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Archive for June, 2010

Today, Hubby got a card, chocolate cake for breakfast, and a baby backpack that should be arriving any day now.  And then he spent a couple hours composing the following poem for Milo:

Clever, eh?

Happy Father’s Day!  Through all the ups and downs and gaping chasms of imperfection that is marriage, Hubby is a great Daddy.  I’m very lucky to have him as my partner in parenthood.

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Baby Led Weaning

Food has always been an issue for Hubby.  When he was a child, there were very few foods he could actually stomach.  He has many food sensitivities and even as an adult, while he can now eat a larger variety, there are few foods that he actually enjoys. While he didn’t want Milo to inherit his food issues, Hubby said he could never force his child to eat anything he didn’t want to eat and he dreaded “force-feeding” with a spoon.

So when it came to feeding Milo solids, we were delighted to stumble across a concept called Baby-Led Weaning.  This feeding philosophy bypasses the pureed, spoon-fed baby food in favor of finger foods that the baby can feed him or herself.  The logic behind BLW is that purees are a product of an earlier generation that fed solids to babies when they were younger and could not feed themselves.  At six months old, the age recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to start solid foods, most babies can grasp items and bring it to their mouths.  We figured Milo was already putting everything in his mouth already, so why not food?

Milo concentrating on a banana w/peel

BLW advocates letting the baby feed himself so that he has control and choices about what he eats.  Hubby believes the lack of control leads to a lot of children’s fights over food and results in picky eaters.  BLW suggests placing finger foods in front of the baby and letting him choose and feed himself.  Breastfed babies, in particular, are accustomed to self-regulating their food intake and should, theoretically, be able to regulate their solid food intake.

It turns out Milo is the perfect baby for BLW.  He’s sitting up without support, curious about everything, and grasping items quite well.  And he loves the food!  He will quite contentedly suck on a slice of pear for 20 minutes.  In the three weeks he’s been on solids, he has tried bananas, avocados, apples, pears, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, cantaloupe, oatmeal, asparagus, beans, hummus, and broccoli.  He loved the broccoli.  He seemed to be fascinated by the differing textures in his mouth.

with sweet potato

Giving the baby control over his eating makes him less likely to choke.  Milo doesn’t have enough teeth to chew yet, but he can gum the appropriate foods very effectively.  He also gets a lot of good practice with his hand motor skills by grasping at the food.  It’s been great fun to watch him gnaw away.  We’re not as concerned about how much he’s actually eating at this point; he’s still getting the majority of his nutrition from breastmilk.  Mealtimes are like play for him, which will hopefully translate to a love for good food.

Still, as with any baby feeding, Milo needs to be closely observed when he eats.  And especially because, well, despite what the book says, he hasn’t figured out how to self-regulate his eating yet.  He gets so engrossed with gnawing at the food that he forgets to swallow and stores up the food in his mouth like a chipmunk.  Often, this food comes back out, sometimes as regurgitated spit-up.  Strangely enough, it doesn’t seem to bother him and he goes right back to gnawing at the pear or avocado without missing a beat.  Hopefully he’ll soon figure out how to stop eating when he’s full.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that BLW is very messy.  Baby is in charge, after all.

and the detritus of his meal.

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