Why did we choose baby led weaning?
Traditional weaning versus baby led weaning?
When I began researching the introduction of solids, I was quite overwhelmed! As a first time mom, everything is overwhelming! BUT, I knew very quickly that traditional weaning was not the route we wanted to take with Lillian.
Personally, even the thought of pureeing baby food was exhausting. Planning and preparing separate meals for Lillian and Justin and I sounded like a chore. I cannot imagine spoon feeding Lillian, while my dinner gets cold. Traditional weaning may work for some families, but it did not seem at all interesting to me!
Baby led weaning means that baby eats exactly what you eat! Babies are given finger foods and are encouraged to explore a variety of tastes and textures from day one! They learn how to feed themselves right away, as spoon-feeding is not encouraged. Babies learn how to handle food, develop hand-eye coordination & proper chewing skills (something that pureed foods do not prepare baby for).
The fact that I would be able to offer Lillian whatever I was eating is what sold me on blw! Lillian was eating pad Thai, curry, quinoa, meatballs & corn on the cob at 6 months! I am so amazed at how far she has come in the last 4 months. At 10 months old, she is already such an amazing and confident eater! It is so neat to watch Lillian explore food at her own pace. Mealtime has become such a fun family activity in our house!
The key benefits of BLW (Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett)
- Allows each baby to move on to solid foods at the right time and pace for her developing body, and ensures that her important milk feedings are not cut out too early
- Helps to develop babies' hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and chewing skills
- Allows each baby to eat as much as they need, in their own time, so establishing good eating habits that may last a lifetime (and which may help to avoid obesity and other food-related problems)
- Makes picky eating and mealtime battles less likely (when there is no pressure on babies to eat, there is far less opportunity for meals to become a battleground)
- Allows babies to explore the taste, texture, colour and smell of individual foods (rather than pureeing/mixing it all together)
- Encourages confidence at mealtimes and enjoyment of a wide range of foods
- Means babies can be part of family mealtimes from the beginning
Whats not to love about baby led weaning? (Besides the mess-HA!) Honestly, it is the best decision we have ever made!