Wednesday, March 21, 2012

solid struggles

Mason turned six months this past Saturday, and the day involved something we had all been waiting for: the introduction of rice cereal. My big boy had been watching Brad's and my every bite for months. He reaches for our food and water bottles. He opens his mouth and smacks his lips when we eat our cereal in front of him each morning. I never expected feeding Mason solids to be difficult. I anticipated that he'd take right to it like a natural.

But, he hasn't, and I'm starting to get frustrated.

Mason opened his mouth for the first bite or two of the very first attempt, but since then, has stubbornly clamped his lips shut and turned his head away from me. I've tried feeding him rice cereal when he's very hungry (no nursing), semi-hungry (1/2 of a normal nursing session), and not that hungry (full feeding via nursing). At my pediatrician's recommendation, I've tried to make mealtime fun by letting him hold/play with the spoon (the one with the cereal on it and an extra--all under supervision of course...spoons can be dangerous!) and stick his hand in the bowl. I've made choo-choo train, airplane, and gargling noises to get him to open up his mouth. I've taken bites of his cereal and exaggerated its yumminess. When he falls for my tricks and I manage to sneak in a bite, he gets mad, spits it out, and tries to turn away. At this point, I'm scared of turning him off to solid food completely. Even though he's six months old, maybe he's just not ready yet.

Fellow mamas, any tried and true tricks that have worked for you in similar situations? It's been four days now (eight feeding sessions). My gut tells me that I just need to stick with it. But if you have a magic technique, I'd love to hear it.

Also, my pediatrician advised feeding Mason foods in the following order (after rice cereal): all green veggies, all yellow/orange veggies, fruit. I understand her reasoning in saving the good, sweet stuff for last. But she also told me that I need to get Mason excited about food and make the feeding sessions positive experiences. I doubt it's solely the taste/texture of rice cereal that's turning him off. (He sucks down gross medicine and vitamins, from a dropper, like they're candy!) But doesn't it make sense to feed him something sweet and good, that he really likes, so he'll eagerly anticipate it? Or will I be making things worse in the long run by catering to his sweet tooth early on?



Stephanie said...

Erin was like Mason in that we knew she was ready for food! She wasn't a fan of the rice cereal, so we kind of skipped that and started with mashed avocado and mashed bananas. She really like both and they weren't too sweet. From there, she took to every vegetable and fruit imaginable! Maybe he just doesn't like the cereal. I don't think it would hurt to try something else to see if it is that or if he just doesn't want solids yet.

Amy Hill said...

Rice cereal and bananas mixes together really well! You can get both of them in him with a little sweet. Plus the banana is really easy to mash raw with a fork! I know it's out of order officially, but I would probably do it so it makes meals more positive.

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

A few first the rice cereal needs to be SO watered (milked!) down that it is just barely above the consistency of milk and a "meal" would count as 2 tsp (that's teaspoons!). With those two things in mind, maybe he's doing better than you think? At this point, the food isn't really for nutrition (it is just a little, but he's still getting most everything he needs from breast milk) and it can take a while. I remember being excited then frustrated when Lucas started on solids and so with Nathaniel I waited and waited because breast/bottle feeding is so EASY and solids are SUCH a pain! (And I truly don't think you'll "ruin" him with bananas or something slightly sweet!)

Amy- Taylors East said...

I don't remember having issues with Maev. We gave her a myriad things and just followed the rules in Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes. I would recommend that book if you're thinking about making you're own. There were a few things that she just didn't like- like carrots and peas. She still doesnt like these things. Here's the post I did regarding Maevy's progression.- She was 6 months old when I wrote the post. Good luck. I say- just stick with it!

kerryandtorey said...

Miss H did not like the baby food I made :-( She rejected all my hard work but loved the organic jar food. Her favorites were green beans, peas and squash. Good luck!

Lisa said...

I agree with Aimee. Food at this point isn't for nutritional purposes. It's probably particularly frustrating because he is such a nursing champ! Maybe just consider solids time a fun activity (like tummy time) rather than having expectations of how much he "should" eat. Plus, it's not like 6 months is a magic number at which he should automatically know how to eat solids. He's in training!

I can't remember the order that I fed Lydia, but I don't think I was particularly concerned about the fruits versus the veggies. I just never added anything to her food other than water. And she eats everything now -- including non-kid-friendly things like raw onions, asparagus, pesto, beans and sausage -- so it turned out okay. (Don't get me wrong, she loves mac and cheese and chicken nuggets too.) I'd just keep offering him bites and make it a happy time...for both of you.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

My best friend's 6 mo old daughter, my Goddaughter (a few days apart from Mason), didn't care for rice cereal at all. So they bought the Gerber Organic Oatmeal and added bananas. OMG she LOVES it. And have since tried sweet potatoes and then the next week carrots. All were a success. I think she is going to try avacado this week too. Go with your gut. You two will get there eventually.

Caitlin said...

Emerson was not a fan of rice cereal. The minute we moved on to veggies and fruits his attitude improved. I've read it can take up to 10 tries to get a baby to eat a food, so don't give up. But maybe talk to the pediatrician about moving on to something more tasty, maybe even baby oatmeal instead of rice cereal.

Diane Mannina said...

Three thoughts:
1) Put your breastmilk in the rice cereal. Bella would never eat it with water. And make sure it's pretty runny to start with.
2) Don't be afraid to skip rice cereal and try something like banana or pear first.
3) If you're feeling frustrated, then don't be afraid to just stop for now and hit the reset button in a week or two. It may be the best thing for YOU, and your son won't be any worse for it.

And most importantly, keep a big picture perspective on this stuff. In six more months, you'll probably have forgotten that you even had this problem. Or at the very least, you'll probably just laugh as you gaze in wonder at a son with an impressive appetite for all things solid. :)

Red Stethoscope said...

I agree with the other moms who said that Mason might just not like the cereal. My friend's little girl hated (HATED!) rice cereal, but when my friend mixed in a spoonful of sweet potatoes, she was downing it like a champ. Good luck!