Sunday, June 3, 2012

Baby-led Feeding Has Begun

Hubby has been remarking that our youngest is having issues at the dinner table.  Even though Knee is not quit six months old, it seems he knows he wants food.  When my MIL came for a short visit, I did let Knee suck on an apple slice.  If I was at home, I would have softened the slice in a steamer, but I wasn't, so all he could do was suck.

Well Saturday we went out shopping and grabbed lunch to eat at home (it's far easier that way with a toddler).  Hubby went back to unload the car and I plopped the offspring into their seats.  Knee lunged for lunch.  His little fat fingers tried to grab a bag of food and he screamed in frustration.

Okay.  Fine.  You know better about your own body.  So Hubby came back and suggested some of our meal.  With baby led feeding, you give your child what your eating.  You make sure not to butter anything or salt it.  You make sure it's soft enough at first.  And you make sure it's not a potential allergy thing like no dairy until 9 months etc etc.  Problem was it was Chinese which is smothered in sauces high in sodium.  So bread it was.

I said that I would have started him out on a banana or an apple or something, but all we had that was baby friendly is an unsliced watermelon and some bread.  So for lunch he had bread.  Hubby tore a piece in half.  At first Knee picked it up and nibbled, but then he did...well.. he stuffed it into his face.

For dinner...
It was a bit messy and he had trouble nibbling so mostly he just licked his fingers.  Notice the pincer motion in his right hand.  If a baby can do that, they can feed themselves.  It's one of the signs.

Don't worry.  We're taking it slow.  If he seems interested in eating something with us, we let him.  Otherwise, it's not a big deal.  And I made sure to get some bananas, peaches, and carrots at the store for occasions where we're eating things that are too hard (at this point) or wrong for him or probably too frustrating (like peas).

Did he choke?  No, not at all.  He had no problem.  From what I've read because breastfed babies use a chewing motion, they are actually accustomed to masticating their food.

And children who are introduced to watered-down purees actually are more prone to chocking later because they learn to slurp or suck down food first instead of chewing it.  So when they do actually eat solid table foods, they try to suck it down instead of masticate it and end up choking.

As for the size, you need to make sure the pieces are big enough to grasp.  Sounds like a chocking hazard right?  Not really.  If it's soft enough, the baby can bite a bit off.  See...

I didn't have to teach him how to eat it.  He's been watching us eat for almost six months now.  And I didn't shove it in his hand or in his mouth.  That defeats the purpose of the baby learning how to eat (since at this age he doesn't really need extra food calories) and also causes choking.  The only things I did was make sure he didn't turn blue and to retrieve pieces that fell usually into his lap from all the efforts he was making.

And that's how it works basically.

1 comment:

  1. Awwww.. is so much fun to watch them at that stage!

    And the size of food thing... LOL I was nervous about that w/ ZJ and cut up his first avocado way too small for him. Poor thing couldn't get it in because of that... Went back and read some more and (hesitantly at first) tried bigger chunks a few days later and he did great. It really does sound backwards, but it works!

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