Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

We have been feeding Micah rice cereal since he turned 4 1/2 months old. We started out slowly . . . just 1/2 tbs of rice cereal mixed with 1 ounce of breast milk. Initially, Micah could only eat 1/2 of that at each feeding. We have now "graduated" to 2 tbs of rice cereal with 1 ounce of breast milk every day. I think he would be willing to take more, but we are trying to ease into food since food is not really necessary until babies are 6 months old.

As I wade into this world of babies and food, I realize how complicated it is. No one can agree on when to feed a baby. No one really knows exactly how much to feed them each time. Some people insist you start with veggies, and others insist you should start with fruits. My pediatrician said we could start food any time after 4 months, and since Micah was showing signs of increased hunger, he suggested we at least start with rice cereal, but start slowly. We called the pediatricians another day to talk about the heat and dehydration, and the "on-call" pediatrician gave me a hard time about feeding Micah food so early.

I feel like starting rice cereal has been a good thing for Micah. It has resolved some of his hunger issues, and it has made it possible for me to continue breastfeeding. Now that Micah is 5 months old, we are trying to determine the "next steps" for feeding. At any time, we can increase his food intake. We can start adding vegetables/fruits. I have no idea what to do next! I think this week, we are going to try oatmeal, and see how Micah does. Next week, he will be 5 1/2 months, and I think perhaps we will start adding fruits/veggies. One new one every 3-5 days. That will take us until Micah is at least 6 months old. I know some people do not even start introducing food until then, but they are encouraged to do so at a far more aggressive pace at that point. I am not certain when we should increase to 2 meals a day. I'm thinking Micah is content with the quantity of food he is getting right now, and since breast milk (or formula) is supposed to be the primary source of nutrition for the entire first year, there is no rush to increase the number of times per day he is eating. Simply adding in the veggies/fruits will increase his intake. I'm thinking I'll wait until after we introduce the other foods (or Micah shows signs of hunger) before we increase the number of feeds each day.

Does anyone else out there find the whole feeding thing confusing? I sure hope it gets easier! I think I am going to worry about Micah and whether he is eating enough for a very long time.

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