It's been 4.5 months since I started my breastfeeding journey and I'm happy to report that at about the 3 month mark, I felt really good about my decision to continue breastfeeding. It is sooooo much easier to just pop him on and feed him quick than to heat up a bottle. I have been told that this is what's called 'Breastfeeding Nirvana' and I do agree!
That being said, here are some new struggles that appeared EVEN AFTER I got a handle on breastfeeding...
I was told, and know it to be true for myself at least, that boys are so hungry when they wake and start crying immediately for food. Girls are okay waiting a bit. So far, that is the case for my little boy! I have about 30 seconds TOPS from when he wakes to getting food in him before the wailing begins!
This makes me SO glad that I stuck with breastfeeding! Having the freedom to feed him whenever/wherever is somewhat liberating! It's one less thing to worry about. It was worth the extra work & I would do it all again- hands down!!
Somewhere between 3.5 months and 4 months of age, your baby will likely go through what people call a regression. I don't love that word because it's implying that your baby is taking a few steps back, when in fact, they are taking giant leaps forward.
That being said, it sure seems like things are not going so great. What I have noticed is a WHOLE LOT of crying! A LOT LESS sleeping, and SO MANY smiles (thank the lord! It makes the other stuff a little teensy bit more bearable!)
What you should notice about babies language:
Generalized mouthing is a period of time (birth-4/5 months). During this period, babies suck on anything within arms (or mouth) reach. By 4 months, baby is gaining control over sucking, decreasing rooting, and decreasing gagging.
The toys you see that have more of a point to them can be used starting around months 5-6. I'll discuss this more next month!
1. They recognize key people in their lives
1. They start to understand cause and effect
Some people will start solid fooding at 4 months, usually some kind of rice cereal. Personally, I really considered starting at four months, but I had to look at the pros and cons of starting what most consider to be 'early'.
So based on my list, I decided that we have a good thing going with breastfeeding and there's no need to rush food. The kid has his whole life to eat! This list may look differently for your family, so I would encourage you to make your own pro and con list to determine what works best for your family.
What developments are seeing around 4 months?
Did you decide to start solids?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
Crying is literally the only way baby can tell you something is wrong. This is their bread and butter of communication until they start to gesture, sign, or talk. Since that's not happening anytime soon, learning their crying cues can make an unpleasant situation last a little bit shorter!
I had read that moms know the differences in baby's crying and can tell if it's a hunger cry, a pain cry, a wet diaper cry, etc. I am not one of those gifted individuals apparently. At least not yet! While I don't know 100%, there are ways of telling what kind of issue is afoot.
the pain cry
What it sounds like:
When baby is in pain, the cry is usually sharp, piercing, high pitched, loud, and most importantly sudden. It's like were okay were okay, BAM! hysterical in seconds. Leaving parents bewildered like... woah what just happened? Did I miss something?
Here's my cheat sheet for this kind of cry:
the hunger cry
Perhaps it is different if you have a formula fed baby, but for my breastfed baby, he eats about every 2 hours and immediately after waking up. So if it's been awhile, that's my first go-to.
What it sounds like:
For us, this is a slow wind up. It starts as fussing and quickly escalates to crying if food is not provided in about 30 seconds. It is for sure hunger if it as accompanied by these cues:
What it looks like:
the wet diaper cry
This is more of a whine. If it's not the above two things, this is what we try next and is remedied easily by changing the diaper.
What it sounds like: This is more of a whine in our house that just wont stop until we change him.
** Make sure you put on that diaper cream to avoid a painful rash cry later on! Also, if baby hasn't pooped in awhile and I hear a lot of farts and attempts at pooping, i'll put the Windi stick in to avoid a potential hysterical scream later.
the teething cry
What it looks like:
This to us looks a lot like hungry. There's a lot of biting fingers almost furiously. Binky gets spit out a lot when this is the problem. When you go to feed, baby pushes you away.
What it sounds like:
This is a whine that has short little bursts of shouting at you. In between trying to bite things, he lets out a small, short wail. Pushing hands into the jaw repeatedly.
Our solution is using one of the teething toys, Teeth Tamer syrup, or Camilia. Check out my post on Teething to learn more!
the overtired cry
This is my least favorite cry. I find it is hardest to remedy if baby is fighting sleep. This is the cry where you tried everything above and nothing worked and you have to wait until they tire themself out. There are a few tricks that work for us....
