"Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth... Gradual introduction of iron-enriched solid foods in the second half of the first year should complement the breast milk diet." - American Academy of Pediatrics Statement
We had the boy's 6 month well check on Monday. He is 26.5 inches long (42nd percentile) and 13.3 lbs (1st percentile). His doctor said he is healthy and looks great, but he also encouraged us to go ahead and start him on some solid foods. Early on, I started researching how to make my own baby food. I read about how easy it is, and about how much healthier it can be since you can choose organic produce and avoid all the preservatives that come along with most commercially jarred foods. When the boy got here, I insisted on waiting the full six months recommended by the AAP, WHO, UNICEFF, and various other health organizations. I knew that in doing so, I would be protecting him against obesity, food allergies, and other health complications (You can read more about the health benefits of delaying solids at KellyMom) And despite some questioning by well meaning family and friends (and an uncle who slipped him some chocolate pie before I could stop him) my wishes were well respected.
The boy has always been on the low end of weight charts (just like his mommy when she was a baby!), and with it being his six month check-up, I knew I would be encouraged to go ahead and start giving him some solids. I fully intended to, and planned on starting at six months months, so this recommendation came as no surprise, but now that the time is finally here, I find myself hesitating. I know it's silly to get so worked up about it, but I've found that I've been clinging to breastfeeding because it was a sign that my body really could do something correctly (as opposed to the c/s I needed in order to deliver the boy). I've relished in the fact that I am my son's sole source of nutrition. We've had our fair share of breastfeeding problems (delay in milk coming in, clogged ducts, etc), but I have been determined to stick with it. My first breastfeeding goal was to get to six months, and now that it's here, there is no way that I will be stopping. I have been surprised by how much I enjoy it. The bond that it's creating between me and my son is indescribable. Bringing solids into the mix can't hurt, and my son has taken to them like a champ. He's a great eater. And I know that the introduction of solids doesn't mean that my son will wean anytime soon, but it still stings to know that he needs something more than me (or should I say "in addition to"?). It's a sign that my boy is growing up. Something his mommy is finding hard to accept.
All this to say that I will be sharing my baby food journey with everyone, and I'll be hosting several related giveaways soon. Be sure and be on the lookout for them!