Hands up if you agree that time seems to fly by so much faster with kids!?! Especially when they’re so young and developing so quickly. I haven’t changed that much in the last 5 months but for Joshua the difference between a 5-month-old and 10-month-old is Huge!
We now have a baby who is on the verge of walking, trying to climb up onto everything and who eats nearly everything! And when I say nearly everything that’s exactly what I mean, edible or non-edible, he doesn’t seem to mind! Sand, soil, stones, a spider’s web, he’s tried it all. And a few worse ones but let’s not go there!
Needless to say, that on the whole he’s eating really well and I have been blessed with a boy who will happily try most foods.
I know it’s not because I’ve weaned him with 2 nutrition degrees behind my name! Rather, I believe that some babies take to food really easily and others take a bit longer. But there are things that we as parents can do to help their acceptance of foods, especially new ones.
For more about this, see my posts Encouraging finger foods and The Carrot! – How to encourage your child to eat new foods, which is more directed at older children.
Weaning goals: 9-12 months
Let’s start with a recap from my last post, Weaning Milestones: What to aim for at different ages. Here are the goals of what our babies should ideally be doing at 9-12 months:
- Having about 2 – 3 milk feeds per 24 hours
- Eating 3 meals a day
- 2 courses per meal
- Soft chopped family foods, from a spoon or your baby self-feeding with their hands
- Your baby may start trying to self-feed with a spoon
- Start offering harder finger foods
- Focus more on giving family foods
- Can start giving snacks between meals if your baby is eating his or her meals well.
What’s Joshua doing?
Looking at this list his ‘strengths’ are that he’s eating 3 meals per day and he’s eating pretty much all family foods. I think this was made easier for me as he didn’t enjoy purees so I was ‘forced’ to give him more finger foods which ended up being family food cut up. Obviously, the healthy baby appropriate ones. Well, mostly!
Though typical of second children, he has definitely had more ‘treats’ than his brother did at this age! A few weeks ago, when I opened a can of Pringles (yes Dietitians eat crisps!) he crawled straight up to me from the other side of the room and wanted one. And then last week, very well calculated, he grabbed a chocolate biscuit out of his brother’s hand and took a quick bite before I could get to him!
Not ideal but back to the healthier foods he’s eating!
Looking at a ‘typical’ day here’s what he ate yesterday:
- Toast with margarine, ¼ slice
- Banana, chunks x 3
- Raisins, about 8
- And a few small spoons of Daddy’s yoghurt and muesli
- Banana and oat biscuit, homemade and sugar free x 1
- Grapes, cut in half lengthways x 4
- Oat biscuit x 2
- Cheese, small blocks x 3
- Cherry tomato x 2
- Apple slice x 1
- Baby rice cake x 3
- Creamy chicken and tomato pasta, about 10 pieces of pasta
- Cherry tomato x 1
- Cucumber pieces
- Blueberries x 6
All these foods were cut into small pieces and he fed himself with his fingers.
What needed to change?
When I looked at the list of what Joshua should be doing at 9-12 months, I realised that our biggest problem was that he was having a lot more than only 2-3 milk feeds per day! I was in the bad habit of feeding him to sleep for his day naps and anytime he woke during the night! I know I’m not the only one who’s been stuck in this vicious cycle. I knew it wasn’t great, but at 3am the easy option always won!
It got to the point where I was feeding him 4 – 7 times overnight and sleep deprivation was reaching an all-time high. So, over the last 4 weeks I’ve been sleep training him and am very excited to report that he’s doing really well (and Mummy is so happy!!!) Daytime naps are sometimes still more tricky but overnight I’ve managed to stop feeding him and he’s sleeping through. So thankful! And with that, not surprisingly the amount he’s eating during the day has increased.
Tip: If your baby is having too much milk during the day or overnight, it is one of the most common reasons for them not having a good appetite when it comes to eating solid food.
Since he’s been sleeping better overnight, he’s now only having 3 breastfeeds a day and the amount he eats has increased. He is more of a grazer and likes smaller meals more often, this isn’t a problem as long as our baby’s snacks are healthy. At the end of the day it’s their total intake over 24 hours that’s more important than any single meal.
The two main changes left to be made regarding Joshua’s eating and drinking are to stop breastfeeding. Which I’ll do when he’s about 12-14 months, haven’t decided exactly when yet! And then when I’m feeling brave, I need to allow him to feed himself with a spoon more often. The thought of this doesn’t excite me but maybe I should do it when we away from our home and visiting family over Christmas!!!
And with that I’m excited to report that I’m in the final stages of weaning Joshua! There’re no special baby meals this side and besides the mess, he’s eating pretty much the same as the rest of the family!
How’s your baby’s weaning coming on? I’d love to hear.