Thursday, September 22, 2016

Food Before 1 Is Just For Fun (Round 2...)

...or is it round 3?

Logan has been eating solid foods for about a month now. Initially, I had planned to puree a few different fruits and veggies for the first couple of weeks, like I did with the girls. Then, I planned to move on to chunkier mixes and large pieces (baby-led feeding style). Logan had other plans.

After weeks of watching us eat, I assumed that he would go nuts for solid food. I roasted and pureed some organic butternut squash. He opened his mouth, took in the tiniest bit of squash, gagged and then spit it out. He then acted grossed out and disinterested!

After trying him with the squash for a few more days, I decided to hold off for another week or so.

I quickly realized that the kid has no interest in being spoon fed (by me)! I've always loved Baby Led Weaning's motto, "Food before one is just for fun", however I prefer to call it 'baby-led feeding' because I have no interest in weaning him at this stage.

He's a good-sized baby who is getting everything he needs from breast milk, so I decided to take a very laid-back approach to food. It's very messy. Sometimes he eats a little bit of food. Sometimes a lot. He's happy and loving it though. And messes can be cleaned up (I remind myself over and over again) :)

Feeding himself mashed avocado

Playing with a carrot

Cold (peeled) apples for teething gums

After a few weeks of mostly playing with different fruits and veggies, he figured out a way to grip the food and gnaw pieces off. It really has been a fascinating process to watch. He's a determined little guy. He did a great job of holding onto the peaches (pic below) in order to suck the juices out and even pull off little pieces. He only recently got a tooth (in the last few days) so he is completely toothless in all of the pictures in this post.

I love this series from his first experience with broccoli. Clearly unsure, he decides to try it anyways and ends up loving it!

Despite what some people might say, my personal and professional belief is that sweet fruits and veggies don't need to be given after those that are less sweet. Breast milk is incredibly sweet itself, so babies are used to that. Logan happily devoured broccoli (above) and a pea and mint puree (below) after trying apples, bananas and peaches.

When I introduced solids to the girls in 2012, it was advised to wait and introduce certain high allergen foods (like nuts, eggs, fish) closer to one year. Now, in 2016, allergens should be introduced ASAP. What? Confusing, I know.

My unsolicited advice (because we all love that!) and approach with my own some reading. Talk to a few trusted friends. Talk to a nutritionist or a naturopathic doc. Then, decide on an approach that works for you and your baby. I've decided to start with fruits and veggies. Plant-based proteins next. Logan tried some homemade chickpea burgers the other night and some lentils as well. He has also had some butternut squash soup that I made with homemade chicken broth. I will likely give him some meat in the next week or two.

I did introduce him to eggs the other day. This was a biggie since we recently discovered that my niece is allergic to eggs. Fortunately, Logan had no reaction, but wasn't all that interested in the eggs. I'll probably make some a scramble with veggies next. Peanuts are also a biggie because my brother is allergic to them. I will most likely give him tree nuts around 9 months and then peanuts shortly thereafter.

He thinks the dogs are fantastic and they love him for the
extra snacks!

I think he was eating avocado

Yellow carrot!

Mashed blueberries!
I know that choking is a concern for many with this approach to food. It's a valid concern! Admittedly, I feel a little bit nervous about it too. But, I'm prepared. I'm always close by when he's eating. I give him very large pieces of raw fruits or veggies. I've taken an infant CPR course should it ever come to that. It's good to remember that gagging is completely normal when food is being introduced for the first time. Babies are learning how to move their jaws and tongues. After six months or more of only consuming liquid, something chunky is often going to cause a baby to gag. This is the only way for the gag reflex to develop. Logan has reminded me of Teagan. She used to gag/choke all the time. Outwardly, I always stayed very calm with Teagan. I would unbuckle her, but never touched her if she was coughing or making noise. She always managed to cough up or swallow whatever had gagged her. Then, she would go right back to eating. Logan has had similar gagging incidents and has always managed to work it out on his own.

The nutritionist in me has absolutely loved watching him experience food for the first time! Now that we are doing it his way, he seems to love it too. Stay tuned for more food posts!

Monday, September 12, 2016

6 Months & 7 Months Old!

Sorry, Logan. August was a wildly busy month for our family, so poor Logan's 6 month post didn't make it to the blog. It was celebrated though! And, just like that our not-so-little guy is 7 months old (+a few days)!

