Ace & Jig Cliff Dress in Banjo | Large
I meant to post this yesterday but I was out of energy after waking up at 4:45 AM. And no, it wasn’t Hawk, it was the dog wanting to go out. Of course I couldn’t go back to sleep afterwards, so I got up and enjoyed lots of alone time with my book and coffee. But then I hit a wall at 5 PM yesterday.
Anyway, I sat down an hour ago to write this post during his afternoon nap and have spent all that time looking up resources on weaning Hawk off formula since his birthday is coming up soon. Honestly, I can’t wait to stop feeding him formula, and he’s a great eater otherwise (he gets three solid meals a day now), but I’m nervous about his getting the nutrition he needs during the transition. Yes, I know this is something I should consult his doctor about, and I really wish I had a pediatrician I like and could ask about things like this, but I don’t. I was looking for a new one back in March when the pandemic hit so just decided to try and stick it out with the one he has now until things get better. Things aren’t getting better, but I’m going to try and find a new one anyway after his one-year old appointment. She’s not bad, but she really doesn’t listen to me at all; she mostly likes to hear herself talk, and make sure she gets out all the “talking points,” many of which I feel are outdated.
I told her I wanted to do baby led weaning (not purees) and her main concern was the mess it would make. I didn’t get the impression she has a lot of experience with it at all, so didn’t ask for more input, and I’ve been doing fine on my own with some great instagram resources. I’d also like to find a doctor with some experience with vegan children, although I’ll probably also consult an RD for additional information on nutrition since doctors don’t have a lot of education on that either. Ugh.
Hawk is quite an agreeable baby, so I don’t think he’ll have a problem giving up the bottle. He didn’t miss a beat as far as sleep is concerned when we went to Arkansas; he kept his general nap and bedtime schedule like a champ. I couldn’t believe it.
it’s just so hard not having a mom-community to discuss these things with, and I really try to avoid Facebook, but that seems to be where all the online forums live. The two other moms I met at the JCC earlier this year were also doing baby led weaning, and I loved talking to them, but since the pandemic, we’ve lost touch, and obviously don’t see each other anymore.
I’d love any input anyone has on eating/weaning off formula. And if you happen to be vegan, bonus 🙂
(I wish I didn’t have to note this here, but I’m not interested in why we shouldn’t be raising a vegan child, or in hearing anyone’s criticism of our decision. Please don’t tell me how to raise my son and I won’t tell you how to raise your children)
Also, I’m looking for shoes for him. I’m conflicted though, because I think he’s better off walking barefoot as much as possible, which he does now. I would just like him to walk outside on the sidewalk sometimes and the pavement is quite hot now. What did you do about first shoes for your babies?
And now, I don’t have time to talk about what I’m wearing. Well, maybe a second. There are some Cliff dresses on sale now at Ace & Jig, and while I do love this dress, it’s not my favorite shape on me. The banjo textile is super lightweight, but also rather delicate; it has a few pulls and snags in it.
I hope you are well!! See you again tomorrow 🙂
Also did baby led weaning here. The mess is part of the fun 😉 I keep my (13 mo.) daughter in bare feet as much as possible too. When we’re outside and walking she wears Robeez because they have a soft sole so baby’s foot muscles can work the way they’re supposed to. I can’t speak to how long they’ll hold up from walking on pavement, but so far so good! Good luck finding a new pediatrician! It’s hard to find a doctor who listens closely.
I am vegan but have no kids but maybe this resource can help… Good luck!
I did baby led weaning with both of my kids and think it’s awesome. I did not find it to be messier than other options and think it’s so much easier – just feed the kid a bit of what you’re eating instead of prepping baby food all the time. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but we just used the Baby-Led Weaning book.
As for shoes, Robeez and See Kai Run and Stride Rite seemed to me to be the brands most committed to child foot health.
Good luck mama!
Grechen Reiter says
thank you!! i just ordered a pair of see kai run non-leather sneakers because we played a little outside this afternoon, walked a little, and he cut his toe on a sharp rock or something 🙁 i wanted to try robeez but i couldn’t find a non-leather version, and see kai run seems to get very good reviews. AND they resell their shoes on their site.
i don’t find BLW to be very messy either, at least not more than feeding purees. i love it, but i do find that i’m prepping some food for him, just to make sure he gets what he needs, and to avoid the salt that we add to our food while cooking.
Grechen Reiter says
thanks zanna! i might get her book!
