When I first started reading up on baby led weaning, the one major drawback mentioned was the mess. This is understandable. Babies have to learn how to pick up food and how to get it into their mouths. Once it is in the mouth they have to learn how to move it around and chew and swallow it. This happens without a lot of teeth to help hold to food in. So a mess should be expected. Then add to it that food can slip off the tray, or babies can forget they are holding something and just let go all willy-nilly. Not to mention the fun that can come from throwing and dropping food.
Pat and I were very okay with this. I assumed with a baby there would be a mess regardless of what method of introducing solids we used. We prepared for it. We got good bibs to use and made sure Ben had a big tray to push his food around on. We don’t have carpet under the high chair, so cleaning the floor wouldn’t be hard. We also knew we would possibly have to do baths after every dinner. All fine. Then we started feeding Ben.
I am not going to say there was no mess, there was. But it really wasn’t that bad. True, sometimes I say “No, Sir, food stays on the tray” more than I thought possible during a single meal. I understand that he is going to drop and sometimes toss food, but it isn’t something we want to encourage. It does get all over his hands. It also gets around his mouth. He often drops food on his lap, but the bib covers most of it. So far the biggest mess has been when I let avocado get on his sleeves. Part of what helped was the fact that Ben didn’t really like messy foods. He didn’t want to just dip his fingers in stuff and then lick it off. He didn’t like grabbing clumps of goopy food and trying to eat it.
Until now. We have found our messy food. After weeks of trying to find different ways to prepare oatmeal so Ben could pick it up, I gave up and just gave him a spoonful of what I eat for breakfast. And he loved it!! It is pretty thick, but it is still goopy. He happily grabs handfuls and shoves them in. Along with getting it in his mouth, he spreads it all over his tray. And his face. And now his head. This morning was the messiest we have gotten. There was oatmeal in his eyebrows. It was on top of his head. It was in his ears! But I have to say, he was as happy as can be. I think a fair amount made it into his belly too.
I’m glad we have an aresonal of ‘clean’ foods for Ben to eat. This comes in handy when we are out in public or just don’t have time to do a major cleaning. He still hasn’t needed a full on bath due to food consumption. But I am loving my messy baby when he eats his oatmeal. I am happy he is trying new foods. I think we will find so much more he enjoys if he is willing to get a little messy. And I am loving the messy baby pictures. I’ll have to save these for when he is all grown up.
|So far not too bad…|
|It’s good for the skin, right? 🙂|
|Happy Baby=Happy Mommy|