about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Foodie Baby.

There is no question – we are a foodie family.  Casey and I both love food.  Eating it, making it, shopping for it, and talking about it.  Even so, I wanted to wait six months before really starting Cullen on any sort of regular meals.  I figure he has his whole life to eat with us, and such a short window to be exclusively breastfed.

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His favorite book!  Both to read, and to chew.

Last month, we started him on just a small bit of oatmeal cereal.  It seemed like we were off to a good start.  About a week after we started, we had a scary incident that involved him throwing up in his sleep.  I brushed it off as an upset stomach.  Until the same thing happened again – right after his oatmeal breakfast.

I called his pediatrician who was surprised to hear he was having an allergic reaction to oatmeal (one of the lowest allergen foods, which is why it’s highly recommended as a starter for babies).  He told me to lay off the oatmeal and go ahead with fruits and veggies.  But the oatmeal reaction scared me, and I pulled back on solids for a few weeks. 

Cullen is now well over six months now, so it was time to dive back in.  I’m happy to say that so far he hasn’t had any more reactions, and for the most part he is loving his meals!

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Feeding Cullen real food has gone a little differently than I had originally expected.  I read and researched Baby-Led Weaning, a method of feeding babies chunks of softened solid food, rather than purees.  The general idea is that this improves fine motor skills and teaches babies to feed themselves directly, rather than being spoon fed by a parent.

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We tried a few different things, none of which worked.  I set some baby puffs (soft cereal pieces) out on the tray for him, and while he was definitely interested in picking them up and handling them, he was not happy about it once they reached his mouth.

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There was a lot of gagging and eye bulging the minute the puffs hit his tongue.  This boy has a very sensitive gag reflex!  He had no interested in swallowing whatsoever.  Casey tried letting Cullen bite on his (solid) banana, and Cullen ended up biting off a huge hunk and then scaring himself by almost choking.

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So last week we decided to try some purees instead, and see how things went.  I had read that it was better to start with veggies before fruits, so that they don’t reject the veggies down the road.  I wasn’t sure what Cullen would like, but I thought squash seemed like a good neutral place to start. 

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Apparently, I was wrong.

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Squash was NOT a hit, and Cullen acted like we were spoon-feeding him battery acid.  Gagging, spitting, and all sorts of other drama.  So the squash got shelved, and I brought out the sweet stuff – pears.

Which brings me to another thing that has been different than I originally planned.  So far, I’ve been feeding him jarred baby food.

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I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen steaming, mashing, and freezing food only to find that Cullen hated it.  So my plan is to buy this all natural and organic jarred food for a bit, while he gets used to new flavors and textures.  Once he’s been exposed to a variety, I’ll start making it myself.  But for now, the jarred stuff is just as good and much much easier.

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I think a lot of my initial hesitation with starting solids was not understanding how to make it a consistent part of our daily routine.  Now that we are finally moved and settled into our new place, I’m finding routine and scheduling to be much easier.

Every morning after nursing, a clean diaper, an outfit change, and a little playing on the floor – Cullen and I head to the dining room to have breakfast.  Casey talks to us while he gets ready for work, and I eat my cereal while spooning Cullen some fruit.  Bananas and pears have both been hits!

And then later in the evening – around 5pm-ish, we do another round in the high chair – this time with veggies.  He opens his mouth big and wide, and takes eating very seriously.  I fear he may have inherited my sense of portion control.  For the boy that never stops smiling, he is all business in the high chair.

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So far we’re having fun with it, and I love watching him react to new flavors and tastes.  My (foolish) hope was also that perhaps a little food in the belly would help him sleep a little longer at night. 

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Unfortunately the little tooth poking out above (his third!) is throwing a wrench in my plan.  We are back to waking up 2 and 3 times a night these days – no fun.  Hoping it comes in soon and the poor little guy gets a little relief!

Until then, I’ll just continue to be really tired and slightly cranky.  Nothing new, really.  Even on the sleepiest mornings, having breakfast with my foodie baby is a great way to start the day. 

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158 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Kimberly @ Healthy Strides     at 10:00 am

I thought I saw a little tooth bud in the last photo!

Solids is such a tricky piece, and we ended up going the puree route and doing a mix of homemade and jarred foods. I will caution to be careful with how much you make. Once we got top teeth and were used to the routine, Miles went more toward BLW. I now have pears, apples, sweet potatoes and carrots galore in the deep freeze. I’m almost thinking of putting them in MY oatmeal.

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Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 10:01 am

His reaction to oatmeal is a bummer… hope he outgrows that!

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Katie@Pop Culture Cuisine     at 10:02 am

I love the foodie face pics, our little girl is such a messy eater it usually inevitably gets everywhere, hair included! We also started the BLW route, but found that while she did love trying and sucking on things, the whole gagging thing was scaring me and her. With all of the “trying” of new foods, she was also having some major digestion problems, so we back tracked and went the pureed route, added juice 2x a day, abd haven’t looked back. She now is getting 2-3 solid meals throughout the day at almost 8 months and LOVES it! While I am still all for BLW it just didn’t work for us and that is ok.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I agree. Everyone has to find what works for them! Every baby and family is different.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers     at 10:05 am

Totally don’t blame you on the jarred foods. It’s surprising he didn’t like squash – I thought all babies liked squash?!? haha At least the boy knows what he likes. Good luck with all that experimentation!

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brandee     at 10:07 am

His reactions in all the pictures is adorable! He looks like a happy baby!

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Sana     at 10:08 am

I love his little messy face!

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Samantha     at 10:11 am

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=537513&cm_ven=none&cm_cat=none&cm_pla=none&orderType=none&utm_source=none&utm_medium=none&utm_campaign=none

You should try these mesh feeders. You can get them at Target for pretty cheap. It will help him learn to put food into his mouth and also explore new tastes. My LO loves frozen yogurt in it and you can also freeze breast milk and tons of other fruits and veggies.

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jen Reply:

plus frozen fruits are great in the mesh feeder when they are teething!

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Katie Bucco Reply:

Agreed, it has been really helpful with the teething!!

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Tara     at 10:12 am

I love foodie pictures! One of us typically feeds our daughter while the other snaps! :) Fun to gauge different reactions. We did go the BLW route but didn’t start until 9 months. She absolutely loved snacking on avocados and bananas however sweet potato originally made her gag. We learned quickly that if we would mimic chewing – she would start making the same movements – and move past the “shock-fear” to “oh ok – this could be fun” expressions.

