Pat and I had decided to go ahead and start Ben at dinner time. He just turned 6 months old. We had waited for two days after his most recent vaccines so we could be confident that any potential reaction was due to the food and not the shots. Starting on a Saturday gave me more time to get home and prepare the food. (It’s tax season, Ben and I were at work for part of the day. Such is the life of a baby accountant.) And dinner is the one meal of the day we can usually be sure all three of us can eat together. We felt we wouldn’t be rushed and could enjoy giving Ben the chance to try solids. So while making dinner I roasted some carrots in the oven, and then I steamed a few as well. I wasn’t sure which method would be most palatable to Ben. Both produced carrots that maintained their shape, which is good. The steamed ones were a little mushier, but fell apart more. The roasted ones kept their integrity a bit more, but had a sort of crust to them as roasting can do. But they were two versions of carrots made with love for my boy. We had a plan, and we were following through with it!
Well, this was all a good theory. Sadly, Ben decided to fall asleep a little before dinner. This can be a good thing, as he is young enough to still need a third evening nap. However, it meant we had to wake him up for dinner. Sometimes he is totally fine with this. This time he had a harder time with it. We put him into his high chair and he was not having it. Huge tears. It was very sad. We tried putting some of the carrots onto his tray, thinking if he saw something new to play with he would calm down. He did for a little bit. He grabbed a carrot briefly, and in fact did bring it to his mouth. But he quickly dropped it again.
We took him out of the high chair pretty quickly. The point of BLW is to let Ben decide if he wants to eat or not. He was giving us a pretty clear no signal. However, he is also very new at this. He might not have realized what an amazing opportunity we were providing him. Pat tried holding him while he had a carrot. We had a little success there. Then I sat with him on my lap for a bit while Pat and I ate our dinner. I mean, there was no need for us to go hungry just because Ben didn’t want to eat. I had some carrots placed so Ben could reach them. He did grab one, but didn’t hold onto it very long.
Around this point I started doing things BLW states not to do. I picked up a carrot and put it into Ben’s hand. He looked at it a bit, but dropped it pretty quickly. I tried this a few times, and we were losing carrots to the floor. I tried placing a carrot on his lips. Perhaps if he realized there was a new taste he would get into it. And really, the kid loves putting things in his mouth. It’s one of his favorite things to do! He nibbled a bit at one, but overall was not interested.
Since he wasn’t interested in the carrots, I offered him a sippy cup with a few ounces of nursery water. Once babies start solids you can start offering some water as well. Cool, maybe he would like that. Nope. Ben just kept shoving the cup away from me.
At this point, we decided to call it done. I got a some video footage, which is at the end of this post. I tried to get some pictures when he actually picked up a carrot and nibbled a bit, but I use my phone and it was full, of course. (I really need to get an actual camera!) Pat and I finished up our dinner and cleaned up. We called Meo (my mom, Ben’s maternal grandma) and Gramma (Pat’s mom, Ben’s paternal grandma) to tell them about our little adventure.
After dinner we put Ben into his jumper to relax and play a bit. I put a carrot into one of his mesh feeders to see how he liked that. I was determined that he really give carrots a go! I know, there is no rush and it is not a big deal, but, well, I wanted to give him as many chances to try the food as he wanted. He enjoyed the mesh feeder. But we have given him the mesh feeders to play with without anything in them as well. So he may not have gotten a different experience despite it having a carrot in it. I also gave him another carrot just to see what he would do.
He ended up trying it again! He bit off a chunk, but I don’t think he swallowed any. At least most of the chunk came back out. But he did try it! He lost interest pretty quickly again, but we got some pictures of him trying it again. I don’t plan on letting him have food in his jumper very often. Besides the fact that it could be unsafe, jumping and trying to eat, I don’t want to spread the mess around that much. Exceptions can be made occasionally.
Overall I am considering this first food attempt a success. We started off a bit rocky, what with waking him up from a nap to eat. He is still getting used to his high chair. Even without food he has days where he is not interested in sitting in the high chair. He did pick up a couple of carrots on his own and he did get the taste of them at least. I was reminded that the point of BLW is to let the baby dictate the pace. We offered up a first opportunity to try them, and that was the only point of tonight. Ben still took a full feeding for his final nursing of the day. Nursing is supposed to still be his main source of nutrition. The food is just to experience and have fun with. And overall I think he did enjoy trying something new.
Where do we go from here? Well, we just keep offering up food choices to Ben. We will stick with carrots for another day or so. I don’t foresee there being any problems. I always prefer safe to sorry though. We’ll give him a chance to eat at lunch and dinner. If at future meals he doesn’t want to eat we will probably do pretty much what we did this time. Try letting him sit on my lap while we eat. If he doesn’t want to play with the food he doesn’t have to. I don’t think we’ll be giving him food in his jumper anymore. But it made for a cute picture. 🙂
Here are some pictures from Ben’s first food adventure. I’ll add the videos in another post.
|What is this thing?|
|I don’t know what to make of this.|
|Hmmm… not too bad|
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