It's time to ruminate on the things we've learned about baby led solids in the past couple of weeks:
- Meal times have proven to be a great opportunity for us to start learning/implementing our baby sign language and table manners. If Buttercup needs help reaching a food or wants more I sign and say "please" before handing it to her. This way she has an association between "please" and getting what she wants. Hubby and I also use "thank you", "more", "all done", "water" and "clean up" at the dinner table. Eventually she can learn her food names, too. She has yet to sign anything back to us (although I am convinced she has signed "all done" to me before...Hubby thinks I'm cracked...), but we are paving the way.
- Ever since we began introducing solid foods to Buttercup we noticed that she would drop food from her highchair. After much deliberation and observation we have concluded that she isn't doing it to be purposely annoying. We think that tossing food is Buttercup's only way of discarding food she doesn't want to hold on to any longer. She lacks the motor skills to place items back on the tray in order to pick something else up. Her only option is to drop it. Also, we have noticed that this is one of Buttercup's "all done" cues. When she's lost interest in eating she will start playing with the food instead of eating it (smearing it around her tray and dropping it off the sides). This seems like a good time to mention that I never give her all of her food at once. I usually only give her a couple of slices at a time. If she wants more she will look intently at the remaining food on her plate. If she's all done she will smear her food and throw it around. At some point we will discipline her for this, but we're pretty sure she's not doing it on purpose...yet.
- I've seen some discussions on forums about what to do with WIC baby food. We are on WIC and receive about a million (I counted) jars of baby food a month, but we obviously don't want to use them. Well, I found a local women's shelter to donate them to. They were extremely appreciative for the donation and it's great to be able to help other mothers in need. Problem solved!