Baby-led Weaning Wednesday: Spaghetti Round Two

I already did a post about spaghetti, but with such a vast change in the procedures for eating it, I decided it was a topic worth re-addressing.

I’m a big fan of noodles. Really, grains in general. If I had to pick one part of the food pyramid that’s my favorite it would probably be either produce or grains depending on the day. Needless to say, we eat a lot of grains in my house. My husband loves red meat so grains + red meat = frequent spaghetti eating. Since we eat spaghetti frequently, I decided to use it as the example for how eating behaviors for Baby-led Weaning babies change over time.

It starts with a mess. As I’m sure most of you know (or are soon to know), Baby-led Weaning is messy. This is a picture of Peanut after eating spaghetti from around 7.5 months old. Back then, I would strip off all of her clothes and even her diaper to eat spaghetti. She would grab handfuls of it and try to shove it in her mouth, inevitably smushing it all over her face and body in the process. She’s always loved spaghetti, but at this time it seemed like a big hassle.

This picture is from about 9.5 months old. By this point she had decided that she needs to eat each individual part of the spaghetti separately. It’s something to really explore and experiment with. During this stage she takes every food and runs it through a series of test. Can I smash it between my fingers? If I rub it on the table, does it leave a mark? What happens if I put it on the floor and step on it? One of the reasons we do Baby-led Weaning is because it helps her to learn about food and form a healthy relationship. When she throws it on the floor, I’m not assuming that she’s being defiant or testing me, but rather she is seeing what happens when she throws it on the floor.

Here she is hitting the noodle on the table like a whip. Not only is she exploring, but it’s fun too!

Now we’ve gotten to the stage where she’s trying to use utensils for eating. Sure, she’s still messy and still likes to explore and play, but I feel like we’ve crossed some threshold and now she’s more of an mini-adult eater. Really, it feels like she’s becoming more of a mini-adult in many ways. I’m sure that we still have far to go with our Baby-led Weaning adventure, but it’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come.

Newsletter – 10 Months

Hello Ms. Dea,

This past month has been an exciting one. Last newsletter I said you finally had a tooth, now you’re at almost four (I say almost because it’s obviously about to irrupt).

Luckily these new teeth haven’t causes any pain with breastfeeding—though most of our friends don’t understand why I’m still breastfeeding you now that you have teeth. To them I say why would we stop when we’re enjoying it so? Even if your new pearly whites caused me pain we would work around it.

Remember a couple months ago when I urged you not to do this walking thing? Yeah, you didn’t listen. Though you’re still using crawling as your main mode of transportation, you’re able to walk. Mama was amazed when she set you in front of her just trying to get you to stand unsupported (which you kept doing while not paying attention and then would fall over the second you realized it) and you took steps towards her! Now how will we keep you away from the dog?!

When you were younger—as it is with most babies—you used your mouth as a form of exploration. Mouthing things still plays an important part in your scientific method, but you’ve come up with a new test—stepping. When you find a new toy it will inevitably be dropped on the ground so you see how it is for walking upon. Can I balance? Does it move? Is it painful? Every time I watch you use the stepping test with amusement I become more convinced of your brilliance.

Lastly, I wanted to mention your dancing skills. While you still don’t really bust a move, you can move to the beat. Sometimes you rock so hard that you almost fall over. You’re ridiculously cute.

Mommy loves you!

Newsletter – 8 Months

Hello Little Miss Toothless,

Yeah, you’re severely lacking in the teeth department. Other moms say I’m lucky, but all I feel is worry. I was reading on the internet that delayed teeth can be normal, or it can be a sign of hypothyroidism or rickets. Your Grandma Fay has hyperthyroidism and you’re not receiving vitamin D supplements. That said, mama is a little worried. So we start the countdown of one month until your next pediatrician appointment where I will bring it up. Hurry up and make an appearance teeth!

A month after learning to climb up the stairs, you finally mastered down. This whole delayed learning thing was very inconvenient when you thought you could just sit down to stop climbing the stairs and fell off—3 times! Luckily, you were only on the first stair all three times. Unluckily, you cry like you just got hit by a car whenever you feel any pain.

Now this next little tidbit is pretty important so pay attention. Peanut, you need to realize that nighttime is for sleeping. A couple months ago, we finally got it figured out that it’s a good thing to go to sleep at night, even though Oh. My. God. I’m. Missing. Events. Ah! After finally figuring that part out and getting back into our routine, you’ve decided that you can make up missing things in the night by waking up before the rooster crows. Don’t get me wrong, Mama doesn’t need to sleep in until noon, but 7am would be nice. So, remember, night time is for sleep. I have a feeling you are your father’s daughter in that department.

Finally, I would like to go over the exaggerated goodness which is walking. I know, right now it seems so cool to let go of whatever you may be leaning on for balance. I know it’s what all of the popular kids are doing, but it’s really not worth it. First it’s this fun new thing and everyone cheers—hey, you can even chase the dog better—but then you fall on your ass and run into things and bump your head. Just know that it’s not worth it. Don’t cave into the peer pressure. I don’t want to be talking about how I had this lovely daughter that was doing so well and then she started walking straight into a downhill spiral and is now a crack whore next newsletter. Kthnx.

