Dear Friends:

As a Pediatrician, I can tell you that it has been an open search of knowledge improving for sure the quality of care thanks to my daughter. We have been starting solids, and I need it HELP from one of my best teacher that I had in Chicago for Nutrition. Heather thank you for your help!!!!

Heather, MS, RD, LDN

Starting complimentary foods in infants at 6 months:

A wonderful book is: Blender Baby Food: Over 175 Recipes for Healthy Homemade Meals by Nicole Young and Nadine Day (2nd edition) available on Amazon.  A Registered Dietitian helped to write it and that each month there was a table at the start of the chapter with a guide of types of foods, frequency, and portion sizes.  The recipes were pretty good and they had a lot of information on how to make the items tasty for other family members. The yogurt at 9 months is a newer trend, but with the numbers of kiddos with constipation the probiotics are helpful. If you are breastfeeding/expressed breast milk, your kiddo may not suffer from constipation and may not need this food early – one good brand is the Yo baby and Yo toddler whole milk organic yogurts by Stonyfield.

Some big things to remember:
Your kiddo will eat each day until they are 100 years or older, there is no need to rush at 6 months – 12 months.
The first food is to help with iron intake – can be pureed meat or can be infant cereal (currently debatable which is better) the point is iron intake and getting used to the first semi-solid in the mouth and by spoon. Infant cereal is easier to control and transport. Typically rice is the first due to the lack of allergy problems.

It is not uncommon to work on just the first food for the first 30 days, simply working toward thicker consistencies. An adult may get bored with this, but an infant is learning more than just taste.

When you start the next foods, remember to work on that food for about 3 days then it goes on the approved list. Each new food on the approved list can be consumed in a rotation with other approved foods.  i.e. rice cereal 2 tbsp bid, puree apple 1 tbsp 1x/d, puree sweet potato 1x/d; then next day rice cereal, puree green beans, puree pear etc.

Homemade baby food is typically better received and can be adjusted to your flavors. Don’t make it spicy/hot, but it does not need to be bland. Some kiddos LOVE garlic, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, etc.  Kiddos can have added fat, go easy on added salt and added sugar.

One of the best early foods: puree sweet potato – microwave sweet potato until soft, remove peel, put in food processor with pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg and cinnamon) and butter – they all seem to love sweet potato

Now is the time to go to the store and buy some extra ice cube trays. When you make a puree batch of food say on Sunday night, you put the remainder in the ice cube trays and freeze. Typical size is 1-1.5 Tbsp each cube (a kiddo portion size) and then you can put them in a container with you when you leave home, they will slowly defrost and then you have a good portion of healthy food you know your kiddo loves with you.  (Your fridge will have funny ice cubes in baggies – just warn your guests!) If you choose to buy infant foods from the store, remember that the open container contains much more than one portion of food, it must be thrown away in 3 days once opened and within hours if you double dip (i.e. spoon to baby and back into packaging).

NO KID NEEDS JUICE – feel free to skip it altogether, fruit is better in so many ways

Making kiddo food does not need to be stressful, if you are having a vegetable with dinner – corn, put the left-overs (spices you ate with it and all) in the blender/food processor, thin with chicken broth to the consistency you like and freeze – if they only eat 1-2 cubes each day this will last you for a while.

As you approach 9 months, and teeth are appearing, you start to adjust consistency with these home-cooked flavors, less puree closer to ground – here they are adjusting to your textures. – When you get to ground meats write to me again – perfect the meatball!

HUGE tip – have them sit at the table when you sit at the table, eat when they eat, let them see that you are eating the same stuff, let them hold a spoon (baby spoon) to get used to what is going on. When you all eat together they are learning what this eating thing is about.  **Know that if they watch ANYONE at the table openly object to a food you are teaching them to be a picky eater.  There is always something a person doesn’t like to eat, be an adult about it, don’t put it on your plate or quietly choose not to eat it.

