When I first started baby PP on solid food, i stuck with the basic pureed, soft textured, baby food. And of course my reading material and subjects extended to feeding the baby. "What to feed, what not to feed, when to feed, how often, how much" etc etc. Amongst my reading i found a suggestion by Dr Spock, who wrote in his book
"by the time babies are up to 6 or 7 months old, they want to and can pick foods up in their hands and suck and munch on them. This is good training for them as preparation for spoon feeding themselves at about a year...The traditional first finger food is a crust of stale wholewheat bread or toast at 6 or 7 months. Babies suck at it and chew at it with their bare gum (they might be tingling with teething, and in that case, they will enjoy the biting). As it softens gradually with their saliva, some of it rubs or dissolves off into their mouths, enough to make them feel they're getting somewhere. Most of it goes on their hands, faces, hair and the furniture."
BabyCenter said to start "When your baby's between 7 and 9 months old, he'll probably let you know that he's ready to start feeding himself — by grabbing the spoon you're feeding him with or snatching food off your plate."
Baby PP has begun doing that at around 5 months 3 weeks, hence my research on finger foods. Was Baby PP ready? My intend was for her to learn, and not to "feed" her. Dr spock's last line...was true to its words.
At 6 months old after she had her her fill of breakfast cereal, Baby PP had her first finger food. Not just the crust, but the whole bread.
Steps on how to teach your infant to grasp and eat finger food.
1. Take wholemeal bread from container.
2. Tear in half
3. Put in plastic plate (optional)
Easy right? Baby PP reaction was ....very....hmm...nonchalant. She just looked at it like she look at every other objects and subjects she looks at everyday, touched it, grab it and shoved it into her mouth. All in a couple of seconds.
"UUhh bread on the table! Lets grab it!"
The first couple of time, the crusts were left on the bread. Baby PP had no problems other than she doesn't like them. She just spit them out if it ended up in her mouth. But out of concern, we took out the crusts at later feedings. Baby PP also likes croissant. Not sure if its good for her, but she eats it as passionately as her wholemeal bread.
"Munch munch munch in my toothless mouth"
"Nom Nom Nom, there's a piece of bread that won't be munched away in my mouth!"
This was actually her second time. The first time was such an sudden impulse to try Dr Spock's advise that not even my mobile camera was ready.
If you're like me, too lazy to go out to buy those teething finger food, try this. Just don't use white bread, it is not advised. Maybe because it is too processed and little nutritional value as according to Kids Health article.
However, do note that you shouldn't leave your baby unattended when she does this the first time or the 40th time. Just yesterday, Baby PP was having her wholemeal bread for after breakfast munching when she tore a long strip of bread. Like this photo, but less width more length.
She sucked, munched, sucked and munched until only half an inch was left from her mouth. I pulled it out, she sucked it in again. And the she started to gag on that piece of bread. So because she refused to let it go, i pull and tug the bread until only a small piece was left in her mouth. Then.....she did it again.
I can't find the reference on baby east wholemeal bread on his website. So these others will have to do.