For Lauren - Spunky/Witty/Thought-Provoking Mommy of Eloise
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I do blog on demand
if it's something I was going to talk about anyway, so here is an update on our BLW.
Baby Led Weaning
It's pretty much what we are doing for the whole "transition to solids" journey. The wiki article really sums up why we are going this route. It follows the natural progression of baby's motor development and helps develop their senses and also it's really fun to watch. The basis of BLW is that you let the baby feed them self. You skip the purees and the cereal mixed with milk and go straight to chunks and whole foods. This sets baby up to accept a wider range of foods down the road and allows her to learn added independence and confidence. (And it's easier and cheaper than baby food LOL)
We haven't always stuck close to the die hard BLW rules. We spoon feed E some things. I have "emergency baby food" which is frozen portions of her favorite dinners (Gramma's tuna casserole, Mommy's chicken noodle soup etc) and when reheated, they lose a lot of their firmness. We spoon feed those.
I offer her literally every food that we consume so that means jello and pudding and rice. I spoon feed a lot of those too. Have you ever seen a baby try to feed themselves rice? It's cruel. It would be cruel to make an adult feed themselves rice without utensils. Or pudding. Even messier. BLW allows for spoon feeding in these cases, until baby can spoon feed their self.
I didn't know E would reject purees but she most absolutely did. She hates baby cereal too. That worries me a little since babies need to start working on replacing their iron stores after about 6 months and iron-fortified cereals and formulas do that job. I honestly don't know at this point if I should be worried about her iron levels since she doesn't get either of those. I do try to offer her meat as much as possible and she lurves peanut butter (which peds said was fine since we do not have a family history of nut allergies.) I will ask about the iron at our 9 month appointment.
At around 6 months, we went 100% into offering as many normal table foods as possible. E has not met a food she did not like. She gets that from me :) She also eats so fast that sometimes I wonder if she even chews it. She gets that from Stephen.
Her favorite food is still banana. She will consume chunks of banana until..... well.... I guess forever because she never turns the next bite down. A few weeks ago, Stephen let me sleep in and informed me upon wakening that E had eaten an entire banana. By herself. I was aghast. I will not go into the pooping implications of that meal.
She also really loves carrots, rice, graham crackers, pancakes, noodles, prunes and chicken. I think she would eat baby snacks (puffs and wheels and crackers) all day if I let her, but I really limit her to how much of that type of food she gets. I save them for outings and when she is impatient for me to fix a real meal. They seem like overly processed carbs and not very healthy, but that's just me. She devours them.
Her other favorite thing is ORANGES. She will go ape-shit if she sees you eating an orange and not give her a piece. I usually bite off a third of a section and give it to her because she has a tendency of shoving the whole piece in her scream-hole at once and that scares me.
Hot spices don't seem to bother her either. If you know me in real life, you know that I like my food spicy. Very spicy. Like, scare and/or hurt other people spicy. I keep a container of insane ground Thai peppers that I put on everything and when Stephen makes me soup and has to add these spices, he cries. Don't tell him I said that, but it's true. They burn his eyes.
I don't put these spices on E's food (much) but I do offer her moderately hot food. She may pant a little and drink extra water but she keeps eating. Hand over fist. Just tonight, I ordered some pancit from the Chinese place down the street and it had quite a kick to it. She went to town and inhaled those bad boys. It was so precious to see her trying to suck on them like spaghetti when they are so thin. She got a good jaw workout. (I also NEVER listened to rules about eating spicy or seasoned food while pregnant/breastfeeding. I think baby should get used to the flavors of what Mom eats because, guess what, that's what Mom makes for dinner!)
One of the weirder things she likes is sushi. Which is awesome becase we are gaga over some sushi in this house. Don't get all crazy on me over the raw fish part. I'm not stuffing her full of sashimi or huge chunks of raw salmon or tuna. It's mostly California rolls and the weird egg things so put your child-abuse pitchforks down and be calm. Have you ever seen a baby eat a sushi roll? P-R-E-C-I-O-U-S. I'm so proud of her!
The one thing she really enjoys that I seldom let her have is cheese. I know there's not much milk in it but I still try to limit her on how much she can have. Usually just a bite of mine and then I don't offer her more. I'm still not sure on all the lactose rules and pooping effects so we just play it safe.
At least three days a week, she has her favorite breakfast, which is peanut butter and jelly toast. That kid will eat the shit out of some PB&J. I use a wine glass to cut out a circle in the sandwich because she somehow makes less of a mess when she doesn't have corners to mush up and break off. And then I can use the glass to drink some wine.... Everyone wins....
When we first started, I cut everything up in the finest of dices. Like any other new mother, choking is right up there on my list of worst fears. Right between "getting pregnant again any time soon" and "being skinned alive". I would rather just take the extra time and cut everything up smaller and smaller and at first, she couldn't really grasp much anyway so we were pretty safe.
Now that she has that pincer grasp down pat, I let her have bigger chunks; slices of banana, cooked baby carrots in thirds, whole egg noodles, etc. She is amazingly good at getting the food into her mouth and her little concentrated chewing face is so funny to watch. Eating is serious business around these parts.
We have started her transition to the sippy cup and she is taking it pretty well, except she prefers to have you hold the cup for her and I'm all "Hell to the NO! That's why were teaching you the cup. So you can do it yourself!" She still refuses the bottle except for, recently, night feeding (YES! I'll take it!). She has finally realized that the milk is faster from an artificial nipple and she puts up no resistance when she is ready for bed. The only caveat is that the milk has to be HOT HOT HOT, almost burning, or she won't take it. SO MANY RULES FOR THIS KID!
All in all, I'd say BLW has been a success for us so far. E has accepted every food I have offered her and we haven't seen any hints of food allergies. When compared to purees or baby snacks, I think table foods are more interesting for her. They have a variety of textures and she must use varied mechanisms to grasp the food and get it into her gullet. It looks fun for her.
And again, it is really cheap and easy because I just make her a portion when I eat and we can share. No added prep or cooking and no special ingredients. (Did I mention, also, how cute it it to watch? Seriously.) (And it totally makes me feel better when, after an especially rough attitude-filled screaming day with her, she struggles with her lunch noodles and gets irritated with herself. It always makes me feel better!)
BLW = two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
(BLSTTDN? Not so much.....)
(That would be "Baby-Led Seeping Through The Damn Night" and no, we still have not mastered it yet.)
I'm sure I had more to say but now my beer is kicking in and we don't want to be drunk blogging now do we? Fun for you perhaps, but next-day-regretting for me and then I wake up all ashamed for some reason that I just can't quite put my finger on. Not gonna ride that pony again, nope nope nope.