Monday, April 26, 2010

Pears. Exploring Food.

I have an announcement that will make so many people happy... Grace Louise is finally getting to taste some flavors and textures other than breastmilk, breastmilk, and breastmilk! She is just turning 6 months old (already 6 months if you count by weeks, otherwise celebrating 6 month BDay on May 1st) and showing some clear signs that she is ready to start exploring foods. Two particular signs are square, white, and protruding from her bottom gums! GL has two teeth and is ready for mastication.

It has been so interesting to see how eager people are to feed babies! And fighting them off has not been easy ;-) I've been tortured with pictures of *hmm hmm* some particular babysitters pretending to feed Grace Louise strawberries and grits/eggs... all in fun, of course! I've also been accused of taking all the fun out of my child's life. No cake icing = no fun in life. Of course. Knowing that waiting to introduce solids was the best thing for my baby, made it easy to resist starting before she was ready. Making it even easier is the fact that dunking cloth diapers before washing is not required when babies are only fed breastmilk. Let the dunking begin!

About a week ago, during a teething meltdown, I offered some cold watermelon in a "chum bag". (For those of you not familiar with this contraption, it is a cloth, mesh bag with a handle that allows the baby to experience the flavor or the food without biting off pieces. Perfect for little ones just learning to eat). Her first "official" food, given yesterday, was a pear. And as you can see in the pics below, she was VERY interested in eating it!

I know handing a 6 month old a whole pear may seem a bit extreme. Pureeing and spoon feeding just aren't necessary if she has the motor skills to pick it up and put it in her own mouth. Plus, eating softened finger foods teaches her to chew before swallowing (whereas spoon feeding pureed foods, especially before the baby overcomes the tongue thrust reflex, teaches babies to swallow before chewing). I'm just learning all this (of course). The coined term for introducing solids this way is baby-led weaning. If any of you are rolling your eyes at me right now, please, have mercy. I'm not trying to be difficult or particularly different... How often do we "do what we do" just because it has always been done that way?... What if there is a better way??

[I have several articles written by pediatricians if any moms are reading this and wanting more info. I can send you the links in an email].

I only peeled half of it, not thinking that she would get very far her first time.
This face says, "new flavor. not ninny."

"Ah. But now I will use the table to my advantage. I like this!"

*Burp...* "More please!"
No, really, she didn't eat the whole thing. I took it away after a few minutes. She was being so aggressive with it, I started to get concerned that she would bite off more than she could chew. literally.
Tried apple in a chum bag today. (More of a teething remedy). We will be trying sweet potato in a couple of days. Happy Eating!

No comments: