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Baby-led

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I mostly don’t feed Cedar.  She feeds herself.  And does a bang-up job of it. 

I’m a big believer in starting solids by sharing what you’re eating.  With Norah, we never bought baby food.  Jar food seemed wasteful in packaging and unappetizing.  We mashed up sweet potatoes, pureed peas, ground cereals. 

Then I learned about baby-led weaning.  It goes like this:  The gag reflex in a baby is near the front of the mouth.  When you spoon-feed, you bypass this protective gag reflex.  When baby feeds herself, the gag reflex offers a safety mechanism.  It also gradually moves farther back in the mouth as she matures. 

So this time around, I started with finger foods.  Very soft foods like bananas, avocados, small pieces of sweet potato.  And she mastered them quickly. 

Of course, I still use a spoon sometimes.  Namely with yogurt and at restaurants.  But Cedar is practicing now with a spoon and learning to do it herself.  And even without teeth, she eats small chunks of chicken and turkey, roasted beets, and rice crackers.

It makes sense to me.  It has worked well for Cedar.  And we’ve only had a few minor choking moments, usually on bits of bread.

I love watching babies explore textures and spices.  Cedar loves lemons, pickles, cinnamon, and spicy beans and rice. 

One thing, though.  Baby-led weaning is messy.  Oh yes indeed.