We’re doing baby led weaning, instead of traditional weaning with Kaylee. In traditional weaning, the baby goes from breast milk/formula to cereals/purees that are spoonfed to them, then gradually thicken the purees, and slowly add solid foods.
In baby led weaning, cereals and/or purees are skipped, and the baby feeds him/herself from the start of weaning (after six months). An interesting difference is that in traditional weaning, the baby learns to swallow before he/she learns chewing. In baby led weaning, it’s the other way around.
A few general principles (also check out wikipedia article on BLW):
- Self-feeding from the start, no spoonfeeding. Put the food right on the tray/table.
- Baby eats what you’re eating (assuming, of course, you’re eating real, whole foods.)
- Chip-sized items that are easy to grab, baby eats as much/little as she wants.
- Some good first foods are steamed vegetables, strawberries, toast strips, bananas, sweet potato fries – softer things that can be easily gummed.
Food before the age of one is mainly for fun and learning, so there isn’t pressure to make sure your baby is getting enough (you continue to breast or formula feed), it’s mainly for exploring textures, tastes, smells, and learning to manipulate objects.
I’ve heard some mothers refer to this as “lazy feeding”, lol, but so far my opinion is that it’s very instinctual – it’s hard for me to personally think of purees as instinctual (but that could just be me).
And it’s a lot of fun so far! Messy, awesome fun.
I can’t help but watch in amazement – she isn’t just a baby but a little human.
Our first “official day” (which was just a few days ago) Kaylee had toast strips with mashed banana on them. She ended up eating the whole piece of toast (with half of banana) and then finishing the other half of the banana!