  • He gets himself around! He rolls, scoots backwards and somehow manages to always get himself to whatever has grabbed his attention. Our days of lying him on the bed unattended are long gone. While he does have a designated, matted space on the family room floor, he very quickly ends up in another part of the room. I love watching him manoeuvre himself in a circle in order to reach toys. He is a determined little guy, who lets his frustrations be known when he can't quite figure things out on his own. We just had baby gates being installed this week for his impending crawling! He has recently started sitting on his own, but does topple over, so we usually put pillows around him. 
  • He's a jumper! He still loves the Jolly Jumper and the jumperoo. When he is held, he tries to jump on a lap/table/couch at any opportunity. He's a big guy now, so I definitely feel like I get a workout!
  • Logan loves to talk! He seems to be putting two sounds/letters together quite often now. "Mamamamama" is said frequently. Teagan has nicknamed Logan, "Gaga"-- I'm sure you can guess why! When we talk to him, he babbles right back. 
  • He's a goofball! He happily shrieks when he's amused and loves it when we smile and laugh at something he is doing. He will continue to do it for a reaction. 
  • After weeks of watching us eat, I started him on solid food at about 6 months old. I roasted a butternut squash and pureed it, expecting him to devour it. When it touched his lips, his disgusted reaction was both hilarious and surprising. I quickly realized that he did not want to be spoon fed. Since then, he has been all about feeding himself. I'll post more on that soon, but current faves include sweet potato, broccoli, peas with mint and peaches.
  • We have been going to regular appointments at Sick Kids and will continue to do so for the next several months. We had him fitted for a hearing aid in July and has been excellent about keeping it on. For the most part, he doesn't bother with it. He has already grown out of the mold though, which was resulting in the hearing aid falling out frequently. With the craziness around our move, I haven't had a chance to get his new mold made so he hasn't worn his hearing aid in a few weeks. Once we get the mold this week, he will be wearing it regularly again. We waver on whether a cochlear implant is best for him. We still do not know whether he is a candidate, so it could be a moot point. After an MRI in the next few months, we will know for certain whether he is a candidate and will take it from there. From a hearing perspective, he is doing fairly well. It's clear that he doesn't always know where sound is coming from and does seem to get overwhelmed in loud, busy settings. We are starting a music class for deaf and hearing impaired children next week. 

He absolutely adores these two! 


Seriously, this kid smiles 90% of the time.
Crossing off an item on the girls bucket list- riding scooters on
Toronto Island.

Not the best shot, but he did like having his
feet in the water!

Mama and Logan

The post-milk coma!

With Uncle Rob

No teeth, slipper peaches. No problem.

Attacking broccoli!

Oh hey, Handsome!

He adores the pups!

He looks like this after every meal! (The OCD neat freak in me
goes a little nuts, but then I remind myself that it gets cleaned
up easily.)

Friday, September 9, 2016


It's been a busy few weeks. We moved a week and a half ago, but feel like we've been going non-stop for several weeks now. As almost everyone knows, moving is a pain in the butt. Moving with kids though....oye. Jenn took the last two weeks off so we could divide and conquer. It was busy, but it went very well. We are into the new house and actually have pictures on the wall! Jenn is nuts about unpacking quickly and I love it. It has made me equally nuts, but as a result, less than 24 hours after moving in, the kitchen was set up.

When we moved into our previous house, we had plans to renovate. We hired an architect and a design-build firm and spent months working through plans. Then, Jenn started a new role at work that required more hours and more travel. With Logan's arrival in February and Jenn's new position, we made the difficult decision to change our plans from reno to move. It was just going to be too much.

We live in a very high demand area of Toronto. Houses don't go for sale often and when they do, they are snatched up in a heartbeat for well-above the asking price. Obviously great if you're a seller. Not so great, not to mention stressful, if you're a buyer. We were lucky to do well on the sale of our house and even luckier that a new home that matched our criteria came up for sale.

One of the reasons that we decided to move was the need for an additional bedroom. We felt that it was time for the girls to each have their own space. They've been sharing a room since day one and spend pretty much every waking minute together. Teagan was excited about the idea of her own room. Quinn wasn't so sure. We let them pick out their wall colours (within reason!). Teagan had initially chosen the brightest colour of fuschia. Quinn wavered between a fluorescent turquoise and a sunny yellow. We gently persuaded them to go with light pink (Teagan) and a more subtle tuquoise (Quinn). Teagan's room is covered in dogs. Dog artwork. A comforter covered in dogs. She loves it! A Lightning McQueen lamp completes her room. 

For the most part, they've adjusted well to their own spaces. We have caught Quinn sneaking into Teagan's room a couple of times pre-6am because she "has to tell her something." Quinn also isn't keen on giving Teagan privacy when she would like to close her door. It's a work in progress! 

Jenn took a few weeks off around the closing date of our new place. Moving is always an ordeal, but it was especially nuts with three small children in tow. But, we did it! We are settling in and it feels more and more like home every day.