I can’t believe my baby girl is now 6 months! Aika started to be active in many ways. She’s learning to eat, talk, sit and move around. I give her any and every opportunity to be on the floor. She’ll roll, commando crawl, and start spinning in circles. And I love her charming smiles. This truly is my favorite age. I hug her every day and tell her not to grow up fast like her 3-yr old kuya Kage.
One of the best things that I’ve done for my first born was to set up a routine.
Routine saved not only my sanity, but also my baby’s and his yaya’s.
He carried his schedule until now, sleeping, waking up, doing activities, at regular times.
On the other hand, one of the things I think I failed in my first time parenting is the area of feeding. My eldest grew up to be really picky in food. I can say he’s almost at the extreme end. The type who can’t really be forced to taste a pea size at the least.
I think part of that failure was because I didn’t do my own research on how to make feeding right from square one. And that I depended too much on his first pedia, who didn’t really talk too much, for guidance and instructions.
If I could turn back time, I would choose a pediatrician who also specializes in Nutrition. The first lesson I learned and want to share with you is to choose a doctor you can communicate with when it comes to your baby. And not just someone you’d choose because of their friendship with your family or because they’re simply assigned by your OB. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by pedia choices, but with a little homework and legwork, you should be able to find one you like and trust.
I broke up with the first pedia, eventually. My children’s pedia now, Dra. Vienne Saulog, (Thanks to a friend, Pia Domingo-Aycocho’s recommendation) is totally different. She gives me the “nitty-gritty” and what actually works. You see, I have a tendency to stress myself out being a millenial mom. I go crazy reading all product labels looking for non-GMO, BPA-free, pesticide-free, dye-free, free range, grass-fed and organic everything for my children. And Dra. Saulog helps me keep everything in perspective, and yet provides guidance and direction when needed for my children’s nutrition, starting solids, sleep and even their mental and emotional health.
As Aika begins her 6th month, I can see her schedule evolving. This time around, I scoured the internet for clinical studies and done a lot of reflection on my first time in child-nurturing. The result is an output backed both by experience and pediatric professional bodies, packaged in an easy-to-understand guide. I thought it might also be helpful if I share this well-researched guide / schedule with my friends and you.
Plus! I know, like me, you also have to deal with common yaya issues in routine building or the challenges of making sure that your current yaya is feeding your baby the way you want her to, especially if you’re working. These are definitely not easy tasks, and sometimes you neither have the time nor energy to do them. So I took the time to translate it in Tagalog for your baby’s caregivers.
You’re welcome. 🙂
This schedule works well for my baby, but you may need to adjust the time and methods based on your baby’s own pace.
1. Start with grains and vegetables. Offer fruits later.
One thing I learned from Kage’s feeding therapy (read more about our feeding therapy journey here) is that it’s important to start a baby’s solids journey with grains and vegetables. Single ingredient only. Before moving to fruits. This is because fruits are naturally sweeter and – the theory is – if your baby gets used to the sweet taste of fruit (especially mangoes. Ugh, those sweet, juicy, Guimaras mangoes…), she may be less willing to try veggies later on.
2. Focus on your baby’s flavor experiences without sacrificing milk intake
Contrary to before, I’m now on the team who wants to get their baby’s nutrition in milk rather than on solids. My primary goal, this time, in feeding is to expose my baby to different tastes and get used to the right kinds of food.
When your baby turns a year old, you can switch to whole cow’s milk (if formula-fed). It is important to use “pure” or “whole” milk, because children under two years old need fat for brain development.
3. Know when to speak up, and when to let it slide.
Lastly, here’s a piece of advice. When you’re working hard to plan balanced meals, limit sweets, and stay away from sugary drinks and then it all hits the fan when your tito or tita feeds your baby with something outside your list, it can be very disheartening. On paper, we know they mean well. In practice, all those little sips and bites can create delayed and permanent repercussions on your child; and family strife when your feeding styles don’t align.
So what do you do: As with everything in parenting, do what seems best for your family and handle it in the way that works for you. But if you need advice, here’s my two cents: Sometimes it’s necessary to speak up. And sometimes it’s okay to let it slide.
Yaya’s Printable Guide to Baby Feeding & Sleeping (Tagalog)
Sign up below if your baby is just starting on her solids and routine-building journey. The file includes information on how long to let baby stay asleep, how much amount of food is good for each month, foods to avoid list, and even how to manage toddler and baby joint routines.
♡ Arlene Tingson is the Founding Editor and Digital Marketing Director of Proverbs 31 Woman. You can read more of her stories here.
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