Six Month Stats:
Weight- 18 lbs 53rd Percentile
Height- 26 inches 17th Percentile
Height- 26 inches 17th Percentile
Sophie the Giraffe: I didn't understand the hype about this toy until this month. It is awesome. Its light enough and shaped perfectly so he can hold it without dropping it every five seconds, it makes a horrifying squeaky sound that he loves, and the rubbery texture is ideal for teething.
Ikea Antilop high chair: Does this thing look ghetto? I love it. First of all its $20. Hi, I can do that. Second of all its the easiest thing in the world to clean... which is important considering that's required at least three times a day.
Evan's students decided they wanted a class pet so they bought a goldfish and named him Winston Jr. Evan brought it home to show Winston and his reaction was pretty priceless.
If you are interested in doing BLW here is my advice:
1. READ THE BOOK. I have linked to the website and if you search on Pinterest there are tons of Moms who have written blog posts about it but seriously if you want to do this, read the book. You will need to be prepared to answer everyone's questions about why you are giving your six month old baby a chicken leg and they will be horrified at your bizarre behavior. I promise. Be prepared for lots of people to think you're nuts. I still don't like feeding Winston anywhere but our house because he is new to food and still learning different tastes and textures and I hate having to explain myself to everyone regarding giving him cheese (gasp! a milk product!) or letting him feed himself. You need to read all the benefits and you need to make sure you agree with the theory before you do it. My lovely friend who let me borrow her book did this with her second child. Their oldest was fed baby food the traditional way and with their second they did BLW and difference in the way the two of them eat is astonishing. That personal testimony, plus all the research I have done has convinced me this is something I want to do. If you don't agree with it, lovely. Don't do it! I know Babywise is like a Bible to a lot of moms but it didn't work for us, and I think its the same with this.
2. Take a CPR/ECC class. Now you're probably freaking out and don't want to do it because I'm telling you your baby is going to choke and you're going to have to try and revive him. NOT SO. But if you are going to participate in BLW you will have to chant this to yourself: "Gagging is different than choking." Being a health care provider, this is something I am very familiar with and I absolutely know the difference between the two, but most people don't. Evan still freaks out when we eat dinner with Win and he "gags". Up above when I told you to cut your baby's food into shapes large enough for them to pick up, you were probably thinking babies are supposed to have small pieces so they don't choke. However, at 6 months old they won't be able to pick up little tiny pieces because they haven't developed the pincer grasp yet. The pieces need to be large enough to be grasped by their entire fist and still have some food sticking out either end so they can fit it into their mouth (they won't be coordinated enough to open their fist and get the food in quite yet). Listen to me, your baby will not choke but he will gag. Gagging is a bunch of noisy coughing and pulling ugly faces that probably will make you panic and think you're about to have to do the Heimlich. Here's the thing. Baby's anatomy is different than yours. His gag reflex is extremely far forward in his mouth and it moves back as he ages. His anatomy is this way in order to prevent him from choking. When he is first learning about food and how far back to put it in his mouth he is going to hit that gag reflex (which again is extremely far forward, so when he hits it he is not really choking) and pull faces and cough and you're going to panic. So I want you to take a CPR/ECC class so you feel confident in those moments that you will know what to do if your baby chokes. But you won't actually have to do it because your baby is not going to choke. He's just going to gag. Here's another news flash, baby is actually the best person to prevent himself from choking. When he is gagging, if you freak out and stick your fingers in his mouth and try to grab something, you're going to make it worse. He will be just fine if you let him work it out on his own.
3. Be prepared for a huge mess. Now you can probably see why I chose an all plastic high chair. Baby is going to have a learning curve and it is messy. Although, I feel like spoon feeding is pretty messy too. I feed Winston his messiest food of the day for breakfast in just a diaper and then give him a bath. For lunch and dinner we do less messy foods so I don't have to bathe him all over again. The good thing about solid foods is that if you put a table cloth underneath baby, you can just pick up the food he drops and hand it back to him, as opposed to having the entire jar of sweet potato smeared from wall to wall and a lot of it gets wasted.
Confession: We did start Winston a little earlier than his actual 6 month birthdate because he started grabbing things from off my plate and putting them in his mouth at 5 months and at 5 and a half months he was sitting up on his own. I felt like he was ready a little early, which has been the case with most of his developmental milestones so far. I started him with slices of raw fruits and vegetables that he couldn't actually eat, he just sucked on them. This helped him figure out the gag reflex thing and kind of staved him off so I could buy some more time for the whole "preventing allergies" part of the theory. Once I gave him a banana though, he figured out he could actually eat it and get full so then it was game over. We roast the veggies in the oven to make them soft enough to eat since he has no teeth. For soft food like yogurt, I load the spoon and hand it to him and he puts it in his mouth... most the time. Hence the mess. Bananas and cheese sticks are his favorite, I think its because its an easy texture for him to hold on his own and devour. He'll eat an entire banana if I let him.
So far we have tried:
corn on the cob
I love the book and the theories. The practice has been messier of course. It's taken time for me to figure out just exactly what shape and texture he can manage, sometimes I roast the veggies too long, sometimes not long enough, etc. If you have done BLW please leave me any advice you have!! Its a work in progress. But I'm liking both the work and the progress.