February 10, 2014

EAT


There is much discussion about the difficulties of breastfeeding; latches, cracks, weight gain, food allergies, oversupply, under-supply... I often get compliments on how great it is that I've lasted a full six months. I received similar praise when Little Smith was a baby, but those same well meaning mom's were less impressed when I continued to nurse him past the one year mark. The most common perception was that it must be exhausting, and so much work to be saddled with this obligation. 

There are obviously many options for nourishing a healthy baby, circumstances all vary and I have complete respect for every family to make their own choices. What seems to be unknown to those who skipped or struggled with nursing though, is that breastfeeding isn't always tough, in fact it can be a gift to the lazy. Sure the bonding and connection is a plus, but the truth is that part of the draw is that it's just so flipping easy. 

Whenever I get a pat on the back for my 'sacrifice', I want to reply that I'm honestly not deserving... I have just been lucky that nursing has gone so smoothly (more so this time around) and I'm also very fortunate to be able to spend my days with my baby and feed her on demand without much pumping (the pump is my personal torture device). I never have to think about buying or packing formula, cleaning bottles or pumps, how much was consumed or even when. If she looks hungry, I feed her. It's fast, always available, and I can be on the go with my baby in a front carrier and no one is even the wiser. It couldn't be easier, and it feels like the last aspect of my parenting that deserves any particular applause.

So when our baby girl passed her six month mark, it wasn't just those tugs at my heart that she's growing so quickly causing me to sigh about introducing some solid foods... but also the end of the most insanely convenient diet a busy mama could dream up.

Alas there comes a time when, into every baby's mouth, a little food must fall. On the plus side, watching this girl coat herself in mashed sweet potato, cheered on by her big bother, just might be the cutest thing ever...


It's tough to complain about a mess when it looks this good. Congratulations little girl, you were hesitant at first, but I think you are going to be a natural. You wear it well.

*And here was Little Smith's first meal; same chair, same menu. He was almost a month younger though.  Now that was a kid that loved his food, not so much as a wince from him!

13 comments:

  1. Hi Lilly. Long time lurker here. Your post hit close to home. I have an 11 week old that I'm exclusively breastfeeding. It hasn't been easy for us especially in the beginning when I had badly cracked nipples. Oh the pain! There are still challenges along the way but it's so worth it and I'm grateful that I can do this for my little girl. I'm at a point where I enjoy nursing, holding her and looking at her (or catching up on Facebook or some movies :)

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    1. Hi Lori, thanks for taking the time to comment! Yes, the beginning can be really trying. I had a very tough start the first time, second baby has been world's easier. It doesn't work for everyone, but for those of us fortunate enough to settle into an ease with breastfeeding, among the many benefits is actually that convenience. I feel super lucky that it worked out for me, and hope it does for you too! Enjoy those wild and snuggly early days. It gets easier, but faster paced too :)

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  2. we are at the same stage... alma has just turned 6 months and she wants to eat what we eat! i'm breastfeeding her but it's impossible not to give her something else. this time i'll be more easy-going: she will eat what we eat, which means that i'm cooking healthier and bio for the whole family. a challenge, but also a great advantage! i'll post a recipe tomorrow that we have all eaten - alma included!
    http://m-as-me.blogspot.com/

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    1. That's awesome Barbara, I'll look for that recipe! With my son, I read and researched 'baby-lead-weaning' like a mad woman, but then tried out purees and he was just nuts for them, so we kept them going. It was a ton of prep though, so depending on this girl's preferences we might do a hybrid- we'll see. It is so much nicer when everyone is dining on the same yummy meal :)

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  3. She is so beautiful, Lilly! I mean, obviously I enjoyed the content of the post, but I just can't get over how happy she always looks- it shines in her eyes!

    I found myself nodding my head in agreement to this post, especially about breastfeeding. I never felt deserving of praise for breastfeeding my babies, as it was always the easiest thing to do- I always thought of how much work preparing bottles must be! We lucked out, I guess.

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    1. I know, not much point with adding any words when there's that cute face covered in food- but I figured why not ;) I'm sort of self conscious saying that breastfeeding has gone well for me, but that's what I've been thinking as I drag my feet over introducing food... oh bummer, more work!

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  4. Ahh, I hear you! That and co-sleeping while nursing. I never felt overly crowded and she'd wake, latch, nurse, sleep. And, I'd feel comfortable falling back asleep myself. So, when moms asked about crying and all those awful night feedings, for me personally, I was like, "It's magic. I sleep perfectly." Now, she didn't fuss during the night like some babies may, so it all varies. But, yes, pumping and nursing bras and large breasts (for some! Hehe) are not always convenient, but there's a lot of it that is. :)
    Happy six-month feeding times! Love the group-baby food making!

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    1. I did love co sleeping and feeding in those early groggy months... Then unfortunately I am such a poor sleeper that it became tough for me to really clock in the rest I needed without a little space (so I slid her to pop's side :) And you're lucky to have a sound sleeper, mine aren't too bad, but I can't think of a better gift to any parent!

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  5. Such a sweet face on that one! :) I'm in agreement with you on the ease of breastfeeding. I've had troubles that we were unaware of the cause of until after her first birthday so breastfeeding hasn't always...ever...been totally pain free, but even so I think it was so much easier when it was all milk all the time. Now I feel like our whole days revolve around mealtimes and food prep and cleanup and she is still nursing just as much as ever! Oh these kiddos! I hope you enjoy this new adventure with your girl and your tiny chef.

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    1. Totally how I felt with W... I had more trouble with breast feeding him, but it still didn't compare to the work of food. Even when they eat what you're eating, it's still somehow a lot of hassle because they eat more frequently in smaller amounts, it's messy, etc. Milk is no muss no fuss! I'm sure she will start to cut down a bit in nursing soon. She's at that transitional age, it can be a tough one. I guess all the stages can be tough though, come to think of it ;)

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    1. Thanks so much Aslyn. I tried to edit them more, but just couldn't part with any. Babies are cute :)

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  7. Her happy face is just so precious! And brother helping out - how adorable!

    I had the same experience as you with breastfeeding. Everything went smoothly, making it more convenient than getting bottles ready! I went over a year with both of the kids. The thought grosses them out now. ;)

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