Mmmm....sweet potatoes! -

Mmmm....sweet potatoes!

Well, last night was the big debut. Jude was introduced to the wonderful world of vegetables. We sat him down for his first encounter with baby food and he loved it! He ate every last bite of those sweet potatoes and was ready for more.

Here's the classic orange-baby-food-all-over-the-face picture:

So for those of you keeping track, my big (little) guy can now eat all varieties of cereal (that is rice, oat and barley, we're not quite to Lucky Charms yet) and we are now introducing a new veggie every three days. After we master veggies, we're on to fruit.

This baby food thing has opened up a whole new, messier world for us. I mean, there was orange stuff everywhere after the big feeding last night. After every bite, Jude wanted to stick his hand in his mouth, thus getting sweet potatoes on his hands, his hoodie, his seat, his mom...what a mess!

Not only is our world much messier, it is a bit confusing to me. Before, feeding time was as simple as, give the kid a bottle every three hours. Now we're trying to work in the baby food, the cereal and the formula, and the nurse at my pediatrician's office just told me that he can have juice, too. slow down, this is getting a bit out of control.

Here's my dilemma: I'm very much a scheduler and a rule-follower. Meaning, I like to plan out every part of my life on a color-coded calendar (no joke) and I like to have specific instructions that I can follow religiously. My son does not appear to be that way. He's more like his daddy! He doesn't really seem to have a pattern to his eating or sleeping. I desperately want to put him on a stricter schedule, but Jude's personality just doesn't seem to fit into a strictly scheduled world. He eats when he's hungry and sleeps when he's tired and no day is the same as the last. Some days he is super hungry, others he wants nothing to do with the bottle. And if he doesn't want to eat, there's no forcing it. His behavior depends on what kind of day he is having. I mean, don't get me wrong, he's a happy, laid-back and go-with-the-flow kind of kid, but he wants to do things on his own time. What's a mom to do?

It would be so much easier for me to make sure that he is getting enough formula and that I were introducing and feeding the right amount of solids if there was some black and white guide that I could follow. You know, noon feed your baby this much of this food and at dinner time feed him this. Even the pediatrician can't give me specifics on how much formula and food this kid needs. Instead I'm left trying to figure this all out on my own. Trial and error, I guess.

All the books and websites give vague suggestions and then follow with a disclaimer saying that you should follow your baby's cues and that as they go through growth spurts their needs will change. How do you put the baby on a schedule and follow his cues? Who's really in charge here? How do I keep track of all this? How do I get Jude into a routine when I'm at work and he goes to different caregivers during the day? No day is the same in our world.

Advice, please! What works for you and your little ones? Did you form a schedule? I'd love to hear from you mommies!

Final note: My husband and I are going to try to break Jude of his 3 am bottle this weekend. Wish us luck! I'll let you know how it goes.

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