Friday, August 9, 2013

Baby-Led Weaning: How is That Going Now? part two

In yesterday's post, part one, I discussed the first few weeks of our baby-led weaning experience with Aria. A little recap: there was a lot of gagging, trial and error with foods, and making myself sit back while she learned how to feed herself. And, in this post I want to discuss present day BLW and current successful foods.

Now that we are past the gagging all the time, I am totally a baby-led weaning fan. Aria absolutely loves to feed herself, and has from the start. She has tried everything we've put in front of her; sometimes she loves it, sometimes she tastes it once and ignores it, and sometimes she loves it today and hates it tomorrow. I can see how her motor skills have improved and how her grasping has changed with all the practice. Things can still be slippery but she keeps at it until she gets it in her mouth; sometimes with one hand, sometimes with two, sometimes with a hand and an elbow (which is pretty funny to witness).

Baby-led weaning is incredibly messy. Many many things end up on the floor, or down beside her, or in her ear. But, what it lacks in cleanliness it makes up for in me not having to make a separate meal of pureed foods just for her. The lazier I can be the better, in my book. Chopping up vegetables for her and a salad for me is easypeasy, slicing off a stick of my chicken and letting a few vegetables cool for her is even easier. The amount of fruits and vegetables we go through in a week is intense. And, BLW is definitely getting me to eat more veggies too.

She goes through phases of eating almost nothing to shoving a good bit in her pie hole. But, I don't worry about it at all - finally there is something I'm not over analyzing. I know she is getting all the good stuff from breastfeeding. And, she is still nursing 4 times a day without any noticeable decrease in appetite. I've read that a lot of the time baby will all of a sudden start really eating instead of half playing, a fourth eating, and a fourth spitting back out. That has yet to happen with Aria. The amount she eats has roller coaster-ed up and down from the start, but hasn't flipped to serious eating yet. Much of what goes in comes back out, usually after some gumming.

So, lets talk about foods. Here are some of the foods that she has grown into now: kiwi, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries (we have no allergies in the family so we went ahead and tried it with success - as always check with your pediatrician before trying any foods that pose allergy risks), chicken, all breads everywhere give them to me now (chunks of burger buns, white bread, pieces of bagel, pizza crust, biscuits, soft crackers, etc), lunch meat, fettuccine noodles, various quesadillas, grilled cheese, fish sticks (homemade - although probably would have been good in the beginning too, keep in mind the BLW book recommends no more than 3 low in mercury type fish per week), and corn on the cob. There are probably a few others I can't think of right now as well.

We've also given her smaller foods so she can work on her pincer grasp such as: rice, peas, corn off the cob, home fries, granola, and scrambled eggs (we waited until 8 months per our pediatricians recommendation). I believe the pincher grasp develops around 9 months, but she surprised me by how easily she can manipulate smaller food pieces. I'm just mindful of the size so I never give her anything she can pop in her mouth and choke on - just ask the hubs, I'm always chiming don't give her pop-able food over and over (because apparently his eye sight isn't as good as mine).

If you are thinking about giving baby-led weaning a try please consult your pediatrician to see if it is a good match, read a book or two, check out a few first hand accounts (there are several sources at the bottom of BLW: An Introduction), and make sure all parties involved are on board, without Chris's support for BLW I probably would have talked myself out of sticking with it and that would have been a bummer in the long run.

I think that about wraps things up. As always, if you have any questions, comments, advice, or concerns please email me (my email is at the top), or leave a comment.

If you want to read any of the previous baby-led weaning posts here they are: Baby-Led Weaning: An Introduction, BLW: Just A Taste, and BLW: How is That Going Now? part one.

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