Feeding A (almost) Toddler

Feeding this little girl was SO much easier when she just needed breast milk! As she transitions into a toddler I can definitely tell she is much less interested in full bottles and is much more interested in real food! So how do we make that transition? This is what we are doing!

She started having “table” food at eight months at daycare. I know a lot of people are strongly against daycare facilities…but let me tell you something: I think they are angels! A lot of the tough transitions that children go through, childcare providers get the worst part of it. AND…I barely noticed what was happening! Anyways. So yes, table food at eight months.

Generally at this age babies can start to eat almost everything adults can. Just at much smaller portion sizes and in much smaller pieces. This is a little tricky in our house. We LOVE spicy food. Especially when I stopped nursing. I just wanted to throw jalapeños down my throat. What I have been doing since we love our spices so much is whatever meat we are having I set aside some for the baby and cook it separately. For instance, a few nights ago I made chicken yakisoba. I used one of the chicken breast and just lightly seasoned it with salt and pepper and cooked it separate from the rest of the meat. One chicken breast is actually like four servings for her!

We have had her on a really great schedule for as long as I can remember so it is actually sometimes a little hard to remember to give her real food. One of her bottles is at noon so lunch is the meal that gets away from me. She also very rarely wants very much, if anything, at lunch time lately.

She will get her first bottle of the day at 6am and then around 7:45 I will give her breakfast. Her favorite lately is Gerber oatmeal. She likes the kind with bananas in it. Another go-to favorite is the little frozen mini pancakes. She will also get a snack in between her 9am bottle and noon bottle. This is why she is never super into lunch. For snacks…oh man, it just depends what is laying around! She loves blueberry muffins and Gerber fruit and veggies pouches. Seriously, those things are amazing! I don’t know how we would survive without them. She usually sleeps from 12-2ish and with a bottle at 3pm a snack really just depends on how long she sleeps. Then dinner at 5pm, followed by the final bottle of the day at about 6:30pm.

As I mentioned before, the amount she wants in a bottle is changing fast. She normally would suck down 7oz of breast milk like she was starving to death. It is really common for her to only drink 5oz at a time now. I’m not sure if this is because the formula is more filling or she just prefers real food. I imagine it is a combination of both.

I am still pretty paranoid about the size I cut her food to so I keep it really small. Tonight we had pot roast and she pretty much had everything we did. Unfortunately, tonight she thought it would be fun to feed the dogs her food by handfuls and laugh hysterically so dinner was short lived! I can say…she is a little food thief. Whenever she sees us eating something she will walk up to us and tap our leg and make little smacking noises with her mouth. Its both funny and cute now. We should probably stop that habit though! Also, please ignore our fine china in the picture. The military hasn’t delivered our household goods yet!

Next up will be moving from bottles to sippy cups and formula to milk! She uses a zippy cup very well already. We just have not put milk in the sippy cup yet.

How to Use Frozen Breast Milk

I can see what people search when they wind up on my blog and some common search terms have to do with using breast milk and specifically frozen milk. So…here goes a blog on how I used my frozen stash of liquid gold!

When I went to a breastfeeding class that the Air Force Base hosted for free I received a refrigerator guide magnet that had the guidelines for using milk. It was VERY helpful when using fresh milk. However, it did not provide as much guidance for using frozen milk.

breastmilk-storage-reference

As I started to get a good stash we bought a small deep freezer. Boy am I glad we did! I was very lucky and produced a lot of milk. We did not need to use formula at all with her until recently as we started to wean. See my blog on doing that here: http://wp.me/p6P8Lo-3S

My routine for milk was as follows: Anything I would pump “extra” for the next day I would freeze. So when this first started I was taking 3 or 4 5oz bottle to daycare with her. So I would freeze anything over 15 oz. Her daycare has a little bit stricter guidelines than what is “recommended.” Freshly expressed milk was good for 48 hours only (for daycare purposes). Thawed guidelines are the same-use within 24 hours.

When I thaw milk for immediate use I simply run it under warm water as shown below.

I recommend only doing this method when using milk for immediate use. Since thawed milk has a much shorter life than fresh milk I was always worried it would go to waste.

Using frozen milk for her daycare I would take out the milk a full day ahead. For instance, on Sunday morning I would take out milk that she needed for Monday. I make her bottles at night for the next day and it takes awhile for milk to thaw. To thaw this way, see picture below. It is very easy!

20161008_074843

As I mentioned, I took mine out a full day early. This probably depends on whether your milk is in a deep freezer or a refrigerator freezer AND how cold your refrigerator is. It seemed like it took mine FOREVER to thaw.

For fresh milk it is considered safe to refrigerate warmed milk if it is not used within an hour. Example: I pump at 9am. I warm up that milk at 1pm. She doesn’t drink 2 oz of what I warmed up. That milk can go back in the refrigerator by 2pm. It needs to be used within 24 hours after being warmed up though. So at 1pm the next day that milk must be used. I never used this rule of thumb with thawed milk. I do not think it is considered as safe. I would just say be cautious of how much milk you thaw so you do not waste it!

Whenever she doesn’t drink any kind of milk…fresh, thawed, a mix of formula and thawed, I follow the one hour guide to be safe. If she doesn’t drink all of the milk I will try again about 45 minutes later. Some of the time that works. Some babies are also picky about temperatures. Too hot or too cold. So I’m sure that is part of it sometimes also. If I warmed it up too much the cooling down makes her want it more. Others I end up throwing out 3-4 oz 😦

I hope this was helpful for those new moms who don’t want to waste their milk. It is a precious thing, that breast milk!