I completely agree with getting the routine down. It has been quite a challenge to figure out how to cook for all of us … good luck! The beauty of the upcoming summers is plenty of fresh fruit and veggies for them to try!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Mimicking chewing is a good idea! I might try that. We’ll definitely give the BLW another try when he’s more ready.

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Katie KS Reply:

Hopefully he will like chunky foods more at 8 or 9 months. He is still young – an early crawler so even though the pics on chunky foods are crawlers they may be meant for a little older! We have just at 8.5 months started more real foods – slowly. M loves puffs though. Baby mum mums are great too :)

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Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family     at 10:16 am

We have the same high chair!! I love it! Good job C!

Hope that tooth gives you all a rest soon!

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Stacey Reply:

What brand is the high chair?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Here you go! http://www.oxo.com/p-1028-sprout-high-chair-greenwalnut.aspx

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Allison     at 10:17 am

I read to let them try new foods up to five times before they might like it. I started my little one with carrots and she wasn’t a fan. By day five she ate every bite! I wouldn’t give up squash just yet!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oh we’re not giving up! I have more squash. :) Just thought we’d switch to something he DOES like as a first food, so that he gets used to the concept before offering it again.

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Allison Reply:

I switched to sweet potatoes and went back to carrots and she wouldn’t touch them yesterday! Guess getting her used to them still didn’t make her a fan :)

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Robyn (GirlonRaw)     at 10:24 am

Hey Emily, i had the same initial hesitance with BLW as well thinking that it wasn’t going to work, but I just mixed up the choices and reminded myself that Manus wasn’t going to really get any benefit out of his food anyway for months later – this is really an exploration time for them. And if the pieces of food are small enough – bananas is ok but not a good start – Manus liked sticks of apples (so that he could hold them in his fist – with almond or cashew butter on them to begin with. I found i was trying so many different foods but I guess wastage is going to be normal no matter what. It wasn’t until I felt like we were fighting a battle with the puree’s that I headed back down the BLW path and let him lead the way. I took comfort in the fact that his nutritional needs were being met with his milk. Oh and the gagging is normal, as long as they have control over the food going in and out, you just need to supervise (goes without saying). I really don’t think they swallow much of the food in the beginning anyway as they are just learning. Anyway have fun with it and love to see your progress x

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Robyn (GirlonRaw) Reply:

Oh and PS We now have a 14 month old who spoons feeds himself and has done since 11 months old. It’s sooo liberating to enjoy our meals together now!

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StefanieK Reply:

I’m a little bummed to see you didn’t give BLWing more of a shot. What was your reason for stressing over him actually swallowing foods? It’s totally normal for a Baby-led weaned baby to not actually EAT anything for weeks or months. That’s part of the benefit though is that they actually swallow food when they’re good and ready to. I think I just would’ve loved to see you exposing more people to the awesomeness of it as a method for solids introduction. He certainly looks cute though, and looks like he’s having fun with it. Congrats on the new house and new exciting, fun stage of solid foods! :)

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StefanieK Reply:

Lol, sorry…meant to comment directly TO Emily.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hey Stefanie. I’m trying really hard to not take this comment personally. I had no stress about him swallowing foods – he just wouldn’t do it. The minute the solid chunks hit his mouth he started gagging and flailing around – very scared. It was more about him being scared than about me being scared. I plan to keep offering him a variety of textures and consistencies. At the same time, I need to do what is best for my baby and family right now. I have no doubt that in the coming months, he and I will both learn a lot about this process!

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Jill Reply:

To Stefanie
So if the baby is not actually eating the food, what is the point? The fact he is eating the jarred food proves he is good and ready and wants to try new things. While your baby is gagging, he/she could be enjoying something new. In my opinion, BLW is for lazy parents.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Robyn. We’ll definitely try more BLW again, just doing some purees in the meantime to get him used to the taste and the experience. While obviously I didn’t like the choking, it really upset him. He was scared and crying – not something I want him to feel.

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Brenda Reply:

Emily. I am impressed that you tried and stuck with it as long as you did. BLW is trendy right now among bloggers and it must have taken a lot for you to admit it just wasn’t working. Purées are great and eating finger foods will come with time. BLW is works well for some families, while Purées work for others. Thanks for your honesty!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Brenda. I totally agree. While I think there is a lot of good that can come from BLW, I also think it’s very trendy and hot right now. We’ll try again – it might work, it might not. All I really care about is that my son gets good food and good care.

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Emily Reply:

Thanks, Emily, for being so open and for sharing about this process! BLW sounds so interesting, but, as you said, the bottom line is that you need to do whatever is best for your child. I was fed pureed food as a kid, and I turned out just fine. :) There’s never just one way to do things!

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StefanieK Reply:

Emily, I’m sorry for offending you. Your only obligation IS to care for and feed Cullen. I just meant that most BLW’d babies (of lazy parents, naturally…heh!) don’t swallow food for several weeks as they learn about the feeling of the chunks in their mouths and how to manage the sizes, etc. That’s very normal. I thought your post indicated you moved on to purées because it concerned you that he wasn’t actually ingesting any food. My biggest fear with introducing purées and then large chunks of food later (but still before traditionally done) was that he would’ve already learned to suck purées past his gag reflex and it sets back their learning about that and the process. I was just surprised the positive attributes of BLWing didn’t convince you to stick with it, but I also have no experience sitting in your home with your baby, so I didn’t mean for you to feel judged. He’s obviously a healthy and happy little guy so keep doing what you’re doing :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Emily!

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kelly     at 10:25 am

We just stared solids a few weeks ago and it is hard! Not sure my baby girl is ready yet…

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kath     at 10:26 am

Please share which high chair you have! Love the green color!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha, I noticed you had picked the same color too! :) Love those one because it has color but is also wood. And the main reason I chose it is because it also converts to a toddler chair, so it can be used for a long time to come – not just for babies! http://www.oxo.com/p-1028-sprout-high-chair-greenwalnut.aspx

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kath Reply:

Thanks! I’ll check it out when I visit :)

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Christina     at 10:27 am

My lil one, now 12 months, didn’t go for squash either…until I mixed in some mashed banana. Other veggies she was fine with, but not squash.

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Courtney G.     at 10:29 am

My Son also had a reaction to oatmeal. He seems to have grown out of it and eats anything now. He is 2. So glad Cullen is enjoying food!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Glad to hear it! I’m definitely hoping it’s just that his digestive system is too young right now.

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Laura Reply:

Seriously wonder about oatmeal being a low allergen food sometimes! I’ve been highly allergic to porridge since birth and the same thing has occurred with my niece and my best friend’s little boy. Maybe we’re all just unlucky! :)

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leslie     at 10:36 am

Ah, the fun is just beginning!

