Having dinner with another mom-friend this week has me a little insecure. My DD is 4 months old, her DD is 20 days older. She mentioned that she is using a jumperoo with her DD, and it was very clear that she was as the little girl was jumping in her dad's lap the whole dinner. I don't use a jumper and was more or less closed to the idea as I had read that jumpers/exersaucers/walkers hold baby by the crotch, encourage walking on toes and in the case of a jumper encourage baby to make a movement that they don't need to make (or something to that effect). When my DD stands in my lap, she stands very sturdily, no jumping or bouncing. Is this good, or should I encourage jumping, bouncing? My understanding is that the best place for a baby to be is on the floor on either tummy or back to help them build they strength that they need for each milestone... do you feel that these toys really help babies to meet their milestones earlier?
Also, this friend was introducing solids in the form of pureed foods, bananas etc. I had read that babies guts aren't really ready for foods until 6 months. I do cut up some broccoli, apples, etc and put them on the table for DD to grab and gnaw on while she sits in my lap while we eat so that she is in on the social activity (she was watching me put the fork in my mouth for each bite, so I figured she was ready to get in on the action in some way). The wikipedia article on baby led weaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby-led_weaning) mentions mostly giving baby foods that the can grab and gum down on their own as opposed to pureed foods. I had never heard of this before, has anyone else used this method? What foods do you use?
Married Since 4/05
Mom to the silliest girl since 1/12
And SUPRISE! expecting #2 in 12/15
Let your light shine.
Some babies get to that jumping point earlier than others. I don't think that you need to use them, or that they help the baby in any way. And I agree, when the baby has the strength and interest, the baby will do these things. Obviously you need to watch for any gross motor delays, but at 4 months, I think you have some time before you need to worry about that. Your child sounds right on track to me at this point. ;)
Baby should be able to sit unassisted and have a good pincher grasp before you start feeding foods. 4 months is on the early end of the spectrum, but if she is doing well with the bits you are giving her, then your are probably right on track. There is no actual need for pureed foods - other than the convenience of the parent. If baby is nursing, then experimenting with food and texture until 8-12 months is normal. Some babies really want and enjoy food earlier, and some wait longer. We only did a very small amount of pureed foods - mostly stuff that I didn't want to cook or while on a trip where we wouldn't have access to a kitchen. Otherwise we did as you are doing, small chunks of whatever we were eating. DD is 6 now, and she eats quite well.
Your baby sounds like she is completely on track. I remember how hard it was to see other babies doing things or hear a mom talk about something and immediately being plunged into doubt about what I was doing, but in the end, I learned to trust DD and she is a rad kid. :) So, stick with what you are doing!! Its sounds like you are paying good attention to what your baby needs. :)
Adina mama to B 4/06 and E 8/13/12 (on her due date!)
We do baby led solids too, mostly chunks of stuff and some purees and yogurt that I just put on her tray for her to spread in her hair. I don't give her anything off a spoon.
Momma-ing the Muffin since October 2011!
Especially if you're BFing, no solids are needed until six months or later but giving her something to pick up and taste is fine. I did a tiny bit of cereal and purée at the beginning but it was unnecessary. Soft foods she can manipulate are great to start with like chunks of avocado, banana, etc.
It sounds like you're doing a great job.
On the whole milestones thing, I recommend that you largely ignore them. Will using tools help a baby reach a milestone faster? Probably not, but even if they did, who cares? Unless they are considerably behind, whether they sit unassisted at 4 or 7 months, whether they walk at 10 or 15 months, whether their first word comes at 12 or 22 months...it means absolutely nothing about your child or the kind of kid or adult they'll be. My DS was a "late" sitter (7.5 months), an extremely early walker (9.5 months) and a late-ish talker (first attempt at words at 18 months).
Comparison is the thief of joy, don't compare your kid to others!
And yes, 4 months is early for solids, they should be sitting up independently and able to use their thumb and forefinger to pinch small bits of food. Also yes, purees are unnecessary and it's perfect to do just what you're doing; let them explore the food you're eating without any pressure for them to actually consume it.
I have to admit, I have been keeping an eye on milestones this time around (this is my 3rd child) because my little guy has been late to meet a lot of the physical ones. Not so much so I can compare him to other babies, but so that I can work with him on age-appropriate skills and such. I am not worried but find it helpful to have this frame of reference. So all that is to say that I don't dismiss them, I think they can be helpful if you refrain from using them to compare.
Dr. Sears said something in the baby book that made a great deal of sense - babies naturally develop from head to toe. Spending a lot of time in walkers/bouncers can mess with that natural sequence of development. We did have a jumperoo with my first baby and he never jumped in it, just liked to play with the toys on the tray. My friend's baby would use it and spend the whole time jumping. They're all different!
I also agree that 4 mos is very early, many babies' digestive systems aren't ready. Having been through this three times now, I see no benefit in introducing solids earlier. This time I waited til 7 months and like my other two, my baby had digestive issues that led to backing off and trying again later. He's almost 9 months now and all he can tolerate is banana, apple and sweet potato, all of which he LOVES to eat.