Sometimes if the crying goes on for too long, one of the issues that wasn't initially the problem becomes the new problem. What do I mean? For example, after baby cried and cried about his rash, and we fixed the rash, he began crying again shortly after because he worked himself up and got hungry and sleepy. Usually if baby cried a lot and then stopped and started again, a quick feeding and putting him down to sleep does the trick.
Below is a video I watched (several times) from YouTube on Newborn Cues!
It was immensely helpful!!!
Highly recommend you check it out!
Do you have any suggestions on how to soothe a crying baby?
Please write in the comments below!
As a speech pathologist, I've had people ask what I thought about pacifiers. I have always been somewhat hesitant about giving them the green light. I've seen kids that had them way way way past when they should be using them and I always fear if you say they are okay, that they will end up as a 4 year old with a pacifier.
When I was making my registry, I put pacifiers on the registry to have as a 'just in case'. Luckily, I did. My second night home with baby, I was at my wits end. I had run through the list of things: hunger, wet diaper, cold, swaddle; nothing was working! In a hysterical fit I screamed
"Alright FINE! Just go get the pacifier!" It was still in the packaging.
When I popped it in his mouth, I heard silence for the first time in what seemed like hours
(but it was realistically about 30 minutes).
Ah. Pacifier, I do love you after all!
After that, the pacifier was never too far from us. But I have since limited its use.
Here are my rules:
1. We use the pacifier only when nothing else works to calm baby
2. We remove pacifier when baby is calm (most of the time)
3. Begin setting limits that pacifier is only for bedtime soothing (around 3 months)
4. Wean off pacifier by 5 months of age
5. Replace pacifier with age appropriate mouthing toys
Why are these my rules?
You should never just trust someone because they say it should be a certain way. You have to do your research and you have to do what works for your family.
That being said, these rules are really only my rules. You will notice if you research this topic, different people will say different things. Dr. Harvey Karp from the uber popular book Happiest Baby on the Block says at 4-5 months to wean. I have heard some SLPs say to wean at 6-10 months. 10 months is also the time that research tells us correlates to an increase in ear infections in babies that are not weaned by that time. I chose 5 months because that is when baby is starting to make more babbling sounds. When baby has a pacifier in their mouth, they are not making those sounds.
No pacifier = an opportunity to make a sound
I also wanted the pacifier out by the time teeth start to emerge, which can be as early as 8 months.
Also, since nothing really goes as smoothly as you would like, if you start around 5-6 months but don't make the mark, it's not the end of the world. I undershoot so there's wiggle room. I really don't want it used at all as we near 12 months because that's when baby should be starting to make their first words.
the types of pacifiers
If you search pacifiers on Amazon, you will see there's endless options, different shapes and sizes. How will you know which one baby will like? Are you just supposed to buy them all?
You might be intrigued by the 'Orthodontic Pacifier' in hopes that your child won't need Orthodontic work in the future. That is unfortunately not the case. Orthodeontic is a term used because the jaw is not out of alignment when baby is using it. It does NOT help your baby's palate form. That is done by baby's tongue (assuming there are no tongue ties affecting tongue mobility) and mother's breast and there are NO pacifiers that can replicate that process exactly.
I registered for the Avent Soothie because the shape is most conducive to the 'cupping' action the tongue needs to make to suck from the breast. I was also recommended the MAM pacifier by a friend who said it was the only pacifier her baby liked.
The type of pacifier you purchase also depends on your baby's mouth and preference. I first tried the Soothie, which at first didn't work. I can now see why because my baby had trouble cupping the breast, so cupping the Soothie nipple was just as challenging. If you are breastfeeding, you want a nipple with that cylindrical shape like the Soothie. After baby had his tongue and lip ties released, we started working towards success with the Soothie. Each day we had more and more success and it has aligned with his progress in breastfeeding as well.
The MAM worked like a charm from day one and seemed easier for baby to use.
I wouldn't assume that if baby spits out the Soothie that they have a tongue tie. If there are other symptoms then it's worth investigating, but that alone was not a determining factor in the tongue tie.
The material that it is made of was important too. I choose silicone over latex to avoid any potential allergy risk. Ideally, I would have liked baby to take to the natural rubber option Natursutten, but it wasn't in the cards for us.
What's the big deal?: The cons
So why is it controversial anyway? It keeps baby happy and a happy baby means happy parents. No one agrees with you more! As evidenced by my story above, I was so relieved to have that pacifier!
Well, there are quite a few reasons you want to limit it's use, despite the love we have for it.
what are the benefits?: the pros
Pacifiers can come under fire, but they shouldn't be completely dismissed! Like everything in life, the pacifier has it's place and some pros that come with it.
