Holy moley! Baby Doodah has hit the BIG 500!?!
You read that correctly, folks! I hit 500 posts late last week, which means it is time to celebrate…. 😀
You read that correctly, folks! I hit 500 posts late last week, which means it is time to celebrate…. 😀
Are you thinking of doing following the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) eating method? You might be a little worried or concerned about how everything works – Well, worry no more, I’m sharing all sorts of information in regards to why we did BLW with Emmett.
First, you may be wondering why we chose the BLW method in the first place, right? Or maybe you’re wondering how I came across this method?
Well, similar to how you’re getting this information right now, I got it from one of my favorite blogs, The Art of Making a Baby. She used this method with her daughter and was seeing such success that I decided to read up on it. You can read my review of the Baby Led Weaning book here.
I was hooked right from the start. One of the big things the method touts is that since your child is in charge of feeding themselves, they’re never forced to eat anything they don’t like nor will they eat too much. As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I struggle with Binge Eating Disorder and emotional eating. I do not want Emmett to ever have to suffer through this, and wanted to take every precaution and in ensuring his eating health. Number one was to breastfeed him from birth, and now number two was to follow Baby Led Weaning.
Another big important thing to note about BLW is that they recommend you start with veggies (not fruit or cereal), broccoli in particular. It allows your child’s pallet to develop to the less sweet foods (including fruit), that they then typically end up wanting more of. We did eventually get to bananas, apples and strawberries, but Emmett’s first foods was steamed broccoli, followed by steamed baby carrots and roasted sweet potatoes.
I truly believe that BLW is one of the most effective ways to feed a child who is 6 months or older. They learn how to feed themselves right off the bat, rather than being spoon-fed (though, Emmett did use a spoon, but on his own). In the beginning, since babies love to put everything in their mouths, you just place the foods on the high chair tray in front of the baby, they naturally want to pick it up and mouth it. Since this is all about exploration, if you are feeding your 6 month old breastmilk or formula, them filling their belly with veggies is completely unnecessary.
A couple of other things of note, it is super easy to prep food for your baby when following BLW. Baby eats what you eat! This can lead to a more experimental child when it comes to food choices, even as they grow. Children learn to feed themselves earlier, so they learn to stop eating when their bellies are full.
You will still have a thriving, healthy baby if you don’t follow BLW – but by following it, you will find it MUCH easier to get your baby, turned toddler, turned 4 or 5 year old, to try new things. Emmett (now almost 2 1/2), may not eat or like everything we put in front of him, but 9 times out of 10, he will at least try it – and many times he’s learned that he likes it (cherry tomatoes is an example of this, for us).
When I first came across BLW I was very skeptical. I always thought, how is a baby not going to choke(more to come on this aspect in a future post)!? I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Right off the bat, Emmett was successful with it. We started with broccoli and he ate it immediately, picking it up and putting it into his mouth. He gummed it a bit and probably got a few leaflets down, but he didn’t have even the slightest problem with the taste (and NO gagging!).
If you’re thinking of following this method, I highly recommend you read the book Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett, it will answer any possible questions you may have about the process. I know there are tons and tons of forums and blog posts (like this one) that are helpful, but I think it is very important to read the book, as there are loads of tips, that are not included here.
I personally read through the book twice, and then certain sections, 3 or 4 more times. I highlighted, tagged and wrote on many of the pages. I wanted to be well prepared and well-versed before we began the process (I read the book when he was 5’ish months old). And, I’ll be honest, the first few times Emmett gagged were kind of scary, but we were right there, watching his every move and, just like the book says, he gagged twice and the too large food was back in the front of him mouth.
It is important to mention that gagging is NOT choking! Gagging is a defense mechanism and the baby’s gag reflex starts at about the center of their tongues, WAY before it reaches their throat, so babies are very good at protecting themselves.
Trust me, I completely understand the nervousness that surrounds feeding your child this way – you’re worried that they’re going to get enough nourishment or maybe that they’ll choke. Just remember, your child will not start devouring food at 6 months they don’t need to, it is more for exploration, and getting familiar with feeding themselves. Around 9 months is when your child will begin actually eating with the intent to fill their bellies.
