Making my own baby food: Tales from the kitchen

Mom feeding baby homemade baby food puree

Making my son’s baby food was something that I never even considered until a friend gifted me the Baby Bullet. It got me thinking and researching homemade baby food—and wow, be careful what articles you read! There are some articles and blogs out there that will downright convince you that all prepackaged baby food is evil, and I’ll admit it: I got sucked into the hype. I was determined to give my son only homemade wholesome foods, so the Baby Bullet quickly became my best friend. It is easy to operate and quick to clean. On occasion, like when I was making bigger batches of food to freeze, I wished it was a bit larger. Luckily, it was easy enough to just divide it into two portions.

The best thing about the Baby Bullet is that it makes your baby food perfectly smooth. We discovered pretty quickly when my son was small that the puree would come flying back at us if it had any lumps, and when I attempted to make food in my food processor, it was too lumpy for my son’s sensitive palate. I am weird about food textures too, so I guess he gets it from his mama!

If you are going to make and freeze your baby food for the week, I highly recommend the Annabel Karmel FreshFoods Freezer trays. They are the perfect portion for when you first introduce purees to baby, and as baby gets older, you can just warm up two cubes at a time. As a working mom, this saved me so much time during the week. You just pour your finished puree into the freezer trays (like filling a big ice cube tray), put the lid on and pop it in the freezer. The lid isn’t airtight, so I popped out the cubes as soon as they were frozen and put them in freezer bags instead.

Now that my son is 15 months and eating mostly finger foods, I still use my Baby Bullet to make his favorite breakfast for the week—a smoothie of strawberries, banana, yogurt and a bit of baby oatmeal to thicken it up. He eats it daily. I simply make it over the weekend and freeze it for the week.

Oh—I also no longer feel like all prepackaged baby food is evil! I blame it on being a nervous, first-time mom. I still make most of his food myself, so that I’m in control of how much salt and sugar he is getting, but I’ve learned that buying a baby food pouch or premade snacks is just fine as long as you check out the ingredients.

Share your homemade baby food or baby feeding photos with us! Tag your messy baby pics on Twitter or Instagram with #WalmartBaby.

How I survived breastfeeding twin, preemie boys

How I managed breastfeeding preemie twin boys

As a recent mom of identical twin boys, people often ask me what it’s like. And to be honest, my husband and I feel so lucky our boys were our firsts. We had nothing to compare it to and didn’t know any better! I’m also so thankful we made it through the first six months, what I honestly consider the hardest months of our lives.

Arriving eight weeks early, our boys were preemies. They spent their first two months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We will never forget the doctors and nurses who took care of our boys. Their dedication and hard work inspired us to be the best we can be—both at work and as parents.

I will also never forget the two months of intense breastfeeding “boot camp” in the NICU. Teaching two preemies to nurse is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. (And the feeding tubes in their noses didn’t help!)

The boys basically rejected me every day for two months. They would latch for a few sips, stop, let go and fall asleep. Preemies are so tired at this age, and it’s hard to keep them awake long enough to train them. I would spend about four hours each day training them to breastfeed and the remaining time pumping so they could get my milk supply. It was very tiring and so frustrating.

We started with a bare breast, but when the boys became frustrated with the effort of staying latched, we added a nipple shield, which (thankfully!) worked great for us! It triggered their suck reflex and gave them more to latch onto than just a bare nipple.

If you’re faced with a similar situation, my advice is to do your best, and try not to let it stress you out. These little preemies have a mind of their own! Persistence is key. Because when they finally got the hang of it, it was the most satisfying victory! A true accomplishment for the three of us.

From that point on, it was all about multitasking. How do you breastfeed one and soothe the other while they wait for you? It’s not easy—especially when it’s 3 AM and you haven’t slept in days! But my secret savior was the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper. It was my second set of hands, and fostered my strongest memory from those first months at home: Breastfeeding one of the boys while I used my foot to rock the other, soothing him as he waited to feed.

Not only did the rocker allow me to juggle both boys, but it also allowed them to sleep comfortably at night. No one tells you that many newborn babies don’t like to sleep flat. (They can get uncomfortable due to reflux.) The sleeper sits at an angle and made their colic disappear. Truly magical. To this day, I carry this secret along with me and share it whenever I can!

Share your favorite baby feeding photos with us! Tag your pics on Twitter or Instagram with #WalmartBaby.