Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby-led weaning, days 1-3

Clara will be six months old tomorrow (and I am so sad at how fast time is passing, but that's another post). At her four month appointment, her doctor gave us the go-ahead to try solids if we wanted to. Between then and last weekend, she'd had bananas, sweet potatoes, plain baby yogurt, brown rice cereal, mangoes, pears, applesauce with cinnamon, carrots, and combinations of those -- all prepared to a puree consistency and fed to her with a spoon. I'd made all of her food (except the Yo Baby organic yogurt) and really enjoyed both making her food and feeding it to her. She especially loved the tangy yogurt with a bit of one of the fruit/veggie purees mixed in and was pretty cooperative with the spoon-feeding.... but then she started acting really interested in our grown-up food, and it got me thinking.

I'd heard of baby-led weaning but honestly thought it was a bit out there. On recommendation from another blogger, we bought the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook (this was advised in lieu of the original BLW book, since it contains the same basic info. + recipes). After reviewing the materials from the infant CPR/choking class we took before Clara was born, we decided to give it a try - thinking "why not?"

Day 1 - We gave her large matchstick-shaped pieces of mangoes and apples. She quickly figured out that they were food and got them to her mouth. She was able to gnaw off some apple, but it eventually fell out of her mouth.

Day 2 - We gave her more apples and some whole grain cinnamon bread crusts. She loved and managed to gnaw off pieces of both. Not sure if she swallowed any.

Day 3 - Bananas (too slippery) and more bread crusts for breakfast. For dinner, she had pre-salted pieces of some of what we were eating (roasted yellow squash with parmesan, broccoli steamed in homemade veggie stock, roasted red potatoes with olive oil and rosemary). She loved all of it - especially the broccoli - and maybe even swallowed a little bit. (We'll see tomorrow. Ha ha)

She already knows veggies are best with cheese.

Broccoli is serious business. Seriously delicious business.
A few observations/facts:

1. She absolutely loves this way of eating. She's content in her high chair for the longest time!  I may still spoon-feed her yogurt once a day since it's so healthy and she can't use a spoon well yet, but other than that, we won't be spoon-feeding her anymore.

2. She needed a pillow behind her in the high chair to sit up straight/slightly-forward. This means we can't use the 5-point harness. I don't feel like this is a risk since we're right next to her.

3. The BLW people say this doesn't increase the risk of choking over the "normal" way of feeding babies solids, because their anatomy doesn't allow them to swallow chunks until they can first figure out how to chew. It hasn't been an issue for us, but we're staying vigilant nonetheless. I highly recommend an infant CPR/choking class if you haven't had one. It gave us some additional peace of mind before trying this method out.

(Apologies for the awful cell phone pics. My new camera is coming tomorrow!)


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Amazing cell pics, they have come a long way.
Glad she is a good little eater. I think giving babies real food is so much better for them and tastes better too.
As for the mangoes...the peel is the part that has the urushiol...and a thin (5mm) amount of the flesh under the peel. Just be careful when you are peeling the mangoes. Wash wash wash!!!

White Gold said...

Cheese makes everything taste better.

Lindsay said...

Glad this is working for you! I think I might do a little of both with Lila - help feed her yogurt/applesauce and then do BLW the rest of the time. Haha. Yeah I've heard broccoli is pretty gross in a diaper :)

Lindsay said...

All that food sounds SO yummy! :)