Jul 1, 2011

First food + baby-led weaning.

Adelaide was exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Not a drop of water or taste of anything else but mama's milk for her first six months of life. (Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.) It wasn't hard to do, and it's definitely what I wanted to do. Giving Adelaide her first food was both an exciting and saddening time for me.

Exciting because holy whoa! Look at what fun she had! New adventures in eating, new textures and feelings and tastes. My baby is eating. EATING. Not attached to my boob.

Err... wait a minute... Not attached to my boob? You mean my baby is growing up and is working her way to not needing me to survive? Slow down there. Sad.

Anyway, she's been watching us eat for a while now. Her eyes tracking the fork going from plate to mouth and back. And of course she's been reaching out for our food, because she's reaching out for everything. So on her 6 month birthday, along with taking her monthly photos and making her first painting, we gave her the first taste of not-mama's-milk. Aka... banana.

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Instead of mushing it up or mixing it in with rice cereal, we went straight for the real thing. A banana freshly peeled and handed over to our little girl. I'd been reading about baby-led weaning and it just seemed like the most natural thing to do! Especially because we waited until her 6 month birthday instead of trying to feed her earlier.

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I don't think she got much down, but that's not the point. The point of baby-led weaning is to let them experience food. Whether or not they actually eat it doesn't matter. Of course, some did go down as her later diaper change showed (um... yuck! Can we say gross to thicker, globbier, stinkier poop???).

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She gummed it, sucked on it, squished it in between her fingers, spread it around, dropped it. You name it, she did it. She demolished the banana. It ended up all over her shirt, her face, her hands and arms, on the table, all over the bumbo tray, and even underneath her.

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Most importantly, we let her experience this new thing at her own pace. We didn't force her to eat the whole thing, there was nothing to measure. She is still getting all her nutrients and calories from my milk. Banana is extra.

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She really, really, really had a good time. We videoed the whole thing (about 15 minutes) with our camcorder, but I was also taking pictures (obviously) with the camera and decided to take a 5-minute video with the camera too. So here it is for your viewing pleasure.



Since then, she's tried SO many things. Since we don't have a crazy amount of food allergies in our families (Kevin's only mildly allergic to some fresh fruits), we're not doing the 4-day wait rule. It's just too exciting not to give her such a variety and see what she does with it!

She likes: bananas, mango, sweet potatoes, frozen blueberries in the mesh feeder, zucchini, carrots, pear + raspberry puree
She doesn't like: avocado, rice + lentil puree, apricot

We do feed her a little bit of organic pureed food daily, with a little bit of baby probiotics mixed in. When I took her to her 6 month doctor visit and mentioned her continuing problem with gas pains, he mentioned trying that. So I bought some powdered stuff at Earth Fare and mix a bit in with a little puree. I load up the spoon and if she leans forward or grabs the spoon, I'll let her have the food. If not, I don't force it on her. Sometimes she gets the full dose of the probiotics, sometimes she doesn't. I figure any at all is helping her, right?

Two websites that I've enjoyed reading from about baby-led weaning: one and two.

How did you introduce food to your little one? Did you try Baby-Led Weaning?

2 comments:

  1. Lisa Marie PattersonJuly 9, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    I was meant to stumble upon your blog. We have a lot in common - we too breastfeed, cloth diaper, and bed-share our sweet Baby Blake. He'll be 6 months on July 13th so I'm getting ready to venture into the world of food with him as well. I'm on board with the baby led weaning so I'm glad to see how Adelaide took to it so well. I'm excited (but also sad) to start this next journey. :) Good luck to you.

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  2. We tried this just the other day! Our Charlotte was EBF for nearly the first six months and we started her on purees and are now experimenting with the baby led weaning. Not unlike Adelaide, she enjoyed playing with the banana, but very little got in her mouth.

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