Introducing Finger Foods, and Precursors to Toddling

Back when I was still floating in that “I’m gonna do all the bestest, trendiest parenting things” phase of new motherhood, I heard about this thing called baby led weaning where instead of spoon-feeding the baby pureed fruits and other mushy fare, you offer them bits of finger food that they can pick up and chew (gum?) at their own readyness and leisure. It seemed like an interesting idea, though we ended up taking the “mainstream” route like we have in pretty much every aspect of parenting so far, starting with baby oatmeal and purees at around four months as discussed in this post.

Still, I’ll admit to having passively tried the baby-led-weaning approach a time or two… with less than stellar results. Take for instance this time back at the beginning of June, when I offered Lillian a couple of (soft, gummable) peach pieces. Not only was she not the slightest bit interested in picking them up or trying to eat them, but she reacted with this indignant glare. Like the very idea was preposterous.

“What on earth do you expect me to do with these?” (June 2012)

It might have gone differently if we kept trying different foods, or kept pushing it in general, but the familiar tried-and-true purees were working out well enough for us and Lillian, and in the end we just stuck with those.

Then, about a week ago, we spotted these Baby Mum-Mum rice rusk snacks at Babies R Us. Unlike most pre-packaged snacks, which seem to be designed for (at youngest) toddlers who are already accustomed to eating solid foods, these are explicitly designed for babies Lillian’s age and turn to mush almost immediately upon entering one’s mouth.

So we figured they were worth a shot — and while Lillian seemed a little skeptical at first, she dove into gumming them up and crunching them into pieces with her two bottom teeth.

Lillian eating a Baby Mum-Mums rice rusk snack.

Sometimes she’ll take a bite and then sweetly offer me one, and giggle when I partake in the bland crunchy riceyness. But anyway, based on the success with these snacks it would look like it’s time to start introducing other finger foods, like soft fruits and well-cooked veggies.

In other news, Lillian has been making strides (pun intended) in the standing and walking department. If you recall the last baby update, she was only first beginning to pull up and stand. Now, she’s pulling up on everything, and even walking from one end of our sectional sofa to the other while using it for balance.

Lillian standing up (using the couch for balance).

She’s still leaning against the couch in the photo above, but I think it shows how she’s getting more confident about being on two feet.

I shot a couple of video clips of this fun phase — the first one shows her standing up using the couch, though it gets cut a little short since my phone happened to be within reach:

(Maybe I worry too much, but that phone is fragile and crotchety enough without being used as a baby rattle and/or chew toy.)

This next video shows how adventurous she’s getting about straying away from the couch — at one point she comes very close to standing completely on her own, though (spoiler alert) the viedo ends with her falling on her bottom and fussing a little because of it.

It may be a little early to call, but based on current progress it seems like she’ll be walking outright any week now.

Given her increased mobility these days, it’s getting harder and harder to shoot those quasi-monthly photos for the bunny series, since she immediately sits up to play with the bunny, or the blanket, or just to generally crawl around. The best I could seem to do this round was this slightly motion-blurred shot:

10.5 months old.

The backdrop this time is a blanket crocheted by my mom, and there’ll probably be just one more photo in the series… since next month we’ll be celebrating Lillian’s first birthday. Which is pretty much impossible to believe. Where did the time go? It seems like she was just born, and yet somehow we’re already on the verge of having a toddler on our hands!

6 Comments

  1. Wow! What a difference a year makes! This time last year, we were all so excited that Lily would be arriving in just a few weeks, and now look at her!! They grow so fast. I look at mine now and am flabbergasted! It seems like only yesterday that they were small like Lily.

    She will definitely be walking very soon! I’m sure Grendel is so pleased by this turn of events. ;) It’s so exciting to see them take their first steps! Cherish every moment. I know we all can’t wait for the holidays to arrive!

    I love that face she made over those fruit pieces. It’s like she’s saying, “Mom, just what were you thinking?!?” When Amy was that age, I started getting the Gerber Graduate type foods. She seemed to really like these things called Wagon Wheels. They also turned to mush as she ate them. They also have yogurts and vegetable bites and such. They may be worth looking at as she gets older.

    As always, thank you for this blog! It truly means the world to all of us to get to be a part of your lives, even from so far away! Love to you all!

    • The pleasure is all mine! I love writing this blog and sharing these memories and milestones, and love that you guys take the time to read and leave comments! :)

      You’re right that Grendel is already learning to steer clear of Lillian, since she probably doesn’t want to have fistfuls of her fur pulled out by curious baby hands, haha. We haven’t tried Gerber Graduates yet but the wagon wheels sound like a good thing to try out. So many possibilities! :)

  2. You have to quit washing that bunny in hot water, it has really shrunk! ;^D Love watching even the short videos, please keep them coming!

    • Haha, it’s hard to believe how tiny that bunny is getting by comparison (although we haven’t done anything to shrink it, I swear!) I’ll try my best to keep making and posting videos!

  3. Oh, I got a kick out of those first two pictures. That’s Joe Hart, all over again! I love the way Lillian is thinking about walking in that last video. Almost made it. A few thumps and bumps won’t hurt anything. Just read a good book by Paul Tough called “How Children Succeed.” Seems that some failure helps children develop grit and character. Try again, and success develops the confidence to overcome. Lillian looks plenty confident to me! Good job, Mom and Dad!

    • That’s so true about how a few little falls won’t hurt anything, especially when they’re padded by carpeting and/or diaper. And that sounds like a really interesting book — lately I’ve been hearing so much about this “helicopter parenting” culture where kids can never be allowed to fail at anything (or suffer the slightest scraped knee, etc.) It seems questionable that that’s the best or healthiest thing for kids in the long run.

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