When I first started feeding Scarlett solids, it was a start to a very messy adventure. This girl has an appetite! She loves to eat. She loves food. YAY!!!! After a month or so of puree foods, she wasn’t showing as much interest in what I was feeding her and more in what was on my plate. Now being a new Mum, I thought OK babies don’t have teeth so they can only have pureed food. Oh how wrong I was.
I’d like to make it clear that I am not an expert on the topic but I am a fan! Baby Led Weaning! Has your baby ever chopped down on your finger? Even without teeth, those little baby gums are hard. I started giving Scarlett things that I was eating, seeing if she liked it. With the meat, she would just suck on it at first. For example, steak. Oh she loved steak, she didn’t ‘chew’ or even bit it, just sucked on it. Now chicken she loved and actually ate the chicken.
I started by giving her apples, pears, avocado to eat, play, make a mess with. I don’t think I gave her enough credit, she gagged a couple time. FREAKED me out, but she spat it out and continued on with lunch.
– you don’t have to buy/make (as much) baby food
– the child learns how to chew while his/her gag reflex is still far forward, making choking less likely than if the child first starts eating table food a few months later
– his/Her fine motor skills get a lot of practice
– your child is involved with the process, growing independent
– experiencing foods with different textures (fingers crossed this will minimize the ‘picky food’ stage)
– gagging can be scary
– at first it seems like they don’t eat much and you start wondering if they are getting enough to eat – but a lot of there nutrients still comes from breast milk/formula
– other people think you are weird and may call you out on it. stand your ground, this is your babe.
– often parents focus on providing vegetables, fruit and grains thus not focusing on the iron-rich foods which babies need (twice a day)
I still feed Scarlett with a spoon sometimes, usually breakfast, because I want her to know how spoons and forks are used. She sees Mum and Dad using them. She is curious.
I read the book Baby Led Weaning. I found some helpful tips and facts in there. Helped me better understand the whole feeding process for the wee ones. Feeding yourself is a process, it’s something we learn, not something we are born with. Do what makes you comfortable and what works for you. I surprised myself, I didn’t think I’d be as adventurous as I have been and continue to be.