The Nest's Noticings for the Week...
Favorite Product: Here are some more of our favorite feeding products (with Amazon links to purchase) here at the Nest that tend to come up a lot because they're loved by moms (or us!):
- We talked about Yumi - the local baby food delivery service. For a free month of baby food delivered to your door, go here and use the promo code THENEST50
Parenting Resource or Tip: There are lots of social media accounts/groups that can be helpful for babies and feeding! I like the FB Group Feeding Littles (message me on FB and ask me to add you!) On IG check out: @feedinglittles, @whatnoaheats, @onmykidsplate, @babyfooduniverse, @myhungrytoddler, @babyledgourmet, @lapetitefoodie, @organicfoodforkids. Particularly when you start introducing solids/finger foods, seeing videos of little ones and what/how they're eating can really help! There are also a ton of great books on feeding - they're in the topic section of your recap!
Baby Signs to Use: More, All Done, Drink, Eat
Baby Songs to Sing: Apples & Bananas, Slippery Fish
Developmental Play Tip: Your baby’s ability to grasp food will impact the way that you feed them – and the way that you feed them will impact their ability to grasp!! Here’s a brief look at what your baby’s hands are going through developmentally and how you can use play to encourage their development further. J
7-8 Months: Your baby may begin banging objects together at the center of their body and transferring objects from one hand to another. Play Ideas: Give your baby toys that are lightweight, easy to grasp, and make interesting sounds when banged together. Gather a variety of objects that will feel or sound different to your baby and watch them as they explore – a soft ball, a metal spoon, a rattle, or a washcloth just out of the dryer. Place toys just out of baby’s reach so that your baby can practice moving toward them. Give your baby a ball of masking tape (while you watch!) to see if they try to pull it off of one hand with the other. Also try allowing your baby to self-feed by 8 months - this is great pincer grasp practice! (Grabbing things with thumb and forefinger)
9-12 Months: Your baby ‘s coordination and pincer grasp are developing. Your baby probably loves to drop things (an exercise for their hand muscles and also exploring the concept of cause and effect!) By a year, your baby can build a tower of 4 blocks. Play Ideas: Allow your baby to explore lower cabinets (that have been babyproofed) as a practice for reaching and grasping. Allow your baby to fill containers and dump them (like beanbags or stuffed animals in a bowl or scarves out of a tissue box). Try finger painting with yogurt or scribbling on a piece of paper (taped to the table) with a large crayon. Place food (cheerios, blueberries, black beans) inside of an ice cube tray to practice the pincer grasp.
Today's Topic: Baby Bistro
Who knew feeding a baby can be SO hard?!? ;) Here are notes from all that we went over today!
With all feeding and health questions, your pediatrician is always your first and best resource! They can give you specific guidance based on what they know about your baby's development and nutritional needs. The info below is compiled from a number of online resources and from Nest moms' experiences that were shared in class - but always check with your pediatrician - the medical expert - when making health and feeding decisions about your little one!! :)
Mastitis - Check out this Kelly Mom article for tips. Today we also talked about using soy lecithin if you regularly have issues with plugged ducts, nursing in different positions (even on all fours!), applying heat (a microwaved diaper works well for lots of moms!) and massaging gently.
We also went over some other nursing issues, sharing tips and tricks. What we talked about (and more!) can be found in each of these links to Kelly Mom articles I found for you!
This guide from Texas Children's Hospital is another great resource if you'd like to know more about exact amounts your baby should be eating. :)
A little caveat about the chart above and solids.... I've read a number of resources (including Super Baby Foods) that suggest using 1-2 Tablespoons per year of age as a general rule for serving size. So... if you are serving your 1 year old vegetables, 1-2 Tablespoons would be an appropriate serving size. This varies slightly from the charts above, but is easier for me to follow. :) Also - keep in mind that major organizations now recommend starting solids at 6 months.
According to the sample schedules on babysleepsite.com, here is what you can expect in terms of the number of feedings per night that your baby may need:
3 months: 1-3 night feedings
4 months: 1-3 night feedings
5 months: 1-2 night feedings
6 months: 1-2 night feedings
7 months: 1-2 night feedings
8 months: 1 night feeding
- If breastfeeding, wean when your baby is ready or when you decide it's right for you!
- If formula feeding, you can transition your baby to WHOLE milk (unless otherwise specified by your pediatrician) once they turn a year.
- Completely anecdotally, I've heard most friends and Nest moms of breastfed babies say that baby does best when offered whole milk separately from breastmilk while transitioning, while it seems like many moms of formula fed babies are successful gradually incorporating whole milk into bottles of formula until baby is fully drinking whole milk.
- IDEALLY, most sources recommend that baby should be weaned off of the bottle and using a cup at or around 12-18 months. Again, ask your pediatrician.
- Most sources recommend about 8-12 ounces of milk a day for a one year old, 16 ounces of milk for a 2 year old.
- Check out this collection of articles for more weaning information.
Nutritional Considerations when Feeding Solids:
- Around 6 months, start to consider feeding baby an iron-fortified cereal, or ensure that they are getting iron from food sources. Great sources of iron include: flaxseeds, chia seeds, wheat germ, squash, sweet potatoes, meat & poultry, lentils, beans, egg, avocado. Check out this link for more ideas.
