Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eating In






After 4 months of a liquid diet, Violet decided that it was time to branch out. Her eyesight, which only weeks ago was too fuzzy to make out anything further than 24 inches away, is now able to hone in on anyone eating anything in the same room with her. She, like Scout, stares at you while you eat until whatever it is you're enjoying is gone. Violet has the added advantage, unlike Scout, of being on your lap during some meals and having opposable thumbs on her hands with which she can reach out and touch your food. So, after about 10 days of a begging baby, we gave in and fed the poor tot some solids.


Now I've read that babies are "supposed" to start solids between 4 and 6 months but many breastfeeding hippy moms like me lean more toward the 6 month marker. In newborns and young infants, the baby's gut is still very immature and open, rather than closed as in adults. The "open gut" is not a chubby baby tummy left uncovered by a too-small Huggy, but rather refers to the large spaces between the cells of an infant's digestive tract. These spaces eventually fill in but in the newborn they are still open allowing small bits of whatever she eats to pass directly into the blood stream. When that baby is eating strictly breast milk, this open gut system is a huge plus as it allows her to get all those great antibodies in mom's milk directly where she needs them. When baby whose gut is still open starts to nosh on other goodies (including a Frosty-coated binkies, Shawn!), proteins and sugars from the "foreign" food sneaks into her bloodstream making her more susceptible, down the road, to food allergies and such.

Violet decided that her gut, open though it may still be, needed some real food. I was determined to wait a few more weeks but after she spent our whole meal at Yat's sucking on a plastic spoon and trying to steal beans off of my plate, I decided "F-It. The kid wants to eat." So we vetoed mashed banana (too green, maybe when they ripen) and whipped up a tasty treat of rice cereal. Violet LOVED it. She leaned forward into every bite, hummed in anticipation as we re-loaded the spoon and cried when it was gone. Folks, we've got an eater!! No surprise there that my girl loves to eat. The apple, as they say, does not fall far from the tree. She probably won't be early to walk or crawl, talk or read, but my baby was ahead of schedule when it comes to eating. I see Mommy and Me Weight Watcher meetings in our not too distant future...

4 comments:

Jen said...

CHOMP!

julie said...

they started my brother bo on cereal the day he was born. at 28 he has no food allergies... i waited until a few days shy of six months to give isaac food because i was bullied by the "books". none of them gave a reason why to wait, though, so I'm glad to learn from you. so wise.

shawn said...

I can't wait 'til the day Violet and I can share some BBQ or biscuits and gravy!!

shawn said...

I can't wait 'til Violet and I can share some BBQ or biscuits and gravy!!