What is so magical about 1 years old?

May 18, 2008 10:42 am
Posted by: heather

Not that I won’t be happy to celebrate when Jace turns one, but what is so magical about that 1 year mark? All of a sudden he is “allowed” to eat strawberries, egg white, wheat, citrus foods, tomatoes and so much more. In addition he now qualifies to switch from breastmilk (or formula) to cows milk. Not that we will quit cold turkey the day he turns one. Although I will be quickly weaning myself off that damn pump!

People have started to ask me what we are doing to celebrate his birthday. Are we having a party? I don’t know the answer to that question (we are away the weekend of july 4th and probably away the weekend before too) but it has led to many more in my mind. How do I convince a boy who eats some solid food, but not a vast selection, that he should now be getting a majority of his calories that way? He loves to feed himself finger food but so far it is canned peaches, steam carrots, rice cakes, toast sticks (occasionally), pasta (occasionally), cheese and cheerios. Not exactly a balanced diet. I am trying to add new things but he refuses any meat however soft or sliced and, to be honest, I’m not sure what else to try. We did try roasted vegis but he only ate the potato and carrots. With being fed, baby food is tolerated (fruits are less of a battle than vegis), while hummus and guac are still his favorites.

Also for the milk – bottle, sippy cup, or straw cup? It seems to be recommended to wean babies off the bottles as early as you can because otherwise they tend to get rather attached. And Jace does get a sippy cup of water for dinner. Not that he drinks much, mostly he lets it run out his mouth and throws the cup on the floor. He is fascinated by my straw cup (camelback flip top bottle) and seems to work it pretty well so maybe I will just find him a straw cup.

These are the thoughts that run through my head these days as we get closer to the one year mark. Still over a month to go but his friends are hitting it one by one (Tyler at daycare, William, and RJ) so it is on my mind. Any of you experienced moms out there who have some ideas or suggestion, please let me know.

5 Responses to “What is so magical about 1 years old?”

Cheryl wrote a comment on May 18, 2008

Haha…yeah, apparently turning one is magical. You can also turn the car seat around to face forward when you’re one (and at least 20 lbs). I hate having to limbo RJ under the top tether strap just to get him in. If the top tether didn’t make it significantly more stable, I would just say, “to hell with it!” (since it is optional). I also think that the carseat is more stable in the forward facing position. So I’m looking forward to the switch around!

Bidding adieu to the “damn pump” is probably tied with the car seat directional switch for “really-cool-things-about-RJ-turning-1. I don’t plan to wean him right away, but in a few weeks, when I’m done with the semester, I won’t have to pump for him anymore – yay!!! I’d like to just be nursing at bed time and wake up by September when school starts again. I’m going to try a don’t offer, don’t refuse approach and drop one feeding offering at a time. I’m sure I’ll be blogging about the process soon.

As far as eating goes, I’m not a “more experienced mom” but RJ is getting better and better about eating table food. His calories are mostly still coming from purees (he’s eaten everything we’ve given him in puree form) & breast milk, so you and Jace are not alone. We particularly hate when there are chunks in our purees, which is something I did to try and get him used to food with texture.

A couple of suggestions, just based on our experiences:

RJ seems to like the baby food dinners that have meat in them better than the plain meat, although now he will happily chow down on the baby veal or beef as well (which unfortunately smells like cat food leading to our not having it around so much)

For alternative protein, have you tried extra-firm tofu sticks? We get organic tofu and RJ loves holding the little sticks and shoving them into his mouth. It’s soft enough that his lack of teeth isn’t as much of an issue (he still only has two bottom teeth).

RJ also likes flaked tilapia. I baked it with a little butter and lemon. and dill. He just picks up the flakes and eats it. We’re going to try salmon next. I just can’t wait until he can eat sushi with us!

RJ also like pureed kidney beans with a little cumin in them (like baby refried beans). I cooked up a bunch of dried beans (because canned beans have salt) in my crock pot and then pureed them and froze them in baby food trays (they’re ice cube trays with covers). Then you can just pop out as many cubes as you need when you’re ready. I’m going to try whole beans cut in half soon to see if he’ll eat them.

