We started MacKenna on solid food at 6 months, so we’ve been at it for 2 full months now. Man, I thought breastfeeding was hard… starting a baby on solids is SO much harder! I never, ever expected my baby to not enjoy every single bite that went into her mouth. Naive? Maybe. I just expected a good eater, not the difficult one that I am dealing with right now.
We were so worried about her eating + weight gain (at 8 months, she is weighing 13 lbs 8 oz, but she was a small baby to start with at 5 lbs 6 oz) that we actually took her to the pediatrician last week, much against my choice, but I will do whatever is going to put our minds at ease. The doctor assured me that she was right on track (although, she’s still weighing in the 1st percentile) and that we really didn’t have anything to worry about.
What I didn’t expect was for her to tell me to cut back on breastfeeding – from feeding her 5-6 times per day to 4-5 times per day – and to stop giving her baby food and just give her table food. What she didn’t know was that we have been trying both purees + table food/baby-led weaning since the beginning and are still dealing with a difficult eater. But, I took her advice and attempted a new feeding system that would fit our family.
Before I get into what MacKenna eats on a daily basis, let me explain our little schedule. I’ve tried to have MacKenna on a schedule since she was about 6 weeks old. At the time, it was really more for me and helped me immensely during those first few months. We’ve sort of stuck with it ever since and it seems to be working well for us.
MacKenna nurses 5 times a day: 6 AM, 9:30 AM, between 12:30 + 1 PM, between 4 + 4:30 PM, and right around 7:30 PM. If she eats well with her solids, she will usually sleep through the night, from 8 PM until 6 AM. Otherwise, she will wake up once in the middle of the night.
She gets 3 solid meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is around 7 AM, lunch at 1 PM, and dinner promptly at 6 PM. Breakfast + lunch our usually the meals we struggle with and I have a feeling it has to do with her hunger level since they are very close to her milk feedings.
So, here is what MacKenna ate the past few days…
Tuesday’s breakfast was banana in the mesh feeder and mandarin oranges. She really didn’t eat much of this breakfast, but I’m to the point where I am no longer forcing her to eat. She’ll eat what she eats, no need to piss her off.
Wednesday’s breakfast was again banana and mandarin oranges that she did much better with – maybe 2 or 3 bites – and a Baby Mum Mum that she ended up cutting her chin with. Oops.
Lunch is by far the most difficult meal for us and always ends in tears. Tuesday involved mandarin oranges in the mesh feeder (didn’t eat it), some peas (didn’t eat them), and some pieces of asparagus. She sucked a 2-inch chunk of asparagus in. I proceeded to freak out, stick my finger in her mouth to get it out before she choked, and scratched the inside of her mouth in the process. I got just-got-a-shot crying, so lunch was promptly ended. No more asparagus since this is the 3rd time that has happened…
Wednesday’s lunch involved another Mum Mum (took a few bites), so frozen baby yogurt (she squeezed most of it into her hand without really eating any of it), and mandarin oranges that she took a few bites of.
And then lunch ended like this…
Dinner usually goes much more smoothly than the first 2 meals of the day. I think because we give her avocado in the mesh feeder at dinner that she almost ALWAYS eats all of. She loves it! And I’m OK with that since avocados are full of calories and healthy fats. Both Tuesday + Wednesday’s meals involved avocado + mandarin oranges (yes, lots of oranges – she’s eating them, so we’re sticking with them).
I get a lot of questions about how I clean the mesh feeder. The ones we use are from Marshalls/Home Goods and the mesh part actually comes out! So, you can turn it inside out a scrub it really well. I always use dish soap and the bottle brush to really clean them well. And I’ve learned NOT to put them in the dishwasher – it does not get them clean!
But, last night’s dinner involved something new: cheddar cheese! We had deconstructed nachos for dinner and I had shredded some cheese so we gave her a few bites. Matt gave her some out of his hands (these are very small pieces, so I’m not worried about her eating them out of our hands) and she kept leaning in for more. She did really well!
So, I guess you could say we’re sort of mixing spoon feeding with baby-led weaning. She HATES spoons but is willing to eat things off our fingers, so we’re going with it. Whatever we can do to get her to eat!
Thanks to Brittany for hosting the Munchkin Meals linkup! I can’t wait to go read all the other mamas’ munchkin meals! Let me know if you linked up – and I suggest anyone else to check out the other posts!
Any suggestions on how to make our meals go a little more smoothly?