Even, despite all my worries, I don’t regret feeding Emmett BLW style, and I honestly think it was one of the BEST decisions I ever made as a first time mommy. Now, he’s an adventurous eater and will try most things we put in front of him.
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**I am not a doctor, or other medical professional. I am simply a parent sharing her experiences as a mom with a unique method of eating. Please check with your medical professional before beginning any diet or food changes with your baby.**
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Unfortunately, last month I didn’t get around to posting Emmett’s Munchkin Meals because I just forgot about doing it and then it was too late. I didn’t forget today, though!
For the most part, Emmett continues to be a fantastic eater. If there’s something that we’re eating that he’s not interested in, we continue to offer it to him and eventually he’ll try it and and will usually like it. There are some things that he will perpetually push away, pickles, for instance, which he used to like, he won’t even touch now. However, even in an instance like that, we will still offer it to him, you just never know when he’ll want to eat it again.
There are also some weeks where he’ll refuse everything we make and end up eating a lot of Greek yogurt or sunflower butter and Grandma’s jam sandwiches. If this were the norm, I’d worry but because it happens here and there we allow him to decide what he wants and will actually eat. I can’t complain about Emmett’s eating habits, I sincerely believe that Baby Led Weaning was the way to go. Emmett has been able to feed himself with fully solid foods from the moment he started eating.
So, would you like to see some of the many Munchkin Meals we’ve been feeding Emmett? Yeah, I thought so! 🙂
This was one of the first times we gave Emmett eggs, he didn’t really eat much but we have persisted and every weekend morning, we give him eggs and now he loves them. He is particularly fond of baby egg sandwiches! Here are a few other of his breakfast plates.
Emmett’s a fan of sweeter foods, because of that we try to keep real sugary foods, like cookies, out of his diet, except for on special occasions. The pancake and waffles in the pictures above are fairly light on the sugar end, but he still LOVED them!
We usually send Emmett to school with lunch, and I’ve forgotten to take any photos of what we’ve sent, but here are a few pics of lunches from the weekends.
To see where Munchkin Meals originated, be sure to visit Brittany at A Healthy Slice of Life.
When feeding Emmett on Wednesdays, I look for easy, healthy options. I make an effort to serve him the very freshest of fruits and use only whole ingredients in his food. There are times when that just isn’t possible, but I would say 7 meals out of 10 are made healthfully. We buy him 100% whole grain breads and farm fresh eggs, organic milk and mostly organic fruit and veg. Rarely does Emmett have foods high in fake sugars, or even regular sweets, like cookies or cake. We treat foods like those as foods meant for special occasions. I want him to grow up knowing that foods that taste the best are those that are good for him. I say all this, not to brag, or to say I’m better than any other mom, I say it because I am a full-time working (outside the home) mom, and I work hard to ensure Emmett eats a balanced diet. I’ll admit that I am incredibly lucky to have a husband that is a partner in this endeavor, and is there assisting in any possible way.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there are two main reasons that I believe Emmett is such a good eater. One is that he is a breastfed baby, so he was (and continues to be – we’re going on 13 months!) used to different flavors. Breast-milk can taste different depending on what I’ve eaten that day, so he was used to a variety of flavors right off the bat. The second, is Baby Led Weaning (BLW). Emmett was introduced to real whole foods from the very first moment he had solids. We never bought one jar of baby food, and he’s pretty much always eaten what we’ve eaten. With BLW, the baby is in charge of what goes into their mouth from the get-go, they have the control which leads to happy confident eaters. After seeing its effects on Emmett, I believe that it works.
For breakfast yesterday, Emmett had one scrambled egg, a piece of whole grain bread with sunflower butter and a mixture of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. He didn’t eat much at breakfast, but I never worry about whether he’s eating too much or too little because I know if he’s hungry, he’ll eat.
This kid LOVES blueberries, I don’t think I could get him to stop eating them, even if I tried.