Much love,

Mama

Newsletter- 5 Months

Dear Peanut,

You’re five months old today. Things you’ve liked this month: watching Kerri, dancing with mommy and daddy, and indiscriminately sticking things into your mouth. Things you’ve hated this month: your car seat, staying at home for too long, and Oh my god, how did you not take me out of this bouncer five minutes ago? What kind of mother doesn’t predict that I’m going to want out of the bouncer now?

You’ve started grabbing at things with one hand. Though this wouldn’t seem like an important milestone, it’s actually quite impressive. You see, for the longest time, you were smacking both hands together as if you were very impressed with the elephant’s performance of appearing right in front of you and somehow magically catching the elephant in your hands. Now, you’re very obviously attempting get the elephant into your hand on purpose and consequentially into your mouth.

You do love putting things into your mouth. Your hands in your mouth, my hands in your mouth, your toys in your mouth, your diaper in your mouth, my book in your mouth, did I mention you like putting things in your mouth? As long as it’s not a dangerous something in your mouth (by the way, totally not cool to stick mommy’s pen down your throat), it’s just fine. Back in the days when I was child- and care-free, I hated the drooling that accompanied babies sticking everything in their mouths. It was probably the thing that I loathed the most about potential parenthood. Now, it’s just a regular day to day thing. I got your drool on my face today and guess what? I didn’t even gag.

Your father and I are hippie, attachment parenting folk and decided to co-sleep. Well, sort of decided. Quite honestly, I was entirely against co-sleeping when I was pregnant. I was thoroughly convinced push you off the bed like I did to your great-grandma or roll over on you. After you were born, I realized that it was a necessity. The issue there was that our bed is not co-sleeping safe. We had no guardrail (to prevent mama from pushing granny off the bed), our bed is a pillow top (perfect for smushing little baby faces until they can’t breathe) and Kerri refuses to sleep anywhere besides under the covers snuggled right up against me and dad. So, we decided to side-car the crib.

With this new fantastic device, our sleep immediately and drastically improved. That is, until now. I put you to bed and then come out here and do fancy non-baby things like type with two hands or watch a television show without hitting pause. A few nights ago, I decided to have a fruity, alcoholic, pomegranate drink–which I might mention was totally deserved–for the first time since you were a wee one in my belly and I didn’t even know you existed. This was something that I racked my brains over for months because I was afraid of what it might do to my supply or what if my milk tasted bad and you didn’t like it or what if I hurt you?!?! Little did I know, you came up with an entirely new reason for me to be paranoid about drinking.

Apparently after having my one fruity, alcoholic, pomegranate drink, I fell asleep on the couch. Falling asleep on the couch is not foreign to me and on any other night wouldn’t be a big deal. Normally, when you wake up to be fed for the first time in the night (about 4 hours after you go to sleep–high five!) I hear you on the baby monitor making little whimper noises and go in and feed you and fall back asleep. This night, in my warm-cheeked sleep, I didn’t hear your whimper noises and then was suddenly woken by a S.C.R.E.AM. coming from the room. As you’d image, your father and I go running in the room and you’re on the floor. You moved all the way down to the bottom of the bed and then sideways on order to get to the floor. At the time, I cried until you fell asleep (and then cried some more for being such a horrible mother), but now I just feel impressed. My daughter wiggled all the way down the bed and sideways onto the floor! That’s practically crawling! Did I mention she’s only 5 months old?!?! Old grandmas will be telling stories for the next 200 years of the baby that wiggled all the way down and off the bed at only 5 months.

Mommy will try her hardest to write you a newsletter every month on your “birthday” from now on. I’m even creating an alarm in my phone for it. Sorry that I’ve failed in the creating memories department thus far, but I’d like to thing I make up for it in the changing bums in less than a minute, feeding you 5,000 times a day, and figuring out a bedtime routine that actually works departments.

Love, Mommy

Newsletter June 2009

I would like to start off by saying sorry Peanut, I meant to do this earlier, but you’ve really kept my hands full!

You are 10 weeks old now and sitting on my lap whilst pooping. Thanks for that one kid. Your favorite things are teh bewbies (obviously), staring at your green elephant stuffed animal, your hands (nom nom nom), and Daddy making faces at you. You smile all the time and make some of the silliest noises.

You’re really good at tummy time. Your doctor was impressed that you’re already rolling over. Yet for some reason you still get angry and cry every time. We think it’s because you’re being set down more than actually hating tummy time. Oh, you hate being set down. You’re one of those babies that always wants to be in arms. Grandma Wilde didn’t believe me at first, but then she watched you while Mommy and Daddy went to see Star Trek and she believes now.

We’re still working on sleeping situations. You’d prefer you always slept right next to me, but since our bed isn’t safe for that, we need you to sleep in your crib. Mommy is reading a book called “The No Cry Sleep Solution” to help us with that. You also need to take naps, but you don’t want to. You get really frustrated when you are tired, but want to stay awake. I can understand your dilemma. You want to explore everything, but you’re tired.

Well, you’re upset because I tried to put you in the swing and you need your bum changed. Also Mommy needs to do laundry. So until next month… hopefully.

Peanut Rolled Over

After some Baby Mozart dancing, I decided to lay Peanut down on her playmat for some tummy time while I cleaned my breast pump. She started crying, but I figured she was just tired of tummy time and could wait until I was finished. When I went to pick her up, she was on her back! Don’t ask me how she did it (the mat is flat and was on the floor), but she did! 3 weeks 1 day! That’s so soon! We could tell she was already developing fast, but wow. Of course after I picked her up she started screaming and then puked all over me.