Would you believe it? I tried to trick Ayo by skipping his late night feeding last night. Thankfully, he woke me up and reminded me at 4:00am that he was missing something. How thoughtful! 😉
Last month, our final feeding of the night was around 10-11pm and over the past few weeks we’ve moved it back to the more convenient 8:30pm. We’ve been putting Ayo to bed for the night around 7pm and then waking him just long enough for his 8:30pm “dream-feed” (at which time he is about as limp as a rag doll) and then he usually sleeps until 7am. Last night, I wanted to see how long he would go at 7pm without an extra 6-8oz / 170-240ml of milk in his mini belly. Now I know the answer – he can go until approximately 4am. I’m hoping that by gradually introducing solids during the day, Ayo will eventually be able to sleep those full 12 hours.
For about a month now, I have casually researched all sorts of simple first foods that are both interesting and easy to digest. About at the same time, Ayo started to grab for and chew on everything around him. As with every topic around raising children, there is of course vastly contradicting information out there: don’t start too early or else babies might get allergies, don’t start too late or else they might get allergies. Feed only before you nurse, feed only after you nurse! And my favorite: feeding rice cereal will make your child obese vs. you must absolutely start your child off with rice cereal or else your child might be allergy prone the rest of his life. Thank you very much Dr. Google!
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands based on some reliable sources like this one, this one, KellyMom, Super Baby Food by R. Yaron and of course my common sense. I really didn’t want to go with rice cereal, not because I think Ayo will become obese from it, but because I think I prefer finding exciting nutrient rich foods over bulking him up with complex carbohydrates. We have the luxury of time on our side to work up to a full belly of solids. We’re in no rush. Although rice is said to be a safe choice to avoid allergens, rice cereal also seems really bland when there are so many fun foods out there. After all, I don’t eat rice on its own either, unless I am in a developing country. Isn’t life way too short for tasteless food if you have access to it? I secretly wished Ayo could taste a Petit Suisse or a Toni yoghurt as his first food but alas, it was a bit early to introduce those when we were in Europe last month.
After several hours of research, I decided to go with egg yolk from a soft boiled egg prepared like this (not the whites as they are known to cause allergies in some babies) sans the fresh raw liver, which is a little too crunchy even for Tall Mountain and myself. I absolutely love quality eggs for their protein, taste and texture – so that was Ayo’s first food. We’ve already tried tasting and “discussing” the flavors, textures and temperature of egg yolk for five days, so we are going to try the next food on the list today: avocado! I think, after egg yolk and avocado, our initial line up will be something like banana, puréed carrots, green beans, beats and leeks. This is definitely an exciting milestone in our household and we can’t wait to introduce Ayo to the marvelous world of food. Miam miam!*
What where some of your child’s first solid foods? Why did you choose them and when did you feed them to your kiddos? Did you get any funny reactions? Have you ever prepared age-appropriate menus like the ones here to introduce your children to the pleasure of food?