I WAS WRONG: Supporting FEEDING CHOICES-Why It Matters To Us

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Dear Leakies,

First, don’t miss out on the big giveaway featuring TWO Tula Baby carriers (a wrap and a soft structure carrier), a set of 4 Eco Vessel water bottles from Eyla’s, 4 tubes of Thinkbaby sunblock, and a Belabumbum sporty mesh nursing bra and nursing racerback cami. Find more info further down in this issue including the secret entry code.

Secondly, I was wrong, so wrong. For a long time I thought there had to be one right way to do anything. That there was a script for life that if you just followed it, everything would turn out how it should.

Only when I tried it I discovered 2 things: 1) I couldn’t always follow the script either because lack of skill, opportunity, or burn out and 2) even when I did stick to the script others didn’t or it didn’t matter anyway.

So it is that I’ve learned there are many ways to mother, many ways to define success, many ways to be healthy, many ways to be active, many ways to be educated, many ways to love, many ways to dream, many ways to have a baby, many ways to feed that baby, many ways to care for that baby, and many ways to bring up that baby. And on and on and on.

In most areas in life, there is no one right way, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Let’s get moving, let’s feed our babies, let’s live and enjoy life, and let’s have grace for the ourselves in the journey.

Let’s do it together.

Find community on our Facebook page, our Facebook community group, our #TLBmoves community group, and relational resources on The Leaky boob website, Beyond Moi website talking about relationships and life, and OurStableTable.com bringing the whole family around the table with recipes and conversation. TO ENTER GIVEAWAYS and find out more, READ HERE.

-Jessica

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#LeakyLooks: Out And About With #TLBMoves

We’re wrapping a month of getting ACTIVE with #TLBMoves and #LeakyLooks and we thought we’d share one more collection of outfits that are boob-friendly, pumping friendly, and paired for YOUR lifestyle! Getting active can be so many different things. Dancing with your kids, hiking the new trail up the Gorge, swimming, playing hide-and-seek with your baby, hitting the gym, outdoor  yoga, a family walk after dinner-whatever gets you moving and making healthy choices for your family lifestyle-we want to be there cheering you on! Got a look you’d like to share with us? Head over to Instagram, take a #LeakySelfie and TAG us! We’d love to feature YOU and how you go about your day with your littles!

 

Day On The Lake

Boat Trip

We are really fortunate to have a ton of lakes, waterfalls, and creeks around the Pacific Northwest. This summer has been unusually HOT for us, and hitting any local natural watering hole is a MUST. And NOT getting seriously sunburned in the process. (No, really. Poor husband decided to NOT use our Thinkbaby sunscreen. Half a back of blisters and a call with our doctor later…NOT doing that again.). Pulling a simple look together with the essentials is what this look is about. Sunscreen, wide sunhat to keep the burn from getting you, staying hydrated, a good bag that organizes, a breathable mesh bra from Belabumbum (if you aren’t swimming. or, you could actually probably swim in this just wonderfully!), and a carrier like this Tula buckle carrier in “Fizz”  in lighter colors so you and baby can stay cool!

 

 

Seattle Saturday

Saturday City Stroll

We drove up to Seattle a couple of Saturdays ago and it was remarkably pleasant and cloudy for the whole day! (A welcome relief after the heat wave we’d been experiencing down in Portland!). I wore an outfit similar to this one. Lightweight, monochromatic, and chic. A simple pair of ankle-length jeans and this button-down sleeveless shirt (easy nursing access!),  a great teething necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop, A Ju-Ju-Be bag, Birks (how much do I love thee?!), the Lotus Nursing Bra from Belabumbum, and the exclusive Tekhni Wovens wrap in Nymphai available exclusively for the upcoming MiLK Conference in L.A. this weekend!

Easy Saturday

Easy Saturday

I put this look together to be lovely, simple and functional. A soft-cup nursing bra from Belabumbum paired with a great half-button tunic blouse (This one is from Old Navy!) and your favorite pair of jeans. Keen ballet flats (because seriously. Mamas need comfy feet. All that walking!). This beautiful Tula Migaloo Wrap Conversion Ring Sling in Passion is a GREAT choice for the end of summer (and a wonderful simple color that transitions really well into autumn.). Did you know that Eylas carries all-natural hand sanitizer spray? And it works? Let’s just say I’d like to have a few of these around my  house (and in my car. and my diaper bag. and my carrier. lol.) A great silicone chewbead necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop completes this effortless look.

