Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Dorothea has been a pain at meal times. First she wouldn't sit in her chair because it didn't allow her to sit properly. So she sat on our laps. But she spent the whole time trying to grab our food. Not the toys we had provided. Not the interesting cutlery and crockery we gave her. She wanted the food.

Things improved when we put her in the highchair. She felt as if she was properly involved. But this only lasted a few days. It was all about the food again.

I am quite sure that she doesn't require food at this stage. She has plenty of milk and she is not hungry. So there is no need to start solids before 6 months. And she is only just sitting firmly which is essential for baby-led weaning.

But there it is. Baby-led weaning. I have stopped describing it to people as giving a baby finger food rather than mush, and now describe it more accurately - its about giving your child the opportunity to develop their eating skills at their own rate by giving them total control on when, what and how much they eat. The finger foods just enable them to have that control - to move on as they are developmentally interested and ready. And boy, is she ready.

So while Nathaniel and I were preparing supper and Dorothea was yelling at us, we gave her a flat bean. Uncooked, so that she couldn't break bits off it, but cut so that she could get the taste.

She was happy.

Did she gag on it? No. Did she enjoy it? YES. She munched and sucked and watched Nathaniel intently to work out how to get the most our of it. When it was demolished into a floppy bit of greenery and had stopped tasting of sweet beanyness, she threw it on the floor (yes, she can do that now. It's great fun. Honestly), and demanded another one. This baby knows her own mind.

Today I gave her a bit of apple. Same deal - uncooked so that she couldn't actually swallow it, but so she could taste.

Ten minutes later she had worked out how to soften it with saliva and then grind the edges with her gums so that she had apply mush in her mouth. She was grinning ear to ear!

I think it might be time for food.

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