Sorry this will be long, but I've needed to get this off my chest for a while now.
Just as the topic says, we've kept foods away for a year and I was okay with all the comments of "a sip of soda won't hurt her" "doctors say she can eat as young as 4 months" and "is she gaining enough weight?" Those comments weren't so bad because I know my family all have those theories that that stuff is okay and are worried about my first baby (because first time moms may not know enough).
The problem is, now that we're introducing foods, our family wonders why she's not eating more. We're starting on veggies and maybe I could be going a little quicker, but this is just how we're doing it, and she's tasting something new each week basically, and when she's not, she's having fun playing with--and eating a little--of the things she's already tried. I'd say we're doing well because while she's not over the 50th percentile, she gets so many compliments (by WIC office people and Drs included) about how she looks like she's thriving. And yet, here's what I get from my family:
My mom (I LOVE my mom, she's better than almost every mom I've met, but sometimes she has her comments that annoy me) heard how DD woke every hour the last few nights and asked why. Well, I can't tell her why because DD won't tell me since she's only 14-months-old, but my mom says "she's probably hungry." Well, I did think about that, but since she used to go at least 4 hours without eating, and then every 3 or 2 after that, it makes no sense that she's SUDDENLY hungry when her eating habits haven't changed through the day except adding a small snack of veggies. More realistically, she's caught the cold I just got over and her throat is bugging her and drinking something soothes her (I wish I could have drank water all night long to ease the discomfort that made me feel like gagging). Anyway, she wants to know why I won't give her rice cereal to fill her belly for the night.
I also have the sister who has worked with children her whole life and of course none of them are AP babies so she thinks it's silly that the first thing I gave my baby was chunks of avocado to play with because that's not "normal." Even telling her "when you have your own babies, I won't tell you how to raise them, and you don't tell me how to raise mine" doesn't work with her (which I found out when she voiced her opinion that it's "ridiculous" that I sing to my DD when she cries because she has to lay still for a diaper. But I digress, I'll stay on one topic here.)
The one that bothers me most though is when my MIL says "you can't breastfeed her until she's 15" and her latest "there comes a point where you won't want to breastfeed when she's 18" (notice how it goes up). That's an insult to my intelligence! I tried to smile and tease "Aww, why not?" But she seems to think I really will be BFing DD until she's 18! She's constantly trying to manipulate me to doing what SHE thinks is right, like how she sent me links of "what to feed a one-year-old" which consisted of cheerios and PB&J sandwiches which I WON'T be starting with. After sending me those links, she sent a message about what a "GREAT job" I'm doing. (Then why did she feel the need to send me those links?). My response to that was that I did actually appreciate the LLLI link that encouraged waiting a year and that the first foods you give them will be more to play with and investigate since the baby is so curious and won't be ready to suddenly jump into eating a full meal. Yet it was a few weeks after that that she made the comment about how I shouldn't BF to 18 years.
I'm just so frustrated with those comments and can't believe she'd really think I'd go that far, and I'm so close to posting on my FB the comment that "I'll be breastfeeding my DD until she's 18 because breastmilk is so much healthier than anything else" but 1) I feel that's a little too mean (since I'm not normally that publicly sarcastic) and 2) I'm scared to see who all really would think I'm going to do that. I'm sick of being judged as stupid, crazy, uninformed, and manipulated (by the baby).
Mostly I just needed to vent this to someone who has been in the same shoes, because unfortunately, nothing I say to try and stop the comments seems to work. (I did actually have a breakthrough with one SIL because she and my husband got in a fight about how she gave DD at 6 months a taste of a tater-tot and she was arguing that it's "perfectly fine" and my husband was arguing that "it's disrespectful, just as if I gave your daughter alcohol" and since that wasn't the SAME EXACT argument, she couldn't wrap her head around it until she saw that I was crying because I missed my baby's first taste of food. THAT she understood, but does it have to come to me hurt and in tears before they respect my decision??)
Happily married to Tigger, SAHM to baby Roo.
