The team at Tidelands Health Women’s Center helps families navigate pregnancy and childbirth every day. Now, one of the practice’s physicians – Dr. Monica Selander – has invited us to be part of the journey as she and her husband, Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl Han, welcome a second child to their family. Follow us on Facebook, check out our Twitter feed and stop back here often to get the latest updates.
Introducing solid foods to children is an adventure for many parents. Fortunately for Tidelands Health OB-GYN Dr. Monica Selander, her infant daughter Luna has adapted quite well to the change.
Luna, who was born in late June 2019, is the second child to Dr. Selander and her husband, Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl Han.
“We started Luna on solids in December when she turned 6 months old, as the recommendations state,” says Dr. Selander. “We started with simple cereals such as rice and oatmeal cereal, then started adding vegetables and fruits.”
So far, Luna has eaten cereals, apples, avocadoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. She likes everything she’s eaten — as long as it’s homemade. Dr. Selander says Luna doesn’t care for store-bought baby food.
To accommodate Luna’s preference and her own desire to know exactly what she’s feeding her baby, Dr. Selander makes pureed foods for Luna.
“I make her food by steaming it and blending it with my breast milk until it is a puree, then I freeze it in small portions,” Dr. Selander says. “I like that I know exactly what’s in the food I’m giving her, and she gets extra calories and nutrition from the breast milk I add to it.”
Dr. Selander says it may sound tedious to make your own baby food, but one session of steaming, pureeing and freezing produces a lot of servings for a young baby.
Parents should feel comfortable feeding babies either homemade or store-bought baby foods, says Dr. Lucretia Carter, a pediatrician with Tidelands Health Pediatrics in Myrtle Beach.
“Either is OK,” she says. “It really boils down to a personal preference.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies start on solids when they are about 6 months of age.
“However, every child develops at his or her own pace,” Dr. Carter says. “In addition to age, parents should look for developmental signs that indicate their baby is ready to start on solids.”
Dr. Carter says babies should be able to sit with little or no support, exhibit good head control and open their mouths and lean forward to accept food that’s offered on a spoon.
If you have any questions about whether your little one is ready for solid food, ask your child’s care provider, Dr. Carter says.
Parents should also introduce new food varieties slowly to make sure the baby tolerates the food well and doesn’t have any problems with the food, such as allergies, Dr. Carter says.
“Wait three to five days between each new food,” she says. “This will help you determine if your child can tolerate a certain food.”
So far, Luna has shown no signs of allergies and has enjoyed each new food she’s been offered, Dr. Selander says.
“She definitely seems to be a good eater, which is a change for us since older sister Nora never cared for baby food,” says Dr. Selander. “She went almost directly to table food from milk.”
Two-year-old Nora has been enjoying helping her mother make her sister’s baby food.
“She does like to help me make the baby food and freeze it,” Dr Selander says. “She also really likes to help me put my breast milk in the freezer or carry it from where I pump over to the kitchen.
“She’s still young enough to like ‘chores’ and helping with Luna, so I try to encourage that when I can.”