Snack was some water and Wegmans colby jack cheese (no pic).
Dinner consisted of a baby panini! Seamus made it on the smallest slices of the rosemary, olive oil bread with some provolone cheese and some ham, watermelon and broccoli which I did not get a picture of, sorry.
And finally… Some adorable pics of Emmett!
Question of the Day:
What are some of your children’s favorite foods?
Looking at you and watching you move about, I know you’ve grown but in my mind, you are still my tiny baby. Since we’re nearing your first birthday, I’ve become very nostalgic. I have spent a lot of time looking at pictures of you when you were first born and when you nurse it makes me reminisce about the small struggles we had when we first started nursing but how it has absolutely been worth it.
I actually have to share a story, I’d like to try and nurse you past a year, my goal is 18 months but I will take it a week at a time after your first birthday. Anyhow, I went to the doctor’s last week and he had to put me on some antibiotics and the PA that I saw said I shouldn’t nurse you while on the antibiotic, I panicked! I was not ready to stop nursing you, in my mind I still had at least 4 weeks left. I was so heartbroken, I called your dad and was talking to him and started getting worked up. We got off the phone and I sobbed, I just wasn’t ready! So I called your pediatrician and they checked their prescription book and confirmed that it was perfectly safe to continue nursing you while on the antibiotic as long as you were older than 2 months, which you are (of course). I was so relieved!! So my sweet boy, we continue on with the breast milk.
What a busy month we’ve had. You are a crawling machine! Last month you had a nice leisurely crawl, you’d stop and look around then move a couple more feet but now you crawl like you’re in a race. You are SO fast!! I like when I put you down on the floor and go into another room, you chase after me. When you get to the new room, you peer around the doorway, looking for me and then motor on over. I just adore you.
You’re still not walking, but its close. Right now, you will pull yourself up on nearly everything and if you have strong, steady footing you will let go and stand there independently for a while. There have even been several occasions where you stood on your own for at least 30 seconds. It is really just a matter of time before you let go and take a step in my direction.
Grass!! Oh my goodness did grass freak you out. At the beginning of the month, we went outside to hang out with your dad while he was doing the grilling. I put you down on the grass so I could unfold my chair and you started crying so hard. At the time I had no idea what happened, I thought maybe you got stung or bitten by a bug. I put you down a second time and you did the exact same thing, I finally determined what was bothering you. So for the next few weeks after that, I slowly got you used to the grass. I’d sit on the ground with you and let it tickle your toes or let you reach for it. We slowly worked up to you sitting independently and now you’ll stand on it. However, if you want to move around you will put yourself into a downward dog position and then move your hands and feet like a bear crawl. It’s so silly but you must not like the way the grass feels on your knees. Silly boy!
Speaking of the outdoors, I’ve been trying to make sure you get outside everyday unless it is raining. The summer months can be hot in WNY but I want you to like summer and the heat so I’m hoping by taking you out in it, you’ll grow up liking it.
At the beginning of this month you went through a very finicky phase in regards to food. You’d really only eat a few things here and there and then refuse to eat any more. Your dad and I kept on offering you everything that we normally would and with a week or so you were back to your old self, eating full meals. Now you’re a champ when it comes to eating, I can’t think of a single thing that we’ve given you that you didn’t like. One of your favorites this month was corn on the cob. We tried giving it to you cut off the cob and you’d have nothing to do with it so then we just gave you the cob and you went to town. Such a big boy! I hope you continue like this for the rest of your life, it will make you a much healthier person.
Up until last week, you had been using a sleep sack for naps and nighttime. We decided that maybe we should start moving you from the sleep sacks to blankets, so now for all of your naps you use a blanket. One day I got to day care early and you were still asleep, it was the cutest thing seeing you all curled up in your “blankie,” it warmed my heart.
Exploring is a huge deal to you right now. You love sitting down with a new toy or a toy you haven’t played with in a while and staring at it, turning it over and over in your hands, trying to figure out just how it works. I wish I could have a little window into your mind so that I could know exactly what it is you are thinking or what you are learning. One major thing that fascinates you right now are holes. For instance, my hair brush has a hole at the base, so it can be hung up. You love looking at it and sticking your finger in it, trying to understand what’s going on with it. I could sit and watch you play for hours.
