Should You Use Baby Led Weaning

WHEN TO INTRODUCE SOLID FOOD

Let's start out with the obvious...

Every baby is different.

But, most pediatricians say 4 - 6 months.

My daughter showed she was ready at 4 months old. She was sitting up well when supported, doubled her body weight since birth, and reached for anything I was eating. And thank goodness. I could not keep up with her appetite. I forced my son a bit and put him on the same schedule as my daughter and he was NOT ready...
Share
Tweet
Forward

BABY LED WEANING

At a friend's house for dinner I fed the babies their "dinner" first. Basically some home made veggie purrée - all of which my little girl ate and very little of which my son ate. Fast forward to dinner and my son was reaching for the meat on my husband's plate! Whaaaaaat? This is after MONTHS of fightingt him to eat more solid foods and reduce his milk intake.

Enter, baby led weaning. Something I've only recently learned and wish I knew more about when I started my babies on solids.

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is skipping purées and not feeding baby with a spoon. Totally the opposite of what I did with my daughter and in retrospect, what I naturally did with my son. He didn't like purées. He liked to eat with his hand and chose what he wanted to eat. I wish I was more in tune with BLW and followed his lead better.

I know lots of moms who use this method. Their kids eat EVERYTHING they eat. Nine months old and picking up hand fulls of quinoa! True story.
Pros
In an ideal world, it's easier because you don't have to buy different food than you already buy to make for yourselves, that is if you're on a typical schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some things to consider though. If you make foods with really strong flavors, you'll want to tone that down for baby. Stay focused on whole foods.

Babies develop good eating habits with self regulation. I will say, my daughter struggled here. Because I didn't produce enough milk, she didn't get enough food early on, and so when she was introduced solids, she was so excited to be full and so scared she'd never eat again, that she'd over eat and throw up. It wasn't until later when she could feed herself, see there's plenty where that came from, that she'd self regulate.

Baby learns how to handle new textures, tastes, and sizes of food as well as develop motor skills.

Cons
You have to wait until baby is 6+ months. If baby is under weight because milk isn't enough and/or baby is showing signs of being ready if you want to do BLW only, then you'll need to wait until they can sit up on their own and can pick food up themselves,

If you want baby to eat better than you (like me), then you'll need to make different foods than you actually like. Thanks to purées and food pouches, my babies have a much more eclectic palate then me, like carrots, beats, butternut squash, pees and more.
Share
Tweet
Forward

HAPPY MEDIUM

It really comes down to what works for your child and you. If they're four months and milk is not filling them up, then it might time to whip out the baby food. If your baby is showing zero signs of solid food interest, their gaining weight just fine, and they're happy as clams with milk then no need to force anything, wait until they are ready. 

At four months just bring baby to the dinner table with you every night and see what happens...

And if baby is ready at four months then start with simple purées, and once they're sitting on their own and picking toys up easily, transition them to BLW if you prefer. Happy medium.
Share
Tweet
Forward

TOOLS OF THE BABY FEEDING TRADE

These suction cup plates were awesome and not because my babies couldn't figure out how to pick them up, they did that on day one, but as they learned to use utensils it kept them from chasing the plate around. It just stayed in one place and they learned to eat with forks and spoons. They HATE having messy hands. A single grain of rice stuck to their fingers means the end of a meal. Joking, not joking.

I really loved these high chairs. So easy to clean. Loved that the top came off the tray for easy. 5 point harness for the wee ones. Chair leaned back so they could have milk in the chair in needed. Once bigger they could climb up themselves. I didn't try too many others so not a whole lot of frame of reference. But I was a big fan.


To make your own purées at home all you need is a steamer pot, hand blender, and ice cube trays. For veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes you'll want to steam, blend, freeze. For fruit like bananas and avocado you'll just want to blend and freeze (only if you have too much for one sitting). Make sure to test a small batch to make sure baby likes it and they don't have any allergies before making a big batch.
Share
Tweet
Forward

HAVE A FIND?

Have a fantastic product or tip that helped your baby get on the solids train? Share it with me at kerry@mommafinds.com or on Twitter or Facebook.

Get the next newsletter delivered right to your inbox

Your personal information will only be used by MommaFinds. It will never be sold. Pinky swear.