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Project 52 | THIRTY THREE

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•••

Oh me. Oh my.

Has it been six months already?!

Just about.

It’s time. Time for food.

& surprise, surprise. My little dude wants nothing to do with it.

Will anything be easy with this kid?

I shouldn’t say that. He took to breastfeeding right from the start. He loves it. In fact, he wants to do it all the time. I think he’d do it all day if I let him.

But food? HA. Two words:

POWER STRUGGLE.

So after a few days of trying to shove vegetables down his throat, I handed him a chunk of banana. & boy did he have fun.

::sigh::

My own “new normal” is being replaced. It looks like this kiddo is going to be a Baby Led Weaning kid. & I am going to be kicking and screaming. Because I just. can’t. stand. the. mess.

(thank god I have a dog)

So, I’m off to educate myself on the topic, because I don’t know enough to talk about it yet. & I sure hope I can muster up the energy to learn, because we all know reading much of anything is a bit of a challenge with a high-needs, non sleeper of a baby.

I’ll just have to get the book on my iPhone and read while I am rocking him & nursing him. That is, if I don’t fall asleep while trying to multi-task. HA!

& I am sure you all will be curious about what we’re starting with. So here’s the run down:

I’m skipping cereals altogether. Why? Read this. Water in the sippy. In order of appearance: Avocado, Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Banana. Sticking to veggies first. Moving to fruits eventually. I steamed/baked then pureed them all in the blender with butter (with the exception of banana and avocado, which he got fresh). For more on my puree system, check out Efficient Homemade Baby Food. :)

Got any experience with Baby Led Weaning? Tell me about it! What were your babe’s favorite first foods? I’m all ears.

And note: the “wean” in Baby Led Weaning does not have anything to do with breastfeeding. I am still breastfeeding without any supplementation. :)

•••

& Project 52 is off to a very collaborative start! If you’d like to join in–it’s not too late. Here’s everything you need to know about

my 2012 Project 52.

& those of you who are linking up (please let me know if you need to be edited/added!):

Adventures in MommyhoodAnd NowAubrey My LoveBlossoms & VintageBugs & Boo-Boos Candice CravesCandidly Colette Caynay PhotographyChristina’s Project 52 Chronicles of KTClaire Jane The Crain’s Nest Dana Moran Photography The Daulton Dabbler Englexas Everything Eatherton Fairy Wings & Dinosaurs Finding Joy Firecracker MamaFreckled PinkFrom Stanwood to Seoul Gin & Juice Boxes Heather Marie PortraitsIci & LaIt’s a Graham LifeIt’s a Strange & Lovely RideKate L Photography Keeping up with the Carters Kim Percival PhotographyLiving for Love Lizzi Photography Mahina & Lucas Mama Bethany McLain Padilla Photography Mist Moments Memories by Mere Moments & Impressions The Mommyhood Memos Moo with Me Moxie Made My Tots TravelNavigating the MothershipNicole Dina PhotographyOh the Places We’ll GoOur Baby Behr Our Splendid Little Life Phreckle Face Photography Quiet FootstepsRachel Gray PhotographyThe Robersons Shades of Bliss Shutter Mama BlogSide of the TableSimply Us Snaps of Our LifeSquamish Baby The Todd’sTruly Dedicated Mommy We Aren’t Scared of SugarWe’re Better Together Wicked KateWokabout Z as in Zebra

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  • Courtney - Chloe hated avocado and bananas! Weirdo! Her favorite purees were: sweet potato and cauliflower mashed together, crockpot pear and apple sauce, peas, and butternut squash! We tried lots of other things like spinach, broccoli, egg yolks scrambled with breastmilk, etc. But she had an awful reaction to the egg yolks, and the spinach gave her a little bootie rash :( I love that Food Renegade article, btw. I’m so glad you are introducing it to a larger audience! Yay mama!ReplyCancel

  • Anya - My daughter was also a tough one (made even harder by the allergies, which she has thankfully grown out of). We did baby led weaning without realizing it. Sweet potato was her first. We started with a puree, but she hated purees, and still doesn’t like anything that’s semi-liquid on a spoon at almost 2 years. So instead I baked sweet potatoes and separated it into pieces then froze the pieces. Same thing with everything I made – whatever we were eating I just did smaller and softer for her. We also didn’t do rice cereal, instead I did real oatmeal. She loved texture and flavor and hated anything mushy or bland. Sounds like your little one may be the same way!

