“Baby Led Weaning”

I have been getting increasingly frustrated with the task of feeding the babies. It’s messy, time consuming, and never seems to happen at the same time each day (if it happens at all). I know that right now they are getting their nutrition from the formula and the “solids” are just practice, but I’ve been feeling like a very bad mommy because I just can’t seem to get a routine down. I don’t care so much about the mess (well, maybe a little), I just wish it wasn’t so stressful trying to shovel food into two very different mouths.

So after talking to my mother yesterday, who reminded me that I did not have baby food at all as a child and I grew up just fine, I decided to do some research and discovered Baby Led Weaning. I read descriptions, discussion threads, watched videos, and ordered a book (should be here tomorrow). I like what I see. No more working their feedings into my schedule, no more pushing spoons of drippy, messy baby food into their mouths, no more stress!

So here’s the idea: Instead of having a separate meal all for baby, you offer him what you’re eating, while you’re eating it! Well, not completely what you’re eating. Food that is appropriate for him, of course, but not pureed or anything like that. The baby feeds himself and all you do is watch and encourage. Yes, it’s messy (probably messier than spoon feeding), but the baby learns independence, feels like a part of the family (because he’s eating WITH you), and no more worrying about making sure you have all the right (expensive) jars of food lined up in the pantry!

I’m not a completely “crunchy/granola” kind of mom. But I do think that parenting should be easier than all these rules of when and how to do certain things (like feeding). I mean, they didn’t have all these “rules” way back when. And babies managed to learn to eat just fine without liquefying their meals. As you can tell, I’m very excited about this prospect. I’ve even given it a try already. I gave them each a piece of banana while I ate one. Most of it ended up mushed between their fingers and fell down the front of them, but they had fun and so did I. I was laughing and enjoying a meal with my babies! Of course, I had them stripped down to their diapers before feeding them, and afterward I gave them their baths, but there’s nothing wrong with that! Later today I plan to give them sweet potatoes. I’d bought them for N and me to have with dinner tonight (Mmmm… sweet potato fries!) and figure I’ll bake up a few sticks without seasoning just for them! Then, while we eat our meal, they can eat theirs. 😀

Of course, the one problem with this is dinners the nights that N is working. He doesn’t get home until after the babies are in bed and I frequently don’t eat my meal until he’s home. But perhaps we can snack together instead. It will help force me to snack on healthy things that the babies can eat too (like bananas or other fruit).

I am very hopeful that this will work out well for us. If anyone has experiences they’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!

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1 Comment

Filed under babies, growth and development, hope, Parenting, stress

One response to ““Baby Led Weaning”

  1. Well done you! It’s such a fabulous way of getting your baby to eat solids, and I am a total fan. My daughter is now 9 months old and I have never put a spoon in her mouth! She loves mealtimes, will try anything, and I love eating my food (hot!), and as a family.

    I found Gill Rapley’s book useful (if somewhat repetitive), and I’ve also just presented a demonstration video for Rebecca Mercer’s reference guide to infant self-feeding, which I found massively helpful and really informative. You can check it out here if you’re interested: http://www.babyled-weaning.com

    Good luck with it all – I’ll look forward to reading how you get on!

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