Re-Grow Roots

Learning to live harmoniously in Missouri.


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When to Feed Baby Solid Foods

Our sweet little Kalani is almost five months old already & it’s true when people say they grow up fast… He’s already starting to eat solid food! There’s much debate about when to start feeding babies and what they should eat, so how do you know when your baby is ready?

The thought was a little icky at first since I have exclusively breastfed since the beginning, not even one bottle. It was hard for me to accept that my little baby didn’t want only boobies anymore. It was obvious to us when the time came to start feeding solids because we allow Kalani to be fully present with us in everything we do. He sleeps with us in our bed at night, when I worked for a couple of months at the office I took him with me, he came along to plant trees with us at the farm yesterday, and he is always with us at every meal unless he’s sleeping. We don’t use special seats or baby tables, he sits right there with me on my lap at the table.

For the first four months or so, this was really easy to do because he didn’t show much interest in the food. I could just lay him down or set him up while I ate without a fuss. A couple of weeks ago he started showing an interest in what I was eating! He would grab my plate or put his hands into my food and then put his hands to his face. That was my cue.

We are starting really slow, introducing new and different foods gently. I began by just letting him lick little things off my finger. If he showed interest in my food, I let him try a lick. He’s tried yogurt, tomato sauce, smoothies, apple sauce, and the juice from other foods. Always just a little lick and I pay close attention to his expression to know what he thinks and I trust that he instinctively knows what is good for him.

The first food we gave him a full serving of was apple sauce that I made and canned myself from apples we harvested from a friend’s orchard last fall. This was the perfect food since I was part of the processing from start to finish and the apples were grown by a friend organically and with love. He thoroughly enjoyed it! The first time we fed him, we gave him 3 little spoonfuls and he took it down really well. The second time he got a little more. We have also given him a little homemade yogurt that I make from local raw organic cow’s milk, and some pre-chewed fruit (kiwi and pineapple).

To know what to feed him, I’m going by my intuition and knowledge of nutrition. Grains are difficult for babies to digest because they do not have a sufficient amount of amylase, the enzyme in our digestive system which assimilates grains. Whole foods like fruits, veggies, dairy, eggs, and meats can be a lot easier to digest and high in nutritional value when sourced locally and properly prepared.

So how do you know when your baby is ready? Just watch for the cues that your baby is interested in what you’re eating! Baby will let you know when they want to try solid foods if you pay attention. Start slow, make sure the foods are really mushy until baby has teeth, and feed baby foods that are easy to digest.

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I Sleep With My Baby, our co-sleeping experience

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Sleeping with baby is a very popular topic these days. There are the attachment parenting advocates who praise co-sleeping and baby-wearing, and there are the conspiracy pushers who say that co-sleeping causes SIDS… I won’t even go there. I’m just going to tell you about my experience.

My sweet little angel, Kalani Rain, is now 3 months old and we have co-slept in the same bed since he was born. It may not be for everybody, but for our budding family it has been absolutely wonderful and such a vital bonding experience. It’s an instinctual thing for me to sleep next to my child. I feel his every move, he wakes me with the lightest touch if he needs anything and I’m right there for him immediately. Super safe, super cozy.

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There is a certain way that I have learned to sleep so that little Kalani is comfortable and safe. Our bed is against a wall so I sleep on that side with him either between me and the wall or between his daddy and I. He curls up right by my side snuggled up to my booby. We sleep on a futon bed so it’s not very big, but it’s just big enough for the three of us.

I can’t even imagine having to get out of bed at night to feed a crying baby. It’s no wonder so many mamas experience sleep deprivation. Our little one just gives me some gentle nudges and grunts to let me know he’s hungry. Half asleep, I shift a boob towards him, he latches on, and I fall back to sleep. No sleepless nights for us! What could be better?

There is only one con that I can think of, and really it’s daddy’s complaint not mine. 🙂 Papa and I don’t have as much cuddle time as we used to. Neither of us feel like our love life is suffering though, we just adapt. When baby falls asleep I can turn around and cuddle up to Carlos and we get plenty of cuddles in throughout the day.

Traditionally, in most cultures families sleep together. There is no reason to be fearful of it or frown upon it. It’s instinctual, natural, and a beautiful experience that I advise any mama to try.

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Linked up at: Small Footprint Fridays


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“I open, I transform, I bleed, I scream and I smile.”

These photos are absolutely beautiful, a perfect depiction of the true magic of natural birth.

I Am Chris Nolan.ca

In 2005 artist Ana Álvarez-Errecalde responded to a recurring dream she was having and decided to take self portraits of herself, and her newborn daughter.  The resulting images she has titled “Birth of My Daughter (or El Nacimiento de Mi Hija)”

I am moved to share her photos because I feel birth is a monumentally inexplicable alteration of reality and in our culture it is too rarely revealed as such.  If you are having a child, please explore your options of how your family can truly experience the beauty of birth.

If you are curious about the origin of the images, please watch the short documentary “Umbilical Self-portrait” by MiNuShu.

To see some of Ava Álvarez-Errecalde current work, where she has created bodysuits  representing nude forms (called the More Store), review this article at Empty Kingdom and this piece at Elephant Journal.

Thanks…

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