My girls started with the rice cereal first, mixed with a bit of breastmilk so that the taste was totally familiar (rice cereal has zero taste on it’s own) and we gradually bumped up the consistency from totally thin and gravy-like up to soft cereal stage. Then when they were used to the consistency we moved to mixing with juice or baby food. The cereal really adds bulk and helps with sleeping through the night.

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Antonia @ healthinspirations     at 10:36 am

Cullen is so adorable. The color of his eyes is beautiful. Wish mine were like that!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Me too! :)

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Rachel     at 10:56 am

“Squash was NOT a hit, and Cullen acted like we were spoon-feeding him battery acid”

Seriously laughed out loud (at work, oops) at this.

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bitt     at 11:11 am

It did seem odd to me you would feed him oatmeal, it contains gluten and most people I know start their babies on rice cereal but even before that for sure fruits and veggies. And keep off gluten for the first year or so. I have read some research, and tried to find it online (alas I am empty handed), that shows that feeding babies jarred food limits their palates because all the food tastes the same versus homemade food where the tastes are more varied. So logically, I don’t know if your theory of him getting used to the jarred food first will work because the article sort of said babies that were fed jarred were less adaptive in their tastes. I guess if you intend to feed him homemade, why not start now?

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Tara Reply:

Pure, uncontaminated oats do not contain gluten. Something like Bob’s Red Mill would not but possibly some of the quaker brands might. I have also chosen to give my baby oatmeal over rice cereal by just grinding up raw oats and then cooking.

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sarah Reply:

I have bigger kids now, but I remember that rice cereal caused problems with binding and constipating my son. It really is just trial and error unfortunately, cause each baby is different. Go with your instincts–their are usually right! I know it seems so all consuming right now, but Cullen will figure it out and you’ll soon be enjoying food together!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oatmeal is very commonly suggested as a first food, as it is one of the lowest allergen risks for babies. As far as jarred food goes, like I said, this is just a starting point. I have every intention of making our own starting in the next week or two. This was just an easy means to get started. I’ve tasted all of the ones he’s had so far, and they definitely taste different to me!

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Emily Reply:

I definitely ate jarred baby food as a kid, and was not a picky eater and do not have a limited palate as an adult. And I’m sure jarred baby food has improved since I was a kid!

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See     at 11:12 am

Awww sad to hear the pureed squash wasn’t a winner. On the bright side, I guess squash is one of the more usable purees in baking ;)

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Jessica     at 11:15 am

I think baby-led-weaning is a good idea in theory, but I think 6 months is very young to expect a baby to feed themselves and tolerate firm textures, like what they could pick up. I started all 3 of my girls on solids at 6 months (purees) and none of them liked solids or started to pick them up on their own until 8-9 months.
Cutest.baby.ever.

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StefanieK Reply:

The thing is, there really is no reason a 6 month old baby that is unable or incapable or feeding themselves food needs to be eating food. Again, this is why I’m disappointed there wasn’t more effort given to BLWing…so very very much lack of information and knowledge about it out there. My little guy was very much feeding himself by 6 1/2 months. But he’s 9 months now, and if he wasn’t feeding himself, that’d be okay too. Recent studies have actually been released that BLWing also encourages a healthier relationship with food, less instance of obesity, less pickiness….it just seems so on par with so much of your lifestyle.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Stefanie you keep saying you are disappointed, and I find that a bit unsettling. My only obligation is to feed my son – not to promote any particular book or parenting method. That is great that your son was feeding himself at 6.5 months! A lot of babies crawl at 6 months, but some don’t until 9, 10, and 11 months. They all develop so differently, and I think that’s important to remember when judging parenting decisions. We absolutely plan to share our healthy love of food with Cullen, and to have him enjoy the same lifestyle that makes us happy. All in good time, and when he is ready. I certainly don’t want to begin his relationship with food based on fear of choking.

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is how I feel too, Jessica. I have no doubt BLW is a great way to feed babies when they are ready. My gut tells me that Cullen is not quite there yet though, and that’s okay with me.

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Katie Bucco Reply:

Emily, keep following those instincts! Just like you said, every baby is so different and you simply have to read his cues. He may be ready for more “solid” food in another month and maybe not, they are just all so different, but he will certainly let you know. You are doing great!

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Maya Reply:

I just wanted to say that I AM doing BLW and I completely agree with your approach! My daughter is one day younger than Cullen and she loves eating solids (and really does chew and eat a lot today, to judge from the diapers… well… at least eat a lot… it pretty much comes out the same way it went in, haha). On the other hand, she is just now figuring out crawling, and she has yet to actually allow me to put her down in her crib for a nap, let alone a full night. (She screams bloody murder, and to judge from how long she can cry in her car seat, Cry It Out wouldn’t work for her! Any tips??) So every baby is different. It sounds like you’re listening to your gut about what Cullen wants and needs… if I felt that my daughter REALLY wanted food but was really opposed to solids, I would do the same thing! I feel certain that Cullen will grow up to be a great eater… he has such great role models at home!

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Tara     at 11:17 am

Our baby boy is almost 7 months old and he’s pretty into solids but has times he’s just not interested. I’ve been making the majority of his foods and it is so disappointing when you make something so yummy and they want nothing to do with it. My solution is making small amounts and trying to make things that we are eating anyway. The BEST tool ever is the immersion blender. I just take a small amount of veggies, put it in a bowl and mix it with something to make it a bit smoother like banana, sweet potato or avocado or breast milk of course. I try to avoid mixing with breast milk because then I can’t really save it for later. I haven’t made much stuff to freeze, I just make enough for a couple of days to keep in the fridge. It’s so satisfying when they do love something you’ve made yourself. However, I do enjoy the convenience of the ready made stuff, especially the Plum Baby Organics—those are great for mixing in with the immersion blender too. Love following your posts since are babies are around the same age.

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April Reply:

Ahhh, i am with ya on the imersion blender, SO easy. Honestly, i could not believe how simple it is to puree apples, pears, sweet potato, etc. I even grinded up oats and brown rice to make cereal w/the immersion blender. I am totally sold on making my own. Emily, i think you would be amazed too:)

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Emily Malone Reply:

That’s great, and very encouraging! We just signed up for a CSA and once we get our first delivery I’m planning to puree a bit of everything we get!

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Ashley     at 11:22 am

Loved hearing your experience starting Cullen on real food. It’s funny how much it varies for each baby. Looks like you’re finding your groove. Such cute photos!

