Tuesday, May 20, 2014

First Food

Baby's first food: it was all fun and games until my little guy broke out in hives.


Nearing Aden's half-birthday, I grew anxious to start him on solid food. Not that I was particularly excited about introducing another thing to do at meal times, but it's a big milestone for Aden and I wanted to experience it with him. Actually, I wanted our whole family celebrate the moment, so I tried my best to plan Aden's first taste of real food on a day Andi would be home from work at a reasonable time. (Easier said than done during his busiest time of the year.) I also wanted Andi to photograph Aden while I fed him so we could properly document his first! taste! of! food!

Finally one night last week I realized the stars were never going to align. I sent Andi a text to ask if he'd be okay with me feeding Aden some food that evening without him. I'd figure out how to feed him and take photographs myself.

I made dinner for Tory, then whipped together a small bowl of rice cereal for Aden with 2oz. formula mixed into the flakes. I struggled a bit going through the motions (it's been two years since I ventured down the 'first foods' road), but it all came back to me. Aden was in good spirits as he waited patiently in his high chair.

I fed Aden his first spoonful of rice cereal, then quickly grabbed my camera to capture his reaction ...

Skeptical, for sure.

Another spoonful ...

Decidedly not a fan as he spit out rice cereal as fast as I fed it to him.

Over as fast as it began. At this point, I felt a little guilty snapping photos of him crying, so I threw in the towel on Operation: First Food. Aden was not a fan of rice cereal in the least bit. In fact, he was down-right angry by the end of our two-minute feeding session.

Maybe he was tired, I thought. Perhaps dinner wasn't the best time of day to introduce something new to the routine. I wiped Aden's face and cleaned up the high chair. Aden started to rub his face into my shoulder and I said something like, "I know you're tired, buddy. I'm sorry." I glanced at him and audibly gasped as I noticed bright redness and hives had developed all over Aden's cheeks, chin and neck.


Thankfully I had hydrocortisone cream and infant Benedryl on hand for Aden's skin irritation flare-ups. I quickly dosed him with both and the hives and redness were gone within 20 minutes. Aden seemed to feel better but I did not, however. Even though I couldn't have predicted the outcome, I still felt like a horrible mother for "inducing" unpleasantness on my child. Afterwards, I connected the dots to two recent instances when Aden's chin was red and splotchy after I fed him a formula bottle. Initially, I thought the redness was due to teething, but now my gut tells me he had an allergic reaction to the formula.

Part of me wanted to wait to try more solid foods until Aden's six month well-child visit this week, but the other part of me is sure the formula's the culprit. Since the rice cereal incident, I've fed Aden pureed sweet potatoes and bananas and neither caused a reaction. Though so far, he is not a big fan of purees and usually cries after a few minutes of "eating" them. My mama instinct is telling me to hold off on solid foods until Aden is more ready.

It's so interesting how different kids are, from first-born to second (and beyond). With Tory, experiences like "first baby food" were textbook. I fed her pureed sweet potatoes, she gobbled them up gleefully, we took a gazillion photos of her doing so ... DONE. I now see with Aden how experiences are truly based on the individual. There are so many ways my children are similar (and the more so as Aden grows), yet so many differences between the two of them. Parenting always keeps me on my toes.


  1. Ethan doesn't tolerate formula well either and wasn't a big fan of food at first. It's better now at 9 mos but I'm still not doing formula. Poor little Aden with the hives.

  2. I never bothered with the cereals with my 2nd or 3rd child. For that matter, none of my kids were big fans of purees either. I pushed it on L since I didn't know any better, but with A and W, I pretty much just went straight to table foods. Either tiny pieces of soft foods or foods in stick form, like a piece of toast cut into strips. So I guess we did "baby led weaning" without actually doing any of the research or intending to do it.
    Follow your gut though, if you don't think he's ready, there's no harm in waiting!

  3. Oh that's rough. Poor Aden! Hang in there! You two will figure it out :-)

  4. Poor thing!! Lauren had a reaction to bananas when we first introduced those, it seemed to only effect where the bananas came into contact with her skin. Strange.

    Reese didn't have much interest in solids until nearly nine months, we offered them and let her gnaw on things at dinner but she really didn't want to eat them. It is just recently that she is starting to enjoy food - we basically skipped the purees and just went right to giving her what we were eating.

  5. I made a lot of purees for Levi with veggies from our garden and fruits that were in season. He refused to eat them!! I ended up giving the veggied to a friend & we kept the fruit for smoothies. He was just not a fan and far preferred table food from the start. He'd eat green beans cut up into pieces but put some pureed green beans in his mouth & he'd gag.

  6. His faces....I remember the first food trials and we definitely did not have a fan on our hands either. Plus, what I hear, boys start later. At least that's what I hear..I still get frustrated when he doesn't pick up on things as quickly =)