about baby led weaning..

i hope you still remember about my previous blw posting, it was a beginning of the whole food journey by iola. i am writing this as an excitement to share a good news: BLW is so fun! i am thankful that i was stubborn to introduce BLW to iola, and wasn't tempted to switch to spoon feeding (because of - you know - other people's comments and concerns).

i have been observing iola during her meal time, i can see her enjoying every bites. she explores textures, she explores tastes, she knows which food are soft and which food are harder - therefore, she need to chew it first before swallowing.
i also learn her habit; when she throw her food, it means she doesn't fancy the food and she wants other food. when she hold her food tightly and eat till the last bite, it means she loves it. when she "growls", it means the food is hard, she needs time to chew or even she can't chew her food at all.

she always grab all the food i put in her plate, then observe it on her hand for a second or two. most of the time, she would put it in her mouth first, then decide whether she likes it or not. but so far, she likes almost all the food i offer her; carrots, baby corn, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, broccoli, dragon fruit, avocado, watermelon, rock melon, baked apple, banana, rice, and baby biscuit. the least favorite are hard boiled egg and pasta.

the moment when i realize that blw is really helping her to love food is when we were going out with families and friends:

1. we were eating out, but i didn't prepare anything for her lunch meal and we were eating KFC. it left me no choice but to let her eat biscuits that day, i gave her three biscuits which she finished it all. my families impressed by her ability to eat "hard" biscuit and her persistence to chew it without making fuss.

2. we were bbq-ing with friends and (again!) i didn't bring iola's food (i am an unprepared-bad mom), so i asked my friend if i could have a potato for iola. he let me have anything in his fridge in fact, but i stick with potato. i just cut it and boiled the potato. when the adults were having bbq, iola enjoyed her boiled potato and watermelon. she finished almost all the food i offered her. and once again, my friends commented that it's really good to see a baby with good appetite and could eat by herself.

here are a few tips i've learned during these almost-a-month of iola's blw journey:
1. lay a newspaper sheet or a washable plastic sheet under baby's high chair, it helps to clean the mess after meal time.
2. iola likes to pull her bibs off, so i bought a plastic bibs from tommee tippee, it is not easy for her to pull it off.
3. use a silicone plate/placemat so that the baby couldn't push out of the table. i use an ezpz minimat which fits ikea's highchair tray.
4. start with easy finger food, such as carrot sticks or broccoli. if you boiled it too soft, you can bake it after boiling so that the surface is not too mushy and baby can hold it easily.
5. offer food one by one, it's better not putting all the food in front of the baby. by offering one by one, baby can focus on what's on her hands.
6. be patient when it takes forever for baby to chew and swallow her food. don't rush her.
7. it will take some times before the baby is really eating. don't worry, keep giving her the breastmilk/formula milk as usual.
8. be calm when seeing your baby gagging. pat her back to calm her down or you can pull her hands up high to straighten her throat.
9. bear with the mess.
10. it's better to let your baby have the same meal time as adults, so she would learn that meal time is to sit down together around the table.
11. when babies are older (and become more expert in eating), try to cook the same meal as the adults. just separate the baby's portion, before adding salt and/or sugar to adults' portion.
12. learn on how to help a choking baby, just in case.

enjoy your meals, folks!


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