Liquids after solids – let them try the solids first, then fill the belly second

Have meals offered at predictable times – if you only have time at 6 pm each day then start there

Have all day-time care/family care people on board with your plan

WHO is wonderful:

You can for convenience purchase foods from groups like plum and happy baby for organic – the dissolvable puffs are a good training food.
Use them more like treats though – the main food being from home

Don’t forget about refried beans (kids like the spices, adults can like the fiber, iron, etc.) – best if made at home than from a can to reduce some of the salt content.
The nice things about doing the nutrition this way: you have a kiddo that loves to eat, transitions to home foods faster and easier, and you don’ have to fight at meal time, the disadvantage is: you will argue with all the other adults you meet.

Ideas from the work of Ellyn Satter, author of books such as: Child of Mine  and How to feed your child, but not too much
It is the kiddo’s job to eat,  it is your job to buy, prepare, and offer good foods at regular times
As long as you like the weight gain, the amount of food consumed in any one meal is not a big deal
It can take up to 20 exposures to a new food for a child to accept them (they are learning about so many things at once)
Don’t be a short-order cook, they can eat what you made in a given meal or wait until the next regularly scheduled snack/meal

Summary of week 8: Vaccines and vaccines…

For all parents: when it gets time to start the vaccines of your baby, it’s always harder for the parents for than the baby… Nobody can disagree that vaccines has been one of medicines top 3 inventions that has saved and prevented horrible diseases for human kind.

Our daughter for the first time (actually, the second time, the first was the hepatitis b vaccine at birth) got her 2 month old vaccines, and of course, we were happy to get to the milestone. I have said a couple of hundred times (at least) the short list of common side effects that the baby can have, it is my version of the “Miranda rights” that cops know by heart, but this time was a little bit different, knowing that my flesh and blood was going to be immunized (and my wife is not a fan of any needles!). She did perfectly great on her weight, height, meeting all her developmental millstones; waiting for the big moment finally, we were prepared. It’s amazing how important it is to have calm parents at the moment of vaccination, even a small infant can tell if mammy and daddy are nervous. Everything was done in seconds, and with a smile at the exit of the pediatrician’s office.

There is always a small probability that the patient (aka: daughter), can have fever, crying spells, sleeping more than usual, redness on the site and even a bump, everything controllable with general comfort measures. But, my daughter read with me all the side effects, choosing to have on that evening fever and sleepiness. You can imagine the 7 missed calls that I had in my cell phone before I left the office. If you have in your mind the question “you knew the side effects”, the quick answer is: YES, YES and YES! You needed to see this infant, bundled up, having her first fever smiling at her parents: I’m fine; it’s just a little fever. I tried 3 different thermometers, having the same answer: your daughter DOES have a fever. She continued to eat, laugh and play, having extended periods of sleep during the day, but by morning, thank G-d she was back to her old self: laughing, moving and doing her own tummy time. Every day, I learn something new, to be humble and reaffirming that when a parent tells me the fears and myths  that have heard about vaccines, I will share my personal story and the peer review information regarding why it’s important, side effects and the probability of having a severe bad reaction the vaccines, my conclusion always is: I’M HERE TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE INFORMATION, I can’t guarantee 100% that everything will be perfect, but for sure this is a great choice (PLEASE PLEASE go to

Now to other matters… I can spend a lot of time watching my daughter, amazed on how they  start exploring the world, finding their hands, grabbing things, smiling… No she is moving her legs, trialing objects and cooing, our “sleep, eat, move and poop machine” is actually converting into a “little person”, communicating her needs and fears.  I can’t extend how important it is for any parent to be on top of this, you are the one that knows your baby best.



1)    Vaccines are more painful to watch when you are a parent

2)    Having a great time learning from my best teacher… MY DAUGHTER!

Summary of week 7: Google: your best friend or worst enemy? Child Development, vaccines and translating medical information

I love the secret smiles of some of the parent’s patients when they ask if I have a son/daughter and my answer is: YES, I do have a daughter! It’s possible to even hear the music in the background mixed with empathy. Now as part of my training, I have continued medical education at home, with my Beautiful wife and daughter.

