So here we are again. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I did quite a few posts on baby-led weaning. Starting our journey with Peanut, with that first meal of bacon and apricots, I felt there wasn’t much information out there for how to actually do baby-led weaning. Sure, your kid doesn’t need to start off with purees if you wait until they’re ready to do solids, but how do you actually do it? Beyond the general advice of don’t give them super hard stuff and try to make it the correct size for them to hold onto it while they chomp on one side, it seemed like there wasn’t an abundance of information about how to just give your baby food. If you’re new to all this, check out my past posts about it. This time around, I’m not planning on doing regular posts about baby-led weaning, but I did want to share some of the differences this time around.
Twig turned 6 months last month. Considering she was grabbing at my food as I tried to eat for about 2 months, I was definitely ready to let her dig in. It’s nice to be able to sit back during a meal and just eat (of course while watching to make sure the baby doesn’t choke). While grabbing at food doesn’t necessarily mean a baby is ready for it, she seemed to be ready. Turned out to be kind of a yes and no, but I’ll get to that. Now, on to the differences.
Twig was initially pretty happy that I was giving her something new and tastey to chomp on, she was also pretty upset when some actually came out in her mouth. To the point that she cried. This was way different from Peanut’s “Ohemgee it’s food OM NOM NOM!!!” reaction to solids. I was starting to gear up to have a baby who didn’t like solids, at least for a time, when she suddenly decided it was okay. It was probably only a week or so that she disliked the food coming off in her mouth. During that time, I tried to give her things that were less likely to have chunks come off.
It turns out that Twig’s stomach is more sensitive than Peanut’s was/is. After having regular, large bowl movements while exclusively breastfeeding, she started having obvious problems trying to poo and it was only once every few days. I tried giving her as little food as possible (which was surprisingly difficult after she got past the initial confusion, because she certainly loves food) while her system regulated. I also read about it online and found that lots of babies aren’t ready to process wheat until closer to a year, so we’ve cooled off on grains in general and that helps. I also found that apple sauce helps her get things moving, which is much more agreeable to me than juice or other processed food. And, believe it or not, she becomes more regular if I put her on the potty every morning (more on elimination communication in a future post).
Lastly, we’ve avoiding all sweets until she’s at least a year old. With Peanut, we did no candy until she was beyond two. She still had occasional cookies, ice cream, etc. Now Peanut is a sweet maniac, just like mama. I’m hoping to curb the family sweet tooth by introducing Twig to a wide variety of non-sugary foods before she gets cane sugar. We’re also avoiding honey because of botulism (and nuts until we talk to the doctor, along with cows milk), so really the only sweet she gets is fruit. And she lourves her some fruit. Her favorite food, by a mile, is fresh strawberries. She even tries to eat the ends!
Every baby and situation is different and hopefully this new information will help some of you starting your baby-led weaning journeys.
Did you change anything with how you fed your first child to how you fed your second (or third, or fourth, or twenty-seventh)? What did you decide to do different and why?