck.
    –We always kept in mind that she should get as many calories as possible from breastmilk. Lydia was so excited about eating that we had to be careful not to give her too many solids and not enough breastmilk.

    Solids are a fun new phase! Enjoy!

  12. Avocado is a great first food! That was my daughter’s first, at about 5 1/2 months. It was a big hit, and remains one of her favorite foods at 11 months. Tonight she turned her nose up at most of her dinner, but ate almost 1/2 an avocado! (Now she eats pieces of it herself and picked it out of everything else in front of her.) I like goddess in progress’ advice – rang true for me too. Also, you won’t need to think about this for a while, but someone once told me to think of a child’s nutrition in terms of a week rather than one meal or day. It is no biggy that tonight’s meal was almost exclusively avocado because breakfast/lunch and the rest of this week will round out her overall diet. Have fun with it and get messy!

  13. The Laundry Lady

    I wasn’t a big fan of cereal because it’s so tasteless. I wanted my daughter to get excited about the wonderful flavors and textures. I most just use cereal to thicken her food when necessary. Our daughter’s first food was Banana and it is still her favorite at 18 months. In her case though too many Bananas cause constipation so I limit her to one a day or I offset it with a serving of prunes or pears later in the day. I also read that Bananas can help with reflux. My doctor had recommended veggies before fruits since some kids get hooked on the sweetness of fruits and then refuse veggies. So her next few foods were Peas, Butternut Squash and Avocados. Avocados are great for chunking up a skinny baby too. For a while an Avocado every night at dinner was the key to getting our daughter to sleep through the night.

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