My second guest post on the baby-led weaning theme is from Mushypea. Mushypea is soon to be married to Sprout (how exciting!) and is a full time working Mum to their 19 month old son, Munch.
Straight away you can see Mushypea is passionate about food so it is no surprise she wanted to instill this passion in her son which is a great reason in itself to try BLW.
Mushypea writes beautifully in her own blog about her family life and her own personal life adventures so please have a read over at Mushypea, Sprout et al. Thank you, Mushypea, for sharing your experiences here, it is a privilege to have you guest post on my blog.
The light of our lives that is the little boy we affectionately call Munch loves food. It’s not surprising considering that both his parents, Sprout (the other half) and myself, Mushypea, adore food. From the sheer pleasure of tantalising those taste buds with explosions of flavours to the satisfaction of creating something ourselves – we love food.
Munch’s food journey began with breastmilk right up until we hit the six month mark. We’d begun to include him at the dining table a couple months beforehand so that he could watch us eat – sounds a little cruel when it’s put like that doesn’t it? We put bits of veg in front him a couple weeks before his six months arrived so that he could touch said bits of veg if the desire arose. Sometimes he would just look at it in wonder and other times he would attempt to pick things up.
Why BLW? It seemed logical to us in that not only was it a fun introduction to food but also the development of motor skills, learning to use his tongue and mouth to manipulate and move food around, the different textures that we could introduce and the simple pleasure of sharing mealtimes together eating the same food. In hindsight I would like to add that actually it was the lazier option when faced with the decision to BLW or puree. Even now I cannot imagine where I would have found the time to puree anything. Hats off to those that go down the puree route but it wasn’t for us at all. The ease of being able to share our food straight off our plates was a huge draw.
|First finger of toast|
Munch’s first foods were fingers of toast, vegetables and fruit. The first few weeks were filled with those moments where he would attempt to pick things up and transfer them to his mouth. Then there were the times he would gag because he had misjudged the quantity or length of the item he was trying to gum. The gag reflex is located further forward in a babies mouth than in an adult so that knowledge gave us more confidence in BLW as the first gagging experience is scary! Choking we were prepared for; if there is one thing I strongly suggest it is to make sure that all involved are confident of what it is you need to do should choking ever happen.
BLW took us all on a discovery of food, it encouraged us to try new things as we wanted Munch to try anything and everything. The fun in learning how grabbing at all foods in the same manner doesn’t always work was a joy to watch. His learning of how to eat different foods was and still is fun. No longer do we have a little boy who ends up with yoghurt all over his face and food in his hair. Munch is now a skilled user of the spoon and fork but will still resort to using his hands at times because it is far quicker. We adapted and changed our ways as more and more new foods were introduced and at 19 months Munch loves his food.
BLW? Yes, it gets messy and yes it may seem as though they are not ‘eating’. I would say relax, enjoy the mess, be amazed at how quickly they learn. The mess doesn’t last forever so make sure you take photos that will make you smile in years to come!