This week I fought against a friend called GOOGLE. For sure you have typed so many things in to that white space in order to get “the best possible answer” in the top 10 results, that most of them are “pushed” to the front due to relevance, hits (how many people actually went to that website) and an equation of Money; having all of  this information in milliseconds. I came home, hanging my imaginary white coat outside of my home to embrace my family. I was bombarded with health questions, doubts and fears from the information acquired thru the internet. After a couple of minutes of hearing the case, we had a nice conversation translating the raw medical information to easy to understand facts, at the end of the conversation, all the doubts and fears became security and peace. It’s really easy to find medical information on the internet, probably in million results and in almost all languages, but reading does not mean understanding the big picture. When you get the results of the question you are searching, please have a couple of things in mind (, anybody can create a website with information, instead, go to known sources (American Academy of Pediatrics,,, etc) in order to get peer reviewed information. But the process doesn’t end there, if you have questions, doubts or comments (I have read a couple of vaccine related web sites, with old information, that creates fear and doubt…) JUST ASK YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER; information is one of the biggest tools that we can use, AND I LOVE when parents come with questions/comments about things that they have read or heard because it actually moves the conversation to a higher level, we’ll review the information, do fact checks and after having all the information, we can take action talking about “the white elephant in the room” (I will completely recommend using:,, and when in doubt, you can leave me a comment regarding a website, and I’ll look into it).

Now, moving to other “growing” things… When you go to your pediatrician, it’s imperative to talk about the developmental milestones of your kids, this way the parents and the pediatrician can talk about the motor (physical movements), language and social things that are appropriate for your children. This week, we noticed her different reactions to our voices, her face changes and she knows how to communicate, in an interesting way, about hunger and change of diaper. She is tracking objects, reacts to sounds and facial features, having a smile that warms my heart. My pediatric brain (usually turned off when I’m at home) measures all this little things, monitoring the growth of all areas of my daughter. It’s important if you have other children to know that every kid grows at a different pace, and could achieve the developmental milestones faster or slower that other siblings, my point with this is: IF YOU ARE WORRIED,  ASK YOUR PEDIATRICIAN.

Vaccines are coming our way… My wife hates needles but loves vaccines. In the following week we will have the moment of truth: “the first round of vaccines”. I have been preparing my wife (and my heart too…) for this moment. I will keep you posted… Parents are an essential part of the equation; kids can smell, see and hear fear… Before you step in the room for vaccines, take a deep breath, smile, think about the protection and security that you are giving your kid… Never lie to them, SHOTS hurt, if we say: “it doesn’t hurt”, we are laying to them, then they will be even more scared in the future, not only at the pediatrician office, but every part of your relationship with your child.


1)    Internet is a great tool, but sometimes you need a human to translate and filter information from it.

2)    Follow your instincts, if you are worried about something from your kid, talk to your medical provider.

3)    It is worth it to take a couple of minutes and have a print out of what developmental milestones to expect from your child, that way you know what to expect and monitor his growth.

Summary of week 6: Tips, tricks, scheduling and life

This week I had the pleasure of having family over the weekend, and for sure, like many of us that don’t live in the same zip code as our family, it’s a blessing to have them here (someone told us that Florida attracts more family… Nobody took into account our new baby to be a better tourist magnet!). Our daughter is starting to form her routine, we already know about her “crappy hour”, and we have established a nice ballet of feeding, burping (I’m becoming an expert), diaper change, activity and happy times. We have gone to the maximum time allowed at night (amazing and extravagant 5 hours between feedings), meaning that we actually get to sleep a 4 hour cycle (GO BABY GO!).

My wife has given me the opportunity to do the last feeding of the day (no, I don’t use the props from “meet the Fockers”), enjoying a couple of minutes with my baby. The entire philosophy of bonding/feeding time really makes sense, whatever feeding method you use (bottle/breast milk/formula), being there and interacting is just amazing (PLUS YOU GET AT LEAST 10 MINUTES OF SILENCE!). Completely recommended if you have not done so.

