Monday, April 19, 2010

Cereal and "I'd Nevers"

Most people are great parents until they have kids of their own, or so the saying goes. In the months that we anticipated Jack's arrival I formed all kinds of opinions about the type of mom I'd be. I'd breastfeed exclusively. A disposable diaper would never touch my baby's butt. We wouldn't start solid foods until the La Leche League recommended date of at least six months old.

And then reality set in, crying and inconsolable, at two in the morning. That's when I learned my new mantra: all babies are different. He'll be ready for the next milestone when he's ready, and not a minute before. And certainly not just because some book or website said he's ready.

Jack's doctor recommended that we start Jack on cereals early: at three and a half months. He had an insatiable appetite, he could support his head and body well enough to sit up in a Bumbo seat, and he was taking interest in watching us eat. We bought his first box of rice cereal and mixed up a tiny, watery spoonful for him to sample.

He did great. At first he wasn't sure what to do with the spoon being pushed into his face, but by the end of the meal he was opening his mouth in anticipation of the next spoonful. I have to admit, I'm addicted too: there's nothing like feeding a baby. We have rice cereal once daily, before bedtime, and with every meal he gets better and better at it.

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