This is a guest post by fellow dietitian blogger Katie Serbinski, who blogs at Mom to Mom Nutrition. Katie is a busy mom of two little boys. Though her kids are only 15 months apart, she actually approached feeding her second baby differently than her first. Here’s why:
Why I Fed My Second Baby Differently
by Katie Serbinski, MS, RD
I had just made it through the turmoil of first-time breastfeeding and the mess of starting solids with my oldest son when I gave birth to my second. My little dynamic duo is only about 15 months apart. Though they’re now toddlers and eating the same things, I actually did things a bit differently when it came to feeding them as babies:
- I skipped purees. At least sort of. I started giving my younger son pureed vegetables around 5 months of age, but he wasn’t a fan of being spoon-fed. So I did some research and knew a few of my friends were doing baby-led weaning with their kids. Following his lead, we did a mix of purees and small, chopped, soft foods as baby-led weaning suggests.
- Rice cereal was not a first food. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that single-grain cereals are traditionally served as first foods. However, there’s no nutritional advantage to serving one food over the other. So I gave my second son a little bit of avocado and some banana as his first foods. We eventually gave him oatmeal (which he promptly turned into an at-home facial!). So don’t think you are breaking any rules by going with fruit, vegetables, or meat as a first food.
- We all ate together as a family (and still do!). When our first son was a baby, my husband and I would dinner after we put him down for bed at 7pm. We assumed the second one would be a golden sleeper too (so young and naïve of us!). Most nights, my younger son can stay up later than we can, so we’ve adjusted everyone’s schedules and all eat dinner together almost every night. The end result is that we are making family memories around the dinner table, something I cherish about my childhood.
- I didn’t go by the book. My first child was given one food at a time, three days at a time, to make sure he wasn’t having an allergic reaction. I also made sure he had perfect portions, colorful spoons and plates, and the best bibs. My second? He’s always had a mix of foods on his tray—and, well, we’re lucky if we remember to put his shirt back on after eating! When you need to feed a toddler, a baby, yourself, and your husband, you just tend to go with the flow. The happy result? I was a lot less stressed.
If you have more than one child you KNOW how different they are—and you also know that everything that encompasses parenting your child (including feeding) is never the same! And you know what? As a parent, you shouldn’t want or expect your children to be any other way.
Katie Serbinski, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and founder of Mom to Mom Nutrition, a healthy food and lifestyle blog where she shares her “me time” with other health-minded parents. On her blog, you’ll find simple, family-friendly recipes, tips for new parents, and realistic nutrition advice. Connect with Katie through email [email protected] or Twitter @MomNutrition.