Have you tried beech-nut’s sweet potato puffs? RJ loves these so much he smiles the minute he sees the container and actually gets pissed when he’s finished the ones on the tray. They’re kind of like healthier pirate’s booty and they’re made with real sweet potatoes. The only downside is that I can’t find an organic version.

We’re also big fans of the Yo Baby yogurt (although another mom from RJ’s school mentioned that Trader Joe’s has a cheaper whole milk yogurt in the same size containers, so I have a trip to Trader Joe’s in my future).

As for milk, we’re planning on the sippy route. He does well with water with the two sippy cups we have (one Born Free Trainer and one Klean Kanteen sippy), although we still usually have to help him hold it up. Maybe once they’re something more substantial than water in it, he’ll be more motivated to pick it up himself. I haven’t tried a straw – maybe that would be easier because he wouldn’t have to pick it up.

And for a first birthday party – I plan on that being RJ’s first taste of ice cream and cake! We’ll be in South Carolina visiting family then, so we’ll have a little party for him there. There is also a tradition in my family where on the baby’s first birthday, you put out a shot glass, a rosary, and a dollar on the high chair tray and see which one the baby goes for, which is supposed to predict their future. I (not surprisingly) went for the shot glass when I turned one, perhaps foreshadowing my penchant for partying :) .

Anyway, just thought I’d share my thoughts.


eileen wrote a comment on May 19, 2008

I give tons of shout outs to the Nuby soft-spout sippy cups. Delamie never did get back to the bottle after a few early successes, but she happily drank her milk from a Nuby this weekend! Yay! It did take a long time practicing, when I would give her a cup of water to slurp on after meals. We had a LOT of soaked outfits, but she learned and had fun and loves her sippy.

His diet, from this outsider’s perspective, actually is pretty balanced in terms of grains, fruits, veggies, and protein (cheese) & BM currently. It’s just that there isn’t a lot of variety! Babies will balance their diets in their own way – perhaps over the course of a week or a month, even if not in a single day. In your shoes I would probably put my emphasis on trying new sources of proteins, since that seems like the place he currently has the most resistance.

When introducing whole milk, we went the blended route with B and will do so with Delamie also. Instead of going cold turkey, we mixed milk in with the formula/BM at a low ratio, and then increased the ratio over time. Brenna was perfectly happy with solely cow’s milk within a week or 2 as I recall.

Brenna remains a picky eater. You just have to keep trying and offering a lot of options. TO this day, at age 5, she does not eat meats except for Costco fish sticks and the odd chicken nugget. We have found soy-based protein to be our best bet, in the form of Clif bars, etc. You could check into the Clif Z-bars, which are targeted for kids and do have a goodly amount of protein in them. ALso, consider Jessica Seinfeld’s book about hiding veggies in food:) I hear it is fantastic.

I’m going to respectfully disagree with Cheryl on the carseat issue. Children are significantly safer when extended rear-facing, until they either height or weight out of the seat’s RF capacity. This has to do primarily with the “stretch” of the spinal cord and the spinal column in a young child. The AAP recommends RF well beyond age 1. It sounds like you are Australian-tethering that seat, Cheryl. If your seat is a Britax or Radian (the only seats on the market in the US that allow RF top tethering), I’d consider the more common Swedish installation of tethering to a point FORWARD of the carseat. This is typically a point under or a part of the front seat or seat belt assembly, which is immobile. You can contact the manufacturer of the vehicle if you have trouble finding a suitable tether point, or check out the Car Safety Tips board on Babycenter, and one of the techs there can help you. (Of course, as you know, if you don’t have a Britax or Radian, then the seat cannot be used RF with the top tether.)

If you can’t get a good install (less than 1 inch of wiggle when pushed) without the top tether, I’d reconsider the seat or the position of the seat in the vehicle, or make an appointment with a carseat tech – regardless of whether you choose to ERF. It sounds like the seat is either improperly installed, or (more likely, knowing how very diligent you are) just not the best fit for your vehicle.