The bath routine is working, she actually, contrary to popular beliefs, she loved the water, probably a genetic trait from my family. She is joyful and having fun (maybe some memories of mommy’s tummy?), making it clear to us that she does not want to leave the bathtub.

From the water to the earth, we have started her on “tummy time” now that she has more neck control, using our “mini GYM”, she starts on the top and slowly works her way down to the bottom of it to lay her face in the cushion and we start again. A part of stimulating your baby, it has a couple of more advantages, using the wake time for a positive activity. It comes to my mind one thing that is happening a lot with the new recommendations to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it decreases and prevents unnecessary deaths, but if we are not moving the position of the head of our babies, they start having a “flat head”, that’s way one of the reasons to do tummy time and observe the shape of your baby’s head, if you think it is flat, talk to your pediatrician about it.

My amazing wife noticed this week that our Baby started to find her hands, it was amazing to see it, how we take for granted, and we forget the little things of our body, I encourage you to take a moment and observe your hands, probably you won’t remember when you saw them for the first time (at least I don’t) J.


1)    Tummy time is amazing and fun for the entire family, changing the routine of poop, eat, sleep moments of the day

2)    Baths are amazing, even for babies!

3)    Feeding your baby as a father/partner at least once a day creates a special bond for a couple of minutes that will give peace to you and your baby.


PS This is going to be an historic week for the US, whatever decision the Court makes regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act will have an impact on all of us.

Summary of week 5: Colic’s, crying and the miracle

It has been an amazing week. Energy started coming back, our regular “not grumpy” soul is starting to sleep a little better. But the week did not start that way… On her birthday, she decided to cry and complain all day and all night (our dog, Nikki, decided to have a muscle spasm on her back, having two patients at home!), she was grumpy, moving, fuzzy and for sure not happy! As a pediatrician, I finished with my mental check list of differential diagnosis, no fever, no crazy cough, no sneezing, not coughing, breathing well… And of course, LACK OF SLEEP for the entire family. We were really frustrated; usually on the 2nd to the 4th week it’s expected to have crying spells (“it’s normal to expected up to 2 hours of crying”, translation: BREATH IN, BREATH OUT, RELAX… IT WILL STOP…). As a textbook girl, she started with everything… Colic in pediatrics is a combination of gas, tummy issues and just plain old “fuzziness”, and she was having everything. We started to notice for a couple of nights that she loved sleeping in her nap nanny (cushion with a nice >45 angle), and each time that she was laying on her back she was uncomfortable, moving, doing funny noises and NOT SLEEPING AT ALL. On the second day, It was enough, consulting with the pediatrician (for objectivity: I’M NOT HER PEDIATRIC-DAD), and we started a trail of antiacids: THAT WAS THE CURE TO HER PROBLEM. Probably she was having some reflux (all little ones will have reflux and spit ups, it’s  a normal process until the Gastrointestinal Track [the tummy and guts] is mature enough), after a couple of doses, our little one started to be happy (Mommy and Daddy were happier!). With reflux the content of the stomach moves up to the mouth and potentially can be painful.

Moving on to the week, she started to have a social smile, it is a delightful scene, the pooping/sleeping machine is interacting with us more and more each day… For sure, you have shared this feeling before, it’s just pure happiness, at her 1 month of age she is already spinning my world.

There are different recommendation at the beginning of life to see your pediatrician, usually at birth, 2-5 days after, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months (just to make the list small… also 15, 18, 24months and after that every year), we had our 1 month preventive visit, I’M A PROUD FATHER, she gained her weight, her height and head size, without forgetting how beautiful she is becoming every day. I did assumed, wrongfully, many things in my mind, that thanks G-d my wife asked the pediatrician, it’s a wired interaction, Imagine being a lawyer, and your business partner is now defending your family in a trail, you can give input, but the one running the show is your partner… Plus, going to the other side, your partner has “extra pressure” to perform and do his best. The first time that we were there, she felt like in an exam at the hospital, I smiled and told her: you Aced the exam (plus she is an amazing human being, active, happy, truthful and smart). Then my professional partner and my wife did have a session of questions and answers, at the same time that I ran out of the room to parade my daughter.

