puffs and mums and food, oh my!

Every once in a while someone asks me something in a comment and there just isn’t enough room in that little reply box down there. So Mandy, this one’s for you…


Summer is SUCH a cutie!!

Tell me more about the Mum Mums please :) My daughter is 8.5 months old and is just barely moving into textured foods after almost 3 months of smooth purees because I am a big chicken mama and am petrified of her choking even though she has 6.5 teeth already (yuuup.) So what’s the deal with the Mum Mums? Do they just kinda dissolve? I always see them in stores but no one I know has fed them to their babies. So this makes you my new BFF ;)

So Mandy, you asked me about the mum mums and they, as well as our journey so far with solids, totally deserve their own post because I hated figuring this all out on my own. When I wanted to start giving Summer solids, I Googled a ton and all I found was what foods people were feeding their babies but not how. Yes, yes, I’m happy you gave your baby carrots. Were they pureed? Boiled? Baked? Raw? And how big of pieces? Strips? Cubes? Mashed? Peeled? Sliced? Julienne? Again, congrats on the carrots but I’m new to this and you do me no good without details. So here’s my tale with lots and lots of details for my new BFF because I heart you and your totally normal big chicken mama self.

First, I’m a big chicken mama, too. The most I had been giving Summer was little nibbles of soft things like bread or american cheese if I was eating some (like little little tiny pieces the size of a sunflower seed that I’d pick off and put in my hand and let her use her little fingers to pick up and pop in her mouth), and purees. And then one day probably 2 months ago I bought a box of mum mums and, because I sample everything before I give it to her, I took a nibble and thought it was a little on the crunchy side, but I decided to be brave and give her one anyway. And then I watched in horror as Summer put the enitre thing into her mouth as far back as she could and bit off a huge chunk. I panicked. I stuck my entire arm in her mouth, pulled out the mum mum chunk and threw it across the room where it stuck to the wall, which totally made her cry because she was so excited to finally have something in her hand that she was allowed to put in her mouth for once and I took it away. I then hid the box in the back of the cabinet to be forgotten about until she turned 18 and was allowed to chew food.

Oh, and baby puffs? Yeah, those things may seem pretty small to the average eye but until a few weeks ago, my mama brain equated them to the size of a t-bone steak in relation to Summer’s mouth, so for a while there I would break off the tiny little corners and let her have those. Yep, so generous, I gave my baby puff dust. It’s no wonder she tries to eat the tiny little specks of dirt off the floor now.

But then a strange thing happened – my sister came into town with the twins and I watched them put puff after puff in their mouths and it wasn’t scary watching them do it.

You teach me how to eat, I teach you how to swim…deal? Deal.

So I gave Summer one, a whole one, and she sucked on it for a few seconds and then it was gone. Just like that. And she looked at me and smiled like she was saying, “See mama? I got this, no more dust please.” So I gave her another, then another, and I totally got over my fear with those.

And I think it was the next day that I let my puff bravery take over. I pulled the box of mums out of the back of the cabinet, blew the dust off the top, took one out, and I ate it. But this time instead of chewing it up with my teeth, I remembered something I had read a while back…babies have WAY more saliva than adults do. So this time I took a chunk and sucked on it. And it dissolved into mush almost instantly when I ate it the way she would. So I gave her one, told myself I wouldn’t intervene unless she needed me to, and held my breath as I watched her stick the entire thing in her mouth as far as it would go and bite off a huge chunk. And she sucked on it. And it dissolved. And she was totally fine. And so was I as I watched her gnaw and suck and gum her way through the entire mum mum. And she’s been loving them ever since.

Then one day I decided to try something new with Summer so I stopped at the grocery store and I picked up 2 sweet potatoes. I went home and cut up one of the sweet potatoes into little cubes, smaller than a dice, bigger than an advil – probably about the size of my pinky nail. And I boiled the cubes in water for what seemed like an eternity. I kept sampling them to see if they were mushy and once they were, I ran them under cold water to cool them off, put Summer in her high chair….aaaaaaaaaaaaand proceeded to cut every stinking cube in half again because they just seemed so big to me and I was nervous. And just in case I wasn’t already on the verge of having a heart attack, with every single piece she got in her mouth, she gagged. She’d turn red, cough, and gag these big ugly gags and it scared the shit outta me because I thought she was choking. I now know after reassurance from lots of mommy friends and the Baby Led Weaning group on Baby Center that gagging is totally normal and gagging is not choking but even knowing this, it still totally makes me nervous and my heart ends up in my butt every time she gags while eating. Needless to say, the other sweet potato sat on the counter long enough to sprout little arms and legs and walk it’s way to the garbage can.

So we stuck with mum mums and puffs and little nibbles of what mommy was eating as long as it was soft and could be picked apart into little pieces for her. And then last week I started getting that brave feeling again. And so I sat and I watched video after video of 9 month old babies eating things like whole pieces of pasta and whole stinkin bananas and big things that I would not be brave enough to try with Summer yet despite the fact that she could probably totally handle them. Videos like these:

or click here if video doesn’t load

or click here if video doesn’t load

And I kept trying to convince myself that these babies are not advanced, they’re not extra special or food geniuses or any more ahead of the curve than Summer, they just have parents who are braver than I. Even our pediatrician on Monday said that babies can chew with absolutely no teeth, they can gum food to death with the best of ’em, same as anyone in the 90+ toothless crowd without their dentures. So after building up my confidence with lots of videos of babies not choking to death, last night I bought some ground chicken and frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas and carrots), I browned the chicken on the stove with a little garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, and I boiled the crap outta the veggies until they were super soft, and I let her have at it.

And wouldn’t ya know it, she was a total champion and made me so proud and last night added a little more courage to my bravery arsenal. I didn’t cut up the carrots any more than they already were, I let her put piece after piece into her mouth and I didn’t intervene. And she ate so much and loved it all. That is, until she gagged and freaked out her daddy and he decided she was full.

So that’s where we’re at, getting braver everyday and trying new things slowly to build up my confidence a little more each time.



Filed under Parenting, Summer

3 responses to “puffs and mums and food, oh my!

  1. Katie

    I’m glad you’re getting braver, Summer seems to be enjoying herself 🙂 I was a little worried with my son (he is now 10.5 months old) back when he started solids, but he has been eating them like a champ for months now. He noms whole chunks of fruits and veggies, and regularly enjoys pieces of grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Once you get past the initial stage you’ll realize it’s not so bad and they know what they’re doing somehow. They probably wouldn’t make puffs and mum mums if babies were known to choke and die from eating them 🙂

  2. Not that you spazzing about SUmmer is funny, but the way you word it is hilarious. (Heart-butt, anyone?)

    You have totally just made my bus ride home from seeing my boyfriend in Syracuse so much more bearable. (Except when the old man grabbed my butt. That caused me to scream and curse and get him thrown off the bus.)

    Now I want sweet potato fries…….

  3. Mandy

    Squeeeeee! Thank you SO much! I heart you 🙂

    I loved reading this, and I totally agree how hard it is to find good substantial advice online. You and Summer have now given me CONFIDENCE! Tomorrow I shall march my chicken mama arse to the store and get my little lady some puffs! Then come home and feed her REAL FOOD CHUNKS! (boiled, boiled, boiled and teeny…)

    Thanks again 🙂

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