My Experience with Baby-led Weaning so Far
Weaning your baby. This can be a hot topic conversation because there are a lot of good ways to wean your baby and people feel that their way is the right way. People decide what is best for their family and what works best for their child and that might be different from parent to parent. I want to talk about my experience with baby-led weaning versus traditional weaning.
What is baby-led weaning?
I had never heard of this until I was researching different ways to make my sons food and stumbled across this article on Kellymom.com talking about solids and when they should get them. They recommend not starting solids until at least six months of age and the baby is able to sit up unassisted for about a minute. After these qualifications are met you start introducing solids and the baby eats what you eat. You don’t use purees at all; the thinking behind this is that it teaches them to chew before swallowing, potentially reducing choking hazards.
So, you simply cook your meal the way you always have plus a little extra that you cut into finger length sizes and then place in front of the baby. Baby will reach down, grab, and chew on whatever they want. Since it is baby led they will eat what they are ready to eat and you don’t have to worry if they are getting enough since their main food source is still either breast milk or formula.
My experience so far
I decided to give it a go! My experience with baby-led weaning has been a good one thus far. My son loves broccoli and really enjoys being included in the family meals. We tried traditional weaning first but my son never really liked purees. He would always make terrible faces and spit it all back up and try to avoid the spoon; this wasn’t working for us. Since I give it to him in larger sizes I don’t have to worry about choking as much.
My husband and I are baby CPR certified just in case but we have not had an incident yet. There has been some gagging; this is normal though. This teaches them how much they can and cannot swallow and what to do if they do get something in their mouths that they cannot swallow. We keep a close eye on our little one but let him lead the way; listening to his cues and not pushing him further along than he wants to be. Baby-led weaning has really worked for us.
What method did you use to introduce foods to your little one?