Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby Led Weaning... have you heard of it???

Baby Led Weaning... have you heard of it?  It is a way to experience food with your little ones.

First of all... What is baby led weaning?

Letting your babe eat real foods from the start.. aka no purees!  At 6 months babies can sit up and are capable of feeding themselves... so why not let them.  Babies are fed soft, appropriate sized versions of the foods you eat.  You put the food right on their high chair tray, and they explore through touch, smell and taste.  There is no stress to eat a lot from the beginning, because nutrients primarily comes from breast milk (or formula), you don't cut any feedings.  I really like to refer to baby led weaning (BLW) as baby led solids because the weaning is a very slow process, it really is more of a process of adding solid foods.

Why are we doing solid foods this way?

I heard about BLW in my research during pregnancy (if you know me, I research everything).  We decided that this was going to be the way to go for us.  Then when BD was a couple months old we read this book about BLW.  The book was just... OK.  It was really trying to sell us on the BLW thing, and honestly we were already sold.  I still think the book is decent to have around, maybe to borrow from a friend :).  So anyways... the reasons we did it this way-

1)  It allows them to learn to chew before they learn to swallow.  When you feed babies purees, they suck it own their thought, just like they would milk.  Then when you introduce more chunk purees many babies struggle because they try to suck them to the back of their thought too.  Babies learn from the get go that they must chew food.  I can even see Bailey learning and adjusting what size pieces she is able to swallow.  Any yes you can chew without teeth (BD is still a gummy little thing)... guess it is more like gumming your food.

2)  BD is really getting to explore her food, especially the textures.  When doing purees everything is the same texture.  BD can feel, smell and taste.

3)  BD only eats when she is hungry.  There is no choo choo trains trying to force her to eat... if she is hungry she eats and she decides how much to eat.  If I give her more than one food, she chooses how much of each food to eat.  We never force her to eat anything.  This takes the stress out of meal times and teaches BD to eat when hungry.  Breast milk is more nutritious that almost anything we could give her, so she is still getting everything she needs.

4) Meal time stays a family experience.  Andrew and I don't have to scarf down our food or take turns eating so BD can eat.  She does not have to have her meal times seperate from us.  We can sit down as a family and just enjoy.

5) Works on hand eye coordination... every meal is a cognitive workout! :)

5) Selfishly, this is way cheaper and easier.  I am not spending money on prepackaged baby food.  I am not spending my time on making baby food.  I just adjust what we are eating so that she can eat it too.

6) Hopefully our whole family will start eating healthier.  I joke with Andrew because almost everything she has eaten so far... he does not like.  Hoping BD will teach us a thing or two about eating healthy!

***Sidenote- we are not against purees... this just worked best for us!!! :)

Any disadvantages?
1) It's a mess.  We went ahead and took all the padding off the highchair (BD does not mind) so it is easier to wipe down.  Also, as long as we are not out, we let her eat in just a diaper, because even with a bib she gets food on her clothes.  And the floor underneath, we are thinking about getting a thick plastic table cloth to put under her highchair.

2) Personally, I am not a very good cook.  And while I am trying to learn to love to cook, I am not there yet.  I burnt three batches of oven baked sweet potato fries the other day and ended up serving BD half floppy half burnt sweet potatoes... luckily BD did not mind.  This probably isn't a problem for most people... but it is for me!

Isn't she going to choke?
Might be the most asked question... but NO!  She has gagged, but only once or twice.  As long as you have your baby sitting upright and give appropriate pieces (soft enough and usually long so that it is easy to grab from the get go) you are good to go.  Ironically, babies are more likely to choke with purees (the whole sucking to the back of the thought thing, they tend to continue to do that even it is a more chunky puree.

What has BD eaten so far?
Sweet potato, zuccini, peaches, banana, butternut squash, chicken (yes chicken!), cottage cheese, pasta, and cucumber... I think that is it so far :)

How does BD like it?
Just check out the pictures... they say it all :)



  1. What a sweet baby! I love these pictures! And THANK YOU for posting about this, because I've always wondered how this whole process goes!

    Thanks for linking up with us!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Feel free to be in touch if you ever have questions! :)

  2. I have been so nervous to try meats, but everyone is recommending it, so I guess I will give it a try. This was very helpful! Thank you!