PSSSSSST. Have you entered our huge #TLBMoves giveaway yet? No? Get over there and enter before your chance to win is gone!

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TLB Comic: Babies Don’t Judge

by Jennie Bernstein

 

breastfeeding bottle feeding cloth diapering

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Discounts, Giveaway, Milk, and Moving!

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Dear Leakies,

I’m going to keep this short and sweet:

LET’S GET MOVING!

It’s time for #TLBmoves and we’re working up a sweat and to an awesome giveaway with our friends from Tula, ThinkBaby ThinkSport, Belabumbum Active Wear, and Eyla’s Imports. Find out more information here.

Whatever it looks like for you, we’re supporting each other on getting moving towards health and wholeness. For many of us, learning about and then actually feeding our babies was the gateway to more conscientious living, a sort of snowball effect. Establishing health habits as a way of life is, of course, a good thing. And the family that moves together is healthy together. (For some inspiration, here’s 100 years of fitness fads in 100 seconds video fun.) Share your journey with us using the hashtag #TLBmoves on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and if you’d like to go deeper, submit your story like Kelsey by emailing [email protected].

I’m enjoying moving with my family and I’m moving closer and closer to Milk! Bringing together many of the people who inspire me, I’ve created Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference with Xza Higgins, founder of MommyCon. Taking place in L.A. July 31st and August 1st, this conference is for health care providers (offering continuing education credits and contact hours) and families. Founded on the belief that infant feeding support makes a difference and can directly influence confidence levels in parents, MiLK focuses on information sharing and mindful support that builds parents up without tearing down, respecting the unique journey of each of us. MiLK aims to actively educate and support infant feeding by connecting health care providers and the families they care for discussing breastfeeding, formula feeding, breastmilk pumping, at the breast supplementing, bottle feeding, cup feeding, spoon feeding… FEEDING. This is not, to be clear, a breastfeeding conference. It is an infant feeding conference with a goal of bringing together health care providers and parents where we can learn from each other. Most importantly, I hope we learn how to really listen and what support can really looks like.

To help you move that direction with me, we have a huge giveaway that includes enough tickets for your local breastfeeding group! For that extra newsletter entry option, GET YOUR INFORMATION HERE!

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#LeakyLooks: Where Do YOU Move?

We have the privilege of crossing paths with so many unique Leakies as we join together in community! This month as we celebrate #TLBMoves and get moving, I wanted to have a little more fun with some of the diversity we encounter when we go about our days! As some of you may know, I’m a nerd…like, Comic Con Nerd. (Nerd heaven for those of you who don’t speak geek!).  My little family also likes to trek around the great outdoors (ahem…though I’d like to go glamping one of these days. Feather bed out in the sticks? With a wood stove? In a canvas tent? Don’t judge. I’m serious. :P). I’ve also begun officially working out with my partner of 10 years and we’re seeing such good results in being intentionally active! I think you guys are gonna LOVE these #LeakyLooks!

So: Wanna do something AWESOME? Head on over to Instagram, use #TLBMoves and #LeakyLooks and post a picture of how YOU like to jam! We’d LOVE to feature you! Is it a breastfeeding-friendly Cosplay? Your FAVORITE camping get-up? Your newest Yoga ensemble? Show us! Let’s inspire our Leakies!!!! #BoobOutFashion #TLBMoves #LeakyLooks #MyLeakyFashion

Comic Con Mom

ComicCon Mama

SDCC2015 has come and gone, but us nerd mamas are still proudly wearing our geeked-out faves! Who says we can’t breastfeed and wear our babies in our Nerd finery? We say you CAN! I centered this look around passing on our nerd-genes with the new Tula “Sidekick” carrierBelabumbum’s Lena Peek-A-Boo Nursing Bra keeps you comfortable and fantastic walking those aisles of Con-exclusive merch, and pairing a ThinkGeek vintage Wonderwoman t-shirt with a vintage Marvel Comic shoulder bag completes this Cool mama look ready to conquer even the esteemed Hall H!

