Monday, 27 December 2010

Infant Feeding Cues & Babyled Eating

When I was pregnant I had a vision in my head of our new daughters first Christmas. She would be nearly 7 months old and by that point she would have tried a few tastes of pureed vegetables and fruits, certainly enough to make up to a Christmas meal. I decided that I would puree them separately so she had a variety of tastes then for dessert perhaps some stewed apple and raisins for a festive finish.

That was also other peoples expectations of her Christmas meal and in fact any of her meals, I frequently feel like I'm being watched. My Nan came out with it the other day... "isn't she a bit young for that?" when I handed her a rice cake with a slice of cheese and apple.

I was at that point a bit fed up of constantly explaining our choice to allow our daughter to lead her own journey to weaning. So I just said "watch her!".

So she did. And was amazed to see her happily eat the lot, barring obviously the little bits that get tucked in unexpected places like inside vests, behind her back (?!) etc. And still no choking. Now my Nan can't stop raving on about how clever Daisy is :)

I know I'm sounding a bit like an evangelist about this lately but really I have been amazed by the way her instincts have really led the way.

In a breastfeeding antenatal class I taught, I did an exercise on infant feeding cues. Seeing the light 'pop on' for the parents-to-be was brilliant. It's extraordinary how many people think that a baby lets you know he or she needs a feed by crying. Crying is a sign of distress, not initial hunger. Learning your babies early hunger signs will make your life easier and the babys life happier. Look out for searching eyes, lip pursing, rooting and arm waving. Your baby may be trying to tell you something.

If a baby can communicate her needs to us, then perhaps its worth listening. So while listening on Christmas day, I learnt she wasn't mad keen on sprouts (though she gallantly gave them a go) and she loves, and I do mean LOVES creamed carrot and swede. Very messy though!

Our journey continues, we are learning something new every day. What are your kids teaching you?
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2 comments:

  1. Can I just say that I could have written this myself! People still say to me (and Lara is 19 months now) that they are surprised at the type and format of food that I will let my daughter eat.

    I actually did start with purees and it worked really well for us, but it wasn't mush, just mash... if you know what I mean?

    Lara's first Christmas dinner (at 6 months) was a lumpy coming together of sprouts, chestnuts, sausages, turkey, potato, carrots, peas, cranberry sauce and lots more... she devoured the lot. This year she sat up at the table and ate exactly the same as the rest of us (and in slightly larger volumes than some of us!)

    Glad you're enjoying the BLW journey in your own mellow way.

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  2. Laras 1st Christmas dinner sounds delicious! Great to hear from other mums having a good experience with BLW too.

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