Grechen Reiter says
hi emily!! i love watching him eat real food, it’s amazing that he can actually chew and move things around in his mouth! i do get sort of nervous with some things though – pasta is a tough one for me, and it seems to be so easy for others. at least on instagram LOL
I’m sort of outside of the norm, I nursed both of my kids past 3 yrs so I never worried too much about nutrition. But I read all of the stuff about introducing food and I decided that my babies should eat what our family eats, and what we eat is pretty healthy. Most non-meat foods are totally accessible to a baby, maybe with small differences, leave off the seasoning or cut differently to prevent choke sized pieces etc. Also offer extra of some nutrient-rich favorites like sweet potato and avocado. My kids are both great eaters at 5 and 8.
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Hi! I’m A vegetarian, although not a vegan but have a friend with two vegan children and she gave her kids ripple when they weaned. All three of my kids (11 months to 11 years) did baby led weaning and because we have dogs I don’t mind the mess so much! My almost 1 year old will be going off of the bottle as well soon and I was just thinking about the nutrition aspect as well. I am the only one of my friends with a baby these days, as all of my mom friends have kids the ages of my older kids. The pandemic isn’t helping that either! Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes for you.
I did baby led weaning (off of formula) with my daughter , it went really smoothly. I think purees would probably be messier ?????. It was just her and I so I usually just made her the unsalted deconstructed version of what I was making for myself. I don’t drink dairy (vegetarian but not vegan), but I did give my daughter local whole milk as she was weaning. She was never really a fan so I think the dairy milk only lasted a month or two, and since then water is still her drink of choice 🙂
I did baby led weaning, and nobody around me was doing it so I didn’t know it was a “thing” As someone mentioned, the book was helpful to give me an idea and I just did what I thought made sense. The hardest part was ignoring all the “concerned” comments made by my family. ?
As for raising vegan kids, check out Jess at http://www.cupcakesandkale.ca/little-vegan/. She raises her two kids vegan, had a vegan pregnancy. She is an old friend so I remember when she went vegetarian as a kid on her own morality around KFC
No advice on the vegan-weening-kid conundrum but I love your sandals!
If I ever start going out in public again, I might have to look at getting those Birks. I’m still afraid of platform anything – I *cannot* walk well in them. I had a cute pair of comfy Jambu wedges that I would fall over in while STANDING STILL. Nowhere around here to test those Birks out, so I’d have to order and just return if they don’t work out. I like that dress too! But “fragile” isn’t a good adjective for clothing for me…..
Good luck with weaning & with raising a vegan child. I have no kids and am not vegan, but WHY the heck do people feel they need to offer opinions when you don’t ask?? Hank’s pic from yesterday is adorable! I want to see a photo of you two both in “jumpsuits” – I’d take a rainbow stripe one like his if it came in my size 😉
The best way to find a good pediatrician is through referrals from other parents, but how do you do that during a pandemic? Yikes!
It’s been a looong time since I’ve weaned a baby, but we did purées and they were messy as h*ll!!! I admire you for raising a vegetarian/vegan kid. You’ve got the dedication and the knowledge.
Cute dress! I just ordered Birkenstock EVA Arizona slides and they’re SO perfect for the beach and supremely comfy. See ya tomorrow!
Hi, Grechen! The advice I have for transitioning Hawk to vegan food comes from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, which I credit for literally saving my life. There are ways to create more balance in the body if you are going that route, so here are my supportive suggestions!
Acupuncturists say that the tendencies for vegetarian/vegan pulses are blood deficiency, Qi deficiency, and spleen deficiency (which equates to “digestive deficiency”). So my main thought is if you are going this route with Hawk, look up “TCM blood deficiency diet” and look at the foods you can focus on, then do the same for “TCM Qi deficiency diet” and “TCM spleen deficiency diet.”
People who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, according to TCM, need more cooked foods and less raw foods to create more balance in their diet. Cooked fruit instead of raw is recommended. Also, cold foods/drinks like iced drinks or ice cream is a huge stressor on a vegan/vegetarian person’s body.
I was vegan for some time so I completely get how committed you are to the values behind it.
Vegan mama here, and raising our 13-month-old boy vegan too! We’ve done baby led weaning and it’s been great. At his age now, we can generally cook our usual meals and we just add salt/chili to our plates. I love that it doesn’t involve entire other meals for them and we can all enjoy eating together. It is a bit messy, though I think it’s worth it, he finds it fun, and he’s growing like a weed!
I don’t have any advice on weaning from formula, but wishing you well with it! I’ve heard from other vegan parents that they choose to do fortified unsweetened soy milk or Ripple milk, so those may be worth looking into if you want to do a non-dairy milk of some kind instead of the formula. But I know that they can also get all the nutrition they need from their meals if they are eating well.
We recently got our kid his first pair of shoes. He’s also primarily barefoot, but like you said – hot pavements! We got the Keen Toddler’s Seacamp sandals as I’d researched that they weren’t disruptive for their development and balance, pretty lightweight etc. Our boy loves them and they’ve been great so far. They can also get wet and dry quickly!
