A month of weaning

It’s been a little over a month since we started Little Girl on solids and it has been a lot of fun.

The best thing from my point of view is that she is finally swallowing food. For a long time it looked like nothing stayed in her mouth ever. She started by just tasting the food and pushing it back out. But in the last couple of weeks she really has turned a corner. One day I gave her chicken and mash and was astounded when I couldn’t find any bits left over anywhere. Nothing on the floor or in the bib or ears, and nothing stuck to her legs or elbows! I was not fooled by the lack of mess however and just as well, it is still a bit hit and miss and there are things that will end up on the floor come what may.

She has started to practice the fabled pincer grip. Rice and peas are still going to be a challenge for a little while but she is desperately trying. In the meantime the little things are getting smashed and loaded onto spoons. I cannot emphasize enough how much the loaded spoon approach has helped us. I really was not looking forward to just putting a pile of mash on her tray, and it solves the problem nicely. She mostly picks up the spoon the right way and hits her mouth.

Baby led weaning
Food Glorious Food

Favourite foods this month have been:

–          Butternut squash soup on fresh bread

–          Tuna mayo sandwich

–          Banana (no surprise here, don’t most babies love banana?)

–          Chicken

–          Cheesy mash

–          Cucumber

–          Nutella pancake

–          She LOVED the bavette we had on my birthday (bavette is a French cut of beef taken from the skirt area, basically a steak)

Foods she is not so keen on:

–          Yoghurt unfortunately, it’s a bit too tart for her and I haven’t got round to stewing apples to sweeten it.

 

Unfortunate habit

Thank you Badgerman for teaching her to drum with her spoon over the weekend. I’ll be leaving the cleaning up to you from now on.

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Warning: I have Boring Mum Syndrome

Oh dear… I have become one of those mums. You know the type: they just don’t stop boasting about their children, pictures in hand, until their interlocutor’s eyes glaze over and you know they are thinking ‘I don’t ever want to become this boring, I am NEVER having kids!’

The thing is, I thought I had avoided this particular trapping until now. I have been blessed with a typical child who is meeting her milestones pretty much as expected so although I do pay some attention to other babies in that way I am not concerned for my own. Of course I like talking about her, but I think (I hope!) I have engaged with people about other subjects as well. Little Girl is 6 months old and hasn’t got any teeth, whereas most of the other babies in my antenatal group have got at least two, so what? She could still not have teeth in three months time and I think I would still not be bothered. She’s not quite rolling yet? Yep, not bothered. She is not remotely sleeping through the night, darn it, I have a BABY not a toy so again not bothered. Actually with this last one, maybe ‘a little’ bothered but I am still coping much better than I could have hoped for in the days when 8 hours’ sleep were a right, not an item on my prayer list. I am reminded of a sketch from Michael McIntyre about the difference between couples who don’t have children and those who do when it comes to sleep. Those who don’t, go to bed and tell each other: ‘Have a good night, dear’ and fully expect it to be the case. Those who do turn to each other and say curtly: ‘Good luck’. But I digress.

When people ask me how Little Girl is doing, I’ll say that she’s happy, not sleeping well at all and she has started doing this or that. All in all, a three-minute conversation. Until last week.

Last week, we started weaning and oh my goodness have I been talking about it ever since. You would think that keeping a blog and writing two posts about it in the same week we started would be enough, especially considering my slow rate of post production. But of course not! I swear, I am a woman possessed. I have pictures AND videos. I show them to every person that walks to the door. My friend who I see at least twice a week, who on Facebook has access to the full uncensored pictures of Little Girl’s prowess, was shown the same picture twice because I couldn’t remember I’d already seen her.

It's all about food

At the same time, how could I fail to be impressed? My little girl is eating (well, licking) melon! Avocado! Chicken! LAMB! She paints mash all over herself and still goes for more!

That’s it, I have truly lost it.

 

Have you found yourself doing and saying something you’d sworn never to do before you had a child?

The mess is out there

When you talk to people who have been down the self-feeding route with their child, they all exclaim with some glee: ‘the mess…!’ Until you’re there yourself however, you can only imagine what it’s really like and you laugh to yourself about all the lovely pictures you’re going to take; you never think about the clearing-up after.

On day 4 of our self-feeding journey, we had a first go at breakfast. What on earth do you give to a 6 months old baby for breakfast? The same you would give a purée-fed baby: yoghurt. So I bought some wholemilk live yoghurt (not that easy to find in the midst of all the sweetened fruit/custard/low-fat types) and put a bit in one of those baby bowls. Ha! Never again. The bowl never stayed on the table very long and when it did, Little Girl would grab it – from the wrong side of course – so that the contents would slowly drip onto her lap. Thankfully I’d also pre-emptively bought some bread sticks so I dipped one in the yoghurt and left it for her to grab. This tactic thankfully worked wonders. I also put a little pool of yoghurt straight onto her high-chair tray so she could play with it and hopefully occasionally lick her fingers. I think she may even have swallowed some but I can’t be sure.

One can only wonder what her chair will look like when we start her on porridge.

So I must ask, How do you give soft foods to your baby?

baby weaning

Weaning starts here

Yesterday we started the process of weaning Little Girl. For some reason before we had her I had this picture of breastfeeding her for months and months and months and it didn’t occur to me that she would start on solids quite this soon! She’s going to be 6 months on Monday, when did that happen?

I am starting weaning her in earnest from Monday but yesterday I thought I would see what would happen if I put food in front of her, out of curiosity really. Wonderfully, she reached, picked up and stuffed her mouth with cucumber and cheese and happily sucked on the lot.

She sucked, she made faces, she gagged a bit because she’d put the cucumber too far back and she dropped the lot all over the place. And then she tried again. Today, she also had tomato and really liked it!

For those who are surprised that these should be her first foods, we decided a couple of months ago not to bother with purées and go straight with normal food so she will be eating the same as us. All I need to do is to adjust my recipes by cutting out the salt and to stop using shop-bought sauces and stock. This means I am going to have to learn how to make Puttanesca pasta sauce from scratch! I’ll let you know how that goes…

This approach is called Baby-Led Weaning (or self-feeding) and I will be posting more on this subject as we go on our feeding journey, but for now I leave you with this encouraging image.

Baby-Led Weaning
The first day