Thursday, February 24, 2011

First Food

Perhaps you remember my mentioning that we're going to try a new (to us) method for the introduction of solid foods with Buddy Boy.  It involves waiting for signs of true readiness, offering table foods as first foods (no purees), and allowing baby to feed himself from the start.  A modified version of the method called "baby led weaning."

This is very different from how we introduced solids to Little Guy.  With him, we started rice cereal on the day he turned six months, and then proceeded through the jarred fruit and veggie purees, with a few days' spacing between each.  He did GREAT with baby food.  But when we tried to move him from baby food to table food, we hit a bit of a brick wall.  He hated the chunkier textures and rejected foods (especially vegetables) that he had enjoyed in baby food form.  I found it quite stressful and frustrating, and was beyond tired of spooning green goop.  I feel like we're just now fully getting back on track with his diet (a success I'd like to share about in another post soon!) and would prefer to avoid that challenge (there are so many...why invite another?) if possible.

So, we're going to try something different this time.  It may work for Buddy Boy.  It may not.  His brother's preferences will not necessarily be his.  And we may throw the towel in on this whole deal and find ourselves piling the grocery cart high with all those tiny little jars.  But in the meantime, we're going to give it a shot, and since Buddy Boy is still fully nourished through nursing, we can approach it with relaxed minds.

Buddy Boy sits unassisted now (one sign of readiness), picks up items and puts them in his mouth (a second sign of readiness), and pays attention when we eat (a third sign of readiness), so I've known we were getting close to the time to introduce solids.  A couple days ago, I was enjoying a banana with Buddy Boy on my hip and noticed that each time I brought the banana close to my mouth, he was jumping for a bite.  He clearly wanted a taste.  I'd already decided that banana would be the first food we'd offer, so it was a perfect opportunity, really.  I gave him a tiny bit and he smooshed it around in his mouth and opened wide for another bite.  Soon, if I just put a bit on his lip, he would push it in with his fingers.  He probably had a teaspoon or two of banana and seemed delighted.  And, y'all, there was no mess!  Score one more for this method!
And as much as I love documenting my boys' lives and catching all the big moments and tons of tiny ones on camera, I also really loved the naturalness of Buddy Boy's first solid meal.  No posing with a rice cereal-laden spoon, no certain day on the calendar, no big to do.  Just my boy and me, hanging out in the kitchen, sharing a banana, because he let his Mama know he wanted a bite.

All that to say, these pictures are from the next day, when we tried some more banana, this time in the highchair.
But, as things would have it, the poor boy had caught a little cold and may be teething (I never know for sure 'til the tooth pops through) and really just hasn't felt up to solids since the first, smashing success.  As soon as I saw this pitiful face, I pulled him right back out of the highchair and put him down for an impromptu, much-needed nap.  Since then, we've been nursing 'round the clock, he's spent a lot of time on my hip, he's slept a little in my arms and he's visited some in our bed.

That's just how motherhood is, isn't it?  You can ascribe to a theory or practice a method or set a schedule, and you may find that most of the time that makes most things go better.  But you're not caring for a machine.  You're caring for a very human little creature.  And when life calls for it, all your well-researched intentions are best thrown out the window.  So you can just mother.

That's what I'm doing today.


Julie said...

I would say you're one smart mother! (sorry to hear Buddy Boy was a little under the weather!)

V's Mama said...

Well said, sweet friend. I come from the "just mother" school of thought, too. :) LOVE YOU! You're the best mama I know!

Sarah Baggs said...

Your post is so very true! There are a ton of things I said I 'Would not do!" and low and behold my child has other plans for me. So we take it one day at a time and thank god for her and how blessed we are.

Are you going to be in Birmingham this weekend? Hopefully so as I would love to see you!

Wanting What I Have said...

You are such a good mama!!! I am really finding this method interesting and it makes SO MUCH SENSE!!! Can't wait to read more about it!

ElissaMLF said...

Aww, feel better, Buddy Boy! What will you try after bananas? (How many soft table foods are out there?) I'm intrigued by this... it does sound easier!

Ramona has been interested in food for months (no wonder she's over 20 pounds, right?), and has had many typical baby foods so far: rice cereal, bananas, apples, pears, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, and oatmeal so far. (She's also had bites of real bananas and dinner rolls...) Chad is making it all of the fruits and veggies, like he did for Amelia.

We didn't have any trouble transitioning Amelia, and I wonder if it was partly because homemade baby food is a bit chunkier to begin with? It's more like starting them out on the Gerber twos or threes than ones... It was probably just because she loves food. No wonder my babies are ginormous...

Anyway, good luck, let me know how it goes, and feel better Buddy Boy!

Hoppy said...

Awww...those pictures are too cute!