My son is only eight months, and I plan to nurse him for a good, long time still, but when we start offering “milk” Silk has one that I myself like and seems like a good choice – it’s just the Silk Protein, which if I remember right is an almond/cashew blend. I’m not a big fan of soy milk, for the flavor and health reasons. Personally, for my son I also think his primary fluid will be water. We do baby led weaning as well and I’m a well-rounded & adventurous eater, so I’m not concerned about the nutrition in milk making up a big portion of his diet. He’s a nice, big guy so I think he’s doing okay ?. As for shoes, I’m very much not a fan of shoes for babies, either. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the brand Disana, but they have some great socks and booties that I’ve loved. The socks are elasticized and don’t come off easily, which is nice. My son has never worn shoes, but when his feet have needed to be covered those are what I use. The booties have grippers on the bottom, so I would think they’re more sidewalk friendly. They are wool, which may be a concern for you (I love natural fibers and feel comfortable with Disana’s sourcing), but we’ve also been able to find them on eBay, which helps make my husband more comfortable with reusing an animal-based good.
Grechen Reiter says
Hi Sj, thanks for your input! I’m actually not opposed to wool at all, if it is sourced properly and the sheep are not mulesed. i’ll look into those shoes/socks for hawk!
Grechen Reiter says
thanks jodie 🙂
i going to work on incorporating some fortified unsweetened soy milk into his routine in the next week or so, and then maybe try ripple and see if he has a preference.
i try so hard to get him the right mix of things every meal but i can’t help but worry a little about iron. have you had an issue with that? i do give him iron fortified cereal every other day or so too, since his iron needs are a little more than they will be after he turns one. even with formula and food, i wonder if he’s absorbing what he needs. he probably is, but you know…i over analyze and worry about everything 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
thank you so much for your input! I actually visited a chinese medicine practitioner a very long time ago and learned more about my needs specifically, and found it fascinating. i don’t remember everything anymore, but i do remember that she recommended that i avoid raw foods and dairy, cold drinks, etc. i have a real problem with avoiding raw fruits and vegetables, but not the dairy LOL
I’ll look into what you suggested, thank you!
Grechen Reiter says
i did actually get a couple referrals from the moms at the JCC, but didn’t want to “shop around” after the pandemic hit. i will figure out a way to do it though, i think i really need a pediatrician i can trust and talk to…
i love the eva birkenstocks!! i had a pair of the flippy ones (i forget the real name) and loved them, they were just too big haha.
Grechen Reiter says
the birkenstocks are amazing kelly!! even i took a day to get used to the platform – i wish the toe was more tapered down – but now i wear them all day and don’t have a problem at all, and i’m chasing after a fast-mover …ALL FREAKING DAY….
Grechen Reiter says
thanks mary! they are so comfortable, i’m so glad i tried them.
Grechen Reiter says
thanks maya, i’ll absolutely share my “journey” haha. i have heard great things about ripple, and will definitely try it for hawk, along with just plain fortified soy milk. maybe he’ll have a strong preference for one over the other? he seems to like everything right now though….wouldn’t it be nice if that never changed??
Long time reader and first time commenter! First, you are beautiful, thoughtful, and articulate and what a lucky toddler to have you as a mom! I wanted to reach out because the challenges you’ve voiced about your experiences with motherhood are so real and I’ve learned a lot from my own new motherhood (my baby is just two months older than yours!). I wanted to share! The education many, not all, pediatricians often get for breastfeeding and nutrition are very dated, so unless your son is actually ill, I’d take their advice for everything else with a grain of salt. I’ve learned from board certified lactation consultants and many moms and feel like they’ve got a better pulse on evidence-based research and real-life experience for these topics. First, stopping formula is totally fine right now. You could actually just stop all together. When considering what to give instead, find something with a good amount of fat, protein, and added vitamins if you can. Of most concern is baby’s brain growth, which needs a good amount of fat and protein. So maybe match the fat and protein content in cow’s milk with any vegan milk you choose? Ripple pea protein is a potentially good option. Just be aware of the sugar intake. With cow’s milk, the recommendation is no more than 16oz a day because of the higher amount of sugar in milk, so again, any vegan milk you use just be aware of sugar content. And if he’s still on a bottle, you can start introducing a cup with meals. I use the munchkin brand with the silicone flat top, so it’s looks like a cup but with a silicone lid that babies can suck to get liquid out. Takes a bit of getting used to but one accidental sip and he’ll get it quickly! Babies also tend to be iron deficient at this time so upping his iron intake by super cooked down leafy greens (like braised and gooey texture), cooking with a cast iron skillet, or using one of those iron fish-shaped thingies you can throw in while cooking. Baby led weaning! Go to town with anything super soft and delicious, just watch out for anything with added salt! Pasta, lentils, soft beans, blueberries or any berries or soft fruits cut super tiny, super soft (we roast) zucchini, butternut squash—go for it! Just put a small amount in front of baby and I bet he’s going to love it. Baby shoes—amazing they turn into tiny humans on two feet so quickly! I have not found a brand I particularly love yet. I’m looking for those soft-ish leather soles shoes but nothing seems wide enough for my little guy’s chunky feet. I’ve tried Livie and Luca and they’re super cute but pretty narrow. If you find something that works for your son, I hope you post about it because I’d love to know! Love Ace and Jig! Hoping one day to try some of their pieces! Wishing you and your family well!
