First thing first, what I write is based on my own experiences through only 18 months as a mom. I have learned a lot, through reading and through experience, and I still have a lot to learn. Any comments on this subject are much appreciated, whether it is constructive criticism, tips to improve what I do or just your thoughts on the subject. I write in English, but if you’d rather leave your comment in a different language please do. (What I can’t understand myself, google will help me with)
The first months as a mom were filled with insecurity, bliss and just taking in the entirely new situation Iwas in. I had little to no experience with babies and started reading as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I read much, and believe myself that I am good at sorting out relevant information, and I also continually reminded myself that all babies are individuals and there is nothing you can read that will serve as a handbook for you baby.
I needed to explain this first, so that you know where I stand on the subject, but back to feeding. Son was about four or five months when he started developing an interest in what we ate, but he was a small baby and didn’t really need anything but breast milk until he was about six months. He served as a guinea pig, being the first baby, and unfortunately looking back I realize what I won’t do again. The “normal” thing in Norway is to give the baby porridge. This is what you are advised to do, and what you find in the shops. We started with porridge like everyone else. This lead to months of constipation, numerous visits to the doctor and a baby deserved better. As he grew older I started looking for porridges with more fiber, and was making sure he drank enough (fiber can lead to constipation if not you don’t drink enough).
In the phase where a baby needs more than what his mother can give him, it is not much more he needs. He gets all his vitamins and minerals from his mom (except for Vitamin D which babies in the north of Europe will need to be given from the age of 6 weeks). So what the baby needs is a little more calories, and food that is a little bit more difficult to digest than the milk he has received up until this point. A potato or a carrot contain both vitamins and minerals and I still haven’t heard of anyone with an intolerance to either. Peel a potato (or carrot), dice it and take what you need for one meal. The rest you put in an airtight container, cover the vegetable with water and put it in the fridge (hygiene is important – so make sure it is airtight and clean!). Boil what you need for today with just enough water to cover the dice. Afterwards you mash the potato with a wee bit of breast milk (enzymes from the milk thins out the potato and makes it even easier for the baby to digest) and/or some of the water you boiled it in, and you have a great meal for your baby. You can also add a bit of oil (canola oil/rapsolje) for more calories and fat.