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Jen     at 11:24 am

You just gave me the push I needed to add an additional feeding a day for Wyatt. He loves eating and for some reason I thought he was supposed to only eat once a day for a few months. Who knows why!

Maybe try mixing the squash with some breast milk and then gradually eliminate the milk? W cried the first time we tried to give him sweet potatoes, but a little milk did the trick. Now he doesn’t need the milk.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Well I think if we had started earlier (4-6 months) I would have done one, but since he’s almost 7 months (WHAT?) I figure we’ll just jump right in. He really likes the purees – can’t get enough!

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Katie     at 11:49 am

Teansitioning to food can be scary. I remember seeing my older son struggle once with swallowing & hagi g and I was panicked. It gets better! And less stressful. My second son was very difficult to transition to solid food. He was eventually diagnosed with texture resistance and we took him weekly to a speech therapist whose specialty was feeding. Learning how to tolerate textures and flavors can be really hard for some kids. And although my now almost 5 year old still avoids all things creamy (including ice cream, cake with icing and smoothies!) he has come a long way. What I learned was to work on food feelings when they are hungry. If they don’t like something and aren’t so hungry you have no chance. So, when they are hungry fees them some of the things that they don’t like. Just a few bites and move on to other things. Eventually they will get used to it. I saw my little one go from refusal and repulsion to tolerating foods and on to enjoying some. So, good luck. I hope this isn’t too preachy and maybe helpful? I’ve just been through a lot of work in that area of growing boys!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Not preachy at all – very interesting! Thanks for this!

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Kris     at 12:12 pm

Your experience sounds just like mine (minus the oatmeal allergy). I was excited to try baby lead weaning but at 6 mo my son had the same reaction- hed put it in his mouth but then did not actually want to eat it.

So on to baby food purees to find that he would only eat a few bites. He justwasn’t that interested in food for a few months but then finally at 10 months (after trying and trying and wasting many jars of food) he completely turned his head from the spoon and refused to be spoon fed. At this point he actually seemed like he was refusing because he really wanted to do it by himself. So, I decided to give him some of the vegan lentil loaf I was eating. I crumbled it on his tray, and To my surprise, he loved it! I guess he just wasn’t really ready for solids until 10 months. Many people thought it was crazy, but his pediatrician told me as long as he’s interested by 12 months, there’s no need to worry. Now, at 11 mo, he eats whatever I’m eating.

My point of all this is simply not to worry. I worried way too much but you have to remind yourself that all he really needs for his first year is your milk so everything else is just for him to experiment with. You could still hold off and try baby lead weaning in a month if Thats what youd like to Do. Or keep up with purees. Whatever you decide, just know Youre doing a great job! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for this, Kris. Every baby is just so different, and it’s tough when you expect them to fit into timelines and schedules of what they “should” be doing. Love that he ate vegan lentil loaf! :)

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Tracy w.     at 12:16 pm

I have 14 month twin girls that I breast fed for 6 months. I started rice cereal around 5 months and pureed food at 6 months. It takes babies several times of trying a food befoe they like it. Plus it takes time for them to just get used of the textures. We used a mix of store bought jared food and made our own. You can buy portion control containers and freeze them so u can keep trying the food with your baby and not be worried about wasting food if he doesn’t like it. Switching to table food was not easy. We supplemented their meals with purreed food until they were 13-14 months and now being almost 15 months, my girls are only on table food. I try giving them different food over and over until they begin to like it. Now my girls will eat almost any veggie and fruit. They lovers of veggie burgers and natural nut butters. Keep working at it and you’ll have a baby foodie too!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Just got the portioned containers so that we can start making our own next week! Glad to hear you guys have had success.

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Krissy     at 12:22 pm

OMG. seriously. cutest kid ever. those two squash pics are hilarious. kasey looks soooo happy in the first one and then cullen…my heart melts.

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Natalie     at 12:33 pm

My daughter also had a reaction to oatmeal. She broke out in a rash on her belly. She had also been fighting skin stuff, which turned out to be eczema. Once we realized she may have an intolerance to oatmeal, I cut it out of my diet as well since she is still breastfeeding. Her skin got so much better a few weeks after that! Her doctor was also surprised and said it’s very rare.

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Emily Malone Reply:

What’s weird is that I eat a ton of oatmeal and there has never been a problem! He also ate it for a full week before any vomiting started. So strange.

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Dina     at 12:41 pm

Hi Emily – I just wanted to let you know I too had a similar disappointment with BLW! My baby is just a few days younger than Cullen. Her problem was that while I could tell she was SO interested in solids, she couldn’t quite figure out finger foods yet (either getting them to her mouth, or what to do with them once they were in her mouth!). She was so happy when I gave her a pre-loaded spoon of rice cereal or yogurt that she could put in her mouth, and ate a lot more that way, that I decided to give her what she wants. I’m learning as a new parent, I always end up doing what my daughter wants me to do, instead of what I think she “should” be doing! Haha.

I have been making her foods myself though, and I wanted to let you know that it definitely does not take hours and is much easier than I thought it would be. Since I don’t know yet what foods she’s going to like, I usually just make a little bit of each new food, and it only takes a few minutes, especially since at 6 1/2 months she can eat “chunkier” purees. So, for example, I’ll throw a handful of frozen peas in a pot/steamer of water for a couple minutes and then just mash them up with a fork. Or I’ll stick a sweet potato in the oven, and when it’s done I’ll mash it up by hand, and give my daughter as much as she wants, and then eat the rest of it myself with some butter and cinnamon (yum). This weekend for the first time I made applesauce in “bulk” – I just peeled, cored and chopped 5 apples, cooked them in water until soft, and stuck them in a blender/food processor for a minute (they made about 2 1/2 Ball jars, which is enough food to last a while for her!). it was about 10 minutes active prep time. I’ve heard great things about the Beaba Babycook which makes it even easier, although I hesitate to buy something so pricey when I don’t know how long she’ll need purees. So, we’ll see…

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Emily Malone Reply:

This is encouraging! Cullen had a similar problem – basically got the food all over his hands and then didn’t know what to do with it and got really frustrated. He just wanted to EAT! He was much happier once I spooned it in for him. We’ll definitely keep trying, but I see no problem with doing purees too. Glad to hear it’s been easy and low maintenance!

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Michelle G.     at 12:54 pm

Love the Cullen posts!

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Missy     at 1:02 pm

Hang in there; you’re doing great! The organic baby food is great except the lids are lined with BPA (even Earth’s Best). :(

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Emily Malone Reply:

Boo. It’s always something, right?

