Almost as contentious as sleep. If your baby is older than 2 weeks, someone will probably ask if you've started rice cereal yet. (Especially if you are tired and they perceive that rice cereal will of course make your baby sleep).
It's the standard first food. Grandma's and great aunties swear by it. So maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea? Rice cereal is a high processed carbohydrate. It has no nutritional value. It does however change the entire way that your baby digests. It slows the peristalsis so that your baby's body basically shuts off as many processes as possible to focus on digestion. Your baby doesn't sleep, they shut down or they cry uncontrollably from a belly ache! More importantly rice cereal completely changes your baby's intestinal chemistry. Why is this important? We know now that your intestines are the basis for your immune system. By breastfeeding you are introducing and keeping balanced the microbes that will help your baby stay healthy throughout their lifetimes. If you introduce solids before your baby's body is ready for them (at approximately 6 months; easiest indicators are that baby can sit up BY THEM SELVES, and that baby can move things from tray to mouth BY THEM SELVES) you inhibit their digestion and their immune system. You are working hard to do what is right for your baby and your baby's growth. However what you are doing isn't the gold standard or the best. It is what is NORMAL. Your baby was made to breastfeed.
So what do you say when the rice cereal (or any kind of food before your baby is 6 months old) debate starts?
Aunt Betty, if we were going to start solids, I would rather have you go through Dunkin Donuts and get my baby a plain donut. It's just as much of an empty carb but at least it has some fat so the donut is better than the rice cereal.
Should shut the conversation right down!
PS is all lost or wrecked if someone 'sneaks' your baby a taste of something?(people are really stupid during the holidays. They do stuff they never would do at other times) No, you are breastfeeding. Your body knows something has changed in your baby's body. Your body will adjust your milk to reset your baby's microbes back to balance. It might take a few days and if you have kids like mine it will not be a happy few days. Balance does reoccur.
In the meantime, that's when you make sure you sit next to Aunt Betty with the crying, fussy baby as much as possible!
Tomorrow: Alcohol (dum, dum, dum!) 😱