When my first was just baby I gave her “baby food”, you know, the stuff in jars or the stuff you mash up yourself. Five years later, I have a pretty picky eater. Spaghetti with soya sauce ONLY, buns with ketchup ONLY, SHREDDED cheese, I don’t want to go on… but you get the picture. Since things didn’t really work out with the first, I’m going to try something completely different with the baby. (First children are almost like an experiment, aren’t they?)
This time around, I’m trying baby led weaning. While most people think it has to do with weaning a baby from nursing, it actually has nothing to do with mama milk at all, it’s all about food and introducing solids. I first heard about it when one of my friends with a daughter similar in age to my baby mentioned it, I read up on it and thought – genius, and instantly wished I had done this with Princess Picky Eater.
Here’s the idea, whatever you’re having for supper, you give it to the baby. You don’t pure, you don’t smash it up, you just stick it on their tray and let them go at it. People around me are completely marveled by this phenomenon, what if the baby chokes, don’t you have to make the pieces really small? What if they put the whole thing in their mouths? Here’s the interesting thing, babies don’t really eat much of the food anyway. They put it in their mouth, chew on it (without teeth), suck the juice, and spit it out. Over and over again, I saw my 6 month old daughter repeat this process. Sometimes she would do a little gag reflex, but she’s never chocked.
I of course wouldn’t give her corn niblets, peas, grapes or anything that is perfectly round that could potentially get accidentally lodged into her throat, but pretty much anything else was a go, even chicken or pork chops – not kidding. I do supplement with yogurt or apple sauce mixed with cereal, but other than that the baby has never had a jar of carrots or blueberries – just the real thing.
Some of the baby’s first foods that she fed herself and was actually able to swallow, are Cheerios (the classic baby “food”). I absolutely adore watching her use her pincer grip to take each one of those little things and stick it into her mouth. At 10 months old, she’s now a pro.
So far, baby led weaning has been working out great and now with 2 teeth (almost 3) most of everything she is eating is actually being swallowed. We had chicken cordon bleu tonight for dinner and the baby gobbled up her portion faster than her 5 year old sister. sigh…
If you would like to share your baby’s First, check out the Life Made Delicious page, upload a pic and also receive a $1 off Cheerios. They will be creating a mosaic with photos received to celebrate those first moments.
**Disclosure – I am participating in the First Cheerios blogger campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.