- Before I even knew the concept of baby led weaning I was already doing it unconsciously. I found the book by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett Baby Led Weaning The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods, helps you introduce solid foods to your baby and encourages baby to self feed with finger foods. Instead of relying on the puree for every single meal. When you decide to share your meal with your child or cut items into holdable portions? this is baby led weaning in practice however it isn’t about weaning the child off breast milk or formula.
The main concept is to allow your child to control what he or she puts in their mouth, the benefits of baby led weaning does definitely encourage family meal times, with the appropriate finger foods, baby can join in.
They can eat what they choose, how much and how quickly they want to eat.
Without the pressure’s to eat a set amount or any type of specific food they are given the freedom to explore new tastes and textures at their own pace
Children are still able to nurse or accept a bottle just as often as they would like, solids are only there to compliment milk and you are able to trust your baby to know when to give more solids or increase the solids and to decrease milk which usually comes after the first year.
WHEN TO START BLW
The book experts believe that baby led weaning should only be started around the 6th month stage, some babies as young as five and a half months may be ready and other babies might be ready around 8 or 9 months, all depends on the child, it’s really important to observe your child to know when they are ready and as always make sure you speak to your pediatrician if you are unsure
SIGNS YOUR BABY IS READY
Your child can sit up without support
Has lost the tongue thrust reflex; he has stopped pushing food out of the mouth with the tongue
Their fine motor skills have developed in order for them to self feed
Putting food in their mouth using their pincer grasp, which is food between the thumb and forefinger
Your child is willing to eat even if he has a few teeth
Your child wants to participate during meal times and may even try to grab food from your plate and put it in his or her mouth
The most important thing is that it saves mum a whole lot of time especially when you have multiple children, being able to prepare food for everybody and make food for baby, bite sized is the ultimate fast food. They already put everything in their mouths, why not add something nutritious and delicious
IS IT A CHOKING HAZARD?
If you give your baby bitesize amount of foods their gag reflexes are very much in working order so trust your baby to chew on something, and if it doesn’t feel good they will spit it out or in some cases,heave which is not the same as choking.
There are the obvious signs of safety when it comes to babies putting things in their mouth but it’s very important to see the signs of readiness, which I mentioned above. Be very vigilant never ever leave your child alone when eating and make sure not to put food in their mouth because they’re in control of how much they are eating and how much they are able to hold in their mouth.
There is a distinction between the gagging which is the safety mechanism which stops the choking before it happens and also it helps to bring the food forward, so they have a chance to chew, compared to real choking, when it blocks the air passage.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST FOODS FOR BLW?
Soft foods such as
Boiled vegetables such as carrots and zucchini beetroot very ripe stone fruit without the stone, Pumpkins
STARTER FOODS TO AVOID
Sugary foods such as sweets,chocolate honey
Processed Foods such as sweet breakfast cereals and sweets
Foods that can cause allergic reactions
High-risk choking foods such as grapes, tomatoes
Hopefully this post gives you a little heads up to what to expect with your little one as you embark on your eating journey, as long as your there right next to him, relax and trust your baby to let his instincts do the work
Anyone else have experience BLW ? Please share
Lots of Love Rita