My wife and I are in the process of adopting a baby girl, known affectionately as ‘Squish’ here at the Daily Dad until her adoption is finalised.

In this regular column, I am sharing the ins and outs of parenting a newborn and the joys and challenges of adoption.

Enjoy this week’s edition of ‘The Adventures of Squish’.

Squish is Eating Solids

It has officially begun: Squish is eating solids.

Watching her navigate her first few mouthfuls of food, after months of a milk-only diet, was predictably entertaining. But I was honestly amazed how quickly she learned the skill of eating — even if she looks a bit like a blue-tongue lizard in the process.

We have decided to avoid starting her on anything sweet. It’s tempting to go straight to bananas or pureed apple or canned baby food. The truth is that children will always enjoy sugars, whether natural or processed, so the challenge is to start them off with foods they are less likely to love from the outset.

Squish’s diet so far has consisted of spinach, broccoli, carrots, peas, cauliflower, potatoes and brown rice. We boil these foods separately, puree them, and freeze any leftovers in cubes for future meals. It is best for her to taste each new food one by one, both to acclimatise her to the flavours and to spot any possible allergies. Since Squish has never eaten anything before, she considers all of it an adventure.

Feeding: A Learning Experience

Feeding, like everything else in the world of parenting, is a learning experience for mum and dad as much as it is for baby.

One thing I have learned since Squish started on solids is that even after a good helping of food, she can still be very milk-hungry.

This makes sense, since doctors generally recommend that you keep feeding your baby breastmilk (or formula) until the age of 12 months, even after introducing solids.

Since Squish is adopted, we have had no choice but to use formula, especially when we are out of the house — which is often. Given the unbelievable price of formula, and all the unhealthy ingredients in even the best brands, we can’t wait until she is done with it.

(Breastmilk is far superior to formula for its optimal nutrition, antibodies and immune support, digestibility and more).

Having said that, we have experienced an ongoing miracle ever since Squish’s birth in July: a continuous supply of donated breastmilk.

This is a story worth telling.

A Breastmilk Miracle

In the months leading up to Squish’s birth, Angie had several leads for donations of breastmilk, but all of them resulted in dead-ends.

Then, two days before Squish was born, we were invited over for dinner by a couple at our new church. The wife, who is a mother to two young boys, had a freezer full of breastmilk she could not use, so she asked if we needed it. We were blown away. We went home that night with full bellies and a full freezer of milk for our soon-to-be-born Squish.

It was a generous gift that lasted three months and became Squish’s main source of nourishment for the crucial early stages of her development.

Since that time, we have been blessed with an ongoing supply of breastmilk from other donors, none of whom know each other or even know much about our situation. Some of these have been small amounts — enough to get us through a week or so. But as soon as one supply runs out, another comes along.

For a time, we were concerned Squish had a dairy allergy. It was right about that time that a dairy-free mum donated several weeks’ supply of breastmilk to us. Fortunately, we discovered that Squish is fine on dairy, but we may never have known without that mother’s help.

This is why we call it a miracle. We have been the recipients of incredible generosity — especially considering the time and effort it takes mothers to express, package and freeze their milk.

Almost six months on, Squish is a very healthy size and weight, with a great immune system, and now chowing into solids.

Through the process, we have learned the meaning of the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread,” — and it is a story we will be certain to tell Squish when she is older.

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Image via Unsplash.

Published On: January 4th, 20240 CommentsTags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

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