I’ve entered the world of baby led weaning. My son is only 2 1/2 months old, so this is totally not recommended, but whatever. I think he’s ready for solid food. He’s actually been eating “solids” for a couple of weeks now. I’ve been taking fruit/veggies and blending them up with oatmeal/rice and milk. The mixture is so liquid-y that it still goes in a bottle, but I had to cut the nipple holes slightly bigger. The mix was just thick enough to not go through the original hole.
My son really likes the flavors that the thickened milk has, and it seems to fill him up much better than plain milk, but it’s a pain to make… and feed for that matter. And there’s something about the thin milk with solids in it. I was having to strain stuff through cheesecloth before giving it to him, so it really was just flavored milk.
But something game-changing happened today. My son ate a banana! Not pureed banana or banana milk; he ate bites of a real banana.
I’ve been wanting to do baby-led weaning since before I had a child. It seemed totally natural to me. When you’re eating, you just offer the kid some of your food. If he eats it, great! If not, no harm no foul.
I’ve been hold off on offering my food since my son could only handle super-thin “solids.” But that’s not the case at all! He can’t navigate multiple textures at once yet, but he can totally handle thick stuff! Offering him my food is so, so much easier than planning out purees for him. It’ll also be easier to travel and feed him solids. He won’t be restricted to regular milk if we spend the day out of the house.
By the way, to any other new parents starting solids, I’ve learned that it’s actually part of the learning process for your baby to gag on foods. As awful as it sounds, it’s necessary. As babies, the gag reflex is pretty far forward in the mouth. Every time they gag on their food, the gag reflex is moving a little further back. Also, gagging is not choking. Noise=gagging, no noise=choking. Choking is BAD. Please don’t kill your baby.
I may keep some pureed foods on hand in case I’m eating something that I don’t want to give my child… or if he wants to eat NOW and I don’t have any food made for me. I was given some of those mesh food holders for babies to gum foods, and I’m excited to begin using those.
As my son starts eating more and more solid food, I’m excited to slowly stop buying formula. Formula is ridiculously expensive. And that’s really not fair since babies need either formula or breastmilk (which is free). A big part of why I’m starting to feed my son solids so early (besides the fact that he’s so hungry) is due to the cost of formula. We’re lucky enough to have a relatively cheap brand of formula carried in our local store, but we’re still spending $15 for a can of formula that only lasts 4 days! My son has to have non-dairy formula, and many brands can cost $30+ for a can of formula (that still would only last 4 days). For the cheaper formula, that’s $113/month just to feed him. Then there are clothes, toys, diapers, etc. to buy (I say this as if I’m buying any of this… but still).
Speaking of diapers, here’s a quick elimination communication update: I love it! My son is 2 1/2 months old, and he already doesn’t poop anywhere but the potty. I haven’t changed a poopy diaper in 2 weeks! (And yes, he still poops at least once a day.) We’re cloth diapering, and we only go through about 7 diapers a day now (including nights). Before we began this, we were going through 15 cloth diapers a day and putting a disposable diaper on the baby at night. And since there’s fewer diapers and no poop, I’ve begun washing a few diapers in the load with my husband’s and my clothes. There aren’t enough diapers to make a full load on their own now, and it’s much more convenient to be able to wash diapers and clothes at the same time.
But anyway, yay bananas!
And now I’m going to bed. Haha.