Wondering what this post is all about? See my post yesterday to find out who all these people are and what we're talking about :)
4. When did you know your kid(s) were ready for small chunks of food and not pureed?
Rachele: I just tried a puree a few times, and when that was fine, tried chunks, and that was fine too. If you use small chunks of very soft food that doesn't need to be chewed (such as pears) and you sit right by, it's fine at a younger age than most people think. If you google "baby led weaning" then you'll see some babies are eating small chunks at 6mo.
Katie H: For starters Hudson ate like a rockstar from the beginning. He was eating me out of house and home so I started making my own baby food because of the variety, it's more healthy, and it's WAY cheaper. I started pureeing everything. Then I started giving him things like banana pieces, bread, etc. I did notice that he crammed everything in his mouth that was on his tray so I knew he couldn't handle too big of bites or two many because he would choke. He was always choking! I guess it's a trial and error thing. I also noticed he was interested in what we were eating so I would let him try things to get a variety.
Nikki: It's got to be that pincer grasp thing. If the kid can pick up a Cheerio 9 times out of 10, then he's probably ready to eat it. Also, teeth, they're a pretty good sign. But every kid is different, so I start small and mushy (banana chunks are good) and if we don't gag, maybe we'll try something bigger or chewier.
Calah: I think I started giving Bryton more chunkier stuff (i.e. little pieces of banana, strawberry, softer foods) around 7 months maybe? That's a big question mark. :) I generally just judge by if they seem to be learning what it means to bite and if they can mush it around in their mouth then keep it coming. The more they can do it the better. Also, a good judge for me was when Bryton started picking stuff up cause then I knew he could pick up little pieces of food.
Greta: We started mushy foods (pieces of banana, avocado, puffs, etc.) around 7 months. I would only put a couple of things on the tray at one time. We started other food once the grasping, gagging was better. I think around 9 or 10 months? Small pieces of turkey, chicken, other fruit pieces, cheerios.
5. How do you juggle having more than one child? Especially when it comes to having a newborn (feedings take forever, up all night, etc.)
Rachele: Lots of help from other people. Lots of slow cooker meals. A very very helpful husband shouldering much of the load. Relaxing the rules on letting the older kid watch TV. Enrolling the older child in independent activities to give the younger kid some space and peace for sleeping. Getting babysitting for the younger baby so I can get one-on-one time to focus on the older kid. (We have a babysitting swap setup with friends, so it's free for us most of the time. I highly recommend setting up babysitting swaps if possible.)
Nikki: Never say no to help. Ever. Unless it's that creepy guy down the street who doesn't shower much. Really, if someone offers to pick up groceries or bring a meal or fold laundry or walk your newborn around the block in a stroller, just say yes. Go sleep, eat, veg, shower, or read a tabloid magazine. Remember, Just Say Yes to Help.
Calah: It is definitely a juggling act with 3 kids! Greyson is bottle fed, which makes it easier on everyone I think. It's all about your other kids learning to have patience. I would highly recommend to anyone, unless it's an emergency like they are gonna pee their pants or got a bad owie, that you tell them it can wait till you are done feeding little brother or sister, and don't get up till the baby is done eating.
Make your older ones as independent as possible. I keep simple snacks like graham crackers, goldfish, in a cupboard down low so Bryton can get himself a snack if that is what he wants and I can't get it for him at the moment.
Greta: See my post here about what I did while I was nursing a newborn with a 2 year old running around. Otherwise, ACCEPT HELP! Fortunately, my youngest was a SUPER easy (understatement) baby; we had our more difficult one first. One thing I wish I had done was continue to send our older son to his grandparents house 3 mornings a week so I could have alone/quality time with the baby. I would suggest that if you have that sort of system in place (or daycare, preschool, or whatever) keep having the older ones go (if you can afford it ) even just a couple mornings a week even though you're home.