I know that this blog has morphed into more about my daily life than a food blog, but I think that is how life happens right? Changes and seasons come through life and we embrace then, or at least I do. Even though I love sharing about my singing gigs and sharing food pictures of recent recipes, I also like sharing about our life and the new addition to our family.
One thing that has definitely changed for me is the amount I read. Here the 6 month mark was approaching and I wanted to make sure I knew enough to start feeding Julianne solids. Should I wait or should I start her later? I know that I had many allergies as a child because I was fed solids earlier than my sister was. She does not suffer from allergies!
We live in an age with SO much reading material especially having the internet at our fingertips. When is reading too much? I’ll tell you. I just kept getting frustrated reading so many different point of views that I started obsessing whether I was going to make the right choice. The pediatrician tells you something then I get advice from mothers and then I read an array of books and articles. When does it stop?
I was given advice a while ago, and I believe it brought my mind at ease. I was told to STOP reading and to read only material that seemed to be along the same standards I wanted to use with our baby girl. It made a lot of sense to me.
So here I was, close to 6 months, and I did not know whether I wanted to start feeding Julianne. She was at the point where she was putting everything in her mouth but I knew it had nothing to do with hunger. How was I to know if she was truly hungry. I have been one to also obsess about not having enough breast milk to feed her. Questions I asked myself: “She seems to be crying, maybe she is still hungry, maybe she is not getting enough from me?” I had the fear of having to supplement with formula, which I knew I totally did not want to do.
In comes the Baby-led Weaning.book. I read the whole thing in 2 days and learned a lot! It was a very informative book about when to start feeding your baby, what foods to feed and the reality of not breaking your back on making purees.
Is it okay for a 6 month old to already be an independent eater? Will giving slices of bananas, avocados or other soft or light steamed foods cause my baby to choke? Why can’t I just do purees? The book talked about the fact that making purees for a baby and FEEDING them does not help them be independent. Why does the baby spit out her food when fed with a spoon? Well, either they are not ready because they have not achieved tongue thrust.
At this point the book talks about eating not being the target but about learning about food. If she gets to eat, great, but breastfeeding is still the baby’s main source of nutrition.
I was just plain nervous my baby would choke. The book also discusses this when feeding your baby slices of fresh fruits and veggies. The baby will naturally gag EVEN if you are feeding them purees or whole foods. She will not choke, but will gag and naturally spit out the food until she is ready to chew and swallow.
How did Julianne do? I mean, I had to REALLY monitor her and see what she would. I started almost 3 weeks ago and I gave her slices of avocado and sweet potato. She did gag and cough a bit so I pureed them and she fed a little better.
She started wondering about swallowing and out of 2 Tablespoons of food, she ate about 1 teaspoon.
At the second week, I started giving her bananas and apples. She did not like to be fed! She grabbed the spoon forcefully and just gnawed at it. (She is presently cutting her first tooth, so I can imagine she just wants comfort). She has great hand control, grabs the 2-inch long banana slices and sweet potatoes and places them in her mouth. She gnaws, chews and starts swallowing.
Here we are week three, and I believe she really enjoys eating. I really feel that pureeing is a waste of time since she does NOT like being fed. She forcefully takes the spoon away from me when I try, so I continue giving her the slices of food and she has been processing the whole eating procedure really well!
Another beauty about the book is that it explains that it really is not necessary trying one food at a time like the pediatricians discuss. The importance lies in introducing a variety of foods to develop their palate. It is NOT necessary to just do rice cereal because it does not have real nutritional value. I will start feeding her brown rice cereal along with her veggies soon though.
Yes, allowing my child to feed herself, now, at such a early age will be quite messy but if she is happy and she is eating then I will choose not to fight what she naturally should be doing. Of course, all this is to say, that she is in constant supervision and she eats while WE eat so she continues to imitate us eating.
Whew…here is another stage I continue to learn more about daily, but I am really enjoying it and I want it to be a smooth transition. I think it is quite important knowing my child and I feel like I am successfully working at it, by God’s grace.
What is on the menu today? Avocados and Butternut / Sweet Potato Mash. 🙂