Baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solid food to your baby. You skip purees and go straight to finger foods. This is supposed to improve dexterity early on, teach babies how to regulate their appetite, and introduce them to a wide variety of flavors and textures that promote healthy eating for a lifetime. We tried baby led-weaning, and it was a huge success! 🙂
W e did a lot of research and reading before starting solid foods. I liked the idea of letting my son take the reins, and after much discussion, my boyfriend and I decided we’d try baby-led weaning.
The term “weaning” is meant in the British sense. It doesn’t have anything to do with weaning in the sense that you typically hear in the States. In the UK, “weaning” means “adding complementary foods,” whereas in the US it means “giving up breastfeeding.” As you add solid foods to your baby’s diet, it’s important to continue breastfeeding. The World Health Organization recommends that babies receive complementary foods starting at around 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding until they are at least 2 years of age, and beyond if you and your child desire.
We decided on egg yolks for our first big meal, and although he loved it at the time, Ocean was a bit allergic, so we decided to try fruit next. We cut it into small shapes to be easier for his tiny hands to hold.
I was a little nervous in the lead up to breakfast. What if he chokes? What if he’s not ready to eat food yet? And like most new parents, I felt like he was growing up way too fast. I was pretty emotional that day, haha. But we put him in his high chair, put the fruit in front of him (banana and persimmon), and waited to see what would happen.
I think Ocean thought it was a new toy, and was surprised that it was mushy, haha. 😉 Right away he picked up a chunk of banana and plopped it into his mouth. He gagged a bit as he dramatically swallowed some, and then smiled and went back for more! He ate almost all of the fruit, and seemed to really like it.
The whole process was a bit messy, but he loved it sooooo much. It was really magical to see Ocean trying so hard to pick up his food, chew and eat, and really enjoy himself!
I really, really love baby-led weaning. It is incredibly easy and intuitive. It takes just a few minutes to put a meal together, and my son actually gets to participate and enjoy the food that we’re having. What more could a mama want? 😉