Babies are really programmed to suckle from the womb. If you don't want to use a pacifier at all, you can try guiding baby to bring their hands to the mouth to suck on their fingers. I personally don't love this because of germs and I feel like they can develop a habit that can extend well beyond the recommended 10-12 months we spoke of earlier. It's just a harder habit to break in my opinion.
You can throw out a pacifier, but baby will always have their hands!
Another option are mouthing toys/objects. Babies cannot independently use these right away though. It requires hand to mouth coordination and doesn't satisfy the needs for sucking. I will get into mouthing toys in another post.
Some might be offended that I am using the word 'survived.' Sorry, but that's how I feel! I didn't think I would make it without having to use formula. I didn't think our routines would survive, because it wasn't sustainable. Turns out, only some people are able to have a tongue and lip tie release and then be perfectly fine. Most people need additional training and help. We were in the latter group. Here are some key things I learned:
It is soo so so so important to make sure all of these steps are completed, even if you think things are fine after a release, I would make sure you checked all these boxes. The consequences of not doing so are far-reaching and surprising. Even things like crowding of teeth and a child's future of dentition are affected. Children can become picky eaters, have articulation and speech issues, can develop sleep apnea resulting in poor sleep quality, which can affect how they learn and attend during the day. It snowballs slowly over time.
The earlier these things are fixed, the better the outcome for the child will be. The tissues in the palate are not yet formed, so it is easiest to mold the palate now before those bones fuse together.
how i am surviving
This is my feeding station. I don't go here to feed exclusively every single time, but it is often. It's a hot mess. I'll explain a few of the things I have here and why.
Mentally and emotionally I was drained. Picture this: Baby is screaming and flailing their little body, sliding off the breast. You know they are hungry and are ready to serve, you shove the breast into their mouth, making sure you do the thing where you line the nipple to the nose, you pull them in quick. CHIN FIRST (I hear in my head). The latch isn't good- and it hurts! So, you try again. You unlatch, then re-latch. Same problem. Now he's on and he's eating... for about 15 seconds. The baby is screaming again and you are screaming too. "IT'S HERE! IT'S IN YOUR MOUTH! WHY AREN'T YOU EATING?!" Also you're tired and hungry. Did I drink enough water today? This was my reality for awhile. It's heartbreaking to watch, but it's so much harder when it's you. Your baby is struggling to eat and it's your job and your job alone to provide them with that food, and you feel like you're doing a bad job. In tears I would say, "I get why people give up and bottle feed, this is so hard!" ..."But he is gaining weight!" people would say. I was relieved at that, but you just know in your gut when something isn't right. I needed help. Fast.
SURVIVING is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
I agree with the controversy and I will say I always try breast first, then if I need to add the shield I do. If I can remove the shield partway through feeding, I do. That being said, I think it is absolutely necessary and would not have made it this far without it.
Click Here to read Part 3 of my breastfeeding journey !
Most people won't socialize or 'bring baby out' until they get their shots. During a pandemic, that period lasts a lot longer. Can this be detrimental for baby?
Socialization at this age is mainly with their parents and sometimes grandparents. Babies are studying facial expressions, tone of voice, and around 3 months they are recognizing people and voices in their lives, but don't feel like you need to expose baby to other people and children physically right away.
what can i do to help baby socialize under lockdown?
Under lockdown, what we have done is use video chatting a lot. Baby is fascinated by people's faces and this has been no different. It has been a great way to keep in contact with grandparents and friends safely. Baby gets the benefit of seeing people, but without the worry.
Make sure babies and meeting their milestones, basically the opposite of the red flags! If they are not, you should reach out to your county's Early Intervention program for an evaluation.
I wanted to write about my journey through breastfeeding thus far . It's something I always knew I wanted to do, but I wasn't determined or passionate about it until I watched 'The Milky Way' You HAVE to watch this. Your boss needs to watch this, your husband, your mother- just watch it! I didn't really understand the importance of breastfeeding until I watched this video.
Here's some things you should know about breastfeeding:
After learning these facts, I just had to do it. I insisted not a drop of formula would grace my son's lips. What I didn't know was how hard it would be to maintain this dream.
from the start
With my baby, I waited for the breast crawl and was not disappointed! It really did happen! He latched immediately and there was no pain. My doula casually said in passing "I think he has a lip tie". I brushed it off because he latched no problem, no pain. My baby was perfect and a rockstar breastfeeder. No intervention necessary, I read books people!
