Saturday, September 11, 2010

Learning to Eat

I think the hardest thing about teaching Sadie how to eat is that all the books are written for normal babies; babies who reach and grab and put things in their mouths (although Sadie is getting better at using her hands). So, everything I read I have to take with a grain of salt. I would love to do the baby-led weaning method that La Leche League boasts as the best way to teach a baby to eat. This method includes giving baby finger foods from your regular meals, no purees, no special baby foods. Sounds easy. Sounds fun. Sounds unrealistic.

For now, we'll do it the traditional way. Well, sort of.

Sadie had her first solid food, butternut squash, on August first. She was 6.5 months old, we had gotten clearance from the pediatrician, and we already had some pureed squash in the freezer. So we went for it. And it didn't go badly...until we were trying to coax it out the other end. It took 4 days!! But I was excited, so we tried bananas, this time it took 5 days!! At that point I decided we needed to wait another month, let her digestive system mature a little more.

On Labor Day we had bananas again, and we've been going strong ever since. Sadie's even eaten 2 meals in one day. And it is coming out the other end just fine. Good decision, mama.

But I still wish there was a book for teaching your special baby to eat. The problem is, it's such a wide audience. Even if we narrowed it down to teaching your CP baby to eat, it'd be too hard. So many forms of CP effect the facial muscles and actually impair eating and speaking. It's actually a HUUUUUGE milestone that Sadie is doing so well with it. This means she likely will be able to speak and not have future eating problems. So, for now we just read all the normal baby food books and websites and we adapt it to fit our needs.

And I guess that's what all parents do whether they have a special needs child or not.

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