Luckily, and after a lot of hard work on everyone's part, we were able to breastfeed exclusively for five months before she had one bite of solid food. If it were up to me, I would breastfeed for the first two years, because it costs nothing and I'm really lazy.
That's one thing "they" don't tell you -- or maybe everyone knows this and I'm just stupid: I thought until you choose to give your babies solid foods, moms could just breastfeed exclusively for as long as they wanted. That's why when I'd see those videos on Tyra about moms breastfeeding their kids until they were 12 and 13 (or 6, 7, 8) I'd go "huhhwhuhh? Don't they get really hungry all the time? Wouldn't they just constantly nurse to get full? How do they survive off just milk?"
No, actually, that's not how it works. Apparently you're supposed to wait for your baby to show signs of "readiness" in starting solids, and they can be ready anywhere after 4 months or so (and some moms/babies start even earlier). If you delay starting solids past the age of "readiness," your baby may develop oral-motor delay and need help from a behavior specialist to learn how to solid-feed. I know this because I spent 20 minutes on WebMD and I'm perfectly qualified to give medical advice.
So, anyway, we started her on solids and it was so, so fun.
|These pictures are so high-quality because my brother took them, not I.|
And then the next morning, when I went to change her diaper, it was not so much fun anymore.
Another thing that "they" don't tell you -- breastfed poo is like a sweet dream. It's practically nothing. It doesn't smell. When we'd go to empty her diaper pail (on the days where we'd use disposables) it would smell like butter-popcorn. Absolutely not a lie. It's like a fart in a rose garden. Or something. Cleaning up poo is never awesome, but when it hardly smells and is water-soluble, it's not that bad.
(Oh and apparently there's another type of poo called "meconium," which is like sticky, black tar that comes out when the baby is first-born and sometimes in utero. I was lucky enough to miss the meconium stage completely -- and by "lucky" I mean I was totally passed out from the fentanyl the nurses gave me to stitch up my episiotomy. Totally dodged that bullet, amirite?!)
When you start solid foods, it's a whole 'nother ball game. That shit is vile. And there's so much more of it, for some reason. So far it's the same color and consistency, but according to the interwebs, that's supposed to change soon, too. Not like it could get any grosser. Right?