Baby-Led Weaning: Week 4

The first month of solids has come and gone, and we definitely have a little eater on our hands. He has taken to food so naturally. Looking back over the last four weeks I am truly thankful for giving BLW a try. I can’t imagine another way.

Experimenting with food on his own has helped him to be independent in what he wants and when he wants it. His hand eye coordination is nearly a mastered skill from practicing to grab the food and put it into his mouth. When we eat a meal with family or friends they almost always comment on how great he is with his hands. We are even practicing the pincher grip now!

The only problem now is finding more food! The more weeks we get through the harder it feels to find new and different things, which in this world should never be a problem! Finding him foods to try has actually opened us up to trying new things ourselves. We will sometimes just browse through the produce in the grocery store looking for new foods for Jax, and ultimately us, to try. This week however, it is pretty everyday foods for this family.

THE MENU: cucumberzucchinipineapple, and tomato 

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Like other weeks, I prepped the food ahead of time so we always had it on hand. I have designated one type of our tupperware to just Jaxon’s food. This way I know (and my husband) which is his. When dealing with things like pineapple I have to make sure that it is clearly marked or someone would eat it all in one sitting!

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HANDLING EACH FOOD:
Cucumber: The cucumber went over very well. I first skinned and then halved it. I cut those halves into four little sticks. Each stick had the exterior outside and part of the soft inside. By the end of the week he was eating the entire stick of cucumber, but he first started by just eating the mushy inside and leaving the rest. Like other cold things, he really enjoyed the feeling of this on his teeth.
Zucchini: I cut the zucchini the same as the cucumber and cooked it in pan with some olive oil and the tiniest bit of salt and pepper. This made it really soft and easy to eat.
Pineapple: Haha, oh pineapple, my husbands favorite food. He snuck this food in while I was working one evening and sent me pictures. This has to be the funniest food to watch him eat. He made such sour faces, but continued to push it in his mouth. Every time he had this look of surprise on his face like “what is that?!”. We were convinced that this may be the first food that Jaxon hated, but throughout the week the faces stopped and he started actually reaching for it. I swear this kid just loves food.
Tomato: I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier! I LOVE tomatoes myself but never thought about cutting one up and giving it to him! He ate the pieces of tomatoes in their entirety and loved them. I think it’s the very soft insides that make it really easy to swallow and chew (or gum haha). I love finding foods that are easy to handle and hold their shape but also have soft parts that are easier to eat. It makes for the perfect beginner foods.

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THE MESS: Same same over here! Still messy, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! It no longer seems like endless days of kitchens that look like a cafeteria food fight just happened. More in the tummy, less on the floor. This may be my new mantra.

WEANING: Our feedings have not changed much from last week. They tend to be shorter but all still necessary. Although I am beginning to wonder if some of them are more for comfort then sustenance.

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CONSUMPTION: We have being doing solids for a month. Over that time Jax has gone from just sticking things into his mouth and spitting them out, to actually eating food to fill his belly. While he experiments with new foods, and old ones, it is hard to tell how much is actually being eaten. At one point I had a bit of a freakout moment. I kept thinking, how do I know if he is getting enough!? I had to remind myself that BLW is all about our little one doing what feel natural to him. By putting an amount on what he should and shouldn’t eat I am starting to control it and then defeating the purpose. Instead I continue to watch for his queues that he is done eating or still hungry. I also continue to offer him the breast often and allow him to turn me down. Which he has done more of as the weeks pass.

SLEEP: There have been some days throughout the last month that we have not done solids at every meal. One of the luxuries of still being primarily breastfed, and this method being mostly about experimentation. On the days that he has not had solids we have noticed that he doesn’t sleep for as long of periods. I won’t say that solids “cured” our sleep-through-the night issue, but the more solids he starts to eat the longer of a stretch of sleep we get and the more fulfilled he seems. We have taken this as a sign that the weaning has really started to take place and the transition to solids is right on track.

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