We also had our first real day out to a restaurant, probably one of my favorites in Ft. Myers: her 1st month day out. I wanted to shelter her, have the crystal bubble around her, and limit the amount of dust, UV rays and cosmic radiation (last one was a joke), it seems that the process to train my mind in order to have a balancing act between being a watchdog and “not reacting to my paternal impulses” is a work in process.

Every week is counting, time is moving and my family is just growing: I’M JUST ENJOYING IT!


  1. Hear and act upon “maternal instinct”, if you think something is wrong: ASK, ASK and ASK!
  2. Read about colic. But the most important is to have a way to “distress” your mind, and most importantly talk to your partner about it.
  3. Pacifier vs thumb… We passed the “3 weeks” of nipple confusion and now we need to decide were to go with this… In the perfect world babies will have a mute button.
  4. The first of everything (first bath, first going out, etc etc) creates new expectations and the lack of familiarity could create some stress… It will get much better with time

Summary of week 4: Reconnecting and taking our first bath…

When your baby is born, you have many things in your mind, and it seems that the world just stops… You forget about work, friends and family… You are trying to figure out (at least it passed trough my mind) how much money will cost in 2032  to do a Wedding and if there are any recalls on the car seat that I just got 2 weeks ago… Such random things. Suddenly, you notice certain changes in the fridge…  You wonder why the milk is “not good” and the limes look old… Would it be the temperature of the fridge? At that moment I smiled to myself… It has been 4 weeks with multiple visits to the supermarket, but none for the real things that we need it…

Yes, in the beginning life revolves completely around our amazing daughter; she is a baby and needs a new diaper, food, rest, play… And she is the center of our universe, but the real force creating the unity of her atoms are mom and dad. The unity between partners is one of the most important drivers for success for the baby and the couple. This week, was our 4th wedding anniversary, we celebrated at home with sushi, backgammon and a nice glass of wine, and you know what, we started to un-pause life and reconnect. The renewal of energy was priceless!!! And of course the next day we started calling our good friends. Probably I read it somewhere and the quote goes something like this, “the excuse of ‘I have a baby’ to stop doing/calling/living gets old very fast”… Then, take the first step… RECONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER!

After a couple of weeks, we waited until the umbilical cord fell down and was completely healed (no oozing/yellowish/sticky stuff coming out of it), to give her a full bath; the idea is that that umbilical cord contains a central pathway to your baby’s body. If you “wash it” and it is still open, there is a possibility that bacteria can go inside of the blood stream causing a serious infection.  You will see a lot of information on the internet and among pediatricians of “how to take care” of the umbilical cord before it falls out. There are two main ideas: Alcohol vs. Water and Soap. It has be noted (you can go to the American Academy of Pediatrics Web site or HEALTHYCHILDREN.ORG) that using alcohol delays the fall and dryness of the umbilical stump. Today, the recommendation is to use water and soap (drying after the area)… If you have any questions I can point you towards nice articles and information… But going back to the bath…

The umbilical area was clear and we were happy! We took all the cameras we had, 4 live streaming events,  1 I-Pad, 2 cell phones and the webcam streaming a coordinated attempt of the first bath  (and our own camera filming some videos as well)… You will read tons of articles that will tell you “the first bath is chaotic and usually babies don’t like it”; our daughter just LOVED IT… You can imagine a televised event as important as the Super Bowl happening with 8 people giving advice at the same time… But it was just amazing; I can proudly say that my daughter has my SCUBA diving genes! Using soap and washing her was the easiest part… When you see your kid all covered in bubbles and smiling is amazing, and you are in heaven for a couple of seconds, and then, again, NOBODY TOLD ME HOW TO WASH HER AND “CLEAN THE SOAP” out of her… Then we did a couple of tricks, she smelled perfect, was dry, in her pajamas and ready for dinner, and probably mom and dad were even more tiered then her.

I will write down a couple of links to articles (read them even if you already feel that you are the fastest and best bath expert in the world), they do have nice tips…


1)      The “I have a baby and I’M TIRED” does not excuse the parents to stop calling dear family members and friends… I’m sorry for those friends that I did not call back during these weeks; slowly I’m calling one by one.

