Baby’s First Solid Food: FAIL


baby with kit kat

Just kidding. Ha ha ha! He’s playing with the wrapper, that’s all.

Rather, Michael’s first food was marginally healthier:

french toast

French toast! Agggh!! Made with just barely set eggs, white sugar, salted butter, and a day-old baguette. Yum for me, all but toxic for him. I am so embarrassed.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Our adventure with solids really began more than a week ago, when we decided it was time to train Michael to not be intensely afraid of his high chair. Like so:

baby crying in high chair

And so…

sad baby in high chair

While this was going on, I decided we would try to feed him his first solids while having him sit in our laps, so he didn’t have to deal with two shockingly new things at once.

First up, pumpkin. Carefully selected for its mashable, healthy, non-constipating properties. Because I actually thought my baby would eat it, ha ha. So I steamed it, mashed it to a puree with a fork, and then very awkwardly spooned/smeared/tipped it into Michael’s mouth. He immediately balked, gagged, and spat. Unfortunately I was too busy gawking at him (and holding the bowl and spoon) to take photographs. But I assure you it was kind of funny.

And then it stopped being funny after a few days when he started to grimace in anticipation before the spoon even got near his face. He would look at the advancing bowl of puree and shrink back with a face that clearly said “Oh no.” Which got to me, because the last thing I wanted was for him to think that food sucks. So I regrouped and consulted google: Baby hates spoon purees.

Baby Led Weaning came up. Of course it did. I quickly learned that it is the hippest trend in baby feeding at the moment. I bet Christopher Lee and Fann Wong are going to do it with their baby Zed Lee, in a few months time. That’s how hip it is. Anyway, in a nutshell, it involves trusting your baby to be able to feed himself when he’s ready, and presenting him with food that he can help himself to, without external help. A little like feeding a dog, but probably much more messy and annoying. But it resonated with me. Michael is at the stage where everything (EVERYTHING) goes straight into his mouth. So instead of fighting to put a spoon in his mouth, why not just present him with finger food and have him do the work himself? And possibly even enjoy himself! I spent one night googling “BLW choking” like a maniac and convinced myself that choking is not any more likely with BLW than it is with traditional purees. I also rehearsed the infant heimlich maneuver in my head.

The next day, I stripped Michael down to just his diaper, put him in the high chair and gave him a banana. He grabbed it, stuck it in his mouth, and then sort of gnawed on it distractedly, without much enthusiasm. It fell out of his mouth almost immediately, and then became too slippery for him to hold. So I held it for him, and for the next few minutes, he kind of gummed / licked it. Progress!

I was excited until it soon became clear over the course of the next few days that he wasn’t enjoying himself too much either. The “Oh no” face returned, whenever I put him in his high chair and placed food in front of him. It was like a reverse Pavlovian response. His lips would curl back in disgust even as he compulsively grabbed the carrot / broccoli / banana / orange slice, and nothing made it past his lips.


Can I go now?

Until this afternoon. He’d just woken up from his afternoon nap, and he was half an hour away from his next milk feeding and kinda hungry. I was chewing on a slice of french toast, and he reached for it with his mouth opened and lips all puckered in anticipation. The good kind of pucker. So I thought what the heck and pinched off a bit of my toast. He grabbed my hand, and inserted the toast way back into his mouth. I swallowed my fear and let go of the morsel. He moved his mouth a bit. I held my breath. He’d swallowed! With nary a grimace nor gag! I pinched off more french toast.  He reached for it again. For the next couple minutes I watched with fascinated horror as my baby casually swallowed piece after piece of sugary eggy starchy childhood obesity causing bread. After the sixth piece I chickened out and stopped.

Tomorrow, a new strategy: offer small bits of very soft fruit, outside of his high chair, when slightly hungry. Update to come!


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