The pamphlets were just advertising. It was purely that company pushing me to buy their product. People, formula companies are not your friends they only want your money, as they have proven over and over in a sad historical track record of very huge money-driven catastrophic mistakes.
So not only was doc handing me advertisements that actually had very little real info in them, he had decided for me how I should feed my baby. With very overpriced, heavily processed boxed cereals. So heavily processed, let's just be clear on this, that all the real nutrients were gone and had to be synthetically added back in.
I didn't feed my daughter things that came from a box or a jar or anything that was geared at babies for their first foods. I had the freedom and the access to fresh foods, so I headed in that direction. (there's a whole other discussion to be had about if a family does not have access to good food, but that's not what i'm going to talk about today) I got into an argument with her Dr. about feeding her where he insisted that I needed to feed her boxed cereals, get this, instead of real vegetables, because the cereals were jacked up on iron and there wasn't enough iron in breast milk for her, and she was doomed to become anemic. This idea is largely prevalent, and entirely wrong.
(Here’s some evidence this is BS http://www.infactcanada.ca/bandiron.htm and here’s some more http://bodyecology.com/articles/the-american-academy-of-pediatricians-recommends-iron-fortified-foods-for-babies-is-it-really-safe and here’s some more http://drjaygordon.com/breastfeeding/ironfortifiedcereal.html ).
After that conversation I remained vague and sorta half-lied to him whenever he asked me about it later. He was so set on how he thought I ought to be feeding her that it made him overlook my wishy-washy answers and he was pleased that I had seen the light, I'm sure.
Meanwhile, what my daughter was eating was steamed or roasted vegetables and fresh fruit and whole grains. Occasionally someone else tried to feed her something from a box or a jar and she would reject it outright because the taste was so unfamiliar.
We moved quickly to finger foods, and she would eat what we ate. I didn't make her a special meal (all that nonsense came later when she got to be a very picky three year old) she just ate from our plates. She ate as much as she wanted, when she wanted. For a while when she was about 9 mo or so, she ate a whole banana every day for breakfast. She loved it. It amazed us every morning that she would gobble down an entire banana, but she did it. The summer when she turned one she ate about 3-4 peaches a day. Once she could walk, she could reach the table and she just helped herself to the peach basket multiple times a day and sat under the table devouring peaches, sticky with peach juice.
We fed my second daughter the same way. She chose when to eat and how much to eat and she ate what we were eating and I never fed her anything that read like a science project. We didn't start her with greyish infant cereal. We never gave it to her actually. It didn't sit right with me, ever.
Now we have started feeding the third baby. She's almost 8 months now and she's been eating solids for a little while. Once again, nothing came out of a box. I have gently resisted anyone who has tried to suggest that we feed her infant cereals because I know better. And how we are feeding her now, five years after we fed our first baby, isn't so strange anymore. Turns out that with the first we were just ahead of the times. The research is catching up to what plenty of parents knew all along (don't you love when it does that?) And more and more people are feeling supported in their decision to skip infant cereals all together. http://scienceofmom.com/2014/10/14/the-whole-truth-about-infant-cereals-7-science-based-tips/
Now we "know" (plenty parents had figured it out already) that a) you shouldn't start with cereal http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/20/get-the-white-out-of-babys-first-foods.aspx and b) you really shouldn't start with white rice, of all things, http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2013/12/26/is-rice-cereal-the-best-first-food-for-baby/ and c) babies can feed themselves when they are ready and d) the iron in breast milk is plenty good enough. in short, you are already doing a good job, just as you are.
- Kyla graduated with both a degree in Early Childhood Studies and a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the University of Guelph-Humber. She has studied ASL for five years and teaches Baby Sign classes. She is a Full-Spectrum Doula at Sisterhood Wellness Collective.