Baby Tweedle- 26 Weeks Old

February 05, 2014

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Things around here are pretty much about two things- food and sitting up! Nora can sit up on her own as of a few days ago. It is crazy that just 2 weeks ago she could barely balance without toppling over and now she is just as confident as ever. She will even lean a little bit and catch herself, reach out to grab something and push herself from side to side with her hands. They really do learn so quickly!

Nora's eating continues to be a source of entertainment for us. It is true that everything your own baby does is the cutest and funniest thing you have seen and no baby has ever done anything like yours! At mealtimes we sit and stare at her and laugh and talk to her and barely eat any of our own suppers because we can't take our eyes off Nora. She still LOVES food. We have decided after much anxiety on my part (seriously, I was even waking in the night thinking about this!) that we are going to feed Nora a combination of finger foods (baby led weaning) and purees.

I like baby led weaning for the following reasons:

1. The baby has control of what they eat and when things go in their mouths. They learn to understand from very early on what kinds of things they can safely put in their mouths and what they should spit out so they don't choke.
2. The baby learns what different textures feel like in their mouths and they learn to manipulate and "chew" food before they even have teeth.
3. The baby eats the same food as the rest of the family, to an extent, gradually eating with cutlery, etc. and they have never been fed a separate meal at a special time and thus, they may be less picky eaters.
4. The baby gets a lot of practice with their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.

The whole philosophy behind BLW is that you never feed the baby purees and the baby will eventually "learn" to eat and gradually just eat and swallow as much as they need in order to be full. It is supposedly OK to let your baby eat finger foods as they will only bite off as much they can chew (no pun intended). They don't choke because they have a strong gag reflex at this age that causes them to spit out any pieces that are too big for them to swallow.

After trying it for a couple of weeks, we found that some things just weren't working for us. For one, I found it hard to relax during mealtimes because Nora gagged a number of times until her face turned red and spat out large chunks of food. After she did it once, I was sure she was going to choke and I kept sticking my finger in her mouth and pulling pieces out. It scared me. The second thing was that because she appeared to love eating so much, we felt that she wanted to swallow and eat more than she was able to do on her own. She seemed to have to work really hard to get a few drops of juice or a morsel out of an apple. The first time we gave her purees, she gobbled it up like nobody's business! And the third thing was that I thought maybe she would like things that can only be spoon fed, such as yogurt or applesauce and she wouldn't be able to eat that stuff on her own.

So, after much debate, re-reading almost the entire BLW weaning book, reading SEVERAL other mother blogs about what they did for their babies and losing a few nights of sleep, we have decided to go with a combo of purees and finger foods. So far, it's great. Nora plays and chews on things that I know she won't choke on and still gets the benefits of BLW and in the meantime, I feed her sweet potato, applesauce or whatever and she downs it like a boss! She is even getting the hang of using the spoon herself already. I use two spoons when I feed her and she holds one with the food on it and when it is all licked clean, we trade back- I take the empty one, handing her a full one again!

Seriously, I can't even count the number of times we have had to make these seemingly life changing decisions for Nora already and she is ONLY 6 months old! Sometimes I wish someone would just tell me I had to do something a certain way so that I didn't have to decide on my own. There are so many different ways of doing things that it takes forever to find out what works.

For the first time in a few weeks we had snow this week and I took Nora outside to "play" in it for a little while. She actually liked it! She tried to eat it, of course, and when it touched her skin, she didn't seem to mind. 

Nora is learning to wave! I can't say she has had the ah-ha moment and actually done it, but in the last few days, she will raise her hand slightly when it is time to say good bye to someone and most of the time, she will even quietly say "ba"- for "bye bye". Of course this is after Nana and I have stood there for about 10 minutes waving rapidly and saying over and over and over again in a high pitched voice "BYE BYE!!!! CAN YOU SAY BYE BYE?!!? BYE BYE!!! BYE BYE NORA!!!" She must think it is a matter of life and death that she try this whole waving thing! Good thing she is finally getting it!

Tomorrow Nora turns 6 months old, officially closer to one than zero! I have started making a photo book for her which has sent me back through all the photos from her first few days. I have already forgotten how tiny she was. Sometimes I wish I could just hold newborn Nora again, but most of the time, I just love each stage she is in and when she does something new, I don't miss the times when she wasn't able to do it.
ALL she wants to do is stand!!! She can hold her own weight for quite a while, it's just balance we are waiting on!! 

Happy 6 months to my sweet baby Nora June!


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