The last few days have been very busy, and I’m a little bit sad to be back at work already today. Classes have been more demanding than usual, and I have one professor that is really heavy-handed with the homework which is enough to really stress me out. I feel like I’m constantly ignoring my kids in favor of time at the computer. I really can’t wait to be done with school, I feel like it’s taking over my life…
On a happier note, we did have a lot of fun this weekend.
My sister-in-law and her husband came to visit, so the kids got to see their cousins and spend time with their grandpa. It was cute to see Micah showing them how to play with his toys because he’s usually a bit of a possessive bully — sharing is still a work in progress.
We spent the rest of the weekend trying to catch up on homework, so we kept our fun close to home….
We discovered that almost anything can be used as a pull-up bar (or a step stool)…
Two Crockpots make dinner way easier than one…(meatloaf and mashed potatoes)
And someone thinks he’s ready to eat solids all by himself! He’s also losing patience for nursing and begs for solid food anytime it’s near him.
Which brings us to the question — baby led weaning or purees? This is something I see debated a lot in online forums recently, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground with the way people feel about them. If you’re not familiar with it, baby led weaning is the practice of letting babies feed themselves solid food instead of spoon-feeding them purees. There is some debate over whether this is entirely safe due to choking hazards and my pediatrician actually doesn’t recommend it (he’s not entirely against it, he just recommends purees), but most people agree that as long as you keep a close eye on your baby and know how to handle infant choking there isn’t any real danger.
I’ve been waffling a bit which approach to use for a couple of reasons. First of all, purees are easy, especially the pouches. Giving a baby a piece of banana or watermelon and just letting them go to town is CRAZY messy, and very little of it makes it into his stomach. While it’s true that breastfed babies don’t really need a substantial amount of solids until they are 12 months, I don’t know how long after that I plan on nursing so I need Jonah to be ready to make solid foods a bigger part of his diet. This is about the time I stopped being able to nurse Micah, so I want to make sure we’re prepared for any curves my body decides to throw us this time around.
Then there’s always these which make me feel better about the choking risk, but after a while Jonah loses patience because he doesn’t feel like he’s getting anything into his stomach (and he’s right, it’s mostly just juice he can suck out of the fruit). He’s hit that point where he wants to eat EVERYTHING. All. The. Time. If I don’t stuff him full of milk and solids all day long, he’ll wake up needing to nurse in the middle of the night again, and this mommy needs a little sleep! Monday night he nursed at 8:30pm, 11:30pm. 3:30am and again at 7:45am — it was newborn madness all over again! Purees make sure that he’s actually getting enough into his system to supplement nursing, but I want to make sure he’s also becoming proficient in feeding himself.
So far, my main compromise has been plain Cheerios. I feed him purees, or if he gets something more solid I feed it to him so it actually makes it into his mouth, but if he’s in his jumper, he can feed himself Cheerios to his heart’s content. They dissolve pretty easily so choking isn’t as big of a hazard, and the dogs are happy to clean up any that don’t make it to his mouth. As he gets more coordinated I’ll move more towards solids, but for now I think we’ve found a balance we can both live with.
Did you try baby led weaning or did you stick with traditional purees?
What other tips do you have for parents trying to start their baby on solids?
Faye Williams said:
I did endless purees, for ages, with my first. With my second he was more likely to just have bits of what we were eating, with some pouches and things thrown in if dinner was really unsuitable. This time around I’ll just mash or whiz what we’re having. Separate cooking gets harder the more of you there are. Both of mine are fairly good eaters (if anything my second is less fussy about trying new food). I think go with what suits you and your family best, since you’re the one that has to feed them multiple times a day!
I think if I didn’t work and go to school I’d let Jonah feed himself solids a lot more. With my current schedule he gets a decent amount of actual solid food (so I don’t really have to make him something different) but I’m still feeding it to him instead of letting him figure out how to get it into his own mouth. I’m thinking over winter break I’ll have the time to back off and watch him while he gets that down. 🙂
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We did both actually. I started with mostly purees, because they were safer and I could control what she was getting (food allergies do run in the family). It also got more in her since I was spoon feeding her, which made my big eater happier. Then, after a few months, likely 9 to 10 months old, we switched to solids. We’d give her the mushier and more gummable parts of our own meals, what she wanted anyway. And she was much happier feeding herself. While messier, it meant less work during a mean since she’d feed herself. By 11 months the only purees we did was in the pouches when out.
I think the mixed approach is what’s going to wind up working for us too. Jonah is always so hungry that I don’t want to wind up with a ton of food on the floor and a baby that’s still cranky and hungry. Some of the new parenting trends just make me second guess myself, but I need to relax. Thanks! 🙂