What’s new over the last few days then? Daniel’s pincer grip seems to be coming on well, with notably smaller bits of toast and vegetable now making it off the tray. However, once he’s picked up something small, it tends to disappear into his fist, where he no longer seems aware of it. But there have been a few times when a sticky bit of toast has remained sticking out above his thumb, and a general smear of the fist across the face sometimes succeeds in getting it into his mouth! He’s also getting better at mushy stuff, sometimes putting his hand to mouth to taste the remnants of whatever he’s gripped too hard, and sometimes sucking at it a little bit.
Last night we offered him blueberries for the first time. I was a bit unsure, as they could be a choking hazard, but I’d heard it said that if they’re dextrous enough to pick them up, then they’re probably going to manage not to choke on them. Anyway, I went ahead, just with extra vigilance. I am proud to say that the day before he turned six months, my son did a perfect pincer grip and placed one blueberry squarely in his mouth. At this point, I dashed for the video camera and spent the next ten minutes willing him to repeat it. He did not (typical!) so you’ll have to take my word for it. But here is a short video of some of his subsequent blueberry exploration. (I now notice that he also had hiccups at time time, which can’t have been helping!)
We’re not getting very far with the water at mealtimes. We’ve got a ‘free flow’ Tommy Tippee sippy cup, but so far D is mainly interested in chewing at the spout when offered. If he does incidentally get any water out of it, he tends to just let it run out of his mouth again. The other day, I took lid off the cup and he suddenly seemed to realise that it was a potential ‘drink’ and started lapping at it like he does with the water in the bath and the swimming pool (along with the same gasp and look of surprise when he swallows it!) Most of it still went down his bib, but he seemed much more interested in giving it a try. However, this turned out to be something of a one off, and the next day it was the classic ‘two steps back’ – no interest in drinking the water with or without the lid.
To sum up over the past week or so, there have been mealtimes when Daniel has eaten more and times he’s eaten less, and I think how well he manages to get things from tray to hand to mouth tends to have to do with how tired he is, and how interested he is in food exploration at that moment (which sounds pretty obvious now I write it down!) I read somewhere that it’s not until about nine months that babies realise that eating food addresses hunger, and I would agree that at the moment, the amount D eats doesn’t seem to have any clear relationship to when he last had milk, or what time of day it is. He also hasn’t rejected anything outright yet (i.e. on the basis of the taste/texture), but he does seem to persevere longer with sweeter things, such as mango, plum, red pepper and parsnip. And now we’re onto dairy on a regular basis, he will happily slurp his way through an entire Petit Filous if my own stamina for picking up dropped spoons can hold out!
I’m still a little aware of the amount of waste, though as someone on the BLW forum said, it doesn’t really matter if it goes down his throat or onto the floor if I was prepared to ‘expend’ that amount of food on him one way or another. My mild concern about the amount of food that goes into the compost bin is far outweighed by my aversion to eating up drooly half sucked vegetables or food that’s been on the floor! I’m also not very keen to become a ‘mum hoover’ for his leftovers – I’ve already found myself polishing off the more palatable bits of leftover toast and eating up the end of yoghurts, but I don’t want to to fall into a habit that leads to regaining the baby-weight! I guess once we’re really all eating the same foods, this won’t be such an issue, as we won’t be making separate portions of different things for Daniel and any leftovers will be communal ‘proper food’ that can go into the fridge for another day.
Daniel has turned six months today, so we’re now into the realms of trying anything (usual exclusions notwithstanding). As it turns out, Jon’s gone away for four days, so we’ll wait until his return for the grand introduction to meat. I am vegetarian, but don’t intend to bring Daniel up veggie (and Jon would never let me!) so on Tuesday night, we’re going to have a roast dinner and see how D gets on with a chicken leg.
At the moment, I’m still picking and choosing which mealtimes Daniel joins in with. For example, he doesn’t get involved in breakfast on days when we’ve got to be out early and I won’t wake him to join in an adult mealtime if he’s sleeping (though he seems to have a sixth sense for this and will wake up just in time anyway!) I was a bit worried about not offering three mealtimes a day, now that he is properly six months. But on the BLW forum, I’ve seen that there are other parents who only offer their babies food at one or two meals a day, depending on what’s convenient. As long as milk feeds continue, I think this will be okay for the time being. Daniel will be getting weighed in a couple of weeks, so the Health Visitor can set me straight if there are any concerns, but he’s clearly very robust – I don’t need scales to tell me he’s quite heavy enough!