Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby-led weaning, an update

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been trying to follow a baby-led approach to weaning, letting Noah explore tastes and textures on his own as opposed to being served pureed food on a spoon. (I put that bit in italics because that's the way I think the book would have put it; one of the reasons I am doing it in the first place is that I feel too lazy to do the puree-ing business).

Anyway, about 10 days ago I had started to refer to Baby-Led Weaning as Parent-Led Starving, because I was really worried that Noah was probably very hungry compared to other babies who are getting 3 decent meals a day. At the moment, he still just kind of gnaws on things and occassionally I'll spy some small piece of something in his diaper which confirms that his swallowing reflex is functional, but I'd be hard-pressed to say he's "eating a lot." His favorite foods are cheese, tomatoes and breadsticks, but the remnants of a meal usually seem to be everything I'd given to him, but just broken down into smaller-sized pieces on his highchair tray or on the floor. Since I originally drafted this we have also discovered cream cheese on a cracker and fresh figs, the perfect BLW food because of its soft flesh and squidgy center!

That's why I was pleasantly surprised to find out last Wednesday when I got him weighed that he'd curved upward a bit on the percentile graph. Although he was about 60th percentile at birth, he'd been at 25% for quite some time (which seemed surprising to me, really, since he has quite the double chin and his upper legs are really "sturdy-looking"). I kept telling myself that if he dropped in weight that I'd switch immediately to purees to get some calories down him, but he's doing ok, and in fact doesn't really even seem to like it much when I do try to spoon-feed him his breakfast porridge.

BLW does feel a lot more relaxed than the method I used with Blake; it's fun to watch Noah react to a piece of food and work out whether he likes it or not, or whether he can try to chew it or hold it better. It's also a lot easier in terms of the preparation of the purees, although I do have to remind myself that I have to put some variety into the shopping list (as ready-made curries and pizza is not exactly what they mean when they say "give the baby whatever you're eating"). I'm going to ignore the fact that it could be the twice-a-night breastfeeds that are helping Noah put on weight...until that tray table starts to look a little cleaner after a meal, I may have to continue with my own diet - the sleep starvation one.

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