Sunday, September 21, 2008

Molly's First Meal

*I learned an important lesson this month. Not all babies are ready to eat at 6 mos. of age.

Now, I know this may not seem like rocket science to everyone, but I will admit that, given the fact that so many people start their kids on food as early as 4 mos, even despite the APA recommendation of waiting until 6 mos., and given the fact that Ben INHALED his first meal of solids at 6 mos, without missing a single drop, I have always secretly thought in the back of my mind that waiting till 6 mos was the "right thing to do" but that kids were often generally ready before this time.

I started having a few doubts about this a while back when Maria started baby Anna on solids. They waited the full 6 mos to give her some oatmeal, geared up for the big "first meal", and then proceeded to video Anna absolutely hating and gagging on almost every bite of that "glorious" first meal. At the time, I thought that it was just a consistency thing...maybe they had made the oatmeal too thick. But over the next few weeks, as they tried other foods, it still took Anna a little while to seem like she was actually enjoying eating. So, it started to seem possible that maybe she just wasn't quite there those first few weeks.

But I still figured that Molly was going to LOVE eating. She had just about every sign of readiness: sitting independently, pincer grasp, 6 mos old, etc. And she had been watching us closely during meals, and grabbing for food when she was near it. Plus, she has been watching big brother Ben eat, so I figured that she had so much in her favor, that she was going to take to eating just as easily as Ben had.

Um...boy was I wrong.

Our video of Molly's first meal doesn't look like Anna's in terms of the gagging, but in terms of the baby quickly making it clear that she is not interesting in having anything put on her nice chew-toy spoon, it's pretty much identical. Of the 1 ounce of food we gave her, maybe 95% of it came right back out. And by the end, she was completely uninterested. I was shocked!

Since then, she has continued to turn her head from, spit out, or otherwise dislike: oatmeal, sweet potato, peas, and applesauce. So I'm starting to think that it's not a taste thing here!

After the first 3 days of trying, she became so sick of the "eating" game, that we gave it up for a while. She even stopped reaching for food at meals. If I handed her a toy, she would grab it, but if I handed her a spoon with food on it to just play with, she would drop it right away, or not take it at all!! We started just offering her an empty spoon again to let her play, and the first time she took it again, she pushed it too far back in her mouth and gagged herself:( Pretty much bad all around.

Now that she is just about 7 mos, we have discovered that she will chew on a biter biscuit for quite a while, and she will eat a little bit of pears, and now applesause too if Aaron gives it to her. But, generally, she is still exculsively nursing.

I know this will not be the case in a very short time, so it's not a problem at all. In fact, we just saw Anna last weekend, and she ate all kinds of food like a champ! So we are purposefully backing off and letting her go at her own pace.

And it has been good for me to be humbled a bit. Sometimes I feel like I read so much and have so much experience with little kids that I think I know all the answers. A little bit of humble pie never hurt anyone!! Thanks for teaching me, Molly!


Momma Maria said...

Molly, you are making me hungry RIGHT NOW! - Not! :-) Hold off as long as you want, kiddo! But good move on the things you WILL eat (although I'd be pushing for cookie cake and taco salad, myself!)
Aunt ReRe

Helen said...

ok...this is a test. I think I can do this.