What I Learned from Baby Led Weaning

Yesterday my husband called me at work and said he’s getting groceries and asked if there was anything I needed. I told him not really. He proceeds to say he’s going to find some foods for our 1 year old son to eat and munch on. For the last couple of weeks, Xavier has been eating a lot more. He’ll grab our food, our silverware, want to feed himself and has been willing to try whatever we give him. He doesn’t like most of it but he at least tries it. It did my heart some good to hear my husband wanting to find more food foods instead of the snacks that they’ve been eating. Xavier is all about potato chips, Goldfish and tortilla chips –everything my husband loves. So when I told him we need to cook more and give him more of a variety, he was happily onboard. He bought him yogurt, cheese cubes, chicken nuggets, apple slices. I know what you’re thinking -where are the veggies? At least that was the first thing I thought. Veggies apparently are my department so I’m going to have Xavier try peas, broccoli, sauteed zucchini and squash. He’s had all of this pureed so we’ll see how he likes them in their natural state.

Watching him now though makes me think back six months. Like any new mom, I was on the internet reading about everything and one topic I focused heavily on baby led weaning. The basic definition of baby led weaning or BLW is instead of feeding your baby purees, start them off with the same food you’re eating. For vegetables, they would be soft and cooked or mashed up. You would present food in front of them on a plate or bowl or even directly on the high chair table and they would feed themselves with little help from Mom and Dad or a spoon. They say you can start baby led weaning as early as six months old. When I first read about BLW, I was intrigued. This wasn’t how your parents and their parents did it. This was new and different and scary all at the same time. I was all for it though because I felt that baby led weaning encouraged them early on to learn chewing. It allowed parents to be more attentive with their child; watching their cues and making sure that they do chew and swallow the food properly. So I was all for it and as soon as Xavier turned six months old, I was on it. I was offering him food left and right and reading articles. I would try some of the recipes I found on Pinterest and see what he thought. Usually he would humor me and take two bites and then throw it on the floor. Then the change in the bowels! I remember giving him pancakes for the first time. By the end of the day, his constipation was so bad, both of us were crying. I stopped with that and went back to the purees and bottles. I don’t think the husband and I started consciously making an effort for him to have an actual meal until 13 or 14 months. I will say that there were some terrifying moments with the baby led weaning. Because Xavier was trying to figure out swallowing and chewing, choking would happen more than not and that wasn’t fun to watch. I did allow him to work on his gag reflex and get rid of what was stuck but that was hard! It was so hard to do but I do believe it helped in the long run.

I’m glad that I did try the baby led weaning but Xavier quickly showed me that he wasn’t ready yet and he will get to the goal at his own pace. That’s fine with me. He was doing good. I learned to have more patience and everything will work out. Now the fun begins with finding recipes and meals to have for him. Only one problem —I’ll have to cook more. (Sarcastic) yay…

So I must pose the question -Have you tried baby led weaning?  What did you and your baby think of it? What are some suggestions you would give to a new mom re: BLW? #sharethelove

(For more information about baby led weaning, you can check out this website http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/babyledweaning.htm )

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