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kathleen     at 1:06 pm

this is such a fun age! the little girl I watch LOVES veggies. and surprisingly, it takes zero time to prep the foods if you have a good blender!

just nuke the foods for a while in the microwave with a bit of water to steam them and dump them in the blender with some water to make it easier to blend. pour them into ice cube trays and whenever you remember, just dump them into labeled gallon-sized ziplocks. I think it takes her mom about 30 minutes from start to finish for each batch, which makes a ton of food.

she’s done zucchini, broccoli, butternut squash, acorn squash, peas, and apples. I think apples were the most time-consuming (because she had to peel them). and we’ve actually used some of the cubes in soups and whatnot – it’s great! particularly, the peas have come in handy in smoothies and Mama Pea’s Saag Peaneer :-)

now I know unsolicited advice can be really annoying, but I thought I’d throw out the bit about the blender because it was a life saver for my friend. oh! and I remember you mentioned that Cullen tosses his toys out of the stroller during runs. if you have any extra pacifier clips hanging around, those REALLY help keep the toys around!

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Rachel     at 2:32 pm

I tried to scan the comments to see if anyone else had mentioned this, but now most pediatricians are saying that there is no need for baby cereal and oatmeal. It’s low in nutritional value and high in carbs. Basically just a filler. I found this to kind of support what I’m saying. Hope it gives you some food for thought.

http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/cereals.htm

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Emily Malone Reply:

My understanding though is that beyond six months, breastfed babies need rice cereal or oatmeal as an iron supplement.

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Rachel Reply:

I was under the impression that for the first year (while still mainly getting nutrients from breastmilk), using some high iron foods (peas, tofu, beans, dark green veggies, avocado, etc.) that cereal is not necessary. Not sure though, but if that’s the case then Cullen isn’t missing out on too much!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hmm I’ll mention it to our doctor! After the oatmeal reaction, I’d actually like to skip cereals for a while (and plan to), but I obviously want to make sure he gets enough iron too! Thanks for the info!

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Kris Reply:

Kellymom has great info on this too: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron/

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Emily Malone Reply:

This is great – thanks for the link!

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 2:46 pm

A little embarrassing to admit, but I used to have my mom buy the pear baby food for me when I was growing up. I LOVED IT! It tastes like an excellent alternative to apple sauce…yum. Cullen has good taste! :) Haha

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Hallie (@ChasingHallie)     at 2:58 pm

We have that highchair! I love it. He is so cute, even when making the squash face.

We have been down the exact same road. Molly loves to grab those puffs but then they get stuck to her hand and she can’t get them in her mouth. And we tried squash that I made and she had about the same face!

I like the idea of using jarred food until we figure out exactly what she likes because we have a fridge full of frozen squash now. : )

Such an adventure!

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Emily Malone Reply:

He had the exact same problem – puffs stuck to the hands and no idea what to do next. He was so frustrated!

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Jessie @ Graze With Me     at 2:59 pm

I’m really surprised you’ve been doing jarred food, I would have figured you would be all over making your own.

We started w/BLW @ about 6.5 months and now at 8 months we’ve already moved on to finger foods. I still spoon feed foods that normally would be eaten with a spoon (yogurt, soup, etc) but she really prefers to shovel it all in herself. Amazing how different each baby is from the next!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Well like I said, we ARE going to make our own. This was just a starting point to ease into the process.

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Liz     at 3:13 pm

SO many opinions! Do what you think is best. I have my opinion too but it seems like you have it in control and are consulting with your pediatrician. Just enjoy the funny messy faces and I’m sure your dogs will enjoy the extra food that ends up on the ground!

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Emily Malone Reply:

:) Thanks Liz!

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Jennifer     at 3:14 pm

I did BLW with both my boys. It takes several weeks for them to get a hang of it so don’t give up completely. Have you heard of a safety feeder? It is great for ripe pears and bananas and you don’t have to worry about choking. I used ours a lot the first month of starting solids. http://www.babysafefeeder.com/
Good luck!

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Emily Malone Reply:

We’re not giving up, just trying a variety of different options. Just got the mesh bags!

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ASHLEY     at 3:22 pm

weve done BLW with great success so far. One thing to note, however, is that usually at 6 months with BLW the child wont really be *eating.* lets me honest, its mostly play, and occasionally swallowing. Not until 8 months does the beauty of BLW actually kick in.
We nursed, and offered food at 6 months..then 8 months hit and it all came together.
Not only does it help with motor skills as you mentioned, but it allows for the child to develop a healthy relationship with food–to only eat when hungry, stop when full. If you were still thinking about BLW, i would give it another shot :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

We’re not giving it up, just trying a few different options. I’m sure he’ll figure it out as he gets older!

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Kathy     at 3:58 pm

Just a little personal note on the oatmeal, my daughter (now 13) also had a reaction to oatmeal and was allergic to eggs and dairy, after a visit to an allergy specialist I learned that all three items have the same protein that causes the allergy. I just thought I would mention it so you can be cautious when you do, if ever try out those foods. I know you are vegan so he may not come into contact with them for a while, but better to be aware. Eggs can sometimes have very severe reactions. Now my daughter can eat everything except dairy which she sometime sneaks in when her friends all want to go the the Dairy Queen!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for the advice! We actually DO eat eggs, so that’s good to know.

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Rachel     at 3:59 pm

As much as I love your blog and admire you as both a mother and a blogger, it makes me very irritated to read so many of the comments that are left for you. You are doing so many great things for Cullen and he is such an amazing little boy. I don’t know why people feel the need to critique your methods! You must have some pretty tough skin because I wouldn’t be able to deal!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you, Rachel. I think I needed to hear that, as my skin is feeling pretty thin today. I don’t typically care when people critique me personally, but the parenting criticism really strikes a sensitive nerve. I’ve actually pulled back a lot recently on writing about parenting and Cullen for this exact reason. I think part of my responsibility as a mom is to make sure I stay in a healthy emotional place, and having my decisions questioned and critiqued makes that difficult. It’s too bad because I love the discussion I get with so many of you, but the judgement from a few has made me want to pull back a bit.

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More Reply:

Your baby, your rules. No one has to agree with them, but everyone should respect one another.

