As the Moms Meet Community Manager, I was absolutely thrilled when I learned that Stonyfield would be hosting a webinar devoted to baby-led weaning and the benefits of yogurt. As a new mom currently in the weaning process, the transition from formula to solid foods has always seemed extremely intimidating. I’ve been able to postpone learning more about it since my 13-month-old son, Jack, was a micro-preemie and has been very behind in his milestones. He had not shown any interest in solids until just very recently. The Stonyfield webinar, presented by Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, came at a perfect time for me and tackled many issues that finally left me with answers and steps to try with my son!
Gagging is normal. Choking is not.
When I first introduced my son to purees and small puffs, he immediately started gagging. Sometimes, his gag reflux was so strong that he would vomit. Scared by what I saw, I stopped giving him any sort of food and went straight back to formula. Since then, I’ve been very nervous to try again—until this webinar. I learned that gagging in a normal part of the process and that the real concern is choking. Gagging and choking are completely different. While gagging may just result in some strange faces, gagging sounds, and possible vomiting, actual choking is much more serious and is related to a lack of oxygen and obstruction. With this new found information, I attempted to give my son puffs and was amazed that although he gagged several times in the beginning, he quickly got the hang of it and devoured about ten. I wish I had known this was a normal part of the weaning process before! In less than three days, he no longer gags at all and is taking larger pieces with ease.
Weaning can be messy.
As a new mom, I always feel pressure—pressure to do things the “right way” and to keep everything around my baby as clean and sanitized as possible. As far as feeding, I had assumed that equal amounts of perfectly portioned food should be fed from an immaculately clean high chair, with a set of warmed wipes nearby, fancy bib, and set of soft utensils. What a relief when I found that many mothers simply let their babies feed themselves! I had no idea that weaning could include letting your child self-feed and make a mess! This is just one of the reasons I love Moms Meet and the opportunities it allows for moms to learn from one another. The webinar reminded me that I don’t need to be perfect. Babies are messy and it should be embraced!
Purees aren’t the only option.
My son isn’t a fan of purees. I’ve tried green beans, carrots, apples, prunes and peas with very little luck. The only flavor he ever seems to enjoy is mango, but even then, it appears to be too watery for him. Unfortunately, the next stage up is too thick. I thought that purees were my only option during weening, but boy was I wrong! I learned that Stonyfield YoBaby yogurt is a great transition food and can be given to babies as young as six months. When I bought YoBaby at my local supermarket, I was a bit skeptical if my picky baby would enjoy it. From the first bite, he was a whole new baby. He was eating spoonfuls at a time and often times tried grabbing the spoon himself. He ate the entire container in one sitting! I’ll admit I took a bite of the banana-flavored yogurt myself and it was delicious.
Not all yogurt is created equal.
Before the webinar, I would have never thought yogurts could be so very different. I’ve seen yogurt on shelves and some refrigerated, but never truly understood the difference. I learned that unlike other yogurts that do not have live cultures, Stonyfield’s refrigerated YoBaby does have live, active cultures and real dairy which is why it must be refrigerated. It also has all organic ingredients, which I absolutely LOVE! While at the store, I compared Stonyfield’s YoBaby yogurt with a competitive brand and found that the other brand had added water, non specific flavoring, and low fat milk. YoBaby listed organic whole milk and natural flavoring. I remembered in that moment that my doctor urged me to only offer whole-milk products. There it was. All right there on the label. I will never buy any other yogurt other than Yobaby and I don’t think my son will have any complaints about it, either!
I’m so very thankful that Stonyfield spoke to our community and offered information we could really use! I wasn’t alone in my gratitude. Here’s what just some of the hundreds of attendees had to say:
Mandy A.: I loved this so much! I enjoyed the webinar and will be changing the way I feed the baby!
Kelly A.: Thanks for doing this. Very interesting!!!
Heather S.: This was so informative. Great webinar!
Jessica W.: Thank you for the webinar. I learned a lot about baby led weaning and it will be great info to pass on to my mom group!