Feeling: Eager to teach the bub new things…
So it’s been all about solids and feeding in the last week or so.
Actually we started just about the time when the bub turned 6 months and now that we’re halfway into the month, it seems like we’re really starting to get the hang of feeding him and trying out new things.
We collected our AVENT Steamer-blender doo-hickey and did a proper cutlery and dinnerware scouting trip to IKEA and came back with plenty of tools in the arsenal to tackle the huge world of food and tastes.
And it’s really been quite the experience! Considering that papa and mummy are such huge eaters and very big on food, we were crossing and uncrossing our fingers with the hopes that our baby would love putting (edible) things in his mouth as much as we did.
And boy were we surprised that feeding a baby really just wasn’t as easy as we imagined things to be.
It looks like babies really do need how to do everything.
The all great and mighty internet, *ahem*, I meant the experts that post on the all great and mighty internet say that babies just have not made the connection to what food is in comparison to the milk that they are used to and need to be taught that opening their mouth equals to interesting tastes going in and subsequently into their tummies to nourish them and facilitate their growth.
That’s what parents are for innit?
But yeah, besides trying to coz the bub’s mouth open to put things in, apparently it also takes baby some getting used to the textures and the actual tastes of things.
We were feeding the baby carrots and apples and pears and purees or other various fruits and veges and for the life of us, we don’t understand what he doesn’t like or likes about it.
For example, we think that carrot and apple puree is palatable enough, but he found the apples tart and the carrots too fibrous. But pureed broccoli, which yes, tastes as horrible as it sounds, seemed interesting enough for the baby for him to want to keep trying.
We’ve yet to do the lemon taste test with him but given the mixed reactions that we’ve seen so far, we’re really quite excited to try it out.
But of course, we have to take things slowly.
The whole introduction of solids things has to happen on a timeline apparently – to look and monitor for reactions and allergies and the food itself needs to be fed in increasing sizes to let the baby get used to chewing and all of that.
But in the whole exercise of introducing new things to the baby, I find myself a little confused.
I met up with my January mummies over the national day weekend to head to various SG50 events across the island and humans are wont to do, we inevitably show of our child’s latest skills, or ask questions about the latest things that we’ve noticed our children to be doing.
So I noticed that some of the mummies were teaching their kids to clap and say hi and do little things like that already, and the pride in their eyes when they show their babies off.
And here I am, thinking that I need to take a few notes and start doing stuff like that with my bub the next chance I get too.
Heaven forbid we start to lose out…..
Because these babies are learning and growing so fast, it just takes a few days for there to be a difference into how advanced a baby is in doing something and since my bub being one of the last few babies in January to be born, he’s probably be one of the “slower” babies in the group.
Not to say that he’s slow of course. Just that he’s nearly a month behind the rest in learning to crawl, make sounds etc.
(Gawd I HATE snails…)
But yeah, like this picture above, even though all babies need to take the snail’s pace to learn certain things, some babies like to learn other things in their own way, or take a more round-about method to getting there.
Every child is different of course, and some would prefer to learn how to talk and whatever ahead of the kids that prefer to learn how to master their motor skills (like crawling and walking).
I’m in no means saying that I want to pressure my child to learn everything all at once. That would most certainly be disastrous. In fact, I hope he stays immobile for as long as possible so I won’t have to worry about chasing him all around the house when those days come.
However, I do find myself questions whether I need to think more about teaching, versus letting him explore more independently? What’s the right balance to it all?
Starting with the whole food thin. I talked a bit about baby-led weaning or BLW a while back and it was something that we were honestly considering for a bit.
Baby-led weaning is meant to give your child the chance to figure things out on their own – what they like to eat and how to eat it etc
You just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don’t they won’t.
Way to go for letting your child explore foods in their own time and decide what they like and what they don’t right?
We had a pretty picture about how he would grab the foods and suck on the bits or whatever and we were quite stoked about not having to do too much preparation when it came to giving the bub foods.
But if you don’t remember what I said happened after we let our bub try steamed carrot sticks, well….
The bub had carrot everywhere, in his hands and under his nails and not to mention coming out of his mouth after he pressed the carrot stick a little too far down his throat…
Yeah, we decided we’d control the whole gagging thing after that by controlling what he eats…
Turns out you still have to steam and make sure that food is pretty soft and squishy before giving it to the bub anyway so if you’re going to go through all that trouble, you might as well puree the whole lot and feed the baby anyway too.
That way you can at least see how much the baby actually puts into his mouth and swallows at the end of the day.
Our bub does something like this, except the majority of the food kinda ends up on his cheeks and on his top lip or just handing off the side of his mouth.
But moving on, I really put a lot more thought into the whole thing about how in order to help your baby grow, you needed to kind of let them alone.
Somewhere else, I read that if you wanted your baby to be crawling, sitting, standing or walking, faster, you needed to stop coddling them and putting them in jumpers and walkers and bouncers. To leave them on the floor to figure out where their feet and hands need to go.
The more they are allowed the time to figure out things on their own, the faster they’ll learn.
While I agree that there needs to be a certain amount of independence, a part of me still thinks that there still needs to be a bit of parental involvement in everything too.
I mean, after all, besides passing our genes down, we’re meant to pass knowledge down to our children as well too right?
Like watching some national geographic video about migrating animals. How if a generation of animals knew where the best hunting or grazing grounds are, it would pass that information down to their children so that they would know where to go when they became independent adults.
That’s what parents are for innit?
Hold their child’s hand until they can manage on their own. Or rather, not leaving your child alone without supervision more likely..
In all the uncertainty that I have about wanting to give my child the option to handle himself, I suppose that being a parent means that I can’t ever be too far away from my child – for my baby to learn from my example and also for me to learn how to teach him properly.
I just hope that I’m able to find the balance that he needs. To not be too controlling and not too relaxed about rules and independence too.
In the mean time, we trust God to guide our hands when it comes to parenthood and lift our worries to Him because we know that He is the almighty Father of us all.
It’s going to be a tough ride trying to figure all that out but there are so many things that my hubs and I need to teach the bub to do… Hopefully we get a better hang of everything sooner rather than later down the line.
As long as love’s in the heart of it all, I’m sure we’ll do fine 🙂
To the Next Hurdle…