I guess this post is not so much about baby-led weaning per se, but just about weaning in general. The major news to share is that in the past couple of weeks, we seem to have reached the stage where Daniel’s main source of ‘fill you up’ food is solid, real food rather than milk. Last week, for the first time, it appeared that the solution to a grizzling session was… wait for it… a snack! A real, life, “sit me in the highchair and give me some ricecakes please mum” snack! Unlike a couple of months ago, I’m fairly sure now that I would no longer get away with a ‘milk only’ day if I couldn’t be bothered! This is not to say that there’s not often still plenty of food flinging going on at mealtimes, but (particularly at tea time) Daniel will now seem very ready to sit up and concentrate on eating a decent amount of solid food. He’ll also accept (or, more often, demand!) a bit of a snack whenever he sees the grown-ups having a little something between official mealtimes.
In counterpart, his breastfeeds have now dropped to only three or four ‘boob-fuls’ per day: first thing in the morning, last thing before bed, and then sometimes just one in between. Various things still affect this though, for example, he’s teething again at the moment so a quick comfort feed is sometimes what’s required, whilst last week when we were on holiday with lots of exciting cousins to play with, he’d go for six or seven hours without even thinking about milk. So I think we’ll be on track for dropping his daytime breastfeeds when he starts nursery in three weeks’ time, and as of yesterday I’ve started trying to use up the stores of frozen breastmilk by offering it in a beaker once a day. Yesterday he seemed pretty dubious about the concept, but it was only just after lunch, so we’ll see how it goes with offering it at different times of the day. I’ve also tried offering him cows’ milk a couple of times recently (just the leftovers from little milk jugs in tea shops on our holiday!) and he really seemed to like the taste – another good sign for when nursery starts.
Skills wise, he’s now very tidy with loaded spoons and forks, though we’ve still a fair way to go with scooping up the food himself. His unrelenting need to remove his plate from the suction mat and look at the underside is also a bit of a barrier to letting him go at it all on his own. His chewing is coming on very well though (no back teeth yet, but the unsettled nights of late suggest they’re not far off) and now that he is in the ‘copying’ phase, we can encourage him to chew his mouthfuls properly by making exaggerated chewing faces at him. He does sometimes stuff in more than he can handle, which stops him in his tracks for a while, but his eject mechanism is pretty effective – if unattractive – once he realises what’s gone wrong!