From about 3 months, every aunt, grandma, even my own mother had been hounding me to start mixing cereal with DJ’s milk so he could quickly move to solids. What was the purpose of speeding up that process? He would be 6 months in no time and so what was the real reason behind this pressure?
I got varied responses. Some of the popular ones were “Well because he’s a boy and boys eat a lot so I don’t think the milk is enough for him”. “It will help him sleep longer”. Well, if that was the case then that argument was already flawed, just by the mere fact that sleeping wasn’t an issue I had with DJ. He has actually slept 10 hours straight before and I had to knock things over in his room to intentionally wake him up because I was worried. It was tricky getting him to fall asleep but when he did…he would SLEEP! So my argument was, are we trying to get him to sleep longer than these abnormal hours or are we just trying to rush the process? So according to my mom, as a baby, I started cereals at 4 months and I guess I turned out okay. I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with doing that before 6 months but for DJ specifically he was doing perfectly okay with his milk. You ever heard the saying “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it?”, well this was a typical example.
After 5 months, I started to see signs that he was ready for solids. I usually give him Infacol to prevent gas before every feed. Now at 5 months, he was starting to open his mouth when I pulled out the dropper and he would close his lips and swallow just like you would expect him to when being fed solids with a spoon. My mother also agreed that he was finally showing the right signs. I went ahead and bought the Tommee Tippee Baby Weaning Steamer Blender from Baby Bliss. It is perfect because it steams and blends all your desired veggies and fruits at once and gives the right consistency for your baby’s meals. I also bought the usual cereals ( Cerelac rice, maize, millet, wheat etc- wheat is his fav!) It was important to feed him one food item at a time and not mix so that I could easily identify the ones he may react to. I also bought feeding bowls with suctions underneath for when he’s much older to prevent him from tossing his bowl over (which I saw happen all the time with my nephews and nieces).
I went on to buy his highchair from Diapersonwheels which was so easy to assemble. I especially loved this one because, it can easily be folded and stored at the corner and with my small space, I didn’t want anything too bulky to fill up the room. It is also very easy to clean which is always a plus. I also bought his spoons and storage bowls from her as well. I added rubber bibs which has a scoop below which has proved to be very effective.
Now that we were all set, he begun with cereals at 5 and a half months. The first day, he had his milk early in the morning, another, late morning and then for lunch I made one teaspoon of very light cerelac mixed with his milk. From the look on his face, it tasted different but it was tolerable. He had a few teaspoonfuls and he was done. I fed him his milk and he couldn’t wait to have it.
The days that followed, I did the same while trying to steadily increase his intakes. It was messy but he was eating at least. I started to introduce water after his meals but he couldn’t stand it. It was frustrating because he was constipating and was groaning all the time. He would push the bottle away anytime it came close. Eventually, we noticed it was because we were filling the water in his milk bottle. He would think it was his milk and then get disappointed when it wasn’t. I decided to buy an actual water bottle with handles. He enjoyed holding it and attempting to feed himself and eventually he begun taking in some water. However, he also started to play with the bottle handles and attempt chewing on them as he was teething. I had to get a regular bottle with no handles and fed it to him myself.
In addition to water, I made mango purée, because he needed to eat more fibrous fruits to help with his bowel movement. He loved the mango a lot. After a month, I introduced carrot which he hated! That was really a struggle and still is. Occasionally, he also refuses the mango which he previously loved. These babies are always changing! My biggest headache now is getting him to eat savoury food. I have cooked milled brown rice, blended boiled yam with carrots and a bit of onions , fish filet and a teeny tiny bit of salt, given him spinach…HE HATED ALL OF THEM. He would spit it out, hit the spoon, cry, pretend to throw up anything to avoid eating savoury. On the other hand, he can eats bowls full of cerelac or fruits without complaining. I need help with this.
At 5 and a half months, DJ was independently holding up his bottle to feed. It was surprising but also such a relief to get to do something else while he fed himself.
This started after his neck finally became strong enough to support his head. He sat on his own after 4 months and slowly begun straightening his back over a period of time. He enjoys sitting and watching TV. his
Bath time was now fun! I had stopped bathing him on my lap ( as I was taught traditionally) and he could now lay comfortably in his tub. Since he could grab and play with toys now, I bought a couple of bath toys from Planet Kids (@planetkidsgh)
We realized at around 5 months that he was teething because he was drooling a lot! Eventually at 6 months one bottom tooth emerged and then days later the next bottom tooth also emerged. At this point, he was putting everything in his way right in his mouth. I bought him teethers which he got bored with after about a week and it was right back to stuffing foreign objects in there. His pacifier still soothed him but it wasn’t soothing the teething.
Right around this period of teething he started to perfect crawling. At 4 months he could drag himself from one place to the other in his crib. I would put his feeding pillow around him and he would still manage to go over it. So at 7 months he had now settled nicely into the knee and hand movement. Once he could see an object he liked (ie cellphone, tv remote, ac remoter NEVER his toy) he would aggressively crawl to it and of course put it right into his mouth!
At 7 and a half months he was standing. He would hold onto objects to propel himself up. Standing in his crib was now his new thing. The minute you lay him down, he was up again. What I realized helped strengthen his legs was the jumperoo. It was actually Kobby who had suggested we get that for him to help him burn alllll that energy he seemed to have all the time. It was the best decision! He loved it so much and still does. He bounces and plays in it for about 30 minutes 3- 4 times a day. In addition, we got a walker. I felt that was a premature purchase so I decided to wait a bit but Kobby unboxed it and assembled saying he felt it was time. We put DJ in and he was actually moving around slowly which was great. He does this about twice a day from time to time.
This has got to be my biggest headache! I always wanted an active baby but this one is on a whole new level. This is where everything collides. He crawls to the center table (which is no longer at the center but all the way under the TV) and then uses the tip of the glass top to propel himself up and then proceeds to suck the edges of the table. He does this for a while and then eventually his legs give in and he begins to fall back. I am now a world class sprinter because of this baby (not sure if he’s even a baby anymore). I always dash to catch. I have not always made it on time. They fall so fast. You literally take your eyes off one second and that’s it. However, after a few falls, he has now intelligently found a way to slowly sit placing his hand down first without falling. Thank God for growth!
It’s funny how I couldn’t wait for him to move around and do all these interesting things but it’s so much work! I do miss the days when he lay in his crib sleeping peacefully but strangely enough I still can’t wait for him to walk. On the flip side, I have an 8 month old! 4 months away from his first birthday!!!