The big realization of my mama experience is that after countless generations of child bearers, no one really knows a singular method of child rearing that works. The whole "every baby is unique" mantra is entirely too true. So you need the village to get lots of help and insight on what to do. For me my village is a state away, so mostly I have been relying on Auntie Internet for wisdom, but even though she's got lots too say, you don't know when she's enlightened, and when she's had one too many sherries.
The latest thing I needed advice on was food. Yup, we never made it over the breastfeeding hurdle, and we're already onto the next one (insert comic visual of the track star dragging hurdles behind her). I have a feeling that chica is gonna be eager for all the milestones. A couple of months ago she was already intensely interested in how we ate. She would watch and open her mouth like a little fish. I gave her tastes of banana and avocado and she would grimace (in the cutest way of course). About a month ago she had grown past the casual observance and would actually lunge and grasp for our food. Hint taken - it is time!
Aunties advice: four to six months was when to start, oh wait - not until after 6 months, or one year. Hmm. Then, always begin with cereal, no bananas, no protein - definitely protein, wait there are also allergies to consider, what about allergies! Ugh. Then my village suggested I start with cereal in her bottle, chime in Auntie - no cereal in the bottle ever! What to do?
Basically I continued my whole mama strategy: fly by the seat o' yer pants and hope for the best (which I'm gathering most people end up doing). So, we started with frozen banana in the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder. She loved it. I mean, totally focused and intent love, screaming when she was out love, this is the best thing ever love. I thought we'd scored! Finally a parenting win! But then I tried to clean it. Not so bad the first or the second time, until you start to notice the little pieces of food that sneak into the seams and turn black. This was not the healthy choice for my chica. Back to Auntie and apparently banana is the worst thing to put into the feeder. Try again.
Next up: rice cereal. Again she loved it. For about three days. Now she seems interested for two or three bites and then decides to do raspberries cause mama's face looks funny covered in food. So, we're back to square one. Breastfeeding and formula supplement. By the seats of our pants I tell ya!