My baby’s ready for solids – but am I?

24 May

Being a parent is a life-long lesson in learning how to let go. Your kids begin their lives as a part of you. Literally. As a woman, you carry them for 9 months and for that time you are two beings in the one body. But once that slippery bundle draws their first breath, the letting go begins. It happens incrementally. There’s the first time you leave them with a babysitter, the first days at kindy, then school, maybe a trip overseas in their early 20s, a move out of home and then marriage. So what has that got to do with starting solids? Well for me, starting my baby on proper food is one of the first steps in letting go.
To this point, the only thing that has sustained my little girl is me. In the womb, she fed from me and since she was born the only food she has ingested is breastmilk. She now weighs nearly 7.5kg and is so chubby that she appears to have cellulite on her calves – and every gram of that delicious chub has come from me. That’s a pretty powerful feeling. Every time I look at her suckling it feels like my body is fulfilling its purpose. Starting her on solids means she will no longer be entirely dependent on me for her survival. That’s a good and a bad thing. Having another human being be entirely dependent on you can be wonderful – it makes you feel so needed. But it’s also draining. My husband and I have not had a night out together now in more than 5 months. I’ve risen to feed my baby in the middle of the night about 400 times. And each feed involves going down and up a set of stairs – that’s 800 sets of stairs. So – while it’s been good for my fitness, it hasn’t been so great for my sleep. But there are also a couple of other reasons for my reluctance to start her on food. Firstly, it’s a hassle. It’s just another thing to do. Making purees is not fun. It’s tedious. Soon, my freezer will be filled with little ice cube trays of delights like pureed apple, sweet potato and pear. Then, there’s the time it takes to actually feed the baby. Initially, babies have no idea what to do when food is put in their mouths. They just kind of let it sit there, or slide out. It’s a miracle if they swallow anything. Learning to eat takes time and patience and a willingess to do a lot of cleaning up. And that’s another thing – I’ll have to start bathing her every day cause of the mess she’ll make. And her poos will become gross – like human poo, instead of the little mustard messes that she makes at the moment. To cap it all off, I had a very bad experience of starting my first-born (now 2 and a half) on solids. The recommended first food is rice cereal – virtually no children are allergic – virtually. My daughter is one of the unlucky few who cannot tolerate rice. The first time I gave her food she reacted with violent vomiting. I still remember my poor husband’s bile stained shirt. The GP put it down to a gastro virus. But after the third violent reaction she was diagnosed as having an usual allergy called FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome). Right now, I’m finding it hard to see an up-side in starting her on solids. I know she’s ready… but me? Not so much.  



2 Responses to “My baby’s ready for solids – but am I?”

  1. Anonymous May 24, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    at your age you really should be on solids…you need to set an example for the kids!!!!

  2. Tracey June 8, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    I will never enjoy mustard again.

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