Chinami's starting solids! ちなみの離乳食

The first year of Chinami's life is already halfway over. I already get sentimental when I look back at pictures of her as a newborn and see how far she has come.
Chinami rolled over at around 3 months, and then she bided her time until she hit 6 months, and then it seems like everything started happening at once. Her two bottom teeth came in, she started being able to sit up and she learned to crawl and can stand up supported. She went through a screaming phase, where she would literally lay there looking at her hand screaming(in delight!) and now she limits her screams and laughs to when we play with her. 
Since she tripled her birth weight in under 6 months on just breastmilk, I had no reason to hurry and introduce solids...But I was still eager to be able to share another part of our lives with her, my very varied and healthy diet. Of course, she has been exposed to every flavor under the sun already through my milk as I have not given a drop of formula and not limited my diet in any way. She has had Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, and even the occasional Jack-in-the-Box or Reese's cup through my milk. But I was still excited at the prospect of doing Baby-led Weaning, and sharing my meals with her and watching her explore the tastes and textures, and hopefully eat a few bites. 
So when she turned 6 months and started to be able to sit up on her own, I started giving her stuff from my plate. In just a couple of weeks, she already has a more varied diet than most Americans. Avocado, banana, apple, cooked carrots, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, okinawan sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini, frozen blueberries and mango, simmered strawberries, pomegranate seeds, crusts from whole-wheat toast, pieces of whole-wheat tortilla, spoonfuls of plain Greek yogurt, egg yolk, cream of wheat or oatmeal (made with water or breastmilk for her) and more. 
In Japan, it is very common for mothers to make special "meals" for their babies, such as rice porridge with vegetables mixed in, a mild soup or steamed soft buns, etc. Even in America there are many products on the market for steaming and pureeing food for babies. There is just something about the practice of giving babies special meals that you don't eat together with them that I don't get. Babies learn everything by imitation, wouldn't it make sense to just share your food with them and they watch you and figure out how to eat it?
Baby-led Weaning requires very little "extra" work. I take out a small portion of whatever I'm cooking for Chinami before adding salt, as too much salt can be hard on their little kidneys. I microwave a couple of frozen strawberries and mash them to make her strawberry jam when we are having ours, and I only give her egg yolk, which is pretty easy when I am eating a sunny-side up or soft-boiled egg. If I am eating something like frozen fruit, grapes, blueberries or pomegranate seeds I put them into a mesh feeder. If it's grabbable, I just give it to her. 
Baby led weaning is messy, fun, and teaches babies to chew before they swallow, which is a pretty important skill in my book. The first few times, she just squished whatever I gave her around and made a huge mess. But now she seems to get it and actively picks up the food and puts it in her mouth, making chewing motions and sucking the juices out of it. She seemed to like purple sweet potato, and recently chewed on a piece of roasted asparagus until there were just strings left. A raw apple was a bit rough for her to gum, but when I put a frozen grape in a mesh feeder for her later she had it down to just the skin in about 10 minutes! However a piece of frozen mango, which is a lovely treat for me, got me a scrunched-up little face and refusal to touch it again that day. 
When I had something like yogurt or cream-of-wheat and wanted to feed some to her with a spoon, she made it clear that she much preferred to hold the spoon and put it in her mouth by herself! So I also do what is called "loaded spoons", I put some mashed food or cereal on a spoon and give her the spoon, and she puts it in her mouth by herself. 
I am putting together a video of her first food experiences and hope my experience in this blog will open others up to the world of Baby-led Weaning! 


