I plan to write systematically, or at least add a structure to my posts. The other series about parenting wellness, you can read here.
This series called ‘Fact of the Matter’ is going to be about demystifying or breaking some myths about babies as I have experienced it. Read on!
There isn’t ‘one way’ to parent. Parenting is all about being extempore, whether you like it or not. As much as I appreciate and love the support that the various support groups provide, I worry for parents who don’t find their footing thanks to all the ‘inspiration’ they see online.
I see a lot of discussion on how one should feed their child. There are two methods: the traditional method and the baby led method. I don’t want to call it weaning, because my older child refused to ‘wean’ off milk until he was 1.5 (only thanks to me being pregnant). These two methods are age old in nature, but then again one needs confidence to pursue either. Neither of these methods are easy to follow. With TW (traditional weaning) there is the need to puree your baby’s food, start with porridges, feed the baby and so on. Most of the work is on you, to ‘ready’ baby meals. In BLW (baby led weaning) you let your baby call the shots. You only feed family food (sans salt and spice) and you encourage self feeding from day one. There is a lot of mess involved in the self feeding method and one HAS to be patient to overcome that stage.
With my toddler, we went BLW all the way (read about it here). He never took to porridges (he still has a dislike for soups) and chomped on watermelons & mangoes with gusto. We never have made an effort to make a separate meal for him and the result of it a very confident child who knows what he wants to eat, how he wants to eat and when he wants to eat. It is but natural that I get my 2nd child to follow this route as well. Not yet! 😉
Going by the books, one starts introducing solids (phew, such a lovely way of putting it) at completion of 6 months. But it is not a mandatory. We were traveling around the time my girl turned 6 months old and for the need of ‘home comfort’ I waited until we got back to base, to start solids for her. This time though, I took the porridge way. Why? Let’s say I can afford to experiment 😛 I call Isha the ‘Experiment group’, the group where you add all your variables and see what the result is. The experiment was on the food intake pattern.
For 3 weeks now, she’s been on porridges made from roasted powdered grains (Kanji in Tamil). While I worried about her rejecting it, she took me by surprise. She loves her porridge and looks forward to every spoonful. Of course, we still follow some basics from BLW :
- Sit unsupported in a specific place intended for food (her booster chair)
- No distractions of any sort (no toys, no spoon-plane-flying tricks)
- Stop when she says stop (Yes, she knows how to show me that she’s done)
So far, it has been good. Time to take things to the next level! Self feeding! We started with bananas (200% baby approved food world over). She liked the feel, the control and to some extent, the taste. But as expected, she gagged a bit, spat it all out and went back to play-eat! That’s a win in my book. From here, we will wean out porridges and amp up soft finger foods.
My biggest advantage is my toddler. She sees her Anna (elder brother) eat and loves to mimic him. We have tried minuscule quantities of dosas and mangoes already and they are Isha-approved 😛
Fact of the matter is: You don’t need to do just one thing. How your family and your baby functions is in your hands. Decide what works best for you. Do not go by inspirations online. I mean, take inspiration, but don’t go verbatim. No two babies are the same! 😉
I will come back with more tales and recipes that are toddler baby and parent approved! Stick around <3