Sorry for the lecture:), carseats are one of my particular soapboxes, as Brenna ages in particular. I know a lot of moms who have their 2 year olds in the wrong carseats (which is not only dangerous, but illegal) and I’m very sensitive to carseat safety issues. I really, really wish there had been more literature on ERF when Brenna was born. Delamie will be RF until the limits of her seat (a Radian 85).

Cheryl wrote a comment on May 20, 2008

Thanks for the tips on the carseat, Eileen. There’s no need to apologize for the “lecture” – I appreciate the constructive criticism and my ultimate goal is to keep RJ safe despite my own discomfort with the RF situation. After all – RJ and I are in the car for 2 hours a day due to our 48 mile commute to work/school. We have a Britax Roundabout in my Honda Civic. When I first installed it I looked everywhere for a place to tether it in front so that I wouldn’t have to teach RJ the limbo, but I was unable to find something that I was comfortable tethering to. It’s installed pretty solidly, even without the tether, but the tether does add something. I agree with you and the AAP about the safety of a child riding backwards because of the spine and whiplash, but I think all RF seats just make me (irrationally) uncomfortable because the back isn’t resting against anything and the weight of the seat is opposite the thing it is anchored to. Every time I see one, I cringe despite how well it’s installed. I know it’s safer, I just don’t feel that it’s safer! I will keep RJ RF until he sizes out of the seat, but since he’s long and lean, it probably won’t be all the way to the RF limit of 35 lbs. (he’s only 19.5 now at 11 mos. and his feet are getting close to getting smushed up against the seat back, so he’ll size out of the RF position by height well before he will by weight). I’m just looking forward to that day, that’s all. It’s interesting you mention that you’re more sensitive to car seat issues as Brenna gets older – you’re not alone – I was just talking to a colleague whose 9 year old is still in a booster because she’s so tiny (CA law is booster to 6 years and 60 lbs and she’s not yet 50lbs). We were joking that she would have to take her booster with her to high school, her driver’s test and prom.

Stefanie wrote a comment on May 20, 2008

We have the “Super Baby Foods” book (, which we haven’t tried yet because Xander is too young, but it came highly recommended by our friend Anna.

We also have “Deceptively Delicious” (, which Eileen referred to. It has recipes for add good stuff to regular foods, like bananas to pancake or broccoli to brownies. Well, maybe not. I don’t remember exactly, but feel free to take a look next time you are over here.

eileen wrote a comment on May 20, 2008

I’m glad you didn’t think I was a huge boob for that post, Cheryl:) I lurk your RJ blog pretty heavily – which is how I learned that babies can actually TELL you when they are ready for solids! (Which is oddly something we managed NOT to learn as first time parents!) The law here for un-boostered kids is 80 lbs and 8 years… I was 80 lbs when I was a sophomore in high school (as you probably were too!). So I probably will get a little more lenient once my kids are eligible for their learner’s permits;) As for RF seats, that sort of loose feeling that is picking at your brain is actually what makes RF safer. When a car is hit, the seat flows with the motion of the vehicle, and baby is not slammed suddenly by the seatbelt (in the majority of cases). So it’s one of those counterintuitive things, like learning to NOT pump the brakes on a car with ABS.

And speaking of foods… I did have a brilliant idea for you, Heather. But it went away again. I think it had something to do with cereal. Or pasta. Oh yes! Costco sells snack packs of freeze-dried apples, freeze-dried pears, and a banana/strawberry combo. No added sugar, just the fruit. They are nice and crispy. Of course, you have to buy them in a pack of like 6 million, but they may be worth a try. (I’ll be sure to have some with us whenever we see you next.) Also, I have seen soy crisps that resemble rice cakes in texture and appearance.

As to first birthday parties, here’s my theory: first birthday parties are for the PARENTS to celebrate not maiming or injuring or ruining the baby for an entire year. First year parenting is physically, emotionally, and intellectually complex, and it’s a wonder we as parents survive it. The birthday party is really mom & dad’s outlet for saying to the world, “Look! We made it! He’s none the worse for wear!”

That’s how I felt, anyway.

Care to comment?

(C) Steve and Heather Leibman, 2007.