We also took you to your first playground this month, you can read about it here. You had fun swinging back and forth and bouncing around on the different activities around the park. I think your dad and I had as much fun as you. We love watching how curious you get when you are somewhere new.
Do you have any idea how much your father and I love you?? It is so hard on a daily basis to leave you at school and not bring you with me to work. Every little thing you do amazes me and just makes me so proud to be your mother. Next month, we’ll be celebrating a year of life, I cannot wait!
10 months!? 10 whole months old! Insane!
This month’s post is a little late because your baby cousin and her family were in town to celebrate her first birthday, so we were busy visiting.
In last month’s post, I shared that you were still army crawling, it was literally the day after you turned 9 months that you started really crawling. I was in the other room and your dad yelled for me because (as he said it), “Your boy is crawling!” I ran in but you were already back on your belly but within no time, I got to witness you crawling. What a big boy! Here’s a funny story, I was picking you up from day care one day and I asked your teachers whether they had seen you do your big boy crawl yet, both girls said no. As if on cue, you stopped playing with your toy, got on your hands and knees and crawled over to me. It was adorable! Both teachers were very excited for you, and I can’t say I blame them. I am endlessly proud of you!
We celebrated my first Mother’s Day. You and daddy got me such nice and thoughtful gifts, a beautiful new charm bead for my Pandora bracelet and a gift certificate to my favorite salon, to be used for a massage or in another pampering way. Daddy also took us out for breakfast, it was a buffet and the food was really good. You weren’t really into anything, except for the french toast and a small piece of bacon. Then we went down to your Grammy’s house to spend the afternoon with her. It was a perfect first Mother’s Day!! I can’t wait for every year to come. 🙂
Remember last month when I said you were getting better at standing up and were slowly starting to coast? Well, you are now a pro at pulling yourself up and moving along, whether it be your crib, the pack and play or our couches. You grab, pull up and MOVE! Your dad and I have had to be much more careful about what we put places since you’re able to reach things now. Pretty soon, the coffee table will be completely empty because you’ll be able to reach all the way across.
Last month I also mentioned how we had started placing you at your motorcycle and how you’d take a couple steps and then fall down. Not any more, now you stand up behind the motorcycle and take it clear across the house. Your dad or I will follow behind you because when you bump into something you don’t yet understand how to back up or turn, so we help you readjust but you’re doing so well. I wonder if by next month’s Dear Emmett, you’ll be walking independently??? I think the reason you’ve excelled so quickly with walking with support is because of day care. They have a bunch of different toys for the babies to stand and walk with, so you get loads of practice.
You continue to be breastfed but we’ve reduced the amount that we send you to day care with. Instead of 3-six ounce bottles, we’ve been sending you with 3-five ounce bottles and it seems to be working out well. You are still a pretty good eater! Some days you don’t feel like eating a lot but for the most part, you are willing to try anything. You love grilled cheese sandwiches and also peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, when we can’t get you to try anything else, you will usually eat either of those two.
We also experienced your first ear infection. But we never would have known you had an ear infection if we hadn’t had your 9 month appointment. You were never cranky and your mood never changed, so it was very surprising when the doctor looked in your ear and said you had one. You were on amoxicillian for 10 days and loved the taste of it. I’m glad the ear infection didn’t cause you any pain, but I am also glad that your doctor caught it when he did.
Speaking of your 9 month doctor’s appointment, you weighed in at 23 lbs 2 ounces and 27 inches long! Big boy! You fell into the 95th percentile for both height and weight for a 9 month old. You’re even beginning to wear 12 month clothes because 9 month stuff is getting too small. Your dad and I are in for it!!
I think you’re teething again because you’ve been drooling like crazy, shoving even more stuff into your mouth and you’ve had a pretty bad diaper rash (which I’ve heard is an indication of teething). I wonder which are growing in?
