baby led weaning, part 2
Two months ago we began Hunter on solids following the baby led weaning approach (check out part 1!). Now that he’s a few day short of 8 months, it’s a good time for an update.
Things have really taken off the past week. Something just clicked, and now he eats like crazy. Those first couple months were definitely about exploring. He didn’t quite understand that food made his belly feel full. Now, he most definitely does.
He’s gone from gagging down really soft pieces of fruits/veggies, to now gumming a lot more variety. The food still needs to be soft, but not super mushy. Before I would get a little nervous when he’d put a huge piece of banana in his mouth. Now, he still puts the whole thing in but can break off and ‘chew’ pieces. Even though he has no teeth in yet, that doesn’t stop him from eating and breaking food down.
A new development are his pincher skills – using his thumb and index finger to pick foods up. He still mostly grabs with his entire hand, but for those little peas he’s starting to pick them up one by one.
For a little while I was having him eat oatmeal with me in the morning. I would cook mine up with either sweet potato or banana, and pour some into a bowl for him. Spoon feeding for us is still more work most of the time than I want it to be, so I tried something new earlier this week. I cooked up extra oatmeal with sweet potato, poured it into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge. It looked like this.
A bit more congealed. Since it wasn’t as runny as warm oatmeal, he could pick up the pieces!
I did a similar thing with quinoa. I combined cooked quinoa with some mashed yam, which created a paste that he could easily pick up! Now when I make a grain like quinoa that would be really difficult to pick up, I can just mash some veggies into it and he’ll eat what we’re eating. That’s what I love about baby led weaning. It makes meals so simple!
Here’s a list of foods in categories that he’s tried and eaten. Honestly, over the next month I think it’s going to grow a ton as we add more actual meals in.
- Yams/sweet potatoes – steamed sticks or mashed with a grain
- Broccoli – steamed
- Carrot sticks – steamed
- Peas – defrosted
- Banana – ripe pieces or mashed with grain
- Avocado – pieces
- Pear – pieces with the skin removed
- Kiwi – ripe pieces with skin removed
- Egg – cooked into oatmeal or this pancake
- Tofu -firm pieces
- Black beans
- Beef – fully cooked pieces
- Plain yogurt
- Oatmeal – regular, not baby
- Quinoa – cooked inwater with garlic granulates and Italian seasoning (no salt)
I’m sure there are more foods he’s eaten, but these are the more regular ones he eats so they come to mind. He’s had a few different fruits/veggies from jarred baby food but they are far and few between. When I make something that we’re going to share, I always omit the salt since he doesn’t need it. I don’t really miss it either.
How much food does he eat?
I couldn’t give an exact amount that he eats at each meal. I just keep offering him more food if he finished what he started with. Some food always ends up on his lap, but less is getting dropped onto the ground. I know he’s done eating when he begins hitting and pushing the food around on his tray. That’s when it gets really messy!
After each meal I offer him water from his sippy cup. We’ve tried drinking out of a cup a couple times and water ends up everywhere. Practice makes perfect though!
I always nurse first, then offer solids, with the exception of dinner. Since be eats dinner about 2 hours after his last nursing session, I give him solids first, then offer another nursing session after that if he’s still hungry.
Here is Hunter’s meal from last night. It was his first time trying beef, which I sauteed in a pan. We were having burgers so as I was preparing our burgers his meat cooked away, giving it time to cool before we ate. Along with that he had some yam/quinoa patties (mashed yams and cooked quinoa sauteed together).
He ate about half of that, but I did nurse him before his dinner since he was a bit fussy.
That’s where we’re at for right now. Feel free to ask any questions. I am no expert in baby feeding, just a mom trying to see what works!