Baby-Led Weaning at 9 Months
Lunch time! Rajma (Kidney beans), Mackarel fish and Pineapple slices
We are at 9 months, 0 teeth and approximately 12 strands of hair. Our little baldy has come a long way in his eating skills (yes, even with 0 teeth he is quite capable of mashing food up in his mouth with his strong gums and palate) since we started with baby led weaning at 6 months. He is still nursing on demand and while he isn’t nursing as often as a newborn, he does love his milkies and cannot do without them. Only recently, say in the last 2-3 weeks, has he started to show actual hunger for solids – I think he’s starting to realise that food can actually fill his tummy!
Breakfasts are his favourite meal. Unfortunately – mornings are just not my thing – Kai is an ‘early-to-rise’ sort of person and once he’s up, he’ll pretty much be milling around me begging for food. I know this because as soon as I put him in his chair and place food on his plate, he’ll be quiet and gobble down his breakfast!
We are doing three meals a day now – breakfast at around 8, lunch anytime between 11-12:30 after he’s had his morning nap and then a light dinner or snack in the evening around 5 or 6 (usually fruits, or cheese or some kind of stuffed paratha). Sometimes he’ll snack in between on roasted makhana or puffed rice or dried figs.
I wouldn’t say that he eats everything I put on his plate – he’s definitely picky about some things and goes through phases of liking some things and then not touching them for a while – but that’s the nature of it and I try offering the same thing again after a while or in a different form. Sometimes he’ll try it, sometimes he won’t and that’s okay. I’ve learnt to trust him. Babies are incredibly intelligent little humans and built for survival so I know he’s not going to starve himself (plus he’s still drinking lots of breastmilk and I know that’s nourishing him just fine too) and my job is to just make sure I am offering him a good variety of whole foods so he’s getting a good variety of nutrients from whatever he does eat.
It’s been a truly liberating and totally relaxed experience. It’s been so fun watching him try new foods, eat with gusto and develop those fine motor skills. You will notice how he’s pretty confidently picking up his rajma with the pincer grip in the video near the end.
The freedom to go out to eat with Kai is also pretty awesome. We try to order something that isn’t too messy, and easy for him to eat himself. Recently, we had to stay on a college campus for three days while I was working at a conference and I didn’t have to worry at all about what Kai would eat or pack food for him, he just ate with us in the canteen and whatever was served for lunch at the conference. No problemo.
While gagging is fairly rare now, there were a few days recently when he seemed to be gagging more often. My theory (which could be totally wrong) is that he was recalibrating to his gag reflex moving back? Whatever the reason, there were a couple of major gagging moments but since we’ve been at it for months now, it really wasn’t scary for me, I just had to wait, trust and watch attentively but non-invasively as he coughed up a bit of orange or tomato skin… It’s actually pretty amazing and I wished I had recorded a few of those incidents! The human body is just so fantastically designed, it would do us all a lot of good to trust our bodies more.
So there you have it, our 9 month BLW update! Are you getting ready to introduce solids to your baby and on the fence about BLW? Did you practice BLW with your baby? Please feel free to leave a comment or email me with comments or questions!