As if having one tooth emerge and the second hot on its trails wasn’t enough excitement for one week, we accidentally jumped the gun on baby led weaning last Wednesday. It really started as an attempt on my part to soothe Nate’s teething discomfort. I bought a cucumber to stick in the fridge, slice up and give to him for gnawing purposes. I started one day with round slices, and he immediately knew what to do with them. They went straight in his mouth and he made all sorts of amazing faces as he gnawed on them. The next evening, I was out to dinner with a friend and he was getting a bit fussy while I was trying to eat, reaching frantically for my food. I asked the waitress for cucumbers and she brought a couple out, but these were cut lengthwise, resembling a steak fry. I noticed they were much easier for Nate to handle and he was absolutely delighted. The third day of trying cucumbers, I must have cut one end a bit thin. Nate easily bit off a small piece and made a fantastic face as he moved it back into his mouth, “munched on it” for a little bit, and then swallowed. I watched, slightly in horror, and panicked when he coughed/gagged a little as if he was choking. I remembered that this is normal for beginners at swallowing and he recovered very quickly and went back to gnawing on his cucumber!
Our next experiment was with zucchini. I was making a zucchini risotto bake, and while I was not ready to necessarily have him start experimenting with garlicky risotto, I thought popping a couple of strips of zucchini in the oven for a few minutes would be a good time for him. Not so much. The result was a far too mushy veggie for him to hold onto, and he quickly grew very frustrated with his inability to hold onto it. We’ll try uncooked or at least not so cooked zucchini next.
Yesterday, after a fun time at the park, I sliced up part of a banana into little fingers and had him try them out. While these were slightly easier to hold onto than the cooked zucchini and he seemed to like the flavor and texture, he quickly became very frustrated with not being able to hold onto them well. A note about Nate’s disposition these days. He has calmed down considerably and is a super cheerful, smiley and happy baby. Hunger, wet diapers, sleepiness and teething are obvious exceptions. But something like dropping a toy over the edge of his activity seat has never upset him in the slightest. The level of frustration and irritation at dropping his food, however, is absolutely astounding. Each time he has dropped a piece of food since our first cucumber experience, he instantly screeches and starts to cry. I quickly pick up the piece and dust it off (what, 5 second rule!) or offer him a new piece, and he calms down. He obviously takes after me … do not mess with our food.
In the evening we made fajitas for dinner, and the obvious winning food experiment was avocado. I had been extremely excited about these because I absolutely loooove avocados. He did so unbelievably well with the first piece. He chomped off a piece of it, “chewed” on it, spat out some of it and swallowed a little bit. Then, I think in his excitement, he squished every subsequent piece into smaller pieces and made an unbelievable mess. It was absolutely amazing. His entire onesie, legs, arms and seat were all completely covered in avocado. I want to call the whole experience a total success. He made a mess, successfully got some avocado in his mouth, and all in all (except for the times he dropped his sticky avocado pieces on the floor) was just thrilled. Steve was decidedly not thrilled that he was on clean up duty as the super seat has too many nooks and crannies that food can creep into. We will have to figure out a way to prop him up a little better in his high chair because the tray seems to be a bit high for his liking. We’ll figure it out.
I’m most excited about the fact that aside from Nate absolutely loving playing with, gnawing on and kind of eating solids, he has ZERO interest in being fed. I thought I’d help him out by holding pieces of food to his mouth, and he would look at me as though I was crazy and why on earth are you trying to put stuff in my mouth? He either turned his head away in disinterest or took the food out of my hands and then put it in his mouth. He is very adamant about feeding himself. I’m tickled to pieces.
Solids, you have a new fan!