Hit The Barre

Hit the Barre

Every mama could use some more balance and strength in their life! This look is featuring our MiLK Conference Tekhni Wovens EXCLUSIVE wrap in “Tuxedo” designed from Jessica Martin-Weber’s beautiful tattoo artwork on her skin to honor her fight with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I added in the extremely comfy Belabumbum Yoga Jogger Pant along with their NEW Sporty Mesh Nursing Bra! (seriously. no one needs boob sweat crampin’ their Barre style!) Some soft, disposable bamboo-based nursing pads from Bamboobies help with any potential nursing leakage, and a strong recycled glass water bottle from Eylas is going to help you stay hydrated as you work towards getting strong and balanced!

Camp Your Heart Out

Camp Your Heart Out

Who says you can’t be CUTE and prepared while you camp with your baby? Get ready to rock the great outdoors with Tula “Campy” and all of the chemical-free ThinkBaby Sunscreen you can slather on! Mountain Mama crafts well-made outdoor gear specifically for the hiking and camping mama! And no trip into nature is quite complete without a triple-insulated Eco-Vessel Boulder Bottle from Eylas-keeping hot OR cold liquids/soups at their temps for HOURS.

We hope you loved this week’s #LeakyLooks! Make sure to tag us on Instagram and show us what you’re dressed in today! We may just feature you and inspire all of our mamas! Let’s get our #TLBMoves on!

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What I Want My Daughters To Know About Motherhood- Feeding Babies

by Jessica Martin-Weber
Recently I was reflecting on why I started Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference and I thought back on my different feeding journeys with my daughters, looking back and wishing there were things I knew when I first started out that I know now. I considered writing a post to my young self but then I realized that the ones I really want to know now what I wish I knew then about infant feeding are my daughters. Before they embark on their own motherhood journey, before they begin feeding their own babies (yes, I’m assuming that out of 6 girls at least one of them will have children and I will get to be a grandparent), there are so many things I want them to know, I could write a book and not just on infant feeding. Respecting that their journey will be their own, not some version or extension of mine, what I want to share isn’t a how to nor is it a manual, it is more just… my heart. Why am I starting an infant feeding conference? My daughters are why.

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/martinwebberfamily2

Dear Daughter,

From time to time I reflect on the days when you were new to the world, newer than you are now, which is still pretty new. Those days when you were tiny and fit snuggled on my chest with your arms and legs tucked under you, my hand supporting your little bum. I think about the smell of your head, the feel of your skin, the depth of your eyes. I smile as I remember arguing with your father and sometimes others that it wasn’t gas, you were actually really smiling in your sleep. Like precious family heirlooms, from time to time I reverently unpack the memories of your daddy gently swinging you on his arm during fussy periods of the day, how one of your big sisters would interact with you, the way you calmed when I held you, the seriousness with which you would watch light dancing on the wall, and other fragments of the time when you were the smallest big thing in my world.

Some of those cherished mental keepsakes have little barbs on them. They sting when I unpack them, no matter how careful I am. How you were taken away from me just after I had the first chance to hold you because I was hemorrhaging, the time I screwed up and dropped you due to careless use of an infant carrier (Oh sweetie, I tried to call Child Protective Services on myself), hours and hours of screaming that nothing would soothe and the obvious pain you were in (heads up, colic is hell), the stint in the hospital with RSV, and so many more. I could keep these painful memories locked up and forgotten but I don’t, though I don’t linger over them too long, they are an important part of the story we share.

A good number of those treasured memories so carefully packed in my mind are around feeding you. You, as babies do, ate often. Satiated is but a temporary state of being and babies stay there only for brief moment of visitation. Some of these memory gems are truly sublime, shining moments that reflect the light of my love, your beauty, and our connection in sparkling bursts of color from ever angel and with every turn. Some of them are more like clunky chunks of rough rock, the weight and texture of which can make me raw. There is beauty there, beauty only appreciated when the whole topography is viewed. I cherish them all.

