Thursday, January 19, 2012


The cool thing about the whole baby-lead weaning process is how the introduction of new foods is a complete sensory experience for The Baby. He has to get used to picking up a new piece of food and figuring out how to get it in his mouth, and that can be quite the experience. With cucumbers, green beans, and broccoli (the three foods he’d had prior to today), picking up the food was relatively easy, and none of them squish without some effort. Broccoli does smash on the table quite satisfactorily, as he evidenced by bashing the broccoli repeatedly on the table of his high chair.

This morning, we gave him bananas for the first time. Bananas are a bit more problematical than the other fruits: banana slices are kind of sticky, and they are not easy to get up off of the high chair tray table. When you finally pick up the slice, it’s very easy and rewarding to squish the slices in between your fingers instead of eating; it’s also easy to squish them when trying to bring it to your mouth. He had a bit of a struggle, but he finally managed to get some into his mouth and chew.

That’s actually the strongest part of Baby-Lead Weaning: the fact that the kids struggle and practice to get the food into their own mouth. At this point in the process, he’s not actually receiving significant nutrition from the food. He doesn’t need the food to survive. As he gets better at feeding himself, his nutritional needs have grown correspondingly. Plus, it keeps him busy and entertained while the rest of us eat breakfast, cleaning dishes, or bringing little boys to the potty.

I do admit to missing the “traditional” feed the baby with a spoon, at least a little bit. I think it’s more missing the idea of the intimacy of the feeding, rather than having to take the ten to fifteen minutes to actually do it at every meal. I still sneak a little bit of baby-feeding when I can, which my wife gracefully ignores. I’m also pretty darn happy that we haven’t had to make the expense of buying baby food, which is darn expensive. I think, still, that the only jar of baby food that we bought was during The Boy’s treatment, when we were away and needed some apple sauce to give his medicines.

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