    Now at almost 2 years old she eats everything we do, and asks for salsa, lamb chops, salmon, and every fruit on the planet. The only thing she won’t eat is cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden but I guess that means more for us right?

    And frankly we never had the house get particularly messy as a result. If she started to throw the food we just gently told her not to throw it, and briefly removed the thrown item before giving it back to her again. I think we maybe had 2 days of throwing before she almost never did it again. We also put a beach towel under her chair that we could easily remove and wash each day to save our carpet from any dropped food.

    Enjoy the food adventure – I love introducing new things to my girl and I’m convinced it’s because she never had “baby” food that she’ll try anything!ReplyCancel

  • Denae @ New Mom Adventure - Shawna we did a modified baby led weaning and at the request of a friend I posted about our experience: http://newmomadventure.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-we-did-baby-led-weaning.html

    Elena couldnt deal with the texture of purees on a spoon at 6 months. My best advice is do not push it. He may be happier with playing than starting solid foods right now. He may not be completely ready for eating solids. Is he still drooling everywhere (tongue thrust)? Does he have pincher grasp skill mastered? This a big milestones for being really ready. Once Elena mastered these purees were a non-issue and she was eating like a champ.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica @ Gin and Juiceboxes - Both of my girls were followed the description of baby led weaning :) I had never heard the term before though. After discovering your blog, and thinking maybe the second time around would be different, I bought the cute silicone ice cube trays and pureed away. Unfortunately, Neva didn’t care for baby food either. Although I agree that the mess is HUGE – we discovered that it was convenient in a lot of ways. We didn’t have to worry about packing food for the girls if we were out eating somewhere – we just gave them small pieces of what we were eating. And I think it really helped Grace to learn that she eats what we eat….because she did from the very beginning. Good luck to you (and the mess!). Sometimes I wish we had a dog too!ReplyCancel

  • Shanon - My son was the same way. He was just not a fan of purees. We fed them for a little while, but he was so content nursing. I didn’t push it too much. Offered occasionally, then went on to small bits of food instead. He wasn’t really interested in eating anything other than breast milk until he was almost a year old. I wouldn’t stress over it, they get everything they need from breast milk. I agree with the idea of “food for fun until they’re one.” They don’t truly NEED it, so I didn’t stress or push. He is a healthy dude with a good appetite now, so he didn’t suffer in any way and I’m glad I stayed relaxed about it and didn’t try to force the issue when he just wasn’t ready or interested.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Ah Shawna, you are going to hate it, because you have to relinquish all control and it is SO messy, BUT… you are going to LOVE it because it is so much fun and Everett will be such an active participant in his weaning. I would really recommend offering E food with Caroline (the same food if poss), and that you eat at least some too. That way it doesn’t feel a waste if he doesn’t eat, because the food wasn’t prepared especially for him. Plus he is seeing good eating being modelled. Also, your mantra is ‘food is fun til one’. It’s all. about. milk. It doesn’t matter if he won’t eat yet, he will when he’s ready and you will get such a kick out of it.. I wrote more about my BLW journey here http://aneasyworld.tumblr.com/BLW Honestly, I couldn’t recommend it more. Have fun :)ReplyCancel

  • Cristin - My no sleep 6month old hate food too : / still trying…Thanks for the post and links!ReplyCancel

  • Pattyann - at 9 months my daughter refused baby food. She wouldn’t even have apple sauce b/c it looked like baby food. She also refuses meats, so tons of fresh fruit and veggies. I just chopped everything up and watched her like a hawk, lol. You can get green beans, peas, and corns with no salt added in the can goods aisle, which is nice for a quick lunch without having to cook veggies.