We think you are learning the sign for ‘more,’ but it’s hard to tell if it is that or you clapping because they are so similar. We just keep doing the ‘more’ sign hoping that you will catch on. You also say a lot of mamamamam’s and dadadadada’s but we’re not sure if they actually mean momma and dada yet, but each time you say one or the other we repeat it and point to the correct person.
You unfortunately also got your first black eye this month. 🙁 I got a call from the director of your day care while I was at work, letting me know that you had fallen and bumped your eye and it had bruised pretty badly but that you were perfectly fine and seemed very happy. When I got to you at the end of the day, I couldn’t believe how dark and big the bruise was, poor guy! I guess what happened, was that you were pulling yourself up on one of the bookshelves and you went to grab a toy and let go at the same time and fell and slammed your head. It took nearly a month for those bruises to heal but you are finally back to normal.
As each month passes and we get closer and closer to a year, I am amazed at what you are able to do. You seem so inquisitive and curious, I can’t wait to teach you everything and more.
I love this high chair.
Let me repeat that statement, so you know how serious I am, I love this high chair!! It is the most amazing high chair I’ve come across (and I’ve had experience with a few). It isn’t the fanciest high chair but it does its job very well (better than the other ones I’ve come across). I think my favorite feature is the chair cover, in the description it says this, “Crevice free to prevent food from getting stuck.” That doesn’t even begin to explain how great it actually is. The cover is cloth and is removable, that means that you can take it off and throw it in the washer and dryer and remove every tiny bit of grime without needing to scrub it down. So for those OCD moms out there who really like things to be germ/grime free for baby, this high chair is for you! That being said, if you don’t want to wash it constantly, it does wipe down easily and there really are no crevices for pieces to get stuck in
It also has a double tray so that you can easily detach the top one and wash it without needing to lug the entire thing around with you. And the straps are also fantastic because they’re not cloth; they’re a plasticy rubbery material, which wipes with ease.
This is also a very affordable high chair; it’s on sale on Amazon right now, for $70.17. I absolutely recommend this chair to anyone looking to buy one.
What a fun toy, with decent music!
When Emmett first received this toy, he wasn’t quite mobile so we would sit him on it and he would just stare at the different buttons and bump into the horn occasionally. He just loved it! As he has progressed into a mobile baby, he loves having it in the upright position so that he can walk around with it. It moves pretty quickly on its own, so Seamus or I will help it slow down by holding the wheels lightly or making sure it’s faced in a direction where it will bump into something before it takes off.
If you’re looking for a walking toy, I would definitely recommend this.
This is the third time I’ve listed the Boppy nursing pillow in my list of favorites. Emmett continues to be breastfed and I use this pillow several times a day and without it, nursing would not be as enjoyable as it is. I know there are other nursing pillows out there but I truly feel like nothing compares to Boppy. If you’re nursing or planning on nursing, register or buy yourself a Boppy. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
This book and its methodologies have led Emmett to be a happy and healthy eater. There are days when he doesn’t want certain foods but I have yet to come across a food that he refuses to at least try once and I believe that it is because of this method. If you haven’t started solids with your baby or are looking for a different way of handling foods, give Baby Led Weaning a try.
This is the first time that I’ve added these to my list but they should have been on here long before. They are the most amazing diapers I’ve ever used; they keep Emmett completely dry and comfortable. We’ve tried Huggies, Luvs and Pampers Baby Dry and none work as well as Pampers Swaddlers. Sadly, the Swaddlers only go up to size 3 and Emmett is reaching the tail end of wearing 3s. Hopefully we are able to find something that works as well as the Swaddlers have.
My favorite part about Swaddlers is the yellow stripe that runs down the center of the diaper. When the baby is wet this stripe turns blue and lets the parents know that the baby needs to be changed. This is ingenious to me, especially for newborn babies who pee very lightly.
I just cannot say enough good things about Pampers.
No book in particular, just books in general. We have so many and Emmett loves to sit and read with us as well or just sit on his own and flip through them.