I don’t often give parenting advice here, but Thomas asked me to tell you about this.
Give your babies a chicken bone.
A chicken bone, cooked and stripped — it’s nature’s teether.
All my babies have loved chicken bones because all babies love chicken bones because, what’s not to love? It has flavor, it’s the perfect shape for holding and chewing, and the second they try it they’re like, “Sophie Giraffe? What’s Sophie Giraffe?”
When Thomas watches us eat he, hilariously, smacks his lips and works his jaws. We’ve given him just a few things, mostly things he can just suck on and occupy him to stave off messy solids just one more day; butter on a spoon, a big slice of apple, avocado (mashed up, by spoon), and, of course, a chicken bone.
I usually try to wait until at least six months to introduce solids, mostly because nothing is messier than a baby eating. What I’m talking about, of course, is how solids irrevocably changes the work of cloth diapering.
With each baby I’ve done a combination of purees and Baby Led Weaning. And with each baby I’ve done more BLW and fewer purees because I’m lazy, so I take the easiest route. It’s so much more work to mush up a sweet potato and feed it to your baby spoonful by painstaking spoonful than it is to just hand them a hunk of avocado or a piece of a banana. Except for banana, because banana stains everything.
Plus, Thomas is just learning how to eat, and at this age eating isn’t so much about getting calories in him as it is about exploration. So letting him explore at his pace makes more sense than putting a spoon in his mouth and making him do it my way.
He’s responded so enthusiastically to the new flavors and textures, though, that I have to stop myself from giving him an actual drumstick, or plopping a piece of pizza on his tray. When can babies have dairy? Not yet. What about pepperoni? Not yet.
But, I’m telling you, if I let him, this kid would shut down an all-you-can-eat buffet at Pizza Hut.