Feeling: not very creative
So the bub has been eating solids for 2 and a half months now (since he passed his half-year-versary @ 6 months) and it’s been wonderful introducing him to all sorts of things and trying out veges and fruits and meats and beans and whatever else you can think of. (Almost anyway)!
There’s actually a fair amount of things that babies need to avoid when they start eating foods. There are foods which are more likely to be allergenic than others – eggs, seafood and shellfish, tofus and nuts.
And of course, there are a ton of resources that you can look to on the internet for what should be introduced when too. But while we’ve been careful about feeding him different things, we’re also kind of facing a totally different problem at the same time.
The baby doesn’t want to open his mouth.
And I don’t mean he just doesn’t know what to do when we bring the spoon near to him, I mean he KNOWS but clamps tighter still, as if to say “I know you’re trying to poison me, and I’m having NONE OF THAT. KTHXBAI.”
We’ve tried a ton of different things, different spoons, different foods, tricking him and using all sorts of tactics to try and get him to love eating, but he doesn’t seem to want to take.
Yeah, watch it. You’ll get what I’m talking about.
The bubsy has tried a LOT of tricks to get away from the evil spoon of doom. Twisting and turning in his seat. Blocking his face and his mouth, short of knocking the food and spoon out of our hands and even when he’s desperately angry at our efforts, crying with his mouth closed to avoid it entirely!
And that’s only the beginning of this very intricate dance of “please eat your food” with the bubsy.
It isn’t all that much of a fight actually, because it seems that there is a time of day that he feels the most inclined to eat. And even at certain locations, the baby suddenly seems to be more open to food.
We’ve actually noticed that the bub is a tad more well-behaved in public. Not too sure how long that’s going to last, but when it comes to eating when we’re out – when we bring some food out to give him food, he’ll be a little more open to eating.
We bought this cool gadget thing. that stores puree in a squeeze tube, and when you press said squeeze tube, the puree comes out nicely on a spoon to feed directly into baby’s mouth.
It was actually pretty awesome while it lasted. Less cleaning up after a meal and it was easy enough to keep in case the baby didn’t want to finish all the puree that we made.
And that worked wonderfully for a little while. The bub probably was humouring us because of the sheer novelty of it – how different it was from a stagnant spoon. But he soon figured out what this thing did and promptly started rejecting this spoon too!
ANYWAY, we tried a whole bunch of other things too. We are currently on ice cold food during meal times now.
We pre-make all his puree, blitzing quantities and freezing them in ice cube trays so that when it rolls around to breakfast or dinner we can just knock ’em out and chop ’em into bite sized bits for the bub.
In the past where we would then defrost the cubs to feed him by spoon, we’ve taken to finger feeding him now. And just popping them into his mouth like ice-lollies.
I think that it’s because he’s teething. Now when I’m nursing him, I can feel the sharp edges of his front teeth grazing my nipples. Hurts like hell, but at least I know he finally has some pearlies growing out.
So the ice-cold food is probably soothing for him now. And hopefully easing the ache of the teeth popping up.
Whatever melted in the bowl while waiting for his mouth to be available, I was finger feeding to him so that he would finish the last bits. Scraping the bowl with my fingers and sticking my fingers in his mouth for him to suck the food off.
And that got us to thinking that his rejection of spoon-fed food could also have been because the plastic spoons we were using were bumping into his gums. And we bought a silicon spoon to try in the off chance that that might work too.
Again, all these different methods work only for a bit. Then he wises up, and we’ve got to find another different way to get him to eat.
As it is now, he’s starting to shut his mouth with the ice cubed puree now too.
Well, we’ve also tried giving him his food in different forms too and he seems to like solids, but doesn’t want to be a part of the entire baby-led weaning movement either.
We’ve got a little chunk of steamed chicken, unsalted and unseasoned and perhaps a stick of steamed carrot or broccoli for dinner, so of course bubsy gets a bit of it to try, but he seems a lot more interested in pushing it around his tray more than putting it in his mouth.
People tell me that it will take a while before the babies get the hang of handling their own food and putting the food into their mouths and it WILL seem a lot more like play time before it becomes eating time so just hang in there!
That’s what we’re doing for now with the whole BLW thing. And being in a house where there’s a helper makes trying BLW a little bit easier, since I don’t have to worry too much about cleaning up after too.
Thing is, is that the baby DOES have a thing about finger feeding.
When it comes to big chunks, the bub would rather wave them around and fling them away rather than putting them into his mouth. Little morsels that are bite sized he can do though.
He would also much prefer mummy or papa to do the feeding too, popping the little bites into his mouth rather than grasping them and aiming for his mouth on his own.
And I don’t know what to say, but it truly is a chose sometimes getting the bub to eat.
It makes me feel very worried and upset when he cries and screams just to get away from the food on the table.
I mean, the hubs and I try out the things that he eats and (besides the broccoli puree which honestly just tastes like grass), his food is pretty decent and quite yummy! The apple and the mango puree cubes especially are the right mix of tart and sweet. So why doesn’t he like it?
Well, the advice from my friends so far have been reassuring. I mean, right now, milk is still the bub’s main source of nutrition. It’s not the solid food that is meant to make up the bulk of his vitamins and proteins and all that . So I really shouldn’t be fretting too much if he doesn’t take to the food RIGHT NOW.
‘In fact, their exact comments were, that I should be bringing him more on holidays now when I don’t have to worry about making him lunches and snacks and all sorts of things now.’
‘Just focus on giving him the right experience as he’s trying food out and things will fall into place in the future.’
‘Anyway, have you ever seen a grown man who only drinks breastmilk?’
That last one….
My hubs used to know this old expatriate colleague who insisted on ONLY eating western cuisine. pastas and meats and salads and absolutely REFUSES to try Asian fare – because it’s weird.
At a company lunch where there were a mush-mash of foods presented for eating, he called eating curry backward and distasteful.
Besides the fact that what he did was wasteful, it’s also selfish and close-minded.
I know I might be a little over thinking the whole eating thing (as I do to everything anyway), but it’s only because the hubs and I LOVE our food. We would truly be sad if the baby just didn’t take to eating food and it becomes difficult to feed him. Even more so if he rejects certain cuisines because they are just not familiar.
Then again, I remember my own youth and recall how I used to be picky about the things that I ever ate. And my husband has this story about how he used to put a spoonful of food in his mouth, jump on his tricycle and cycle around his entire block before he was ready to eat another bite.
So I am probably just being a bit paranoid about the baby’s eating habits for now.
In any case, there are lots of other ways to feed the bub that we’ll have to figure out for the time being. And there are tons of recipes for yummy baby finger foods and edibles that we’ll have to do our research on. So of course we’re not going to throw the towel in on getting him used to eating foods now.
We just need to make eating an enjoyable experience for the baby and encourage him to like his food.Allow him to try different things and find out what he likes. To keep trying different things and put them into his mouth before deciding that he doesn’t like it.
Not worrying that it will taste horrible and lead him to be closed off from trying new things entirely.
Heaven forbid making him eat become a traumatic experience and turn the baby off all sorts of food forever.
I will cry I tell you.
In the meantime, I comfort myself that it’s just a matter of time before the bub realises the wonder of spice and flavour and taste and enjoy food just as much as his parents do!
There’s just so much joy to be had in eating. Especially in Singapore too. There is just too many options – surely one of the cuisines and foods will suit his palate right?
So we will wait for the eventuality that he discovers that joy.
Until then, we’ll press on with the effort and pray hard that we’ll be able to figure out an agreeable method of eating together!