When Roo was 18 weeks old, he was helping me cook dinner. I let him smell and experience the taste of basil
and he helped me wash the mushrooms.
Then, when my back was turned, he decided that he wanted to eat. He leaned over and picked up a mushroom. Then he did what he normally does with absolutely anything – he put it in his mouth.
He loved eating that mushroom!!
He combined it with the basil to make himself a tasty dinner.
He used his hands to scoop up any loose bits of mushroom and shove them into his mouth!
It all got rather messy….
And daddy was a little bit shocked when he walked in and saw it! Roo looked a bit guilty, but he was obviously having fun. In fact, this was the best mood he had been in all day! He was completely absorbed in this activity.
Roo had single handedly decided that we were going to do baby led weaning (BLW). He was the baby, and he was leading us!! After going to a talk run by the local health visitors I understood a bit more about what BLW is. Basically, you skip the purees, baby rice, baby cereal and mush and go straight to giving your baby solid food at 6 months old. There are 3 signs that your baby is ready for food:
1. They can sit up and hold their head steady
2. They can accurately pick up food and guide it to their mouths
3. Their tongue helps them to swallow food, rather than pushing it back out
As Roo was only 4 months old, I was concerned that he wasn’t showing all of these signs yet. He can only sit up with support, and I wasn’t sure if he had actually swalllowed any mushroom. After hearing about Roo’s enthusiasm for mushroom, the health visitor said it was fine to start him having ‘taste experiences’. If he is enthusiastic with food, we don’t want to stop that, so we are allowing him to hold, taste, and smell fruits and vegetables. This is sporadic, more like once every couple of days than 3 times a day. We have started to notice evidence (to put it delicately!) that some of the food is now actually getting eaten.
It’s messy, it’s fun, and this is what it looks like:
NB: We don’t force anything into his mouth!! He picks it up himself or in the case of the lemon we hold it for him and he decides to lean forward and eat it. (He really liked the lemon! We ended up taking it away from him as it is acidic)
Nursing is still his primary form of nutrition, and that’s still going very well.
It’s not really been working as planned! Roo is a quick learner but I am neither consistent nor strong enough in my resolve to stop nursing him at night or bringing him into bed with us! It’s been hard because he has been teething (he now has 2 teeth!!) and his eczema is not responding to even very strong steroids so the poor boy is often uncomfortable and in need of extra hugs!
He has teeth! 2 of them appeared in the last week! It was a painful, dribbly process! He also showed us he was too big for his crib, so is now in a bedside cot.
He is also moving a lot more, using both his hands together to pick up things and move them around, wanting to be sitting or standing all the time and generally just growing a lot!