Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sippy Cups and Other Stuff

My little boy has graduated to a sippy cup. It was a learning curve for both him and for momma as I have discovered with everything that he has learned. Today's post will work through this learning process.

When my son turned 6 months old I started feeding him slowly as I mentioned in my first post about feeding, and gradually increased. I started giving him water after about a week or two after food was increased. I read in my "feeding baby" handbook that babies his age can have up to 2oz in a meal but are not to exceed 4oz in a day. So I started off by measuring 2 oz and putting it in a sippy cup and giving it to him. This was a huge FAIL.  First, he thought the cup was a toy and tried shaking it and had no idea that he was supposed to drink from it. Then when I did try to assist him to drink from it he didn't react well. After a few failed attempts at this I realized that he had no idea what water was supposed to taste like, he had never had any before and had never seen this type of cup before, so maybe I was being over zealous and giving him too much "new" at once. So I backtracked - first I tried giving him a bottle with some water in it while he was in his high chair but he wasn't able to hold it himself so then I went back even further and gave him a bottle with some water the old fashioned way, lying him across my lap and feeding him. I did this a few times until he got used to the taste of water. Then I tried giving him the bottle in reclined position, then sitting up. When he was sitting up he struggled to get the bottle tipped enough to get the water out. Then I changed tactics again, filling the bottle all the way up so he could instantly have water as soon as he sucked the nipple. After this worked a couple of times I switched back to the sippy cup, filling it all the way to the top. Success!! By the time he was seven months old he was able to grab the cup when he was ready and drink from it on his own! Yahoo!

Since beginning feeding we have progressed to three meals a day, provided him with several meats, an array of fruits and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, bread and grains and yes..gasp...peanut butter. I gave him some on his toast shortly after he was nine months old and not only is he okay with it, he loves it.  To get him used to bigger pieces of food and to help him learn to chew, Baby Mum Mums are a great treat. These rice rusks are great at giving babies a chance to feed themselves.  I got a great surprise just two weeks after starting with bite sized foods on his tray - he picked up a piece of toast on his own and put it in his mouth! It was such a great moment! He had been struggling with the concept of trying to line up the food with his hand and then again his hand with his mouth up until then. I had encouraged him by giving him the food in his mouth first, then his hand, then having him take it from me and then putting his hands on it, all the while keeping the food available on his tray for when he was ready. That day he just did it completely on his own like he had always known how! I thought it was so funny how suddenly and confidently he achieved this.  My little boy is growing up!

I still have a few new things to introduce and have to tackle giving him a spoon to feed himself. We have been working on that one but when I give him a spoon full of food it more often then not ends up all over him, the floor, or me. Every little thing is a big accomplishment for a little one! I love the process, it is so great to see him gaining independence!

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