As your child is growing in self-feeding confidence, you might be tempted to feel more freedom to walk away and let your baby feed himself unsupervised. But, remember to maintain a watchful eye throughout mealtimes. No baby (BLS or puree-fed) should be left on his own while food is within arms-reach, just like you still wouldn't leave your baby alone in the bathtub.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program of "Lessons Learned with Buttercup":
We always offer Buttercup more than one food per meal now. There are several things we've learned about this:
- It definitely works better to give her only a few things at a time, starting with savory and ending with sweet. For example, if I give Buttercup a banana first then she has no interest in the yummy vegetables on her tray. Limiting the number of different items on her tray keeps her a tad more focused on the task at hand (and mouth).
- We've noticed Buttercup is definitely now able to self-regulate how much food she has in her mouth at any one time. When she was six months old, she'd get too much in her mouth and then have to spit some out. In her seventh month she's learned not to put more food in her mouth if she has a full mouth already. Also, if she does get a huge gob of food in her mouth she is able to chew and chew and chew and work it down without incident. We no longer get slightly nervous when we see her "bite off more than she can chew." We just laugh and point. So, remember when your little one is going to town on a huge piece of food not to intervene - he'll figure it out on his own!
- Occasionally, Buttercup will get a piece of something hard stuck in her mouth (like a tiny angular piece of apple) and she will protest until she either gets it down herself or we help her. We notice she does the same thing for peels.