- Fat needs: Healthy fats are EXTREMELY important for your baby's growth. Make sure every meal has a source of healthy fat: healthy oils (olive or coconut oil), ghee, nuts or nut butters, avocado, fish, full fat milk and dairy products, etc.
- Find ways to simply add extra vitamins to your baby's diet: sprinkle hemp hearts or ground flaxseed on food, spread coconut oil on toast or mix into oatmeal/smoothies, toss squash or broccoli into macaroni and cheese, serve hummus alongside vegetables or spread on toast.
- Does your baby need a vitamin? Not necessarily - it depends on your baby's diet and your pediatrician's recommendation! Only give vitamins that your pediatrician has recommended or under their guidance. Vitamins that some Nest facilitators give to their kiddos and like include:
- Solaray Children's Chewable (ask your pediatrician when to start - there's no recommended age on the bottle).
- For Omegas, Barlean's Omega Swirl or Nordic Naturals Fishies
- A rice cooker can help you incorporate all kinds of grains into your family's diet! This chart makes it easy to incorporate a wide range of grains into your family's diet, particularly as many try to steer away from rice. :)
HOW do you start solids?
Some Nest moms choose to use purees when starting solids, some start right away with finger foods, and some do a hybrid! There are pros and cons to all feeding methods and you need to do what feels right for you! At the Nest, we believe that the best feeding method is the one that's right for YOUR family and YOUR baby. Here’s a great article to read when choosing how you’re going to feed your baby:
Regardless of “how” you decide to feed your baby, here are a few of my most important tips!
- If you choose to feed your baby purees, make them chunky as soon as your baby will tolerate it! This will help babies become accustomed to texture and ideally lead to less pickiness later on. Try to allow them to feed themselves with a “loaded spoon” as much as possible. This is great for developing motor skills as well as encouraging your baby to follow their own hunger cues.
- Follow your baby’s cues! Unless your child is not gaining weight, or is under the direction of your pediatrician to eat a certain amount at each sitting, trust your child to know when they are hungry or full! Watch for cues for hunger: leaning forward, licking lips, reaching for food. Also watch for cues that they are full (closing mouth, turning away from spoon, pushing away food)... and stop feeding them! Feeding guides (like those above are great starting points, but trust your baby, and don't feel like they're meals always need to follow charts and guidelines!)
- Remember that your baby’s tummy is tiny. A tablespoon (even 1⁄2 tablespoon according to some sources!) can be a full meal for a 6 month old. 3 berries is a full serving of fruit for a toddler!
- As much as possible, try to feed your baby things that your family typically eats. Whether you feed them directly off of your plate or puree/mush up food from your dinner, this is exposing your baby to the tastes and foods they’ll be eating later in your home!
- If your baby doesn’t like the taste of a food... try, try again! It often takes between 6-10 times of trying before a baby will accept a food!
- Let your baby get messy! Not only does this sensory exposure help potentially prevent picky eating later, it also helps their brain grow! Messy feeding experiences are great learning experiences for your little one!!
- Limit your baby’s exposure to rice cereal to once a day.
Today we talked about easy first finger foods and ways to cut/serve food to prevent choking. Remember to avoid honey before a year old (including in cooked foods!), and to limit salt as much as possible. Here are some pictures of ways that people serve finger foods to very young eaters. :) Refer to the instagram accounts above for even more ideas!
Books I love:
Here are the books I talked about today and recommended in class.
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron – Purees
Baby Led Weaning by Gil Rapley - BLW
Superfoods for Children by Michael van Straten and Barbara Griggs
Organic Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Lizzie Vann - this book tells you what nutrients and vitamins are in the recipes
Rachel, Marley's mommy, used and loves Nancy Nguyen to come to her house and do CPR classes for her and Marley's family/caregivers. Her number is 562-472-5998.
www.feedinglittles.com - this mom-owned company has a feeding group that I found invaluable with my youngest son – message me on facebook and I’ll add you to the closed group! Their instagram is great for ideas: @feedinglittles. They also have a great website, newsletter, and two great feeding courses - one for babies which gives you all the ins and outs of baby led weaning, and one for toddlers.
www.wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com: This website has the answers to pretty much everything you’re wondering! How much to feed your baby, when, what to do about allergenic foods, great food choices, and more! Includes information on feeding purees as well as baby led weaning (BLW).
www.Ellynsatterinstitute.org – resource for BLW or the “Division of Responsibility” – which helps when handling picky eaters - particularly in toddlerhood and above. :)
http://www.parents.com/baby/feeding/solid-foods/starting-solids-guide/ - how to introduce foods when feeding with purees
www.rapleyweaning.com - BLW
www.weelicious.com - recipes for all stages of eating
www.superhealthykids.com - lots of recipes searchable by ingredient, meal, etc.
www.nurturebaby.com - baby food and toddler recipes, information on nutrition
www.bitesforbabies.com - “fancy” :) recipes searchable by category
Local Medical Help:
- Think your baby may have allergies? Riviera Village Allergy - Dr. Ziegner - has done skin panels on Nest babies, and many moms have said their experience with her helped them identify allergens!
- The Pediatric GI Doc many Nest moms have been to and love is Dr. Abrams.
- Pediatric dentists Nest moms have used and love: Dr. Turley, Dr. Holden, Dr. Spalding