Long-term readers of the blog may have come to the realization that #1 and her partner are kind of hippy-dippy parents. Or lazy parents as they think of themselves. They tend to let nature take its course, even when that causes them to deviate from the more stress-inducing mainstream. Things other parents tend to complain about, #1 and spouse do a little research on and then usually realize they can avoid the thing causing the stress.
One of the potentially stress-inducing baby situations to rear its messy head is that of introduction to solid food. Some parents force it on their kids and get very frustrated when it doesn’t go down. Some parents freak out about perfectly made fresh organic purees, lovingly frozen in ice cubes. Obviously perfectly made fresh organic purees are great, but if they freak one out…they can be skipped.
So in our lazy parenting strategy, we wait for the “signs of readiness”. These are things like the baby being interested in food, the baby grabbing your food from you, the baby swallowing the food rather than pushing it out with hir tongue, and so on. DC1 did not get these signs until ze was around 8 or 9 months old and rather dramatically stole a banana from me. Because DC was so old and was pincer grasping, we figured we could just skip the puree stage entirely, so we did. Research on “baby-led weaning” backed us up on it. (Weaning being the British terminology for introducing foods.)
DC2 has shown the signs of readiness much earlier. The day after hir 4 month appointment, in fact, it became pretty well impossible to keep food from hir at the dinner table. So we didn’t try to keep it away.
DC2 gets table food, just like DC1 did. We give hir little non-chokable bites. Ze eats things that are naturally mushy with a spoon (split pea soup for lunch today). We have been keeping wheat away because we’re still a bit worried about allergens. And DC2 did have a small allergic reaction to *something* in San Diego, but we have no idea what, possibly naan (this, of course, being the reason the pedi says to introduce only one food at a time in 3 day intervals… something hard to do with a grabby baby on vacation).
Other forms of baby-led weaning suggest mesh baggies or just giving entire chicken legs or soft carrot sticks… but we’re still too lazy for that. Ze gets what we’re eating.
And it seems to be going just fine, though we could have lived longer without the stinkier diapers. Still, if you limit to whole foods, the diapers still aren’t as stinky as they could be. (We remember the results of DC1′s first foray into processed food… the experience out the other end cut processed food out of all of our lives.) We also understand bibs in a way that we missed with DC1.
Now, does that mean that more traditional methods of introducing solids are wrong? Probably not. We’re just lazy and take the least stressful way out. It seems to work so far.
So if you don’t want to bother with purees, we at grumpy rumblings give you permission not to.