16 June 2011

baby led


Do you ever look at old photos and think "oh, how far we've come!"? I blush a little when I think back to how we did things when big owlet was tiny. We were very concerned about doing things just right. We spent lots of time setting up some sort of family rhythm that centred around her and adjusting to a complete change of lifestyle. And then another baby came along, and another, and those babies just seemed to fit into the rhythm. Everything got busier, louder, and somehow it became easier to hear what the baby needed and respond to it, rather than what the rhythm dictated. The rhythm, and our entire approach became flexible.


When we started big owlet on solids, we did it, like everything else, by the book. Starting just short of her 6mth birthday (the book said that was ok at the time). The first time we fed her, my hand shook as I placed the spoon in her mouth (more nerves than tremor back then). We have it on video. We fed her carefully prepared purees. Off a spoon. She gobbled them up and any slight mess or spill, we'd wipe immediately as we sat gazing and feeding her.


When little owlet came along, we waited until she was exactly 6mths old. I prepared congee, aimed the spoon in her direction and... she grabbed it right out of my hand and fed herself.


Tiny owlet told us when she was ready to start eating solids. She reached over and grabbed a fistful of little owlet's jam sandwich and swallowed some of it. Oops. Fortunately by #3, we're down with the whole baby led solids thing. Just as well, cos I can't imagine spending time cooking up purees and freezing them in tiny ice block trays. Or worse, preparing them fresh daily! So tiny owlet eats what we eat at every meal. She loves her food. As you can probably tell, I'm sure. It's messy. And lots of fun.


I'm fairly sure that when I look back over this blog and the beginnings of our unschool journey with big owlet, I may blush again. First kids are for practice though, right? You live and learn.



  1. Thanks for the link. I'm starting my third on solids (she is 6 months) and I'm reluctant to go down the "rice cereal" path as I did with my elder two. Tiny owelet certainly looks like she enjoys her food!

  2. Same here Lauren. With S we did everything by the book, rice cereal, purees, progress to chunkier etc. With L we just did whatever he wanted to do. He was interested in trying food but not interesting in eating, tried feeding him cereal but he could not have cared less. Plus, he really wasn't keen on us feeding him!
    It was probably when he was 8 or 9 months that he decided he wanted to really give it a go. So I started letting him have whatever he wanted from my plate (bear in mind we eat a very healthy diet, low salt, all cooked from scratch).
    He's now 19 months, a very healthy eater (loves carrots, meat, carbs, tuna dip...) and to this day I haven't fed him food once, he's always fed himself. He's much better than his sister at drinking from open cups and trying new things.

  3. lol at "First kids are practice kids"... ;)

    I haven't tried giving Suspence a spoon & bowl yet... I might have to pluck up some courage for that!

  4. I remember being sure I knew what I was doing with number 1... and having him decide WELL before he was 6 months old that he was going to eat some solids. Ooops.

  5. Yes definitely. We didn't ever do the rice cereal (wouldn't feed baby something I think is too disgusting to eat myself, even then) but we did have the Heinz plastic bowl and spoon, and the plastic sippy cup for water. And yep, I made hundreds of icecubes of pumpkin pure, spinach pure, etc, no apple pure until after the vegies because he'll get too much of a sweet tooth. Organic rusks because he'll die if I let him have regular bread.

    Dressing baby was very different too. Number one was always very dressed - bonds singlet, nappy, socks, growsuit, jacket/cardigan/outer suit over the top, beanie, bib. All nicely co-ordinated. Number three was usually either naked or just wearing a T-shirt and trackies for ease of EC-ing.


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