Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Experience With Baby Led Weaning

Echo gleefully eating Cheerios
When Echo turn 4 months our pediatrician said it was ok to start trying solid foods with her. I was so excited, I saw it as a new way to bond with my baby. I even got a cute baby food cookbook, feeding and preparing special foods for her was a fun new experience we could share, or so I thought..

Feeding Echo her first solid foods was a disaster, she hated everything! We tried rice cereal, sweet potatoes  avocados, everything I was sure she would love before we started this whole thing. At around five months I finally got her to eat peas, I was so happy to find something she would eat! This only lasted a few weeks however and then she stopped eating those as well. Eventually I gave up on trying to force new foods on her and I had to admit that she just wasn't ready to eat solid food.

At Echo's 6 month pediatrician appointent our doctor told me she could now eat pretty much anything she wanted aside from whole milk and honey, as long as she could chew it and it wasn't a choking hazard it was fine. We then tried solid food again and the difference was amazing! She was much more open to eating different things and seemed to like almost everything. Of course by then I was sick of preparing special food for her only to have to throw it out. I started just giving her bites of whatever we were having and my life got a whole lot simpler. It was around this time that I started to read some articles about baby led weaning. The basic idea behind baby led weaning is that you feed your child bite sized pieces of food that they can pick up and feed themselves, it also means they can eat what mom and dad eat with no need for special foods. With baby led weaning there are no baby purees and spoon feeding. It was kind of what I had started doing on my own out sheer laziness (my mom did this with me and my brother as kids too but they didn't have a name for it back then).

There are so many great things about using this approach. Your baby learns to feed themselves and be independent while learning to love a variety of tastes and textures. I'm told that baby led weaning can be difficult for anxious parents because they are always worried about the baby choking but if you are easy going parents like us you'll love it.

Echo is almost 9 months now and absolutely loves to eat. I'm so happy about this, at first I thought she would never want anything besides breast milk! She really likes to eat just about anything but her favorites are any kind of fruit, Cheerios, bread, lentils, rice, beans, potatoes, avocados and sweet potatoes. As parents we love cheerios, bread and rice because they are mess free and easy for her to eat on her own. It's been so exciting to get introduce Echo to new foods and watch her tastes grow and expand. For our next baby I know we will use baby led weaning again, it just make life so much easier and happier for everyone.

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