2)      Organize your first bath; you need the correct equipment, the correct utensils and an extra pair of hands if possible to have a successful bath! (By the way, it is not recommended to give a daily bath; the baby’s skin is gentile and delicate, then every 2 to 3 days can be a good average.

3)      It’s normal for babies to cry around 2 hours a day… It was really easy to explain that to the parents of my patients, but now, after 4 weeks of “normal crying”, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE FEELING OF FRUSTRATION.

Please do send me emails, comments or questions…


Summary of week 3: Reality start to set in: YES WE ARE PARENTS

After 3 weeks, more than 200 diapers changed, having cleaned all types of bodily fluids from clothes, hands and other places, I’m starting to understand  a famous quote “Aliza, I am you father” (Star Wars…) It’s amazing how many things you can do for you own son/daughter… But you know what I was actually forgetting, OUR OWN MOTHERS that created that opportunity for us.

This week I had a nice telephone conversation, and the bottom line is: “You become selfless and devoted your life and soul to the new life that has been created”, and every letter of it is real. That’s why EVERY DAY IS MOTHERS DAY!

Everybody tells you: the first month is the hardest!  But I think (on my 3 weeks of experience), that every stage will have it’s on twist. First it’s lack of sleep, changing diapers… In a couple of years we’ll be installing the GPS tracking device and training the “friendly dragon” to patrol her/him.

There are so many books, opinions and of course stories telling us how to cure “the hiccups”, clean diapers and avoid having bad dreams…  In the end of the day, consistency from the parents, having  an open communication, setting goals and milestones, ARE THE REAL SMALL ACHIEVEMENTS THAT WILL DO A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR SON/DAUGHTERS LIFE…  Consistency is the name of the game.


1)      My diaper changing skills are changing, I’m faster, but the ratios of “diaper changed vs accidents when using diapers” are still high.

2)      Hiccups are common in newborns, it is more a distress for the parents than the real baby

3)      We just got some electronic hardware to make life and interaction easier with our family, the hard thing is making the software work

4)      There are millions of APP’s out there… We found (MY WIFE…) an amazing app to follow/track/measure/time every important aspect of our daughters needs (not including college… heheheh) and you can track (and will remind you) when is the next feed, oz’s, times, diapers (pee/poop), length etc etc… And the most amazing thing is that “Daddy” (AKA: ME) can see the %, numbers and times on his phone to feel less OCD.

Summary of week 2: A PARENTS LIFE CYCLE WITH A NEWBORN: Poop, sleep and eat…

The first adrenaline rush, the sleep deprivation starts to sync in (that by the way, everybody that thinks that a “doctor”  lasts  longer without quality of sleep because of the “training that we did”, ARE MISTAKEN… That training only last for 72 hours… After that, we become humans again…. hehehehe),  timing is everything… My life cycles are 3-4 hour cycles of poop, sleep and eat when I’m at home, and having those AMAZING and REFRESHING conversation with my wife of how we really don’t believe that we have a daughter, that little package that was in my wife’s “tummy” that moved and we saw her grow… That with Alizas’s smile gives me energy to conquer the world!

I need to ask forgiveness to every parent that I have given encouragement  from the first newborn visit… I always tell you that the first month is hard, I DID NOT UNDERSTAND HOW HARD  WAS IT! Sorry! Now my empathy level has changed, I can actually  see the tired faces of my parents…  And I really appreciate and THANK MY INCREDIBLE WIFE  for the  caring  and love at 3am to my daughter and my extra sleeping time that she creates for me!


1) Team work and time off for everyone…

2) Safety list when your baby is crying (feeding, burping, diaper, rock and everything else…) have a mental list, that will help you troubleshoot your baby

3) Hear all, Read all… The best advice is the proven REAL ADVICE …  Some old stories  from grandma have changed in the past 30 years… (Back to sleep, demand feeding vs organic feeding,  vaccines, etc etc)


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