I thoroughly enjoy your blog! It takes me back to when my girls were little and gives me a touch of baby fever. =)

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Dominique Reply:

AMEN! My Thoughts exactly! You are doing what you think is best for Cullen. But parents will always be judged. When I was a baby, it was all Dr.Spock and you were a bad parent if you didn’t follow his advice!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 4:02 pm

Every family and baby is different. What works for one may not work for all. I think people need to realize that. You are a brave and strong mother to face the harsh comments of people who feel they need to push their opinions onto others. Keep up the good work! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Angela. Who knew this would be so controversial? It was really meant to be a fun update post, not a big statement about parenting and feeding methods!

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Brit     at 4:11 pm

I literally laughed out loud when I saw the “I hate squash” picture. Priceless!!!

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kristina     at 5:22 pm

I think you’re doing a great job and definitely don’t need to justify your choices! And FYI, we used jarred food for my daughter (not even all organic – gasp!) for the first 2 months. We slowly started giving chunks of soft fruits/veggies/pasta etc and by 9 months she was eating all table foods. The jarred foods did not limit her palate because at 3 1/2 she loves food – broccoli & cauliflower with hummus is a favorite. Just keep doing what you’re doing, all kids are different.

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Jill     at 5:35 pm

Emily, there are so many negative, crazy comments on here! Let me just tell you that I did not do BLW with my now 2 year old and she has done everything on or ahead of “time.” She was walking at 10 months, feeding herself with a fork/spoon right after a year, and by 18 months could recite the ABC’s. So, I don’t think we would have been off better any other way. We started jarred solids at 6 months and never thought twice! Keep doing what you are doing and don’t get discouraged with trends supporters.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank for the reassurance, Jill. Glad to hear you had success doing it your way too!

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Kate     at 5:44 pm

Some of these comments are very frustrating to read! I think you’re doing a fantastic job – like you said, every baby is different, and you guys are obviously doing what works for you. I’m sorry that people feel like they need to push their opinions onto you, just because you’re not doing things by their method. I don’t have kids yet, but I hope that when I do, I can take the same flexible approach that you have to everything so far in raising a child :)

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Robyn     at 6:05 pm

Solids are definitely an adventure! I started my little man on the earth’s best jarred foods, and have slowly added in a little bit of the baby led weaning. It is definitely messy, but he seems to enjoy the independence a bit more now. And he is finally learning to mush with his gums! At first he just tried to swallow and gagged big time :( Just wanted to recommend Ella’s organics as you start introducing more flavors to your little guy! They offer a great mix of flavors, and they are actually really yummy :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Robyn! My hope is that he gets a little more independent as we keep going!

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polly     at 6:13 pm

Emily,
i love your blog and i think you are a great mom! I am not sure why others even care if you are feeding Cullen jarred food or potato chips soaked in milk for goodness sakes! hehe. What matters is that you are loving him and doing what you feel is best. I had a very gaggy baby… who threw so much i a not sure i thought it would end. It did. Jarred baby food was awesome. She is happy and healthy and age 15 now. Just had a burrito tonight. Remember… in the grand perspective of life, just enjoy each stage! Big hugs!! : ) oh, and he is just getting serious about his supper. Sounds like my husband. hehe

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Emily Malone Reply:

:) Thanks Polly! We are doing our best! I can’t imagine Cullen eating a burrito. Haha.

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Jenn     at 6:16 pm

Haha, Cullen’s squash face looks exactly like my Drew’s green bean face! It’s amazing how different and yet how alike babies are.

I do want to say that I think you are doing a great job knowing what Cullen needs, and feel sad that some of the comments are so unsupportive. As a mom, our instincts kick in and attune to our children and their needs. : )

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Jenn! :)

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Stephanie**s     at 6:20 pm

You are so awesome, because what I love about your blog is your honesty and I love seeing how it is working for you with Cullen, you are doing what you feel is right for YOU and CULLEN. In my eyes, I hope I can approach things like this as you do and know what’s best for the situation. I can’t wait to see how Cullen progresses and u can make his baby food and move to him eating “chunks of bananas” :)

Ps- Cullen is slowly starting to look more like you than Casey!!!

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Tamae     at 6:47 pm

yay for baby loving purees! Oatmeal & BLW weaning didn’t work out for us too.. but oh well! Adjustments are meant to be made along the way anyway* As of right now I enjoy feeding my baby & watching her eat <3

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Simply Life     at 7:40 pm

oh he just keeps getting even cuter! i love seeing all these pictures!

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Aimee     at 10:27 pm

OB.SESSED. with that high chair and I am many many moons away from babies. Question: it turns into a toddler chair, yes? A) what do you do with the wooden base then and/or B) what happens if you want baby #2 before Cullen’s out of the toddler chair? Do they sell just the top part or…?

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Aimee Reply:

Nevermind– just clicked through the link earlier in the comments and saw the pics. The whole thing converts. Would you just buy another chair for the next baby then?

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Emily Malone Reply:

I guess it depends on how far apart they are? I’d probably buy a toddler booster seat or something if the high chair needed to be used again.

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Leah     at 10:32 pm

I love reading your blog and think you sound like a fabulous mother. Everyone has an opinion and I think some of them did not need to be shared here. You are doing a great job. Parenthood is about flexibility and figuring out what works best for your child. Don’t second guess your decisions. Please keep sharing your stories and adorable C pictures!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Leah! :)

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Maya     at 12:56 am

So cute!! I really commend you for doing what works for you and Cullen, not sticking to a rigid ideology. BLW is working great for us, but Nitsah was grabbing at food and trying to feed herself from four months old, and I bet I couldn’t spoon-feed her if I WANTED to. (She grabs the spoon from me and jams it into her mouth, chin, cheeks, whatever… haha.) But it seems like Cullen is a little more careful about food, so purees work better for him. By contrast, you’re actually doing cloth diapers while Nitsah… has worn a cloth diaper exactly once. Oops. :) I think we all need to figure out what works well and feels right for us and do it! Go Cullen!

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Erin     at 7:01 am

Wow! Your story brought me right back to when my 11 year old was a baby. First feedings are tough! I applaud your flexibly and your willingness to change your plan when you felt it wasn’t working. You certainly do not need my advice, but I will share my story. My daughter had the same gag reflex/chocking issues that scared the hell out of me. I switched back to purees and stayed there for TOO LONG. If she didn’t like a food the 1st time, I didn’t try again, just gave her what I knew she would eat (she was very tiny and I desperately wanted her to EAT!)Years of this led to a 9 year old child who was malnourished. she lived on creamy peanut butter and crackers. Vanilla yogurt and deli sliced American cheese. THAT IS IT. We saw specialists in all fields…and at the end of the day, as her parents we had to put our foot down and insist that she try new foods. At 9, it was as if she was 6 months all over again. Gagging, vomiting at the table…UGH. I hated mealtime. She is now 11 and has come a long way! She is at a healthy weight and while she rarely enjoys a meal, she will eat it without incident. I am also happy to say that when I had twins (my daughter was 5) I learned from my mistakes. They gagged a little…but we pressed on! I continued to give them foods they initially rejected and they grew to love them. They are 6 today and will eat anything that isn’t nailed down. To all of you young parents….learn from my mistakes and save yourself and your child years of struggling! Feeding/eating should be natural and easy. When it isn’t…its really upsetting. Every child is different and as parents we are constantly learning. It is a journey :)

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Leanne (Simplicitlee)     at 1:13 pm

Cullen has the most beautiful blue eyes!

