A little experiment

Robin has always loved her food but her appetite just wasn’t the same these past three weeks. I don’t blame her. What with the virus, the chest infection, antibiotics and all the other medicines she was forced to take, even I would have gone off food. Yesterday was the first day she showed her normal enthusiasm for her meals, crying for more every time we reached the bottom of her bowl. She is now having breakfast, lunch and dinner and has milk in between, plus at bedtime and once during the night so I thought I’d add a mid-morning snack.

I first read about baby led weaning on Clare’s blog and followed with fascination (and admiration) her daughter Emily’s progress as she discovered new foods in all their lumpy glory. No mashed or pureed food here but big chunks of vegetables, fruit, meat or pasta like an older child would eat. If I have to be completely honest, the fear of choking is so deeply ingrained in me that the whole idea scares me senseless but yesterday I decided to go against my judgement and give Robin some finger food.

I gave her a piece of banana, which might not have been the wisest choice given the fact that it’s as slippery as an eel. She was intrigued, grabbed it and put it straight in her mouth. Her facial expressions were priceless. There was the wide-eyed is this really happening look, the look of disgust when she felt a piece of banana in her mouth and the gagging, in that order. She got very frustrated with the pieces I gave her because they kept slipping out of her hand and her highchair and apron were completely covered in pieces of banana after a few minutes but I was encouraged by her enthusiasm.

So I’m reading up and watching videos of babies feeding themselves, hoping to get more comfortable with the idea. I will be posting her progress here.

I must say, Emily made it look so easy!

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4 Comments

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  1. I too share your fear of choking. In fact I stick to pureed foods when alone, and only give her finger food when A’s home. I’ve only given her fruit and veg, I still haven’t introduced meats mainly because I don’t know how to serve it to her – must read up about that! But reading this, I will start giving her a snack to have by herself on her high-chair. I’m cooking green beans as I write this! Fingers crossed there’ll be no coughing/choking sounds!!

  2. Firstly, yay! 🙂 (& thanks for link-ups!)

    The gagging unfortunately is a part of it – they aren’t used to anything that solid in their mouths. What we found helped a lot – and i know they’re available in Malta – are Organix melt-in-your-mouth snacks. There are sweetcorn hoops, tomato wheels & carrot sticks. They’re basically corn puff snacks, easy to hold and they really do melt in their mouths but they help to get them used to the different texture of solid food as well as generally how to hold bits of food etc. When we had a few weeks of gagging (which led to vomiting everything she’d just eaten uuugh) with Emily, we introduced those and they seemed to help.

    There comes a time though, when their gag reflex shifts so it will mostly stop happening anyway. Also remember gagging isn’t choking, their gag reflex is far more sensitive than an adults’ is, so they’ll gag much easier than we would. As they grow it moves further back down the tongue. As long as there are gagging sounds coming out of her, she’s not choking. Keep an eye on her of course and never leave her alone with food, but even now when Emily bites off more than she can chew & gags, i just reassure her and then offer some water once i can see she’s ok. The danger is when their windpipe is completely blocked and there are no sounds at all coming through. (For this reason avoid things like whole grapes!) It’s thankfully never happened to us but i know friends who have had to quickly pick LO out of their highchair and flip him/her upside down to dislodge whatever food is stuck. I hope you don’t ever experience it either!

    Try raspberries, broccoli, cauliflower, mini sandwiches (smooth peanut butter, cream cheese, pear & apple spread, mashed banana). Don’t worry too much about the banana grip-wise, she’ll work it out with practice. So much fun watching their faces register the different tastes! 🙂

    Have fun! 🙂 x

    (Sorry for neverending comment!!!)

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