Now that my girl is 10 1/2 months old she's finally starting to like more solid foods. Actually getting the food into her mouth is still a skill that she's working on (hahah!), but at least she's not just blatantly shunning it all together. She's never, EVER, been a fan of purees and has always preferred finger foods. Chewing and successfully swallowing the little pieces has proven tricky, though. She is getting better though; less dramatic gagging, more swallowing, more SUPER disgusting diapers (yay! :-/ ). She also thinks it's sssssoooooo fun to "accidentally" drop her food over the side of her high chair into the open and waiting mouths of her BFFs - the dogs! We're working on teaching her NOT to feed the doggies, also working on trying to remember to lock the dogs out of the dining room while we're eating.
There is a new - but the same, really - development that is REALLY irking me now that she's getting to be a bigger girl and eating more "real" food. The assumption that she needs to be eating all the garbage that older kids - or adults - are eating. And the assumption that she needs to be drinking less breastmilk. (Why does EVERYONE have an opinion on your parenting?!)
First off: Do what you want with your kids. To each their own. I won't tell you not to feed your 6 month old that Happy Meal, because your kid isn't my concern. But, please pay me the same respect, and realize that MY kid is none of YOUR concern, and you're not allowed to make choices regarding her health. For the love of all things holy, when you're thinking about feeding whateveritisyouhaveinyourhand to MY child, please ask first. A quick, "Hey can she have this?" would be reallllllllly appreciated. We've made the decision that she won't have refined sugars, greasy fats, processed foods or meat yet. She has her whole life to eat poorly, but for this first year of her life we'd like to feel confident that she's eating only good-for-her foods. And if we say, NO, to you giving her whateveritisyouhaveinyourhand don't give us a hard time about it. You had the chance to feed your kids whatever you wanted them to have. And you're right, they turned out great regardless, but you had your chance. This is ours. Thank you.
Secondly: We agree with the WHO's recommendation that babies should be exclusively fed breastmilk for the first 6 months of their life, and then it should still be the main source of nutrition for the child's first 12 months - and then continued for as long as it's mutually desired by both mother and child, but preferably until closer to 2 years old. Maddy LOVES her some milks. And I work SO FLIPPIN' HARD to provide her milks to her. So I'm not going to push her to stop drinking it before she wants to. Yes, my situation is different than if I were nursing her in the traditional way. Yes, I less-than-love pumping and dream of the day when I don't HAVE to do it anymore. But, I feel the same way about EPing as I do about BFing: I'm not going to stop giving her my milk until she's done with it. At this point she's still drinking about 30oz of milks per day. Even with her increased amount of solid foods, the amount of BM has only decreased about 2-3oz. At this rate I KNOW I'll be pumping passed her 1st birthday. And while there are days where I procrastinate and complain about having to pump, I remind myself that in the grand scheme of her LIFE I won't be pumping for very long. And honestly, after all the issues we had in the beginning of our BFing relationship it makes me feel good that she loves her milks so much. It makes all the heartache, physical pain, emotional pain, exhaustion, and hard work totally worth it. I don't know why people - even some misinformed Drs - think that breastmilk suddenly loses it's nutritional value at 6, 9 or 12 months of the baby's age - but that's just ridiculous!
Madeline will eventually decide that "real" foods are more exciting than her milks, and she'll start eating more solids and drinking less BM. As she gets older we'll introduce her to more diverse foods, and will relax on the quality of food as well, but until then just know that we make the choices we make because we love her and we believe we're making the best decisions for her with regard to her health.
I'm pretty positive that she's doing JUST fine on a diet of her milks, peas, corn, blueberries, Cheerios, black beans, cheese, rice, asparagus, yogurt, grapes and hummus. She's a happy, healthy, intelligent girl who's meeting - and usually exceeding - her milestones. :)
/I'm stepping off my soapbox now. Man! I hate feeling so defensive about the choices we make as parents.