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Heather Disarro     at 5:02 pm

You may have answered this before but is there a reason y’all chose oatmeal cereal over rice cereal? We are in the process of thinking through how we want to approach feeding Wes in a few months and I didn’t know there was even the option for oatmeal cereal til now :)

Also soooo glad Cullen is ok… I’d be terrified if Wes threw up in his sleep!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I have read a lot of things about not necessarily doing rice cereal because it doesn’t have as much nutritional value, so we did oatmeal instead. I would ask your ped what he/she recommends!

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Sam     at 8:18 pm

Wow, I was so surprised to see how much criticism you got over your (temporary) decision to go with jarred food. Seriously, are people that fired up over your decision?

Our story was actually pretty similar to yours (my son is 13 months now). We started him on the Earth’s Best whole grain baby oatmeal for a week or two to get him used to solids and then graduated to veggies. I wanted to do BLW, but after a few vomiting-with-terrified-eyes episodes, lots of severe gagging, and one instance where he accidentally bit off a huge hunk of banana (like your son), immediately swallowed it before we could scoop it out, and started choking to the point where my husband had to pull him out of his chair and do the baby heimlich, we decided to do purees. We also did not have any luck with the mesh baby feeders.

I loved the idea of making our own food but, due to the logistics of doing that combined with our exhausting schedules, I fed my son Earth’s Best organic baby purees (didn’t scrape the food off the lids, dunno if that does anything to reduce his exposure to the BPA) and organic Gerber purees. I will be honest, I did beat myself up a lot over the fact that I fed him from jars rather than making his food. The guilt eased up as he got older and I was able to give him solids that I made but that required less prep.

After a few weeks on purees, we started giving him solid foods in very small pieces. From there, we just worked up to more solids that he could feed himself and fewer purees. At this point, he is totally happy feeding himself anything, eats solids, eats purees, and turns his head away when he’s done.

We do avocado, blueberries (I usually cut them in half to make them easier for him to crush with his six teeth), Kashi 7 Grain Waffles in small pieces, Sunbutter sandwiches on whole grain bread in small pieces, sweet potato (I’ll cook it in the microwave, shred it with a fork, and feed it to him….I’ve never pureed it), banana in small pieces, organic hard-boiled egg in small pieces (his Dr. said “yes to yolk”, no to whites, from 9-12 months…the whites are usually what trigger egg allergies..after 12 months he can eat whites), tuna, shredded chicken, toast with olive oil or organic butter, etc., plus chunky purees.

You’re not alone – I’ve been there too – and we still had success getting our son to eat solids and feed/self-regulate himself. GL making choices that are best for your family.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I was surprised too! :) The baby heimlich is my worst fear! I have started doing some homemade purees and find that it’s not too time consuming or difficult, but I have the jars too. We moms can’t do everything, and I feel that same guilt. At the same time, I’m trying to juggle a LOT right now, and I’m doing the best I can.

Love the idea of doing waffles!

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sarahq     at 9:17 pm

Ugh. Reading all these comments about YOUR choices for YOUR baby is difficult. I had a similar reaction when I read your recap of the half marathon; as though you felt you had to do something because others had done it. I am also a marathon runner so understand the need to get back to something you love but felt you pushed yourself to do a race you were not properly trained for because others in the blog world had already done that. Your honesty was fantastic and I think you did a great service to new moms by admitting this is not always easy.
The blog world is great for many things but I feel the pressure to live up to some standard is unrealistic. I am the mom of almost 9 mo old twins. One eats great and the other is slowly picking it up. We are figuring it out but baby led weaning is not one of the suggestions from our doctor or physical therapist because of the choking and gagging. Someone telling you they are “disappointed” or “surprised” by your choices is so unnecessary. Being a new mom is so hard and your should keep making the choices that work fro your family. Your baby is beautiful and healthy. Keep it up Momma.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Sarah. The parenting comments are a mixed bag. On one hand I love the dialogue with supportive and experienced parents. On the other, it’s hard to constantly feel like my decisions are questioned and judged. I know that’s a position I’ve created for myself though, but it’s also one I can pull back one (which I have done quite a bit). As far as the half marathon goes, I admit that I wish I could be as fast or as well trained as some other running/blogging friends, but I’m definitely not trying to prove anything through comparisons. I more felt like I had to do it to prove something to MYSELF – not really anyone else. I know what you mean about pressure though, and recently I’ve tried to be very aware of just that. I think it’s something I used to be much more caught up in than I am now. These days I live my life based on what I need and what my family needs, and then I share the interesting and relevant pieces here in this space. Hopefully people continue to enjoy it! And nine month old TWINS? You are amazing! I can only imagine how tough it is to navigate the unavoidable comparisons between twins.

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Brooke     at 9:35 pm

I honestly didn’t even know there was such a thing as BLW?! When I had my first, I was a neurotic, anxiety-ridden mother. She didn’t start baby food until six months and didn’t have more than a puff before a year. Then I cut things up into the smallest pieces possible until she was well after 2. With everything else you have to worry about as a mother, I thought the choking was something I could prevent if I worked hard enough. And when you’re that vulnerable and anxious, you hold onto that one thing – at least I do! However, when baby 2 arrived (baby 1 was 2 1/2), I realized I didn’t have time for all that chopping. I started serving her food on a toddler plate (whereas before I would do one at a time – I really was neurotic…) and cutting up what was necessary into reasonable amounts. Bottom line – even with my neurosis, she is doing GREAT. She eats as if she has done it all her life. With my son (who is almost 5 months), my doctor wanted us to start with cereal (we use oatmeal as well, never used rice cereal with my daughter) at 4 months. He seems really ready, but his tongue thrust reflex is still firmly in place. We’ll keep trying! Even though I’m much more relaxed this go around, I still wouldn’t give my baby chunks of food at six months. That just doesn’t seem right to me. Moral of the story (and I echo what others have said before), you do what is best for your baby and nod politely at those who insist on giving their opinion, but do what’s right for you.

