When you see a picture of baby's first foods, you typically see some type of pureed food. But, little A is not only an independent little soul, he is also very hands-on. Bring something that he wants or finds interesting around, and you're sure to have flailing arms and wiggly fingers in your face.
Not only that, but what a better way to fine-tune those skills, than to use them often.
So, with less than a week to go before his 6-month "birthday", big A and I made the decision to introduce solids! A really common first food for little ones is avocado, not only for its nutritional benefits, but it's just a naturally soft food. As we continue to introduce solids, some foods we will puree (like meats), especially due to his lack of teeth, but it really was lots of fun watching him get hands on and feed himself!
One really good benefit I see to allowing a baby to feed himself, is that they become acquainted to different textures at an early age. Babies who are fed only purees and then introduced something even as thick as an avocado require a transition to the new texture. Some studies have shown this may help children have a preference for healthier foods. Not only that, but children who feed themselves are less likely to be overweight than children who are spoon-fed, because by taking control as the parent, you may overfeed your child.
So, what should you expect when allowing your baby to feed themselves for the first time?
Not much food will be eaten
Actually, for awhile, very minimal food will make it to your baby's mouth. And that's okay! "Up until one, food is for fun" meaning that breastmilk/formula should be your baby's main source of nutrition until age one. By introducing foods early, you're allowing your baby to experience different tastes and textures, you're not necessarily "feeding" them.
Any avocado that did make it into little A's mouth was usually spit back out quickly afterward.
Prepare to get messy
Little A squeezed avocado all over his hands, smeared it on the high chair, tried to throw it across the room, spit it everywhere, and then threw up. Yeah. It's messy.
Gagging is NORMAL
As long as you're feeding a baby-safe food, there is very little reason for worry about choking. The first time little A sucked a piece of avocado quickly into his mouth, big A and I jumped thinking he was going to suck it straight down his throat. He didn't. He played with it in his mouth a little. And then he gagged, swallowed, and threw up everywhere. Once again, be prepared for a mess, and don't stress the gags!
Get the camera ready
It's a huge milestone, your baby is eating food! It's exciting, fun, and you'll want to take lots of pictures at the adorable little faces they make.
Until next time,
Labels: baby, baby-led weaning, first food, food, solids, weaning