By Guest Blogger Kristen Bagwell
When I was in college, I had a boyfriend whose mother would literally chase us around with food from the time we arrived at her house until the time we left. We’d escape and go to his Grandma’s, and she’d do the same thing. “What is it with your ‘women’ cramming food down our throats?” I’d ask him. He called it “selling food” and teased his mom all the time about it. I remember thinking, “These people aren’t even italian…what’s with the mangia-mangia all the time?” As I look back, I see that many moms, aunts, and grandmas have done the same thing along the way. I had always thought that it was a way to show their love. Today, I have a different theory.
The theory is this: moms start very early on encouraging the little ones to eat, and just never stop. Eat. EAT! we say, myself included. My adorable, lively, silly, and funny 5-month old son will.not.eat. from a spoon. Forget it. Not cereal, not fruit, not milk…nada.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t remember my daughter having any trouble learning to eat something other than milk. We got out the cereal, made a little soup, she slurped, we moved on to fruits and veggies. Easy, right? Not for little mister. Being a second child myself, I will admit that we tend to make our own way sometimes rather than follow in the footsteps of kid #1. I never thought that would apply to eating, though. What boy doesn’t like to eat?!
Of course, when I visited my mother yesterday, I mentioned it. (I tend to casually mention the things that I am worried about in the course of our conversations, and she reassures me or asks more questions accordingly. It’s pretty effective unless she decides to get inside my head, which is annoying. Generally, she’s pretty helpful. Anyway.) Mom asked how much baby boy was eating, what he was eating, what I had tried, what was the consistency, etc etc. After all that, she told me that it takes some kids longer than others, and that for him to be resistant to the spoon (or even downright offended that I am offering him a spoon and not a bottle) is completely normal. Huh.
As ever, I took her advice to heart, and immediately went home and looked it up on the internet. Lo and behold, she was right. Babycenter.com, webmd.com, mayoclinic.com…each of these sites effectively says the same things. Perfect. One of them even said that cereal in a bottle for babies a few weeks old would help reflux. Mom also said this to me early on, and I pooh-poohed her suggestion as old school. Shows you what I know. On the flip side, I also found an article from Dr. Sears noting reasons to wait a bit later to introduce solids. All very logical, until you go back to getting up twice in the night to feed my ravenous little muffin.
I guess my point is this: how hard is it? Can I give up for another few weeks, or just give cereal in a bottle for the duration? This is one of those areas where I hate to see him growing up so fast, but I wish he was just a tiny bit older so this would all become clear. (And so I could get a decent night’s sleep, which is probably why this all sounds so disjointed in the first place.)
Who’s with me? Talk me off the ledge if you have a minute…I’ll be over here coaxing my little one to eat. EAT!