Ben loves to eat. He especially likes green beans, but I think these pictures happened after a hearty meal of pureed squash. He's eating stage 2 baby food, and I've tentatively started him on puffs. He tried them a couple of months ago, but they made him gag, so I put them away.
I don't remember if I felt this cautious with the other kids, but I definitely feel protective and careful with Ben. Sometimes, I think I do him a disservice - maybe I'm a little too careful when I should be pushing him to do more or try more.
Here's Ben trying a puff. I asked Denice (our Early Intervention specialist) to watch him eat on Wednesday. Ben's received speech therapy since he was only a couple of months old. We do cheek exercises and tongue exercises. I feel like my fingers are in his mouth for half the day. :)
It was helpful to have someone else consider my questions: Is he chewing? Is his tongue moving food from one side of his mouth to the other? She was super-encouraging.
Isn't he a doll? I want so much to give him a good start.
Fortunately, he is willing and eager to eat. He watches us like a hawk when we're eating dinner. And he's got the right idea. He can't quite manage to pick up the puffs yet in a pincer grasp, but he can use his sticky fingers to almost move them to his mouth. He grabs at the spoon when we feed him the purees, and he usually eats a whole jar per meal. Sometimes more.
On another speech-related note, we've been doing sign language and finger plays with him. I *think* he's getting the idea. He doesn't like to use his own hands to make any signs, though. He'll grab my hands and move them together for "more" or he'll use my hands to start "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
He will, however, throw his hands up in the air at the end of a meal. It's possible that he's signing "all done," but it's also possible that he's just celebrating dinner. Woo hoo! I got to eat!