I think I have learned more in the past eight months than I ever have in my whole life.
When my son, Alexander, was a newborn, I felt like I was on The Amazing Race, or Survivor, except keeping a baby clean/fed/warm/alive was the name of the game. Thankfully (with the help of the internet and other experienced mums) we made it through.
Then all of a sudden he wasn’t teeny tiny anymore and it was time for him to eat real food. Which meant more learning, and quickly. I mean, have you ever seen how quickly and thoroughly a baby can squish a piece of banana in their pudgy little hand? It’s actually impressive.
Here’s what else I learned.
They start solids way earlier than I thought.
A girlfriend gave me a (beautiful) set of a teeny bowl, plate and cutlery for my baby shower. The card read “Trust me, you’ll need these sooner than you think”.
And she was right.
I felt like I had just got the hang of having a newborn and then BAM!…my baby was four and a half months old and it was time to start solids. In my head I think I imagined him being 18 months before food was introduced. Oh, how little I knew.
TIP: It’s very likely that your baby will start solids before they can sit. That was the case with my son, Alexander. His paediatrician said it’s fine to feed him purees in the bouncer so long as he is carefully supervised – before he can sit in a highchair.
It sucks if you have carpet.
Yep, we have carpet under our dinner table, not ideal. But of course, all the clever mums on the internet came to my rescue with so many great tips.
There’s plenty of purpose-made waterproof feeding mats to put down under the highchair, but I loved the generous suggestion of buying a clear shower curtain and pulling the rings off - that way I can just pull it up and rinse it whenever a wipe won’t do the job.
When you introduce allergens is important.
The latest studies show that it is important to feed your baby the common foods that have a higher chance of causing an allergic reaction, like eggs and peanuts, before the age of 12 months. It’s scary to do, but delaying it until after their first birthday is proven to have a higher chance of developing an allergy. It’s best to introduce the food in the morning (or daytime - not night when there’s less resources at a hospital) and then watch your baby closely in case you need to make a trip to see a medical professional.