My baby feeding story journey isn’t isolated to just feeding you. All 6 of my children have impacted me and feeding each of them has had a hand in shaping me as a mother and directly impacting how I parented. And so, there are a few things I really want you to know about feeding babies. This won’t give you everything you need to know but these, my strong, intelligent, and courageous daughter, are the things what I want you to know from my heart about feeding babies and I hope sharing this now feeds you in a new way.

Feeding is important. Very important. Feeding our babies is the most basic, most essential, most immediate, and most elemental aspect of parenting. It can be said, without fail, that not feeding your baby is parenting failure. Neglect. Abuse. This may seem obvious and it is, but it is also important in ways you wouldn’t first see.  In my experience, how our children come to us is a journey that shapes us much like rushing water can shape rock. Babies aren’t the only ones birthed, mothers are birthed through the arrival of their children into their lives. Likewise, how we feed our babies can lay a foundation for how we parent. Feeding can shore up our confidence as parents and it can tear it down.

But not that important. For as deeply as it can impact us, you’ll feed your babies so many times each day that it can become mundane. That’s ok. You don’t have to experience each moment feeding your baby as a super special time of bonding. That would be like expecting every meal with your significant other to be a candlelight dinner that you poured yourself into preparing and spent looking deeply into each other’s eyes. In the end, as long as the feeding happens, the important part is done. And because it has to be done so frequently, letting go of expectations as to how it happens can be freeing to enjoy each experience as much as possible without the stress.

You matter too. Before baby comes, everyone is all about the mother-to-be. After baby comes, everyone is all about the baby and the mom is little more than the easel holding up the masterpiece. With that comes all the opinions on how to care for, and certainly how to feed, the masterpiece. But you matter too. According to many, you’ll be doing it wrong. Even those who support the method you are using will find ways to tell you are doing it wrong. Everything is subject to such “support” when it comes to feeding your baby. Bottle feeding? You’re holding that bottle wrong, using the wrong bottle, giving a bottle at all… all wrong. Breastfeeding? You’re using the wrong position, the wrong pillows, the wrong place, the wrong timing, doing it at all… all wrong. Pumping? You’re using the wrong pump, the wrong setting, the wrong method, doing it at all… all wrong. With everyone focused on the adorable masterpiece, they will want to “help” you care for it “right.” In the process, some will forget about caring for you. Mothering may change how you see your body and how you feel about it, aspects you may not love may be the most wonderful to your child. Mothering will change your heart and how you feel about it, aspects you may not love about yourself may be the most wonderful to your child. Take care of you, your children will need you to, they need and love you. It may feel selfish but taking care of you is important in taking care of your baby. You matter. Find those that can genuinely support you and your goals in caring for your baby. Those who believe you matter too.

The system is broken. It is improving and I hope by the time you are embarking on this journey, the system will be in a much better place. Right now though, it’s broken. From uninformed health care providers to uninformed store managers, from predatory marketing to pushy breastfeeding supporters, from poor insurance coverage to poor maternity leave, from ignorant judgmental strangers on the internet to ignorant judgmental friends in person, the system of infant feeding support in our society is failing moms. It is imbedded in our culture and it is hurting people. That can change but only by addressing the system rather than individual parents. They, you, just need someone willing to support them as a person, not a conquest. There is a lot of hurt, anger, guilt, shame, fear, arrogance, and hope surrounding this and you will hear it but it isn’t really about you.

Science is cool. There’s a lot of it and you’ll want to take the time to be familiar with it before you head into feeding your babies. Not everyone agrees on the science, it’s worth hearing the various view points. Being informed and personally conscientious can help you tap into your own powerful confidence. Decide what makes sense to you, what works for you according to the information, resources, and support available to you within your personal context and individual circumstances.

But feeding babies isn’t science, it’s a relationship. At some point, all the information in the world, all the evidence, all the support, all the goals aren’t important any more. Because it is a relationship. You and your baby. You are the one who knows what that relationship needs, you are the expert, you are the one most qualified. Even when you feel like you aren’t. You taught me that what a baby really needs is a fully invested parent who lovingly cares for them. Listen to yourself and your baby and don’t let anyone else define your relationship, feeding or otherwise.

There is more, so much more about feeding I want to tell you but for now I’ll stop here. Except for this:

I believe in you. I support you. Whatever you need, I am here for you and plan to be there for you. Unless you ask me not to. But most of all, I love you. You’ve got this.

