Jack had his first taste of solid food this weekend. I decided to go with the baby led weaning method of introducing solids. To anyone unfamiliar, this is not really a method of weaning, it is a way to feed your baby solids. In BLW you don’t start feeding your baby with puree, but with solid, soft food. You also do not spoon feed your baby, but let them feed themselves. They actually choose when to begin eating (anytime after certain developmental milestones are met, usually around 6 months.) They also choose what to eat, and how much.
We started with avocado. We offered only one food at first, although typically with BLW you would offer more and let them choose. We were eating breakfast Sunday morning, I held Jack in my lap, and we had a few sliced pieces of avocado on the table in front of him. He reached for it immediately and went for his mouth, as he does with almost everything these days. Most of it ended up on the floor, but he managed to get a little in his mouth and gum it around a little bit. He seemed really excited. There was a little gagging, which of course makes me nervous, but that is common with BLW. Later in the day I was eating a banana and I guess he thinks it’s on now, ’cause he grabbed the banana peel and started sucking off the banana.
It is really important that you never put food in the baby’s mouth with BLW, but always let them reach for it. Part of the concept is that as they motor skills progress, their ability to chew and swallow food will progress. For example by the time they have the dexterity to pick up a raisin and place it in their mouths, they will have the skills to chew it and swallow it.
The reasons that I am keen on this is it seems to create a really good association with food. I think it is really nice that the baby eats with you, what you eat right from the beginning. The idea is that you will not have to cook separate meals for the baby and baby will learn to be a part of family meals. Because they have experience with a variety of foods and textures from the beginning it is supposed to encourage more adventurous eaters.
I also think that because Jack has such an independent streak that he will enjoy being more involved in his eating. We actually have a pretty funny tug of war during nursing, as he wants to be in control and is rather hands-on and none too gentle.
All of the children that I know who have done this method are really amazing eaters as toddlers, which is such a tricky time for some. They sit with the family, and eat what the family eats. I am not sure how purely we will be able to follow it, we may end up adding in some oatmeal or other spoon fed foods. But I would like to give it a go. If anyone wants any more info on it check out this website. www.babyledweaning.com
We are excited for this new adventure, although it made me a little sad to see how fast my little Home Slice is growing up.