Planning Meals With Baby

A big challenge with our family was once our little girl started eating the same solid foods as we did. She was also used to having supper around 5:30. Both my husband and myself work, so getting home and supper ready can be challenging. Sometimes you don't always have time to cook a nice meal for your baby. I know when my husband has to work late and I don't get home until 5:30 she wants to eat right away, so cooking a nice meal is out of the question. Solution! Have backups ready.

When you do have a chance, make a large batch of chicken or beef vegetable soup. Then separate it out into baby size jars and freeze. That way when you know supper is going to have to be something quick, you take one out the night before and place in the refrigerator so when you get home you just have to warm it up. Your baby will still get a good meal without the wait.

The other problem is that when your little one starts eating the same foods as you do, some foods they just can't eat right away. Especially meats. We started planning our meals according. We now make more pastas and potatoes. For vegetables, we stuck to beans, peas and carrots. Avoiding corn until she had some more teeth. Rice mixtures also work good once the baby has learned more about chewing.

Before the baby, we ate quite a bit of fast food. Now, all of us are benefiting from skipping McDonalds when it comes to a quick meal. If you are having a McDonalds moment, grab a cup of their soup for the little one. Even if mom and dad want to splurge a little big, baby can still have healthy vegetables and noodles.

Please share your workarounds for quick meals and challenges you faced when your baby started eating the same foods.


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Baby Meets Pets

One major question that arrives when you first become your pregnant is what about our pets, whether dogs, cats or something else. I know this was a concern for us. We have two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Chocolate Lab. The Golden Retriever was my baby. She even sits on my lap, so I was concerned on how jealousy towards the baby would be. Secondly, our Chocolate Lab is extremely high strung, so his hyperness concerned us as well.

Overall, we have had nothing but good results. When we brought the baby home from the hospital, we let them give her kisses and get used to her. From that point on, the Golden Retriever just runs away from her and the Chocolate Lab absolutely loves her. She now crawls, sits, pets him and he just loves it. Our biggest problem is during mealtime because it's one bite for her and one for each dog.

Some books will tell you to have someone take a blanket from the hospital with the baby's scent on it, home to your pets before you actually bring her home. We didn't do this, just because friends of ours did that and their two dogs ripped the blanket to shreds. They did end up getting rid of their two dogs after a couple of months. So because of that story, we skipped that tip.

The main thing we found that helped the dogs deal with their jealously of the baby is that we made sure we kept giving them time too. Especially when she was around. This way they felt like they still mattered even when she's in the same room. We also have a lot of fun all together playing. Our little one loves throwing the ball for them and the dogs love it just as much.

Now, even though we have had nothing but good stories to tell, there are some guidelines we still follow, even though the dogs have never tried to bite her or have been rough with her at all. Never leave your little one alone with your pets. You never know what could happen. The other thing is to keep the pets food away. Our little girl always wants to get into the laundry room where their food is. We now feed the dogs at a certain time and shut the door when they are eating. I'm not sure about other pets, but even the greatest, gentlest dog in the world, may not like being bothered while eating.

Like I said before, ever since we brought our baby home, we have had no problems with our dogs. However, just use common sense. If the slightest bit of doubt or fear pops into your head, don't ignore it. Your child is too precious to be careless when it comes to pets, even if they are your true love.


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Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food

Since my last post was on starting solids, I figured this would be a good opportunity to talk about the benefits of making your own baby food. When I say making your own baby food, I'm talking about fruits, vegetables, soups and even meats.

I made our baby her own carrots, green beans, peas, pears, pineapple, peaches, applesauce and chicken. Plus just like the baby food jars you can mix. My baby girl loved pears and pineapple. We just had a small food grinder, which was roughly $30.00. It took a little longer, because like I said it was small but I still am extremely happy that we did it our way. I would take one night a week or every two weeks and make a large amount of baby food. Then I would freeze it in either the baby food jars or baby plastic containers.

First and what most people worry about, cost. You can save a decent amount of money by making your own baby food. For example, if you buy two cans of green beans or 2 bags of frozen green beans your talking about $2.00 tops, at least here in Wisconsin. From 2 cans of green beans, you can grind up and make at least 5 baby food jars of beans. So if 1 baby food jar of green beans roughly costs around $.60. Multiply by 5 and you're at $3.00. So you just saved $1.00. I found the greatest savings with carrots. One medium size bag of fresh carrots, I always used the baby cut carrots would make more than 10 jars of food.

The next most important benefit of making your own baby food is you know what is in it. If you buy apples or fruit from a local farmer or vegetables from your own garden, you know exactly what your baby is receiving, the very best. Another great way to make your own baby food for when your baby is eating more solid foods is to make chicken or vegetable soup and freeze in the larger baby food jars. It works great for busy days when you don't have time for supper.

So, like I said, making your own baby food not only saves money but most importantly, allows you to rest easy knowing that your baby is receiving fresh food without a lot of other "stuff" with it.

Please share your tips or recipes on making your own baby food.


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Starting Solids with Your Baby

One of the biggest decisions I feel with a new baby for the first time mother is deciding when to start solids. Honestly, I never believed anyone when they told me that your baby would let you know. I will tell you first hand, they're right. Only your baby can tell you when to start. However, it can become extremely overwhelming when your mother is telling you one thing, a friend another and in-laws yet another.

We waited until after she was 4 months old before trying to introduce solids. The first time we tried she still was sucking the food in, so we knew her tongue reflex wasn't gone yet. About 2 weeks later we decided to give it another try. The sucking was gone. She was actually trying to eat it. Of course, very little actually made it to her tummy the first couple of times, but before you know it, they become pros.

We started with the plain Rice cereal and stuck to only that for about 1 week. Then we tried the Oatmeal cereal for a week. We also gave her the Barley cereal too. Only introduce new foods one at a time. This will allow you to easily distinguish if your baby is allergic to a food.

After the cereals were down pat, we started with vegetables. Our doctor had told us that if you introduce fruits first, it is harder to introduce vegetables. We listened and our little girl loves vegetables just as much as fruit now.

Here's a few tips to help decide when the time is right to try introducing solids:

  • Baby can hold head up
  • Tongue reflex is gone
  • Baby shows interest in what you're eating
  • Timing - If your baby isn't having the greatest day, wait until tomorrow.

The best advice I can give to any new moms is to not rush starting solids with your baby. Your child can grow just fine on strictly breast milk or formula for the first 6 months. Your baby is the deciding factor. Only they can tell you when they're ready to go to the next step.

Please share your experiences with starting solids below!!


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