Love,

Mom

____________________

What would you say to your children about infant feeding? How will you tell them the story of feeding them? What do you want them to know?

Milk BLO event graphic

I started Milk with MommyCon founder, Xza Higgins, with the goal to bring together health care providers, parenting advocates, infant feeding influencers, and parents for workshops, seminars, and connecting centered around conversation supporting feeding our babies.

Founded on the belief that infant feeding support makes a difference and can directly influence confidence levels in parents, MiLK focuses on information sharing and mindful support that builds parents up without tearing down, respecting the unique journey of each of us. MiLK aims to actively educate and support infant feeding by connecting health care providers and the families they care for discussing breastfeeding, formula feeding, breastmilk pumping, at the breast supplementing, bottle feeding, cup feeding, spoon feeding… FEEDING. This is not, to be clear, a breastfeeding conference. It is an infant feeding conference with a goal of bringing together health care providers and parents where we can learn from each other.

Most importantly, I hope we learn how to really listen and what support can really looks like.

I hope you can me join me in Los Angeles, California, July 31st and August 1st. The speakers and panelists are all people I greatly respect, people that inspire me not only in my infant feeding journeys but in supporting others in their journeys as well. Offering 9.25 CERPs (IBCLC) and 11.1 Contact Hours (BRN), MiLK is for the lay parent and the health care professional.

I would love to see you there.

__________________

We have a MiLK giveaway!
3 prizes:

Grand prize: 2 tickets for one winner with the VIP option and a set of general admission to the local breastfeeding support group of their choice, 1 Arm’s Reach Mini-CoSleeper in Santa Fe, 1 tekhni Nymphai wrap, 1 Ergobaby nursing pillow, 1 Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump, 1 Eat@Moms shirt, 1 box Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea, 1 Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, 1 pair Earth Mama Angel Baby Booby Tubes.
Prize pack 1: 2 general admission tickets to milk, 1 tekhni Nymphai wrap, 1 Ergobaby nursing pillow, 1 manual pump, 1 Ameda nursing tank, 1 Eat@moms shirt.

Prize pack 2: 2 general admission tickets to milk, 1 tekhni Nymphai ring sling, 1 Ergobaby nursing pillow, 1 Eat@Moms shirt.

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Open to USA residents only.

Please use the widget below to enter.

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TLB Comic: Hello Milk

by Jennie Bernstein

Hello Milk!

 

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#LeakyLooks Presents #TLBMovesFashion!

by Kileah McIlvain

I am SO excited to kick off our #TLBMoves Campaign with our #LeakyLooks #TLBMovesFashion editions! This is the first of several collections I get to share with you Leakies over the next few weeks!

One of the biggest things we want to encourage each other to do is to MOVE. Whatever you’re doing! Not just sports or working out, but PLAYING, Hiking, having FUN with your family, making better choices that help you thrive in the season of parenting you are in! I hope you love these collections I’ve picked out for you this week! Don’t forget to show us YOUR #LeakyLooks this week on Instagram and Facebook! Tag us and inspire us (and I’d LOVE to feature your look!).

Day On The Lake

A Day At The Lake

Our family spent a day at a local lake (we have a LOT of them here, in the PNW!) and gosh, it was GREAT! Here I have a GREAT adjustable Shake Maternity Nursing Tankini from Mommy Gear paired with one of my FAVORITE Ju-Ju-Be Tokidoki bags! Having a lightweight, easy to get on-and-off water sling from Beachfront Baby Wraps is a MUST for enjoying the cool water with your baby! Thinkbaby suncreen in SPF50+ has ALSO been an essential for our family! We all have pretty fair skin and BURN like nobody’s business and this is one of the ONLY non-toxic EWG-recommended suncreens on the market that works and doesn’t give my little ones rashes (a problem we’ve had with so many other “safe” brands!). I finished this look off with some fabulous Chewbeads and a pair of sunnies from H&M and voila! You’re ready for Sun, Water, Play and getting your #TLBMoves on!

