Baby-Led Weaning: Week 3

Eating together is becoming the highlight of our day. We now have dinner and entertainment!

Watching him try everything is hysterical, and we have been very lucky with his desire to try new things. So far we have not come across anything he doesn’t like. There are definitely favorites though! Right now I would say yogurt and cheese are the top flavors for his tastebuds.

This week we hit a huge milestone and got our first tooth!! It has been a long time coming. He has been teething for what feels like forever and it is so wonderful to see something finally come from it. It may not help with eating yet, but I did notice that he enjoyed having cold foods to chew on.

Being three weeks in we are really learning a lot about him and his eating habits. He is developing patterns and certain motions for when he is trying to tell us something. For example, he will start to pound on the tray of his Bumbo and smash all of his food when he is finished eating. This is actually pretty funny.

He kept throwing his head back multiple times in the middle of all of his meals and we were getting so confused and worried that something might be wrong. Turns out he is trying to swallow! My husband made a great point and said that when we eat we always have a drink next to us to wash our dinner down with. Why wouldn’t he also? So for these early meals we are sticking to some cold water (this feels good on his new little teeth too) in a sippy cup. This has really helped with meals. He isn’t always able to hold it by himself but he gets better and better every meal. We don’t plan on doing cows milk, so in a year when we can offer more variety in the way of drinks we will do almond milk and add some fresh juices also.

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Some days he will hang out and eat with us for longer then an hour and other times he is done in 15 minutes or won’t eat at all. At times he gets overwhelmed with all the food and throws everything around. We have noticed that it is better for us to give him one piece of food at a time and let him focus on it rather then everything at once. When we have done that he has ended up eating more of that one piece and less end up on the floor or in his seat.

When they eat more of their food you also get more stored in their cheeks. We have caught this little nugget hiding all kinds of food his mouth. He loves to just add and add food to those chipmunk cheeks. This is were really keeping an eye on them is important. However I do have to give him credit. He is starting to learn how much can go into his mouth and when not add something. He will actually get mad at times because he wants to eat more but is waiting to swallow. This is another good perk of the sippy cup.

THE MENU: mangosautéed tofu stick, sweet potato, and cheese 

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I cooked everything early in the week and put them in little containers in the fridge. We tend to be what feels like ALWAYS on the move. So having snacks at our fingertips is really nice. We have not pinned down eating times, mostly because we don’t have much of a set schedule, so it is always nice to have everything ready for when it’s time to eat or if we are squeezing in a meal. I also like to have some cold things with the warm so that while the warmer foods are heating up and then cooling down, he has something to munch on.

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HANDLING EACH FOOD:
Mangos: I have read a lot about mangos being a good BLW food to try. I was still afraid to try them, mostly because I have never cut one before! I tried to cut it in-between how I would cut an avocado or a pineapple and it seemed to work. I will say, they really are delicious like everyone says, and Jax would agree. He enjoyed sucking on them and I think the cold felt really good on his new teeth!
Tofu: This turned out to be a great food. I cut it in strips so he could hold it better and grilled them in a little olive oil. I sprinkled the tiniest bit of salt and pepper, which you could take or leave. What was nice, was that the exterior became crispier when grilled and the inside stayed soft and mushy. So he was able to get a good grip and then once he bit into it the insides were super easy to gum and swallow. He ended up getting a lot of this in his tummy.
Cheese: Well, its Jax and cheese. He of course loved it. And, of course, ate it all. This isn’t something we gave him everyday, but it is a wonderful treat for him!
Sweet Potato: A great starter food! Probably one of my favorites. It stays more solid then regular potatoes making it easier to grab and pick up, but also breaks apart and is easy to eat as well.

THE MESS: This is getting better every week (little by little) because more goes into his tummy and less on the floor. It is still very messy. My husband and I have made a game of it called “kitchen or baby”. This decides who cleans what, lol. We also look at the mess, and all the crumbs, and can sometimes really tell how much he has eaten. You feel so proud when there is a lot of food missing from the mess!

INTRODUCING MORE FOOD: Grilled cheese! I was feeling confident in my little eater and since the family was having grilled cheese, I made him a little quarter sandwich. It went over very well. He handled it great and enjoyed gumming it. He couldn’t eat much but I think he really liked to be eating the same thing as us.

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EATING OUT: To celebrate a little someones new teeth coming in we went out to dinner. Unfortunately Jax wasn’t in the best mood so he wasn’t really into eating. We did get him a little plate of broccoli to nibble on because it is one of his favorites. He just loves sucking on the treetops. The eating was not what I was worried about as much as the mess. I hated the idea of leaving the restaurant messy. To avoid this we kept an eye on him and what he was eating. It was broccoli so it was easy to pick up off the floor and just set to the side. We tried to catch most of them so that he could continue nibbling but most got through our grasp. I think picking the right foods is key to going out to dinner and avoiding a mess, at least for us.

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WEANING: This is the first week I have noticed Jax nursing less. While he is still predominately breastfed there is a difference in how long he is feeding for and his interest in it. If something better comes along he will lift his head a lose interest faster then before. I am wondering if we will lose our between lunch and dinner feeding soon.

OVERVIEW: It was another good week for eating. He loves to explore with food and every week he seems to eat more and more. He yet again enjoyed all of his food and we really learned a lot from this week. Paying attention to his little queues has helped us make the experience a good one and adding the sippy cup has been a life savor.

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