So the first trick was finding a spoon that was small enough. At this point Aubrey was only 8.5 lbs and had such a tiny mouth! Our speech therapist brought the maroon spoon first...too big.
Then she brought the smaller ones...still kind of big.
How about let's try these...textured spoons...small enough, yes, but confusing with the texture. (the idea is to push down and back on their tongues so that you teach them how their tongue should move with food--more on these later.)
The right match ended up being The First Years Take and Toss Spoons that I went and found at Target...and these were just right for her little mouth.
What food...obviously most babies start out with rice cereal, but in case you were wondering, oatmeal baby cereal has more calories and since we were still trying to put on the weight, that is what we tried. Not a lot of success at first. She had a few bites at each try and that was it. I tried biter biscuits etc to see if she wanted to chew on that and she didn't. Once day out of curiosity, I gave her a cheerio. With 3 other kids at the table I was a little distracted mind you, and searched her lap and clothes and everywhere for that cheerio, but it was gone. She had actually eaten it! Once we figured out that she wanted more "solid" food we were in business. I started mixing the oatmeal thicker and we did puffs and bananas and strawberries and avacados and sweet potatoes. She was off and running and never looked back.
We used to alternated between the textured spoon and the Take and Toss spoons each day, so that she would learn with the textured spoon, but also so that she would be able to do it with a regular spoon. Now, we just use the Take and Toss or other regular baby spoons and forks. She eats like a champ and if I can make it small enough, she will eat anything. She LOVES spagetti! (she is only messy, because Daddy fed her this night. I don't let her get too messy, that would mean more clean up for me:)
We have been very fortunate with Aubrey, she rarely spits up ( maybe once a week if she over eats while nursing). Once WE figured out how and what to feed her, she has done so well. It is still hard work and there are so many days, when I wish she could do more self feeding, but she doesn't have teeth yet...and it would be messy:)
Her speech therapist has been extreemly helpful in helping with all her feedings thus far and continues to help us make all the necessary transitions. Right now Aubrey is working on having larger pieces of food that she takes a bite off of and then chews and then goes for another bite as opposed to stuffing everything in her mouth at once! We are trying long steamed carrots and waffle strips. She is doing well if I hold it for her, but if I give it to her, she just tries to shovel it all in!