It’s actually now been a week and a half since we started weaning, but I wrote this draft at one week in and blame the long weekend for the delay in posting.
Highchair time is now a very exciting prospect for Arlo. So far he has tried carrots, brocolli, courgette, red pepper, squash, potato, banana, melon, grapes, and pineapple. Finger foods are less messy than purees (I deduced this after making him some sloppy mash which went everywhere). He can use a spoon and holds it himself after I’ve preloaded it with food. Fruit is a bit slippery, so we are making good use of the mesh feeder.
For the first three days, Arlo was tasting the food rather than swallowing it. When he did bite off a chunk, it would be coughed back out after a few minutes. However, by day four I was noticing a huge improvement. I think he suddenly clicked that food was for eating, and since then he’s not looked back. Let’s just say I know for sure that he is swallowing quite a bit of food now.
He likes when I eat the same thing as him. I am trying to do this as much as possible, but it is tricky when I’m also trying to introduce new foods one at a time and withhold on giving him gluten, eggs and fish for a while yet. Hopefully in a month or so we will be able to eat more or less the same meals together. He will watch me chew and then have a go himself with his bit of food. His greedy approach makes me laugh; he grabs as many pieces of food as he can in both hands. I guess he figures that there’s more chance of something making it all the way into his mouth that way.
An initial issue was finding an ideal window of time to try food. Arlo is usually in his best mood first thing in the morning, but even then he can get irritable very quickly if he’s not had a good night’s sleep. As the day goes on, he has even less patience for new activities. However, now he has decided he rather likes food, we don’t seem to have this problem any more. For the last four days he’s been happy to sit and eat in his highchair two or three times a day.
I’m trying to remember that at this stage it doesn’t matter how much food is thrown straight onto the floor VS how much is actually ingested. It’s all about fun and exploration at the moment, and he doesn’t need the food. I’ve also found myself sitting on my hands quite a lot as I try to resist the urge to intefere and ‘help’ him to eat.
I’m amazed at the speed in which he is learning to eat, I really thought it would be quite a slow process and that he might not actually swallow anything for a month, but my boy keeps proving me wrong.