Although I gave my daughter food before a year while EBF- she was very interested in food at that time. I think she was 10 months old or so. I had several people make comments to me about how "small" she is before I gave her solids. (Even though she is normal sized, healthy weight, etc.) I always loved the "she's going to be skinny like you" comment. I would just ignore them. I had to or i'd go crazy mama!
My comment to the older generation giving advice is "you don't treat cancer the same way as when you were raising babies, so of course recommendations of feeding babies solids have changed with updated research."
DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012!"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
Your DD is probably going through a growth spurt, teething, reaching a developmental milestone, or as you suspect is fighting off a bug. Toddlers change sleep patterns for a million reasons, hunger being one possibility. But feeding her nutritionally sparse cereal instead of nursing (which is almost unparalleled for calories and fat) will neither keep her sleeping longer nor make her put on more weight. Avocado is a perfect first food. In fact it's still a huge staple with my 23 month old.
I feel for you with the pushy relatives, I really do. I would try a firm "I'll ask for advice when I need it. In the meantime she is my child and im doing what I believe is best." and leave it at that if possible. Another thought is simply say "if you'd like to help, check/change her diaper" - not too many people are all that interested in helping on that end lol. If necessary, I'd even avoid these people until DD ate more simply to save myself the stress. Kids pick it up quickly when they are interested and ready and in a mere few weeks you may have a big eater. Your DD sounds great. Keep following your instincts and don't let pushy people erode your confidence.
We started with foods closer to 5 months... the pediatrician was really pushing it, my mom was pushing for 6 mos, so I went in between. When we did do solids, we did Baby Led Solids, and NO ONE liked that. We also did ORGANIC solids, no sugar, no artificial anything. Whenever we go to GMIL's I get comments like "I suppose K cant have that either." MIL babysits for the boy next door, and his mom feeds him fish every day. We dont do fish because of all the contaminates in it. He also eats the gerber potato puff things. MIL tried buying them for DD and I said no. Her favorite thing to say is "well, D eats it." I SO want to say, "well, it's a good thing he's not my kid, because he wouldn't." My parents and DH's parents were given lists of foods that MUST be organic, and lists of foods she was NOT, under any circumstances, to be given. MIL buys stuff, knowing it's on the NO list, then complains that she cant give it to DD! My mom calls me up and asks before buying if she's unsure... she's even started buying organic stuff that doesn't need to be organic. ;) So, some of that will get better... stick to your guns!
I just dont understand people. When you got the links for what to feed a one year old... I would have been all over that with AAP links, LLL, KellyMom, etc stating that 1 year olds should not be eating PBJ sandwiches! Then I would include links on how to actually research credible resources!
It's YOUR baby, and YOU are the mother, and YOU know what is best for YOUR baby! Good Luck!
I can relate to this. My first baby had solids at about 7 months, my second was nearer 10, she just wasn't interested. With both of them I was told by health professionals and family that I was doing them harm, that they wouldn't learn to swallow/chew properly etc etc. When my mom and MIL heard that they were both still feeding through the night (which isn't normal, everyone knows that babies only have milk every four hours on the dot) they even suggested that I give them a bottle with some cereal in.
It's hard to go against advice as it's almost as if you're saying you think they did a bad job. But things change. I lied a little bit, when it got too bad with family, and told them that my doctor told me it's fine.
My family seemed to have this image of big, fat babies sat in a high chair stuffing their faces with all sorts, they'd tell me what their friend's grandchildren were eating.
If it's any consolation, both of my girls (8 and 11) are perfectly capable of eating all different kinds of food and can even chew/swallow! And they both sleep through the night in their own beds and have been doing so for a long time now since they decided on their own that they wanted to sleep by themselves, despite me 'making a rod for my own back' by forcing them to sleep with me for my own comfort :)
It's tough, going through all this when you haven't got the support you need, but it does get better and eventually you're family will see what confident, happy, healthy children you've raised and they'll all forget about this part.