    My son is now 8.5 months. He still takes his baby food, but he wants what his sister has too. He’s not super good with moving food around his mouth yet so I have started to use those mesh things so he can’t bite off big chunks and choke. They are excellent with juicy fruits (oranges, grapes, melons, avocados, tomatoes) and soft veggies (peas, corn, anything with a soft core that he can get through the mesh). If you are worried about choking at first get a few of them. I do hand wash mine. I flip the mesh inside out and let it set in soapy water in the sink while I clean up and then go rub the mesh with a cloth and it hasn’t gotten yucky yet (some of my friends have complained about them getting gross after a while, but ours are still looking new).ReplyCancel

  • Erica - Yes BLS is incredibly messy but it really has been so much easier than puréed. He gets to eat what he wants and how much he wants. It takes the power struggle out of it completely. We’re just beginning our journey with solids but we’re really excited to see how it goes. It’s a joy to watch the pleasure and sense of accomplishment he gets from feeding himself.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - We did baby led weaning on a recommendation from our nutritionist chiropractor. I don’t need to repeat all of the pros, as it sounds like you’re doing your research, but you asked for favorite foods. I recall avocado and olives among the first we offered due to the good fats they contain being beneficial for brain development. (best quality olives you can find-I think ours were just olives and a little sea salt. I used my fingernail to break off tiny ovalish pieces, and our babies did fine with that). Steamed broccoli was ordered regularly at restaurants, and grapes were a hit when we moved to fruit. (peeled and cut/broken) When we reached the stage of being desperate for something super easy to have on hand in the car, we turned to natural puffed brown rice instead of Cheerios. Some purists wouldn’t even do this, I’m sure, but we are in favor of maintaining sanity. Frozen peas at the right age were also a hit. Friends once voiced their surprise that we weren’t using a bib. Feeding this way was a lot less messy most of the time, and like others mentioned, our kids refused baby food. They impress people with the foods they eat as big kids, and have proven to my mother-in-law that babies will not perish without Gerber products. :) Just have fun with it. (Oh, and the hours I saved not spoon feeding my babies…)ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Baby Led Weaning is the BEST!! My 10 M.O. daughter has only know that (not a puree in her life so far). It is messy and I am a clean freak, so I had to just get over it. We use a plastic table cloth as a drop cloth under her chair during meals – most of the food ends up on that, which is much easier to sponge down than cleaning the actual floor after every meal. We started with steamed veggies…broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. I also roasted them which makes them much tastier and equally squishy once baby starts handling them. She eats what we eat most of the time (with a few exceptions, obviously). She has always loved meal time and is great eater. People are always amazed at how well she eats. Good luck with Everett! I’m sure he’ll come around :)ReplyCancel

  • Janette - Oh my goodness- my little girl loves food :) She was interested in mushed up banana at around 4 months, as well as Rusks (British baby ‘biscuits’) crumbed up with breast milk. Then one day she just decided not to have anything other than breast milk again. We tried conventional puree food for her once she hit 6 months, but we always planned to have her eat with us- and once she saw what we were having, she didn’t want her puree! Her first sucessful meal was a brisket chilli… As I said, she loves food!
    However, I made the mistake of comparing the amount she was eating with those who were on purees and started to stress about the whole thing. It wasn’t until we went on holiday and she just sat with us in restaurants every night, leisurely munching through loads of food, that I realised that I’d relaxed and she was eating A LOT… Turns out one of the biggest tips for BLW is to relax. It’s all about the babies doing things in their own time.
    A couple of other thing that work for us: always eat at the table- good training in general and easier to clean up.
    Get a splash mat- even easier cleaning! Even better- get 2 so you can keep one in the bag for whilst you’re out.
    Strip the wee one down to his nappy to eat- saves on laundry in a big way. We even strip our little one down to a nappy when we’re out.
    Erin is now 8.5 months and is starting to want to feed herself with a spoon, we’re all eating healthier because we all eat what she eats- bonus! We’ve only had one cholking episode in 2 and a half months- it’s amazing how good you can be at eating with only 2 teeth!
    I’m sure you’ll come to love it :) Good luckReplyCancel

  • Danya - My little man never really ate purred food. He only did minimal bites of homemade butternut squash and pear. He still will not really take spoon fed items from me! He like to finger feed. He didn’t really starting finger feeding well until 11 months. At 10 months he did cheerios. Now he likes almost anything ( except peas ad few other greens).

    He was picky about bottles and pacis too. Now I am trying to get him to sippy cup, but he wants NOTHING to do with them. He prefers drinking from a regular cup.

    I had to put cereal in his bottles at about 6 months because weak swallowing after being really sick for 2 months. He was also a good BF baby, I only stopped because my supply dropped and he wasn’t getting full.

