Friday, January 22, 2016

First foods

I first learned about Baby-led weaning a few years ago from a blog that I follow. The blogger, a mom with two young children, wrote a post on ways their family saved money while their children were babies and toddlers. One of the ways she mentioned was Baby-led weaning, which she described in her post. I was fascinated, and immediately went on to do some more research of my own. The practice very much appealed to me for more than one reason. (See below for links to learn more about BLW.) So once I had a good idea of what BLW actually was, I decided it would be a perfect way to introduce solid foods to my kids.

While in BC over the Christmas holidays, Lauren - then not quite 6-months-old - had her first few tastes of food. As BLW suggests, I had been planning to wait until she was at least 6mos before starting her on solids, but she has been interested in watching people eat and reaching for food and plates for quite awhile now that it just seemed unfair to make her wait much longer when she was very obviously ready to try solid foods. While out to eat at a Taiwanese restaurant, I saw Roiboos tea on the menu and, on a whim, decided to order some and let Lauren have a taste as it's supposed to be great for soothing babies with gas, even from a young age. We offered her small tastes from a spoon and she loved it and kept sipping it down until we decided she'd probably had enough. The next week, my mum bought some baby rusk crackers (the melt-in-baby's-mouth kind), so we sat her in a high chair at the table and gave her one. She was very eager to reach for it and put it straight in her mouth. She gave some interesting (dubious) looks as she tasted it, but kept on putting it back into her mouth for more tastes, and even tried sucking on the bib where it had dropped when she lost hold of the actual cracker. In the end, she seemed to be a fan of the taste, if not the soggy, melt-in-the-mouth texture.

(Photo credit: Glenda Quiring)
(Photo credit: Glenda Quiring)

When Lauren and I got back home the next week, Jonathan and I spent an evening ordering a few items that we needed in order for Lauren to begin eating solid food in earnest. In hindsight, we probably should have gotten them before Christmas so we could have already had them and been right ready to jump into solid foods as soon as we returned home. The items came quickly enough, though, and when they arrived on Monday afternoon we quickly opened the boxes, set up the new high chair, buckled Lauren in, snapped on her new bib, and gave her some cucumber sticks to gnaw. She loved them! She chewed on them for quite awhile until she had sucked off all the soft seedy parts and wasn't interested in the rest of the cucumbers anymore. She still seemed to want to chew on something, though, so I found a silicone Food Hugger for her to chomp on for a bit since we didn't have any other baby-appropriate food items in the house right then. She was quite happy to munch on that, too, even though it wasn't real food.

I think it's safe to say that our first couple dabbles into solids went well, and that Lauren is more than ready to explore the world of food and is loving the start of her BLW journey!

Links to learn more
If Baby-led weaning sounds interesting to you and you'd like to learn more, here are a few links you can read to begin your research into BLW. & BLW leaflet.pdfBLW guidelines.pdf
What is babyled weaning - BabyLed
Baby-led Weaning: Helpful resources - Live Renewed
Baby Led Weaning public Facebook group

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Swimming class

Lauren had an adventurous couple days. Yesterday morning, she and I went to a Music Together demo class (we sat in on a class currently in session to see how it worked). It was a fun 45 minutes of singing, moving to the music, and "playing" various baby-safe instruments. Lauren intently watched the other babies - all older than her and most of them quite mobile - and took everything in. She especially loved the parts when we all stood up and moved with the music, and she grinned through most of those times. I didn't take any pictures since we were active and involved the whole class, so you'll just have to imagine her little smile. :) I think it was good to visit the class, but I'm not sure I'll sign up for the 10-week spring session. Even though the classes say 0+, I think Lauren would get a lot more out of it if she was more mobile and could do some of the actions and activities. Also, I think the class is geared more for parents who don't have much musical experience or training, and both Jonathan and I have quite a bit between us, so we could probably do many of the same things with Lauren at home. I did love the socialization aspects of the class, though (for both Lauren and me), so I will think about it, but likely will just try to get to story time at our local library instead, at least for the time being.

In the evening, we had our next adventure of the day; Lauren went to her first swimming class. She has always enjoyed the water (well, except for her first sponge bath in the hospital when she was a day old) and loves wiggling and splashing in her baths, and in the pool or hot tub the few times we've taken her in at our complex. I thought it would be fun for her to have some more time in the pool, while also getting to see other babies and kids and interact with them. I found a couple parent-tot swim classes in the area and checked out their websites before deciding on one. I signed us up for an evening class that is just after Jonathan gets out of work so that he and I can alternate going in the pool with Lauren and both get to experience the class with her. This week Jonathan took her in. They were the only parent-kid group in the class, but apparently there are several others who come most weeks. Lauren loved being in the pool and although she wasn't able to do all of the activities, she seemed to enjoy looking around at the others in the pool and interacting with the swim instructor. I snapped a couple pictures and took a short video, but unfortunately for some reason the lighting in the pool area is really strange and the photos and videos are a terrible colour of green. Jonathan was able to edit the pictures to lighten the colour, but the video is as is. Hope you enjoy it anyway. This evening we had a make-up lesson since we missed last week due to not yet being back home from Christmas travels. I took Lauren into the pool today and again we were the only ones in the class. Lauren had fun again, but hopefully next week there will be more people in our class so she can watch the other babies and toddlers and learn what she's supposed to do for the various activities.