Well... if you are able to infer by the title of this post, it wasn't exactly all sunshine and roses.
That was the first and last pain free latch I would experience for weeks. Now I had heard a few things about breastfeeding, like how it hurts initially really badly but then it gets better. Your nipples have to 'toughen up' essentially. This turns out to not be true! There shouldn't be pain when you breastfeed!
I asked the nurses and went to the hospital's breastfeeding class. I asked for the lactation consultant to come to my room to observe my feeding, but apparently she was only there for a couple hours and had a lot of people to see, so I had to go to the class (this was a baby friendly hospital too...). A little put off, I went because I was in pain and I was wondering if there was any way to make this easier. I learned about the football hold. She observed the latch and said he had a great latch, despite the pain I was in. I trusted her. After all, she had been doing this for 30 years.
After discharge, it wasn't getting easier. In fact, I was now crying in pain with every feed because we were feeding so often I didn't have time to recover in the interim between feeds. I was tired, so very very tired, and in excruciating pain. I was lathering coconut oil and nipple cream on to try to get relief.
This was exhausting and upsetting. I felt so defeated. One week in I had my doula come by. She weighed him before and after and he took in so much milk! She adjusted the latch and it did help. She gave me some tips on how to ease the raw feeling after a feed. Did you know a hairdryer on your nipples can help?! Also rubbing breastmilk on them can help too! I felt so much better that she saw me! I felt a renewed sense of ease. Everything would be fine now.
Despite a slight improvement, most of the feedings were still painful, but we pushed through. Something just felt wrong. It shouldn't be this hard I kept thinking. I started researching. What my doula had said at his birth stuck in my head and I went off on a tangent researching lip and tongue ties. As an SLP, I feel like I should know about this! Why were we not taught about it in grad school?!
So now here I am bleary eyed and sore and researching at all hours what could be wrong with my baby- or with me. I had enough information to suspect that this tie was the issue. I sent my doula a video and photos of his mouth. She quickly said he had a moderate lip tie and posterior tongue tie. FINALLY AN ANSWER!!
I immediately sought out a highly recommended surgeon to check him out. We had an appointment the next day, despite the craziness of the corona virus! Sure enough, he did have a tongue and lip tie.
This was right before the laser tongue and lip tie revision. Baby gets goggles to protect their eyes as well as anyone present in the room. The actual procedure was about 30 seconds in total. There was crying, of course, but we breastfed right after. The next two days baby was uncomfortable and would cry more frequently. Homeopathic medicine Camilia (used during teething traditionally) has been helpful.
so why am i still in pain?
A few days later, I felt there was no progress. I think it actually felt worse. Baby was trying to latch, then arching back and screaming as if nothing was in there. So I tried pumping and got almost nothing after a half hour. Holy crap where was my supply?! Something was wrong. I reached out to a IBCLC lactation consultant. These are the top experts certified to know about how to help you breastfeed...But it was a teletherapy session because of the Corona virus. I got some great tips. Like for example, she knew his cries were gassy cries (how did she hear that I don't know) she told me not to have Fenugreek because it makes babies really gassy, and I should avoid dairy and chocolate and caffeine. Ah! gas! That's going to solve everything!! Finally!
So now I'm not eating dairy, or chocolate, not using fenugreek supplements..... and I'm still in pain! He is screaming and thrashing his body and I just want to cry and give up.
The person who was not going to allow a drop of formula to touch my son's lips was thinking of giving up?! I felt so horrible. Now I know why people give up. I was so quick to judge before. I would think, "Don't they know how great this is for the baby? Have they not seen the documentary? Are people just selfish?" Now I understood. The pain, the screaming...it wears people down! You're so tired and vulnerable and it's SO EASY to say "I GIVE UP!"
but i refuse!: continuing my education
I started finding courses online about breastfeeding and tongue ties. No one can come over physically because of the Corona Virus, so I felt it was up to me to figure out how to make this work. This was my last effort.
I found a great website that IBCLCs watch to learn and continue their education. I spent about 20 hours learning in between feedings. I watched lectures from IBCLCs, Dentists, Surgeons, Speech Pathologists (yes! some are great with this niche population), Chiropractors, Occupational Therapists, and Pediatricians.
I was determined to become an expert in this!
After many many hours of learning,I finally knew what I had to do... and there was SO MUCH to do!
Click here to read what happened in part 2!