    Hope your lil man starts eating soon. My 1 y/o loves eating, but just with the finger!

    Who knew boys could be so high maintenance! heheheReplyCancel

  • Janelle - BLW has been great for us! My daughter is turning one next week and she is a great eater. I can’t of course tell if it is due to our BLW approach or if it would have happened if we fed her purees, but I am a huge fan. It gives them the chance to learn how to move food around in their mouth when their gag reflex is safely towards the tip of their tongue, so when it moves further towards their throat they already have the skills. She eats as well as my friends’ 2 year olds. I also love being able to sit her in her high chair in the kitchen, put food in front of her, and then cook and clean while she eats! I always stay in the room though and we also spend time at the table together, but it’s great for breakfast and getting the dishes done! Early on we did avocado, broccoli, berries, yogurt in a small silicone prep bowl, french toast with just egg yoke, little breakfast sausage sliced lengthwise. The facebook page has great info too. And yes, my dog has gained a bit of weight in the process!ReplyCancel

  • laura - BLW is what I plan to do with my second daughter, now 4.5 months. her older sister never liked puree, it was a big struggle. Right from the beginning she loved things like frozen peas, frozen berries, bits of veggies she could gum on and chew.
    BLW is easier!!! No cooking batches of puree.
    6-12 months food is just about experimentation. Relax. Go with the flow. Try not to compare your little boy to his older sister. He is his own person. Respect that and embrace it. (I hope I don’t sound preachy, that is not how I intend to be), it’s just more of an all babies are different and you can’t change that so don’t fight it statement!! :) Tips for feeding, buy a large piece of oil cloth and put it under his high chair when you are feeding him! :)
    The idea that on the day they turn six months babies will automatically want to eat puree from a spoon is absurd. Does E show interest in food? When they want to eat they will literally grab your steak from your plate and try to eat that! :)
    Some days they will eat, other days they won’t.
    My eldest daughter was a big, big struggle, breakfast, lunch, dinner EVERY day. We got there. I stopped worrying. She was healthy, gaining weight, growing, never sick. A spoonful is an achievement. Start with just one spoon if you want to do purees. If he eats a spoon, stop. Don’t give him more until the next meal. Make him want it rather than you forcing. Forcing does NOT work! :)
    Good luck!! (Wish me luck too as I have a v. hungry baby and we will be starting not too far behind you!!). :)ReplyCancel

  • Candace - I know this is a late to be commenting on, but I thought I’d throw out some more BLW love. I think once you can let go of the mess factor, it’s the easiest way to go. Because you’re still breastfeeding, you’re not worried about the nutrients that he’s getting from food and you can let him gain at his own speed. I believe there are studies showing that the food “play” can actually lead to increased interest in a variety of foods in the long run. (something about understanding/exploring texture I believe)

    wholesomebabyfood.com is a site I used as a guide to move through the food groups. I started with the same stuff you are, but found that sweet potatoes & bananas were the easiest for my daughter in the beginning. Cutting things in spear shapes (think chunky fry) worked best as well. When she had enough food for her to grab in the middle with some to gnaw on off the top, that worked for her. I cut sweet potatoes to that shape and then roasted them with coconut oil, which helped keep their shape a bit more. I read that the correct firmness is something that you can easily smash with tongue and pallet.

    One of my favorite things about BLWing is that it allows the child to lead. I believe that their interest will grow as their physical/digestive maturity does. So, I just stopped worrying about food in general. I hope you feel more free!ReplyCancel

  • How to feel better about being a mom... » Nowlin Roberts Hair Salon - […] Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Whether you are a mom of a newborn, a mom of a 6 month old, a veteran mom with 2 teenage boys, and another on the way, or a mom who is aching inside as she […]ReplyCancel

  • Project 52 | THIRTY SEVEN » styleberry BLOG - […] abandoned baby led weaning for the time being. As I suspected, everett’s nighttime waking was due to hunger. As soon as […]ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - I took the relaxed (read: lazy) approach to BLW, and fed her pretty much whatever is in the house. It’s been a good approach. She’s a little fussy ie she’ll throw things on the floor once she’s bored of them, but she’s pretty much tried anything. She likes really strong flavours!

    Love the blog by the wayReplyCancel

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