I first came across the concept of Baby Led Weaning when I was about 17 weeks pregnant… initially REALLY loved the idea of integrating normal healthy adult foods (modified in texture/spice content) around 6 months instead of using purees. I pulled the following blurb on Baby Led Weaning from Wiki:
“Baby-led weaning (often also referred to as BLW) is a method of adding complementary foods to a baby’s diet of breast milk. Baby-led weaning allows babies to control their solid food consumption by “self-feeding” from the very beginning of their experiences with food. The term weaning should not be taken to imply giving up breast milk, but simply the introduction of foods other than breastmilk.
Infants are offered a range of foods to provide a balanced diet from around 6 months. They often begin by picking up and licking the food, before progressing to eating. Babies typically begin self feeding around 6 months, although some will reach for food as early as 5 months and some will wait until 7 or 8. The intention of this process is that it is tailored to suit each particular baby and their personal development. The 6 month guideline provided by the World Health Organization is based on research indicating the internal digestive system matures over the period 4–6 months. It seems reasonable to posit that the gut matures in tandem with the baby’s external faculties to self feed.”
We first attempted oat + rice cereal about 2.5 weeks ago, progressed to pureed veggies when Olivia seemed uninterested in the taste/texture, still uninterested… even irritated when we try and get a spoonful anywhere near her mouth, we decided to call our pediatrician for advice. She suggested giving solids a rest and making another attempt after a a few days/week. I think I’ve mentioned that my initial instinct told me that Olivia wasn’t ready even 2 weeks ago but I caved to the pressure to adhere to the 4-6 month standard and we gave it ago. After hearing that our pediatrician had no real concerns about waiting until 9 months or even a year I’m feeling more comfortable and confident in our delayed start.
Considering our recent
failed attempts to feed Olivia solid foods – we’ve decided to take a few weeks off from purees + cereals in favor of a modified BLW method. Allowing her to gnaw on small pieces of food in her high chair while we’re eating breakfast/lunch/dinner. Still adhering to the 3-5 day rule and avoiding all highly allergenic foods.
My only concern with BLW was the likelyhood of Olivia having difficulty swallowing or even choking while feeding herself. Although I’ll still watch her like a hawk while she’s
eating exploring, everything I’ve read says that BLW’d babies actually choke LESS than babies who are fed purees with a spoon. I really love the idea of letting Olivia control how much she eats – at what pace, etc.
Featured Image Here