Arlo is now seven months old and we started the weaning process the day after he turned six months. Arlo’s eating has progressed so much over the past month. He has tried so many different things, he hardly gags any more, swallows his food with purpose, and can pass food from hand and use his fingers to manipulate the piece for optimum consumption.
We’ve introduced lots of new foods. The good news is that he is absolutely fine with wheat and gluten (there was slight concern because of his other food allergies and the fact that Sam’s side of the family has a history of Celiac disease). He has had a couple of rashes and reactions after eating (strawberries and beef are on the allergy suspect list), but as usual, I am having a tough time narrowing it down as there always seem to be so many other factors that could be the root of the problem rather than the food he ate.
There was a small phase where he started crying as soon as he put food to his mouth. I think this was due to teething (four teeth have come through in the space of a week). This phase lasted only around two days, but during those two days he wasn’t interested in eating anything apart from milk so I didn’t push food on him as I want to keep mealtimes as relaxed and fun as possible. This is the only behavioural problem with food we’ve come across so far.
I had a little wobble after finding out Arlo’s friends of the same age were on three set meals a day. Worried that I was doing it wrong with my so far very lax attitude of ‘eat bits here and there if we have time’, I started scheduling three proper meals a day, spoon feeding Arlo the remains and small bits he can’t yet pick up himself once he’d finished eating finger foods BLW style. Coincidence or not, that night and every night since (it’s been over a week now) he has only wanted one night feed instead of the usual three. The improved night sleeping is making it tricky to stick to a ‘food before one is just for fun’ attitude, now it’s usually more like ‘Please eat lots of this so mummy can have another good night’s sleep!’ – although I do regard the former statement as the best way to approach weaning, my boy is obviously ready for proper meal times and portions and it seems to be doing him and me both a lot of good.
I also have to admit that there has been quite a lot of spoon feeding going on, which I didn’t anticipate doing. I actually wanted to avoid spoon feeding when I first started thinking about how we would approach weaning. He’s been gobbling up purees, and occasionally getting frustrated with the finger foods because he can’t eat those as quickly or effectively. I still plan to stick with baby led weaning and give him opportunity to improve on his finger food eating skills, but at the moment the purees seem to be better at satisfying his hunger and my lazy boy is more than happy to let me feed him.
I am amazed at how much the boy can eat. I thought a whole large banana would be way too much for his little stomach. I was wrong. I always make surplus food, in case he spills/drops any, and he usually ends up eating the whole portion plus surplus. He’s still having five milk feeds during the day too – I don’t know where he puts it all.
Although there are a lot more laundry loads to be done and baths to be had in our household, BLW is starting to get a lot more fun now that wheat has been given the all clear and Arlo can eat more or less the same meals as the rest of us. Last Sunday he enjoyed his first roast lunch, sat at the table surrounded by family, and he loved every minute of it. Sam and I both agree that eating our meals together with Arlo is one of those things that really makes us feel like a proper little family, and we look forward to many happy times shared around our table in the future.