Τετάρτη, 18 Απριλίου 2012

Vegan Baby Led Weaning: First Foods *Avocado*

The Very First Time


I've been searching about baby food since he was 4 months old, when our pediatrician told us to start with baby cereal. Which I didn't. I searched over the internet until I got overwhelmed from the amount of information I could find. I bought I book about introducing solids to babies. It was relatively small, written by a famous (among mamas) greek pediatrician. It was a nice book with a lot of ideas and helpful tips, a little advanced for greeks' average thinking and most importantly in greek. But that wasn't enough for me. I wanted us to become vegans and a book about vegan children would make me feel sure I'm doing the right thing. It's impossible to find this kind of books in Greece, so I had to order one. While I had these thoughts in my mind I discovered Baby-Led Weaning (BLW).It seemed sooo interesting. I remembered I had red an article about it on a magazine when I was pregnant. I came back to it, then searched a lot over the internet about it and decided that I needed to read the Baby-Led Weaning book. So, I had to buy books and that's what I did.

I immediately started reading the Baby-Led Weaning book after I recieved it. As I was reading, I realised my baby was actually ''ready'' to begin experimenting with solids for some time. Ready as described in the book. Not at 6 months, but about 6 months and a half. That's probably because, as I believe, the doctor took my baby earlier than he should have. I could have waited more of course until he showed all signs of readiness, like sitting with no support and some teeth maybe. I have red a lot of things about signs of readiness and the authors of the book apparently have a relaxed point of view about them. In my life I strongly believe there's no right and wrong and I find it hard to follow an idea without doubting and criticizing, but there is no way to manage to do something without having some rules in mind...you''ll get lost. I wasn't sure what to do, and I was under pressure by my relatives who wanted to see my son having something else, besides my breasts, in his mouth. So I decided to follow the orders from the book and offer him some food. He was already grabbing EVERYTHING and putting it into his mouth and at last, I think I did the right thing.

There is a belief that we should introduce foods seperately so if the baby is allergic or intolerant, we can spot what food causes the problem. BLW babies don't have to do that as long as they are healthy, older than 6 months and have no allergy history in the family. Unfortunately, Phillip is allergic to something, we don't know what, and he refuses to see a doctor about it. Men are so silly. So, I have to be very carefull about what my baby eats. I'm planning to offer the same food for 4 days and check what happens before offer a new one. I also want to keep a diary, cause I have a memory problem.

As long as I'm healthy and able to stay at home to take care of my baby, I'm definitely NOT giving him any ready meals because they contain enormous amounts of sugar and/or salt. Cereal was not a first option because it's not so nutritious as other foods. The most famous BLW first solids are fruits or vegetables and that's what I was planning to offer. Some people believe that it's better not to offer something sweet at first. That's because milk is sweet and if the baby starts with sweet food, he probably will expect that every food he's being offered is sweet, rejecting other tastes. If it's true that, breastmilk's taste changes depanding on what the mother eats, there won't be any problem with us, as long as I have a rich diet, so he already had a variety of tastes through my breastmilk. But I thought I should give it a go. I had to find a non sweet fruit or vegetable to start with. I was between broccoli and avocado. Broccoli because it has a natural handle, so it would be easy for him to hold it and avocado because I always have one in my kitchen and it doesn't need any special preparation.

And the winner was...avocado!!!!!



Phillip holded him on his lap and I left a thick stick of avocado infront of the baby. He grabbed it and immediately putted it into his mouth. He played with it for a few seconds but it fell off his hand. He found it hard grabbing it again. It was too slippery for him. He had been trying to grab it, hold it, he squeezed it, licked it.

He messed the table...

...he messed his face...and bib and clothes and Phillip and floor...



He got angry as the avocado was getting lumpy. He couldn't grab it easily. I thought I shouldn't let him torture himself and end this mealtime. And then, I was amazed to see him using his both hands to catch the small pieces of avocado and steadily putting them into his mouth. I knew from the book that eating solids would be hard at first, but as time goes by babies find the ways to feed themselves effectively. I thought it would take some time but he already found a way to deal with smaller pieces.

After his "meal" I breastfed him and he slept happy!

UPDATE (4 days later)

I'm so proud of his progress with avocado. The first day, he played with it a lot and figured out how to use his both hands to pick up the small pieces. The second day, he played more using his both hands more effectively. The third day, I was surprised by how long it took him to finally break his piece of avocado in two pieces...not 100 like the previous days, just two big pieces...he found out how much pressure he has to put on his hands so he wan't crash the avocado. Oh I almost forgot...he also gagged a little which means a piece of food went on the back of his mouth but was too big and had to come out again.





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