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loving baby-led solids

March 22, 2012

About 2 weeks ago, Lil finally discovered that her hand could be used to guide food to her mouth.
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It’s an amazing discovery.

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Admittedly, I’d been questioning whether we should just follow the crowd and spoon feed the girl mush since I wasn’t sure she really understood the whole feed yourself thing.  Like I mentioned earlier, we have quite a few baby friends and it’s hard to not compare the babies progress.  Most of Lil’s friends have gone with the traditional route of rice cereal and mush starting at 4 months, and they seem to love eating.  I want Lil to love eating, too.

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Turns out, I just needed to be a little more patient.  (This might be a general theme in my parenting…)

Here she is gnawing on pineapple a week or so ago.

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On Monday, we were out to lunch with Jason — I had chosen a healthy salad and sandwich, thinking that Lil could perhaps try some.  Jason had grabbed chicken fingers.  I sat down, Lil in my arms and the tray of lunch food in front of me, and almost immediately, Lil grabbed a chicken finger off the tray and shoved it in her mouth.  Since then, we’ve been offering her what we can when we’re eating: french toast, melon, beef, chicken, orange, guacamole, broccoli, bread, french fries (bad mama).  Foods that are long and skinny in shape seem to be easiest, though Lil manages to find a way to chomp on large chunks of foods like broccoli and melon, too.

We’ve not yet given her anything small — her pincer grip isn’t quite developed, so while she seems to have *excellent* control of the food once it’s in her mouth, if we’d give her tiny pieces, she couldn’t get them into her mouth on her own.  We’ll probably try to present smaller pieces of food to help her develop her pincer grip in the upcoming months, but for now, I am just so proud that my 8-month old can feed herself.  (And I’m a little proud of myself… admittedly, at dinner tonight, I found myself bragging that I haven’t spent ANY money on food marketed for baby/kid consumption yet!  Instead, we’re trying – and mostly succeeding – in feeding Lilly fresh, whole foods.  Love it!)

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It’s great that we can all enjoy eating together, at the same time (no letting my food get cold while I’m feeding the baby!), and Lilly seems to really enjoy her new feeding skills.  She hasn’t refused anything we’ve offered her – including the lime we let her try at dinner a few nights ago.  I’m love love loving watching her explore new flavors and textures.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2012 9:14 pm

    This is great. I’m sending this to my daughter. 🙂

    • March 22, 2012 9:18 pm

      Oh, thanks! If your daughter is interested in more info on baby-led solids, the official website is here: http://www.babyledweaning.com/

      We’ve had such a positive experience, I’d suggest this to anyone and everyone! And it seems so much easier than spoonfeeding, not to mention cheaper!

      Lil had pulled pork, pickles, strawberries, kiwi, bread, and spinach today. And water from a glass, because she thinks she’s a big girl, even if she drools it down her front almost every time.

  2. March 24, 2012 1:41 am

    I am so happy you have found a path that works for you. Your story sounds so similar to mine (http://inherchucks.com/2011/11/03/starting-solids/). Harper was not interested in puree foods at all, but give her a piece of bacon to chomp on and she’s a happy camper (my “bad” mommy moment…). The important thing is that they are exploring with different tastes and textures and learning what “eating” is all about.

  3. March 25, 2012 9:48 am

    I’m fascinated by this. So glad it has been working out for you! It’s so appealing not to do the jars of canned mush.

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