Letters to Miriam: Six months old

2014-02-15 12.24.05Dear Miriam,

You are now six months old! That’s halfway around the sun, an entire college semester, 1/80th of the time your dad has been alive. A mere blip in time but a huge leap for you. This month your first little tooth erupted, and it’s pretty cute. You took it all in stride and I didn’t even notice you were “teething” until I saw the tooth itself…I’m sure you’re saving up that “teething” excuse for something bigger, maybe those molars eventually.

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You’re having a little trouble on the sleep front these days…I dropped the dream feed since it didn’t make any difference to how well or how long you slept. But you often wake once around 3:00 to nurse, and in the past few weeks have been an early riser: when you wake at 5:00 or 6:00 to nurse, you are up for the day, instead of going right back to sleep! Perhaps those Boeing schedules are genetically imprinted. You are stretching out your naps during the day though, sleeping up to 1.5 hrs twice a day, often longer.

You are gobbling up your food like crazy! You love pears the best, but butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and bananas with oatmeal are favorites too. Carrots and peas are growing on you, at least you no longer make the funny faces. This week we’re going to try some green beans, yogurt, and mango. You’re now eating two meals a day in addition to your milk, often two ounces/tablespoons at a time. I can’t wait to try more things with you, like lentils, chicken, fish, and my favorite…cheese!

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It seems like you’re always smiling these days, especially at your dogs. You love watching their antics, and when you hear their names you instantly look around for them. You’re screechy voice has been replaced by babbling, which is much preferable! I love your sweet singy little voice. You love to hang out in your crib and babble to yourself after naps.

I think the next month is going to bring some big moves….like crawling or scooting! Your balance is great when sitting up, and you love holding onto your Zany Zoo and standing up. From your tummy, you can turn in circles or scoot backwards, and you are trying so hard to move forward! Hint…you need to both each leg separately, not at the same time šŸ™‚

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Get in ma belleh: thoughts on feeding your human

I’m sure at one time, or in some little corners of the world, feeding your baby is very simple. It should be…it’s essentially this: have food, give to baby, done. But here in 21st century first-world Pacific Northwest, it is, as most baby-rearing Ā topics, fraught with controversy and complexity. I am not proud to admit that I spent hours researching when to start solids, what to feed, and how to feed solids. And as with all things babyish…the “method” you choose and the way you do it is totally personal and should just be whatever works for your family. I’m not going to judge, and anyone who does has entirely too much time on their hands. Okay, I might judge a little bit…but mostly because people do weird things and I like making fun of them. But I digress.

We decided to start trying out solids around 4.5 months. At that point it was just little tastes of things. Some of my reasoning behind starting then is because that’s about the age when an infant’s iron stores from birth start to be depleted, and iron isn’t supplied by breast milk alone. I thought I’d start introducing some solids slowly so by the time Miri was six months she’d be taking small amounts of fruits and veggies for additional nutrients. I also decided to start with purees. Apparently, that’s controversial too. The latest baby-feeding trend is called “Baby-led Weaning.” This is slightly misleading, since you’re not “weaning” your baby off breast milk or formula, just introducing solids. The more I read about BLW the more turned off I got, it struck me as rather cult-like, with an all-or-nothing attitude. You can’t really start BLW till baby is at least six months old, and for the first weeks to months baby may not actually ingest anything. Plus, it seems really messy. And that is unacceptable to me. Seriously…I’ve been grossed out by pictures of babies with food on their faces for decades. Stop it already people.

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This photo for demonstration purposes only. It will be the only public photo I will subject you to of my baby with food on her face. I am fully accepting of the fact that this is only cute to her parents, and it is not fair to subject anyone else to this.

So I read a fairly neutral book about picking and choosing bits of pureed feeding and BLW, it made a lot of sense to me, so that’s what I’m doing. Translated: I’m just going to feed my baby food.

I was gifted a Beaba Babycook so I wanted to take advantage of it. Turns out all you do is: dice food, steam food, puree food. Then, give to baby or freeze. Easy peasy. But since I’d spent so much time reading and researching and stressing over this, the least I can do is document the process for you.

Step One: Get some food. Miri’s first food was a sweet potato, but here I’m documenting the pear.

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Step Two: Peel and dice theĀ pear into little chunks, put into steamer basked. Put water into steamer opening on top of Babycook, turn knob to “steam.”

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Step Three: The little orange light shuts off automatically when it’s done steaming. Now you have soft delicious pear chunks! Empty the steamer basket into the pitcher. I added some of the water from steaming but you don’t have to, it depends on how soupy you want your puree. Then turn knob to “blend.”

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Step Four: Pour puree into an ice-cube tray or a tray specially made for this. This is an Oxo Tot Baby Freezer Tray. I like that it has a cover so the food doesn’t absorb any weird smells from your freezer. Like if you have venison dog food in your freezer.Ā 2014-01-15 19.44.36

I let it freeze overnight, then pop the little cubes into freezer bags and label them. The portions end up being about one tablespoon which is convenient, right now that’s about a serving for Miri.

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Defrost a cube in the fridge overnight, et voila, gourmet baby meal!

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Miri is a big fan of my “cooking!”

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