This week, Claire, mother of 4 children, pediatric nurse, breastfeeding counselor and creator of the site “Parent Baby Breastfeeding”Addresses the theme of Diversification.
Claire likes to share her knowledge and experiences to allow everyone to become the parent they want to be, to experience the breastfeeding and parenthood they dream of. Our children are wonders, but sometimes we get lost and need help. This is why she runs a You Tube channel “Breastfeeding Parent Baby” for those looking for advice, she also offers online training, breastfeeding and parenting consultations and workshops or group sharing so that everyone can, according to his budget, find what he needs.
Diversification, an important step
Diversification is an important step in the evolution and development of babies. Because eating like a grown-up means growing up, of course, but also discovering new things, new textures, new tastes… but above all it is the convivial and social aspect of the pleasure of eating, of sharing being together. Some will tell you it’s “the French art of living”. There was also a tradition in our culture whereby when the baby put his first tooth the father gave him his first piece of bread. The ritual aspect of this tradition clearly shows the importance of this stage, of these discoveries with the start of diversification.
How can we make diversification a moment of sharing and discovery?
So that these moments are and remain moments of pleasure, sharing and discovery with the family, it is important to move at your baby’s pace, to offer him pleasant, constructive experiences… discoveries that meet his needs. To do this, create situations where he can express his desire to eat, observe and then suggest.
The easiest way to create situations that will allow your baby to express his desire to eat is to have your meals in his presence (and if possible without a screen to entertain you…). Sitting on your lap or in his high chair, he will be able to observe what you are doing. You will be able to explain to him, tell him about the textures, the colors, name the objects, plates, spoons, etc. and more generally share pleasant moments with his family. If he regularly asks to breastfeed during these meal times, then it is because he has already understood that these moments are devoted to feeding and that he also appreciates participating.
How do you know if your baby is ready?
And after what happens? Between 4 and 6 months, your baby sits better and better, he develops what we call the fine gripper, that is to say the possibility of catching small objects. And what does he do with what he gets to grab and take? He brings it to his mouth, he tastes it… He is ready to begin diversification.
Some children also express themselves through facial expressions, open their mouths wide with each of your bites as if hoping that the spoon will take the wrong path and go into their mouth rather than yours… The most daring, take matters into their own hands and use themselves …
I remember a little 4 month old Aline who, sitting on her daddy’s lap, grabbed her daddy’s fingers with both hands and threw herself on the beautiful juicy peach he was eating. She opened her mouth wide and sucked in some juice. No doubt in his smile and his little noises of satisfaction on his enthusiasm and his pleasure.
I also met Hugo 5 months old, he and his mother discovered that he really liked carrots, when sitting on his knees while she peeled his vegetables, Hugo tasted and appreciated the thin strips of carrot …
The importance of observation and trust
Eventually you will see how easy it is to realize and understand that your baby is ready. It suffices to observe and watch.
This observation can then guide you, in the choice of textures (pieces or mash), foods (sweet, salty…) and quantities.
Observe your baby, he has so much to communicate to you and put words into what you offer him, what you observe …
Offer your baby a healthy and balanced diet, share with him the pleasure of discovering new tastes, new textures, new colors …