Baby led weaning

21 May

Just when you think you’ve got feeding down to a tee you will probably receive a knock on the door from the health visitors explaining about weaning your baby on to solids!

I got straight onto researching how I wanted to do it. I knew I was really enjoying breast feeding and she was thriving from it so by the time 6 months came around I didn’t feel ready to stop, I felt that we created a real bond via breast feeding but the sadness of easing her away from breast milk and onto solids suddenly sounded exciting as I came across a concept called ‘baby led weaning’. This is a method of gradually weaning a baby from a milk diet onto solid foods. It allows a baby to control his solid food intake by self-feeding from the very beginning of the weaning process.

The more I read, the more I loved the sound of it, It was great way for baby to learn about ‘real’ food as well as understanding taste and textures.

I thought you might be interested to know how my weaning experience went and hopefully it might help you have clearer idea of how you would like to wean your baby.

On her 6 month birthday we gave Eivissa her first taste of food, my husband and I were so excited to see her little face react. We decided banana would be her first food after reading that they were easy to hold.

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The first rule of baby led weaning was do not put the food in baby’s mouth, rather, let her do it herself, this way she is in control of swallowing and means there should be no danger of choking which as a parent is the biggest fear. its not a hands off approach, by no means you should never leave baby alone while eating.

Before I started this concept I had a few questions myself, I wanted to make sure that this way of weaning was going to suit baby and me.
These were my questions and the answers I found.

What is baby led weaning?

Baby led weaning is forgetting purées and weaning spoons and simply allowing baby to feed them selves

What are the advantages of baby led weaning as a posed to the traditional spoon fed method?

The advantages of weaning baby this way allows them to learn about real food, it involves them in your meal times and can help fight against ‘picky eaters’.

Advantages for me?

you can do away with the blender and the storage tubs, baby eats when you do. You can Simply separate off any age appropriate food you are cooking, let it cool, (making sure there is no salt added)and let baby enjoy eating with you. It’s messy but so fun to watch!

What are the best foods to start with?

The best food to give is things that can be cut into the shape of a chip or that is easy to pick up. As at this point your baby may not have developed to pincer grip yet.

Great first food

Banana
Broccoli
Avocado
Sweet potato
Cauliflower
Potato
Strawberry
Pear
Cooked and peeled apple

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A fresh food feeder is great when on the go or if you are afraid of pips in fruit or veg

Later on I gave her food like

Chicken
Ham
Baby pasta
Rusk
bread
White fish
Cubes of cheese

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Are there any foods to avoid?

Before 8 months if you are concerned about allergies they say it is best to avoid;
Yoghurt
Cheese
Wheat
Eggs
Peanut

Before 12 months it is best to avoid;
Honey
Cows milk
Goats milk

Do your own research on these foods and make your own mind up on if they are safe for your baby.

Are herbs and spices safe or does the food have to be bland?

Food doesn’t have to be bland, let baby enjoy new flavours! Spices and herbs can have its advantages spices such as cummin supports digestion. So don’t be afraid to add a little cinnamon to apple or sweet potato.

What time of day should I give baby solids for the first time?

It’s best to give solids for the first time when baby is at their happiest. Don’t wait till they are hungry as baby will be just be frustrated and will just want milk. You don’t want food time to be seen as a traumatic experience

What are the dangers of choking?

By allowing baby to control their intake of food also helps keep them in control of swallowing. It’s also very important that baby is able to sit upright by themselves.

When should you let food replace a milk feed?

For the first year, food is seen as fun and a way of learning taste and textures, it’s an extension of the milk intake that baby is already used too so the milk should be the main source of nutrition until the baby is fully weaned.

Do you think baby led weaning helps baby have a better relationship with food?

Studies have shown that allowing babies to explore real food has helped towards the child not to becoming a fussy eater and several mums have found they have had less food battles with their babies by giving them a wide range of food.

How do you know baby is getting enough nutrition?

Baby led weaning is a relaxed approach to moving onto solids and is an addition to the milk you already giving your baby. Your milk will still be baby’s primary source of nutrition, this helps you relax about how much food your baby is actually taking in.

Hope you have found these questions and answers informative, we have now been doing the baby led weaning process for 2 months, at first, my main concern was whether she is getting enough food as she just seemed to be playing with it, I knew that perseverance was key and after talking to another mother who had done the same thing, she assured me that this was completely normal and to stick with it as baby is just getting used to this new thing as much as I am.

Fast forward to today and I am happy to report that Eivissa is loving her food, she will literally eat anything we put in front of her and her relationship with food is fantastic.

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We have found the whole experience rewarding and we have enjoyed the benefits of a non stressful approach to weaning, I would definitely recommend it to any parent.

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To help us on our baby weaning journey, we were kindly sent a great high chair from mamas and papas, this was AMAZING and made meal time fun for all the family, we think it’s really important to eat together as a Family and create memories of all the messy moments that we get to capture throughout eivissas learning process, interaction is vital and making her feel part of our meal time will help her develop and learn about foods as well as being social.

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When you are considering buying your high hair,I highly recommend the one pictured below, easy to clean,stylish, a great buy and will last for ages. Thank you Mamas & Papas

Click on the link below to order yours online or to look at the rest of their weaning products

mamas
& papas pixi high chair-raspberry

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