5 件のコメント:

  1. From what I read in your posts, your way of raising and feeding your child doesn't seem to be normal in the US. Is it just your parents and former enviroment that didn't breast feed and uses prepared food from the supermarket to feed the kids' first meals, or is their way normal in the US?
    If so, that's really sad! In Germany we do it your way! At least that's the way my mother raised my sister and me and My sis did it with her boys.
    Of course there are times formula are used. For example, when there are problems with breastfeeding. And surely, society is sadly getting more and more busy, thus pre-cooked food is fed to babies more often. But I hope that trend won't take over.
    I'm glad, that your circumstances allow you to raise your cute Chinami in such a healthy and natural way!
    Wish you and your family all the best! :)

  2. I'll write a little bit more about this in a future post, but unfortunately, I am part of a kind of "hippy" "new-age" movement that gets resistance from society and sadly, most pediatricians don't agree with our philosophies either. Pediatricians often try to get mothers to give their babies formula if they are smaller than average (and they are commonly using growth charts provided by formula companies, not the WHO chart) or even in the hospital they will give formula to the newborn to "give the mother a break" A lot of pediatricians will tell mothers to start giving their babies rice cereal for iron content or to help them "sleep through the night" when rice cereal does neither of those things, it just blocks up their little systems and provides no nutrition, just a dangerous spike in blood sugar.
    Chinami loves having the freedom to eat by herself and eat the same things Mommy and Daddy eat, I wouldn't have it any other way!

  3. Wow that is fascinating! Our baby is not born yet but I think I would be too scared to give the baby the same food we eat. I make a great deal of super spicy ethnic food like Thai and Indian Curries and Mukhanies as well as regular Japanese foods. I have 2 books on baby feeding and Japanese Kosodate stuff so I am a bit confused with the plethora of contradictory info. But I will keep reading your blog to see how it works for you! Please keep us updated on baby led weening.

  4. Way to go, Sammi.

    I don't know how things work in the States. I have only watched a part of reality through programs like Sixteen and Pregnant, and am always shocked to see how they all give birth + bottle feed + etc the same way. But there is also this trend (attachment parenting, BLW, breastfeeding)... it's like two opposite poles and I don't know which one is prevalent over there.

    The way to proceed if there are breastfeeding problems is not to formula feed, but to solve the BF problems and, if supplements are necessary, expressed milk should be a priority. However, it is way too often that mothers will end up giving up breastfeeding, and resort to formula if there are problems (hey, bottle feeding is common even with no problems in the horizon).

    I BF my oldest till she was... almost 3 (it was not easy, as she was a premmie). We also did BLW. Our pediatrician was the 1st to support us. If he hadn't supported us... I would have done the same. That's the power of educating oneself.

    I'll keep reading... Chinami is doing great, feel proud of yourselves!

  5. JLife - Keep in mind that "food before one is just for fun" meaning that up to age one most of their nutrition comes from milk anyway, so food is just for them to explore, it is not nutritionally necessary. And I love spicy food too, I just give her whatever veggies I use in it like eggplant, spinach, etc in lieu of the actual food. Some people just let their little one dig in to whatever they're having literally, but I am still a little bit old-school in that I just give her whatever veggies or fruits I'm having with no extra frills added as of yet....as she gets closer to 1 year I will gradually introduce different flavors but for now she is just having plain ingredients.
    Aorijia - Yes, the reality shows reflect what is mainstream, and what the medical industry, formula industry, and baby industries want. They make money selling cribs, disposable diapers, formula, strollers, and all the other aspects of "American" birth and baby-raising, first to Americans, and then when the Americans are hooked, they go to the other countries, especially third-world countries and sell it there. There is far too much to say about this for just this comment, I will have to blog about it later...thanks for giving me the inspiration!
    In America women are all about their "freedom to choose" and many say that breastfeeding mothers and advocates like me are "attacking their right to choose" when we simply support a mother's right to make a choice -- but an informed one.
    You are awesome for BFing until 3. In Japan it wasn't that strange for my students to still be BFing (2 and 3 year olds) well, maybe strange to us teachers but not strange for them! And I was a preemie too, born almost 2 months premature, but I guess in the Philadelphia area in the 1980's it was all about formula and cribs, because despite being a very delicate preemie, I was exclusively formula fed and when discharged from the hospital, put in my crib or rocker, or swing, with a breathing monitor. It just boggles the mind when there are so many studies out there advocating kangaroo care, the importance of colostrum, etc.
    Thank you for your comments, everyone! I am always reading them!