Before my son was born, one of my biggest parenting pet peeves was when parents say, “Stop growing!” to their kids.
Of course, I knew what they meant.
That they didn’t actually want their child to stop growing but just that the time was flying by. It’s a common thing to say and something most parents say often.
But as a mom who once had a baby “stop growing” in my tummy, the saying drove me crazy.
Growing is healthy, normal, good.
I vowed to never beg my own children to stop growing.
Yet here I am, finally understanding how all those other parents felt.
My baby is six months old today. A big milestone. Half a year. It’s exciting for everyone, but bittersweet for me.
Tomorrow, we introduce solid food.
After 180 days of being exclusively breastfed, my baby will eat his first non-breastmilk food tomorrow.
Of course, we will still breastfeed for as long as he pleases, and he will only be eating a very small amount of solids each day.
Yet, I can’t help but feel sad.
I’m watching this 20 pound baby peacefully sleep. His chubby cheeks are so big that my husband and I joke that they weigh down his entire face. His thighs have the cutest little rolls I’ve ever seen and they jiggle as he bounces up and down. His hands are so strong that he almost rips out my hair as he tugs on it. His teeth are so (painfully) sharp as he occasionally uses my body to teethe on that he sometimes breaks the skin.
All of these beautiful, strong, healthy, wonderful features. All a result of my breastmilk.
Food that my body made specifically and perfectly for this little boy.
I’ve become somewhat of a breastfeeding enthusiast. It came so naturally to us from the very start, just one hour after he was born.
Breastfeeding soothes him and calms him no matter what is going on. No matter where we are. I spend the majority of my days with him attached to me, happily eating away. It’s become second nature to me.
Solid foods on the other hand, are a completely foreign territory. Despite reading hours of articles and books about baby led weaning, purees, recipes and anything else I can find about introductions solids, I still feel totally lost.
I find myself wishing that the suggested start date for solids was 12 months instead of 4-6. I want more time. I don’t want to share him with solid food.
But I have to.
It is time.
I remind myself that growing is healthy, normal and good.
“Keep growing”, I whisper to my sleeping baby, as he wiggles in his sleep, ready for a night feed.