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Baby Led Weaning Diary – Age: 25 weeks, 2 days

Posted on: 24th March 2013

Posted in: Baby Led Weaning Diary

This week has been another week of new foods, tastes and textures, plus foods already tried in the previous 2 weeks. New foods have included fresh pear (peeled), fresh plum (peeled), sweet potato (boiled) and kiwi fruit (peeled and cored). I have found the last week quite difficult to manage, for two reasons. I shall explain these reasons and my (hopeful) solutions.

Reason1: Tiredness

Meadow is always tired at lunch time (around 12.15), and is desperately ready for her nap. At tea time (around 5pm), she is also tired, being ready for bed. Sometimes she is not really interested in eating because she’s so tired. However, because I know that she is getting the majority of her nutrition from breastmilk, and she is self-regulating her solids intake via baby led weaning, I know that this is ok. I am keen to continue offering her food at the same times as I have been, as this is when we eat as a family, and it is very apparent that she enjoys the company and stimulus of the family dining experience.  Her tiredness is something that should improve as the weeks go on.

Reason 2: Frustration at not being able to maintain grip on her food

Meadow is struggling to pick up her food and keep hold of it. I am not sure if she is struggling to see the food (she can see colourful toys, but maybe not fruit and vegetables like pear and apple which blend into the background of the white highchair tray!), or whether she is just tired. Even with using the crinkle cutter, foods such as pear, sweet potato and avocado are too slippery for her to maintain her grip on them. She drops the food and gets very frustrated and upset, because she clearly wants it. My (intermediate) solution is to hold the food in the palm of my hand close enough for her to grab it, and then assist her with holding the food (or sometimes I hold the food and she holds my hands guiding my hand to and fro from her mouth). Although this is not ideal (and technically not baby led weaning), I am actively encouraging self-feeding, and am only ‘helping’ her in the short term to alleviate her frustration. I am hoping that as her grip strengthens over the coming days, she will start to get better at maintaining her grip.

We have also introduced a cup of water at each mealtime (currently lunch and tea). Free-flow cups should be introduced as soon as weaning commences. For babies under 26 weeks (6 months), use a clean, sterilised cup, and fill it with cool boiled water. Once the baby is over 26 weeks, a clean cup (unsterilised) with fresh tap water can be used. Clearly the latter is less time-consuming, so roll on next week! There are a small number of companies selling free-flow cups suitable for babies, including the ‘Tommee Tippee First Cup’ and the ‘Vital Baby Trainer Cup’. By ‘free-flow’, I mean cups where there is no internal valve – or cups which are NOT ‘non-spill’. It’s best to avoid non-spill or valved cups (which unfortunately make up the majority of cups on the market) as they are difficult for the baby to sip from (they have to work hard to get the fluid out) and they may affect the baby’s teeth and speech development. Some cups have removable valves, such as the ‘AnyWayUp Cow Cup’ and these are fine to use with the valve removed. We have bought a couple of the Vital Baby cups, because they had some fun colours on offer, and the spout is soft rather than hard plastic. Water and breast/formula milk are the only suitable drinks for babies under 12 months. Cow’s milk can be used in meals and cooking under 12 months, e.g. macaroni cheese, cauliflower cheese or custard.

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