Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bye bye baby, hello hummous

It could be said that the introduction of solids to a baby is the start of their independence away from his mother, although in honesty this probably starts sooner than this milestone. We gave Noah his first taste of food on Saturday the 25th, although it didn't go very well on day 1! One of the nice things about having a second child with a pretty small age gap is that in theory we already have much of the equipment so don't need to go out and spend another fortune on baby "stuff". On the day that we wanted to try solids with Noah, however, we couldn't find some key fixture to the high chair which converted it back from a toddler chair to an infant's high chair, so it was all a bit stressful in the run-up to actually giving him the food. Turns out we didn't lose the bolt, or whatever it was, but it was hiding in the folds of a plastic bag and I just didn't see it the first time around, much to Matt's annoyance.

Although baby rice is often the first food that many parents try for their babies, for some reason I decided to go with mashed bananas, and they weren't met with much pleasure!

The next day, Sunday, I decided we would do a "take 2" on the whole weaning thing, and it went a bit better - the high chair was fixed and I prepared some "fruity porridge" instead. In actual fact, he just liked the spoon, but I felt this was a more positive start than the day before.

In the two weeks since this, though, I have adopted a more "baby-led" approach to weaning, based on having read the book that Raina recommended (and also not being able to be asked to do all the puree-ing and spoon-feeding that I did with Blake). Noah really just seems to want to imitate what we're doing, and I think it's going pretty well. I still find it somewhat stressful, because he's only in the 25th centile for weight and I'm not entirely reassured that he's not going to waste away if he doesn't get some food down him (not to mention, of course, that I would love for food to keep him filled up longer in the night!). But he loves bringing the food to his mouth and sucking on it - and I think that based on what I've given him so far he will not be lacking in exposure to different tastes (toast, carrots, broccoli, avocado, cheese, melon, apples, meatballs, pork, breadsticks, pears, which are the definite fave so far, and oopsie, today - an ice cream cone!).

The theory is that you keep feeding the baby as much milk as they've been used to having, and "mealtimes" are still about exploring and having them learn about textures, tastes, how their jaws work, etc. Gradually they'll begin to swallow more when they're ready, but they're always in control of how much they eat and what. I'm trying to trust him and my instincts that he's getting enough, and although he's not a big baby he's definitely strong and agile (I am not sure I could do this given my current state of fitness!):

There are some definite downsides, like it's messy and you can't actually see that the baby is consuming anything, but I think I'll stick with it and have also been occasionally doing some additional feeding of cereal just so I know that something is going in him (which is technically, against the Baby-Led Weaning rules...oh well). Watch this space for more on how the food goes down!

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