Now if you read my previous blog post, you know I love for baby to listen to classical, complex melodies. I also think it's important for them to listen to the music you like to listen to (because that's what you will be playing in the car, let's face it) as well as listening to those classic baby songs. You know, The Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old Macdonald, etc. Now if you don't remember the words, don't panic! Let me introduce you to Cocomelon. It's a Youtube channel with all the classic songs plus some new one and they have the lyrics right there for you! The videos are awesome too, but I'm not letting the baby watch the videos just yet. I just play the music and watch the lyrics. There's a lot of Cocomelon videos and they have songs in different orders and different videos have different songs. They are super catchy and you might find yourself singing them randomly.
2) Narration: I don't always use baby talk. I think everything in moderation. So when I narrate I use my regular voice. I keep the pace slow though. Narration is when you just talk about what it is you are doing. Kind of like you were telling a blind person what you were doing. It goes something like this, "Mommy is picking up the clothes. Now I am folding them. I'm going to put them down right here in this pile. I picked up the red shirt!"
You can also do this as you walk around the house. Sometimes the only way I can calm my baby down is walking, so we walk all around our house. As we walk I tell him what we are passing. It goes something like this, "We're in the kitchen now. I see the sink and here is the refrigerator where we keep our food. Look are the pretty pictures on the wall!"
3) Sign Language: Now I am not fluent in sign language by any means, but anyone can learn a couple of signs! Signing is a fantastic thing to start with baby from a very young age. They won't be able to sign back, but the more you do it, the quicker they will pick it up. According to Lane Rebelo, author of Baby Sign Language Made Easy, some babies can start using signs as early as 5 months, but most will do so in the 8-12 month range. The benefit of starting early is that babies may respond to your signs. What does that mean? If you sign eat when you see them getting fussy, that might mean that they stop fussing because they know you are getting food ready. Are you doing Elimination Communication? The sign for toilet or potty will be very valuable to cue baby that it's time to use the bathroom. That's a topic for another day though.
Now I haven't signed everything I'm doing. I keep it really basic. We do:
* All done
That's all I've attempted for now. Be sure when you sign, you are also using the word simultaneously. This helps build vocabulary. Check out the video below to see how I use the 'music' sign with baby.
4) Talk Back: Now you may be saying, babies don't talk, so that's dumb. They may not be talking, but they make sounds, and guess what you need to be able to do to talk? You guessed it! You need to make sounds.
In typical development of speech skills, at one month of age, babies should be able to make some vowel sounds ('a' and 'e'), mostly coming through the nose.
By imitating the sounds they make you are engaging in a kind of 'conversation' with them.
You also want to respond to their sounds. The video below shows dad and baby 'chatting' about sports. While baby is only 7 weeks old and making limited vowel sounds, he is modeling the back and forth of communication.
ASHA wrote a post on infant communication here.
Please comment below about things you do with your baby!!
Baby is finally here! It is an overwhelming time, and a time of barely any sleep. For mammas, there is that additional pain and discomfort you are still experiencing from the labor and birth part. You and baby are both trying to get the hang of things and fall into some sort of routine. In this period of time, it is more important to make sure everyone's needs are being met than making sure you are targeting language goals. That being said however, there are periods that baby is awake and if you're not napping, instead of you just having them lie next to you while you play on your phone, there are things you can do to keep baby stimulated and engaged.
Try targeting one sense at a time. I find it's easy to overstimulate baby and it's really best to focus on one thing at a time.
My go to rotations are:
* Baby Massage (sensory)
* Listening to music (auditory)
* Looking at black and white photos (visual)
* Talking/Playing (pragmatic)
For baby massage, I use coconut oil or grape-seed oil. This seemed to help with their peeling skin as well. I also found a blend of essential oils if you have those at home. Some say not to use essential oils just yet, but it's something you can ask your doctor about if you are worried. You should always check to make sure the specific oils you are using are safe for the child's age and to discontinue use if there is an allergic reaction. I found this recipe made by other professionals and did not make it up myself.
The essential oil blend I used is:
10 drops Frankincense
10 drops lavender
Fractionated coconut oil
Listening to music
I choose specifically some complex classical music for baby to listen to. I love Rousseau on You Tube. I love watching the notes go by kind of like guitar hero. Don't forget that music is another type of language.
At birth, babies possess the ability to attune their listening and language for the phonemes or sounds of language in their environment. So if a baby was born in China, they would start to hear the phonemes of the Mandarin language and phonemes from other languages, such as German, for example, would begin to fade after some time. It is quite remarkable. This amazed me when I learned it in graduate school. The language you speak, baby hears all the time as long as they are near you. If you speak more than one language, they keep phonemes from both or all the languages they are exposed to.
