Things flow so much more smoothly and naturally with this second child of ours, just by virtue of us having a much more balanced approach to caring for her.
When Sly was finally four months old, I couldn't *wait* to start him on solid foods. I thought about it, read about it, planned it out, and talked to every parent I knew about how to do it. It seemed like such a big deal. We followed the traditional method: starting with baby rice cereal + breast milk, slowly increasing the proportions of rice for each feeding, introducing one new grain only after a full week has passed (to allow for any allergic reaction), graduating him to "first foods" of jarred pureed veggies, then jarred fruits, etc.
|For a $20+ rubber toy, there's no excuse for the fact that my children have been able to suck ALL the spots off Sophie the Giraffe|
With Stella, I just sorta shrug and say, "eh - she'll eat solids eventually. No rush." I didn't bother to buy any special baby foods for the longest time. As she's seemed interested, I let her have tastes of whatever I'm eating. I let her munch on a cracker, gave her a bite of my soup or applesauce or mashed potatoes, or use the food mill to grind down whatever veggies we're eating at dinner. It's just a lot nicer to not make a huge fuss about it. I don't think what we're doing is exactly "child-led weaning", but it follows that philosophy much more than the way we did it with Sly.
And as I gain confidence in the way I'm caring for this little girl, the less I think or worry about stuff like that - what specific parenting philosophy or method we may or may not be following [and there are lots of them! I'm constantly explaining to Tom the meaning of concepts like "child-led weaning", "attachment parenting", "elimination communication", "co-sleeping", "cry-it-out", etc.]. I can just go with what makes sense at the time.
|Sleeping anywhere, through anything - alright, second child!|
Now, instead of letting my schedule revolve around the baby, Stella has adjusted to fit into the family's schedule. It's so nice. My experiences with Sly (my poor little first-born "guinea pig") have helped me to hone my mothering instincts, and now things just come so much more naturally. Everything's not such a huge deal.
I feel a little bad, because we have a baby calendar for Stella, as we did for Sly. But I keep forgetting to take note of the exact day she does new things - when she first laughed, rolled over, etc. There are going to be a LOT of the milestone stickers left unused at the end of the year!
|We still love you, Stella Bella!|