Monday, July 13, 2009

Giving up control

About a month ago we started giving Indio *solids*: avocado, sweet potato, banana. We chose not to start with baby cereal, but with fresh vegetables and fruit instead, mushed up and mixed with breast milk. I did a lot of reading about feeding solids and recently came across a lot on the topic of *baby-led weaning*, which essentially states that the child should decide what and when to eat solids and that it wasn't necessary to purée everything in sight!

It's funny how once you read something you start seeing it pop up everywhere. This past Saturday, the Toronto Star printed an article in the Lifestyle section all about baby-led weaning, quoting Gill Rapley, British public health nurse and author of Baby-led Weaning.

Now, Indio isn't going to choose his food at the grocery store, or even out of the fridge, but the idea is that you put food in front of the child and let them go at it, or completely ignore it, whatever they choose. That also means that I have to give up some of the control, but it sounds like it could be a good thing. It also reminds me so much of my Montessori training where we were taught to *follow the child* by letting the child choose work from an array of developmentally-appropriate material presented to them.

Saturday evening, when friends were over for dinner, I decided to start Indy with a spear of cucumber. [It's suggested that food should be *french fry* shape, and as big as the child's fist.] Though he doesn't have any teeth yet, Indio was able to take a chunk out of the cucumber and began gagging. I had read that gagging was natural, but my instinct was to sweep my finger through his mouth and remove the incriminating piece. He even threw up a bit. That put an end to my experiment, and I was left thinking that I was destined to months of using the foodmill.

Today, I decided to give it another shot after reading more about gagging being a natural defense for babies to learn how to eat. I peeled a hunk of nectarine and presented it to Indy in a bright blue plastic bowl. He was much more interested in the bowl so I had to take the nectarine piece out and hand it to him. After a brief inspection, he brought it to his mouth and took a hunk out of it with his toothless gums. Again, he gagged and again I freaked. But, once I got the piece out I let him try again. He took a few more tastes before tossing it aside, giving all his attention to the blue bowl. I guess he made his choice.

Noshing on nectarine


Keep On S'myelin! July 14, 2009 at 3:02 PM  

Have you tried the mesh feeder? It helps with the gagging!

bklyn76 July 14, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

I have tried the mesh feeder and he likes it enough, but not as much as getting elbow-deep in fruit mush!

Keep On S'myelin! July 15, 2009 at 9:42 PM  

Ha...just wait until he smears apple sauce all over his hair. Or better yet, something sticky!

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