"those better not be carrots. carrots make me vom."
Pediatricians drive me crazy. Seriously. You'd think they would all have some of the same opinions, but they don't. Every single one tells you something different about foods and babies, and when and how and how much and why or why not you should or shouldn't do something. It is totally aggravating, and has caused me to lose much sleep over all this business in the last few months. Because I don't want to poison my child, or cause her to have a reaction that hurts her belly or her skin or her face or whatever.
"don't poison me."
Even the easy part is obnoxious. Rice cereal. Mix it with breastmilk or formula they say. Well. Princess Caroline does not LIKE her cereal mixed with those things. She likes water. Is that okay? Who knows? At this point, who cares? I just worried that she was not getting enough nutrients, but she seems okay. They tell me to keep trying to get her to like it, but THEY are not the ones having milk production issues who cry over every drop of lost breast milk, and whose child absolutely refuses to let even the aroma of formula near her precious mouth. (I am working on a separate post about our adventures in breastfeeding, so I will get into more of that later). We gave up on formula right quick, and went back to water in the cereal, but since you know me and Google, I discovered that coconut milk might be a viable alternative for mixing with food. In my research I found that, "The principle fatty acid in coconut milk is lauric acid, which is the same fat found in abundance in mother's milk and is known to promote normal brain development and contribute to healthy bones."
And so I investigated. Please be advised that I was NOT looking to substitute coconut milk for her breast milk. She drinks plenty of breast milk. I just hoped to give her a little more nutrition in the cereal.
"Formula offends me. Don't bother."
Wouldn't you know that four different pediatricians all had differing opinions? My humble opinion is that most of them just don't know a lot about coconut milk, so they just say NO, when they should say, hmmm, I don't know maybe I should learn more about that so I can have an answer when someone asks me about it. They are doctors. They should know about these hippie alternative ideas, right?
"This stuff is confusing. I wish I could eat Smart Puffs all day."
And, this doesn't stop at non-dairy alternatives either. They all have different ideas about EVERYTHING. One says "feed her anything you want! Protein! Fish! Nuts! Give it to her and keep an eye out for reactions!" I like this doctor's attitude, although nuts make me a little nervous.
Another one says, no protein until nine months. No dairy AT ALL until one year. No yogurt, no cheese products, no nothing. But, she can have goat's milk as a breast milk supplement, and coconut milk in the cereal. Goat milk is pretty close to human breast milk in nature (although apparently donkey milk is the closest! thanks Google!). Soy milk is no good, for babies anyway. It is apparently not that healthy for anyone, so coconut milk is a good alternative. This is my personal doctor who also sees kids, and I am thinking of switching CC here because I like them all so much. Although, I am still going to give my kid meat proteins because she likes them and has no problem digesting them.
"See how good I am at feeding myself with this giant spoon?"
So, the breakdown in our house is this. Do what you want (within reason). I mean, don't get too crazy, but do what you feel comfortable with. There is no proof (that I can find) that delaying a food will lessen the likelihood of allergies, but it is (probably) safe to say that an older child can handle a bad allergic reaction better than a younger one. I probably will hold off on the peanut butter for CC until she is a bit older, but I doubt that she is allergic to peanuts given that our family history has zero peanut allergies on either side. I started giving her goat's milk (since they don't sell donkey milk at Hannaford) recently in her bottle with breast milk, she loves it and I feel better having options, especially because of my milk production issues. Life is never dull around here.
"These crackers are THE BOMB. And so easy to eat with one tooth!"
So, if you made it this far in the post, thanks for reading. I am by no means an expert or a doctor, and if you have questions of your own, I think you should talk to your trusted medical advisor, but I DO urge you to get a second and possibly third opinion. I found that even in the same practice, different doctors will tell you different things. And, if you don't feel like an answer is good enough then keep asking until you find someone who knows what they are talking about. I have found this website to be incredibly helpful in breaking down the solid food business if you need more information at a glance. This website is another helpful one, and does a nice job of addressing more "exotic" foods. And, for your reference, I'll leave you with a list of things my seven month old eats that have not poisoned her yet. Best of luck to you in your own baby food adventures!
"French toast? Don't mind if I do."
"I just love eating. Feed me!"
grain cereals (rice, oatmeal, multi-grain)
lots of different fruits and veggies (including avocado, mango, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberry)
cinnamon sugar (we put this on banana slices and french toast)
beef (in baby food jars)
lobster (I don't buy the girl a whole lobby or anything, I just give her bits from my stew)
barley teething cookies
coconut milk yogurt
whole milk yogurt
"Don't hate on the goat milk. It's delicious."