We had to shop around for a new pediatrician pretty early on, and it was stressful. Good luck finding someone new. You’d probably be able to tell via a phone “appointment” if they are a good fit so it might be even easier to shop around during a pandemic when you don’t have to get the baby bundled up in the car to go visit.
We did baby led weaning & it was great – so easy and less messy (except avocado, hah)! We’re allergic to milk and my daughter was not a fan of meat until after she turned 2 so I guess she was vegan until 2 (except for nursing). Our doctor wasn’t concerned since she ate a variety of foods. And in most food-secure households there is very very low risk of poor nutrition regardless of specific dietary choices – some toddlers eat a far more restrictive diet than vegans!
Yes, I understand! Anxious over thinker here. 😉
For iron rich foods, I try to incorporate tofu, beans, leafy greens (we make pesto a lot and he loves it), and broccoli! Iron is absorbed better with Vitamin C, so if I can include sweet potatoes, peppers, broccoli (doing doubly duty) in the mix even better. I also do unsweetened – just peanuts – peanut butter. I put it in smoothies, oatmeal, or water it down a little to put on toast.
I like Plant Based Juniors – they have lots of meal ideas with pictures! I also trust PCRM for general resources on vegan nutrition. Maybe they will be of interest to you, too. 🙂
Katherine Cook says
I struggled to find low profile kiddo shoes when my daughter was first walking, but recommend checking out Adelisa & Co. (many of their styles accommodate wider feet), Little Love Bug, Little Bee Mocs, and, when kiddo is older, Vivo Barefoot. Hope these are helpful!
Thanks for your blog! I found you earlier this year and find myself encouraged by your posts and eager to read the next one each time. All the best!
April Foreman says
My son is heading off to college and my daughter is starting high school. I can’t recall terms like “baby-led weaning” from 18 years ago, but we did something pretty similar, as my children started having teeth and being able to put food in their own mouth.
I had taught child development at the local university for a bit, and had seen a funny video clip (this is before YouTube) of a pediatrician recommending that you follow the baby’s lead, and just let the dog clean up the mess. And we had a great dog.
So I had a high chair that adjusted to several heights. And when we had family meals, I just let them feed themselves anything appropriate from the table. Make a huge mess if they wanted (usually stripped down to a diaper, with bath time right after), and just let them figure it out. They never went hungry. They were always well nourished.
At the time there was so much fear around letting kids just eat what they wanted and on their own developmental schedule. I’m so lucky that my aunt was neonatal nurse, and she gave me a lot of confidence to just do what worked and not worry. I also had a really great pediatrician who taught at the local medical school. If your kid is doing well, then following their developmental lead works great. It really kept me from being too tense or rigid with my choices, or from absorbing criticism from others.
Basically, once my kids were done eating, I wiped them down, took them to the bath, and changed their diaper. I lowered the high I let the dog (a lovely, friendly golden retriever) lick everything clean(ish). When we were in our PJs and quieting down for the night, I washed the high chair and tray (but that was easy because that sweet doggo was VERY thorough).
My kids eat all kinds of food. No one choked. No one got a food allergy. No stress or power struggles around eating. My daughter was (and is) always a messy eater. My son was (and is) a neat kid who does not want to have sticky hands or spills.
Here is what I learned from teaching child development: A lot of what happens with your kid is genetic. Boom, already done. For the things you *can* control, having a parenting style that is a fit for your kid’s temperament is one of the most powerful things you can do (goodness of fit parenting, FTW). Take good care of yourself, because your mental health has a very powerful impact on their development, especially for the first 5-6 years. If you hit a wall, take a break. The benefits of a healthy mother, day in and day out ,will developmentally outweigh the drawbacks of occasional screen time (my son saw a LOT of Nemo, and I make no apologies). A happy mother is better than a perfect one.
As for shoes? Gee. My daughter threw them off every where we went for the first two to three years. The grocery store people knew my phone number by heart as she especially like to lose her shoes there, and people were forever finding them later (it was so embarassing). Mostly we were barefoot, and I would polish our toes (my son would get racing stripes like Lightning McQueen).