 

Marathon Mama

Marathon Mama

I am so excited to feature this look based off of this Belabumbum Nursing Racerback Cami specifically designed to be nursing-friendly AND high quality activewear! I have short hair, which makes using a Bolder Band from Simply Carried a MUST-HAVE (did you SEE what it says? #wearallthebabies! Yes. I want 5 of them. lol.And yes. The carrier would be amazing, too lol.). Staying hydrated with Eyla’s insulated water bottles are such a great choice! Tons of options for both kids AND adults and come in a range of glass, non-toxic plastic, and stainless steel! I added in a great inexpensive duffle bag from Target for carrying both yours and baby’s things in! And I don’t know if you are aware, but LUSH has the most AMAZING anti-chaffing powders/deoderants ever. (okok, my personal opinion but seriously. One bottle lasts a looong time, and it makes your skin so silky on those hot days! And smells ah-may-zing.). ThinkBaby Sunscreen in SPF50+ because NOBODY wants peeling sunburned skin in summer. Ewe.

Movies In the Park

Movie In The Park

One of Portland’s favorite summer pastimes is going out to the many outdoor movie screenings at dusk around the metro area! (Pretty sure there’s even a Portlandia episode that explains this. Seriously.) I centered this look around one of the most gorgeous lightweight nursing tops from Pink Blush Maternity paired with some simple skinny jeans. (bet you can guess what sandals I’d put with these! Yup. Birks. Big shocker there. :P) Unless it’s breezy when the sun goes down (sometimes this happens) You’ll probably be looked at as the local blood bank source for the local mosquitos so I added Badger’s natural bug repellant! DEET free and doesn’t make skin freak out or make you grow a 3rd arm. Bringing snacks and liquids for everyone is tradition here and Eyla has the perfect lightweight collapsible storage containers and double-insulated water bottles and thermoses! You may have to trek a bit to find the perfect spot to watch the screen so pushing baby in an Orbitbaby stroller is such a comfortable and posh way to go! Don’t forget to grab a great blanket throw from Target and BAM. Family night at the outdoor movie in the park is a GO!

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TLB Comic: Put Some Breastmilk On That

by Jennie Bernstein

Breastmilk for pink eye

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Exploring Solids With Baby and Giveaway Codes!

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Dear Leakies,

 

I love this issue! Secret newsletter exclusive giveaway codes, tips on feeding, recipes, and a special word from our friends at Paxbaby. Go all the way down to the end to see it all!

Feeding our babies is a big deal from the very beginning and oddly enough, causes a lot of controversy (did you see that FB rejected our money for an ad claiming “nudity” and “adult content?” We just see babies being fed.
Every milestone is an exciting experience with and for our little ones and introducing solids is one of the biggest. What to introduce and when to introduce it are important considerations many of parents agonize over. In many ways the introduction of solids is an emotional time, bittersweet and significant as it signifies our babies growing up and the first step away from the feeding of their infancy. It can be easy to rush it or even hold back delaying the inevitable, but whenever and however it happens, it can be such a fun stage and it’s time to join us at Our Stable Table where we talk about nourishing our families beyond the breast or bottle and including everything from recipes to conversations that happen around the table.

 

Making the decisions for starting your baby on solids can be overwhelming. Between conflicting information, personal opinions, and outdated recommendations, navigating those decisions becomes particularly difficult when you factor in concerns about allergies, readiness, and your mother-in-law’s insisting that starting rice cereal at 4 weeks was the best thing ever.

 

Whatever you choose to do, The Leaky Boob wants to offer you information and support, respecting your responsibility in making informed decisions for your family. While some will feel it is important to wait until 6 months or more to introduce any solids, some will feel that their child is showing signs of readiness between 4-6 months and with the support of their child’s doctor will start giving their baby first foods.
And if you do have a child with allergies, it is an entirely different ballgame and getting friends and family to respect those boundaries is no small challenge. We talk about that here.
Some resources to help you get started or just for curiosity’s sake: American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on introducing solids, recent research on introducing solids and allergies, exploring baby-led solids, information on puree solids, and making your own baby food.

 

Whatever you do with introducing solids, and I’ve done just about all the options with my children, I hope you enjoy the process.

Ready to read more?! GO HERE to hunt for the codes and get the best information on transitioning your little one to solids! 

 

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