Music is a language all it's own. By exposing your baby to complex classical music, you are exposing them to many different notes and sounds as you would a language. I try to put this music on at least once per day.
A super easy thing to do is get some black and white books. If you have the LovEvery Baby subscription you will have lots of black and white cards. I stand them up when baby is laying down or when baby is laying on top of me I just get one of our black and white books and flip through the pages. I narrate as I turn the pages, labeling animal names, shapes, body parts, etc.
I am starting to fall in love with being pregnant. I am just starting to really feel baby kicking frequently and it is sooo so so exciting!!! I can't see anything yet and my husband can't feel anything yet.
I decided to write a post on eating after speaking to some coworkers of mine about their children and their feeding difficulties. You all know someone that sounds like this, "My kid only eats chicken nuggets and french fries" "They won't touch a vegetable." As an SLP that does a lot of feeding therapy, hearing this makes me cringe. At a party recently I was with my friend's 2 year old son and I asked her what kind of an eater he is.. "Oh he's great! He eats everything and doesn't really make demands about food." This was followed shortly by "No mommy only with dip," as he refused to eat the chicken without the ketchup. Now that kind of thing is bound to happen, you say one thing then 5 seconds later they do the opposite, but it really just happens like that. They start out eating everything (I hear that too 'They used to eat anything!!') and then slowly they make their preferences known...
Food is commonly used by kids (subconsciously I think) to gain control. There really isn't a lot they can control, but knowing they can control a situation is power. This is done by some of the sweetest kids so I don't even know if they know how manipulative they are being, but it happens ALL. THE. TIME. "He ate that for you? Why won't he eat it when I give that to him?" It's usually because he knows that he can get what he wants and that eventually, you will give him the food he really wants.
Is there an easier way to avoid power struggles when kids start eating? Can I foster a good, healthy palate while in utero? Can I avoid those kinds of conversations and struggles now that I will be on the other side of things? I set out to find out..because I will be having none of that nonsense. Like any mom I want to see kids reaching for fruit, not Doritos.
Well, what I found was fascinating! Up until now, my knowledge of food is for people who are out of the womb, but now I have to dig a little deeper for the baby inside. It turns out that as of week 13-15, babies can start tasting foods via the amniotic fluid. Exposing children to flavors is a lot like exposing them to the sounds they will hear, the familiarity is comforting. A study performed where moms ate carrots vs. did not eat carrots had babies that reacted accordingly when they started eating, so the babies of the carrot eating moms were more likely to eat the carrots and not make faces vs. the babies who were not exposed in utero to carrots made more faces of disgust (or unfamiliarity) with carrots. That means that more than 5 months after they were in the womb that they are holding onto that flavor memory!! Amazing! Think weeks 15-40 give or take that's a long period of time they have been 'eating' already.
I will post a link to the article here. The article didn't cite the author, but I found it to be insightful.
Mennella JA, Jagnow CP, Beauchamp GK. 2001. Prenatal and Postnatal Flavor Learning by Human Infants. Pediatrics. 107(6):E88. Just in case you're into the original research on this topic.
What should I be Doing Now?
As someone who has been super conscious of eating healthy anyway during this pregnancy, I feel confident that I have exposed the baby to a lot of different flavors. I'm not going to say the baby never tasted ice cream or cake, but I try to limit it. I don't eat things with natural or artificial flavors, stick to mostly vegetables and no gluten (a story for another day).
Then I thought about the kids whose parents are eating soda and Doritos and ice cream all day because they are 'eating for two' and need to gain weight anyway. This could be why we are facing a generation of super picky eaters, as well as a generation of obese children with Type II diabetes (yikes!!). I see no reason why exposing kids to healthy foods shouldn't start in utero. There is literally no down side to doing this (that I can think of). I'm sure the flavors are also in breast milk, but that's research for another day.
Will I be able to avoid the kid who tries to get away with choosing their preferred foods and trying to sucker me into making them a completely different dinner, I doubt it (but I will resist!) If you can set up the baby to enjoy savory rather than sweet foods, you may be giving them an edge though. Sugar addiction happens to almost everyone and the less sugar you give them early on, the less they will like it. I've seen this first hand with my other friend's baby. Since they never give her any sugar, she didn't even want birthday cake. A kid that craves veggies is a rarity these days, but maybe a generation of moms who are diligent about exposing their kids to vegetables in utero could change that? I'm going to try my best..