I just saw a onesie on Pinterest (by the by, do you do that?! It’s addictive!) that said “My mom doesn’t need your advice” and I thought you could have used that with some of these comments. Thanks for sharing your stories and don’t let naysayers make you feel uncomfortable or ashamed of anything. As parents, we should be all rooting for each other – despite our differences. Carry on mama!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hilarious! I want that onesie! I can’t get into Pinterest. I’ll go through phases of going on constantly for a few days, and then forget about it for months.

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Carley     at 11:22 pm

Wow I had no idea. Props to any mom out there.

At the end of the day if your baby is fed you’re doing a great job :)

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Lindsey     at 4:50 am

Your little Cullen is quite the cutie ;)
I began reading your blog a couple of months ago per a friend’s recommendation. I think I read all of your pregnancy posts in just a few days. Thank you so much for sharing your story about your journey with Cullen and also your journey to getting pregnant. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 7 months now with no luck, but after reading your story, I have hope that it will happen when we are truly ready. Waiting is just so hard!
Your a great writer and I look forward to reading your blog :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Lindsey! Sending good thoughts your way!

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Kayley     at 9:53 am

I rarely ever comment but I just felt the urge to this time. I’m a nutrition student and I just finished up with a class that spent a lot of emphasis on infant food needs. (I wouldn’t be surprised if you already knew this but..) Children need at least 10 exposures to a specific food before ruling it out. The average child is exposed 2.5 times. That being said, I just wanted to encourage you to keep it up and keep repeating foods even though he may not respond well. Best of luck!!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

No worries, we’re not shelving anything for good. We have been doing peas for several days even though he’s spitting it in my face. :) We’re not going to give up on any food just because it takes a few extra tries.

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sarah crosby     at 11:20 am

i like another commenter above, cannot believe some of the insulting comments above. my opinion you are doing a great job! you are doing what you think is best for your child and that is what matters!

i started with purre’s and have recently tried giving him little banana pieces. He did the same exact thing as cullen, he had a hard time grabbing it and when he would get some in his mouth he would gag and even threw up all the food he did get down. I know there are great things about BLW but you are NOT a failure you guys dont choose that route.

keep up the good work! dont worry about negative opinions and just focus on you and your adorable son. and i love hearing about what you are doing with your little one!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks so much, Sarah! We’re doing our best. I’m still offering him little chunks of things here and there in addition to the purees. He just doesn’t seem too interested yet!

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MiMi     at 3:59 pm

Just go with your instincts and do what’s right for you and Cullen. You don’t have to defend what you are doing or how you are feeding Cullen. It would be utterly ridiculous to think that one method (BLW, purees, etc.) is a “one-size-fits-all” method for all babies and mommies. Words of wisdom from an old wife who has seen the methods and baby books come and go. BLW and the other current baby books will be collecting dust and be sold for 50 cents at half price book outlets 10 years from now. Go with your gut.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks, Mimi! :)

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Betsy     at 6:19 pm

I’ll admit it, I didn’t even read the text of this post. I simple looked at the pictures and conclude that you have an absolutely adorably cute kiddo on your hands. Many people post baby pics and let’s just say they aren’t all this cute!!! He get’s cuter all the time!

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Emily Malone Reply:

:) Thanks, Betsy!

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Brittney     at 7:06 pm

Never heard of the BLW it sounds so wrong to me!

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sylvs     at 7:14 pm

It’s posts like these ant I enjoy reading and that keep me coming back, I’m not so into the marathon stuff but I do love the recipes, nutritonal info, pregnancy and baby updates. However its comments like the above that drive me crazy, one thing I have learned in my life is that the only right way of doing things is following whats right for you ONLY, and no one else. Following your intuition is so important and thats what should lead you Emily!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for coming back! :)

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Michaela     at 4:57 am

looooooove the pictures!
and I am glad you found a way that works for you.
My friend just recently had the exact same problem and she switched to pureed food.
one word of advice: babies get used to the fine jar textures quite quickly, and depending on how long they are being fed jarred food, they might have a really hard time eating not-so-smooth homemade purees.

[Reply]

Julie @ Running and Riley     at 8:06 am

Hey, no shame or blame in doing what you gotta do for your family. I agree with you, spending all that time in the kitchen when you aren’t sure what his palate will be would be super inefficient. Starting solids is such a fun (and trying!) experience!

[Reply]

amyt     at 11:19 am

:-( sorry bout the oatmeal….that is where we started. SWEET potatoes were always a HUGE hit my kiddos. Also – the fruit mixed stuff as well – like apple/turkey – things like that…it seemed to help. Also – it’s SO easy to mash sweet potatoes – make you can mix those with something else – I’m pretty confident he will like those ;-)

[Reply]

Elizabeth     at 12:32 pm

so funny, this reminds me so much of my little guy. I also did veggies first, no squash for him and I also opted to find out what he really likes before spending time making something he won’t eat. Now, he eats pureed lentils and beans I make for him (I add squash, sweet potato, carrots, etc) I think there is a plus side to jarred food…you know what he likes and you can go out/go on a trip and take some with you. Glad you have figured out what he likes.

[Reply]

Caroline     at 8:47 am

As a full time working, single mother, I didn’t find feeding my daughter fresh food to be that difficult. Sometimes i pureed whatever the adults were eating. Then most Sunday nights I would cook and purée a few different fruits and veggies and freeze in ice cube trays. It actually got me eating more veggies myself. I read a book called Baby Superfood that gave great tips on efficiency in the kitchen and how to make rice cereal. I never gave my baby any boxed cereal or instant oatmeal. I am certainly not a fanatic about food and we are not vegetarian, but I think it gave my girl a strong start and at 6 she is a great eater. Last night she asked for seconds on Brussels sprouts! I never enjoyed those until I was an adult.

[Reply]

Caroline     at 8:55 am

I had not read other comments before posting, and just want to clarify that my post is a suggestion for ways to make fresh food easier, not at all a criticism of what you are doing. Like many others here I admire your approach and appreciate that you share the ups and downs of new parenthood. I would have loved to have a blog like this to follow when I was a new mom.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Caroline! I really appreciate your suggestions and advice! That books sounds great. We made some bananas this week and it took like 2 minutes – not a big deal at all. :) I’m excited to start making more of his veggies and things going forward! I certainly hope to give Cullen the same sort of strong start.

[Reply]

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