Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Baby Led Weaning Part 1

 *Part 1 is mostly about what BLW is and our experience in starting it. Part 2 will be foods he's had, how we've prepared them, and pics/videos. :) *

When my LO was around 5 months old, I started researching starting solids since we planned to start at 6 months. I decided I wanted to try my hand at making my own baby food. I figured it can't be that hard right?! Just blend some stuff up and call it a day. So, that was my plan and I started looking at different storage options.

Right before I was ready to buy a few things, I randomly came across a FB friend's post about Baby Led Weaning. I decided to click and it sounded really interesting. Ethan had been interested in food since around 3.5 months. He was already reaching out and trying to grab the food on our plates. So BLW seemed like it would be great for him. He is the type that wants to do things himself already and loves to explore.

At first, I was concerned about the term "weaning", but it doesn't mean you are weaning your kid off breastmilk/formula, it just means you are supplementing with food. The idea is that you give your baby regular foods that are prepared in a way that they are able to eat it. You don't spoon feed them, you let them decide what they want and how much. It makes it easier in a way since you no longer have to worry about pureeing, storing, and making special food for baby. Plus, you can all enjoy eating together as a family, because no one is having to spoon feed while the other eats.

So, after reading the first article, I went online and read a TON of other articles and blogs about it. Then discussed with the hubby to get his opinion on it. Then I read a whole lot more. Honestly, I probably read more than I needed to, but I knew we'd probably get a lot of questions and concerns about it and I wanted to be prepared. The biggest one we hear is about gagging. Yes, he has gagged on things before. But, luckily I knew that it's normal and good that he does. It means he knows that the piece is too big and he either moves it back to the front of his mouth to chew it more or he spits it out. Even knowing it's normal though, it is still scary! The first few times we kinda questioned if we should keep going with this or go the "usual" route, but luckily we kept with it. So far he hasn't choked on anything *knock on wood*. We did take an infant CPR class though so that we were prepared to know what to do if it ever happened. This is something you should do no matter how you decide to feed though since gagging/choking can happen even with purees. After the class I definitely felt more confident and less scared.

The first few weeks of BLW, your baby probably won't actually eat anything or very little. It's more about them learning how to get the food to their mouths, how to chew, how to move it around, etc And exploring different tastes. Since for the first year they get most of their nutrients from breast milk/formula, it's not a big deal if they don't eat a lot at first. I'm not gonna lie, I did worry that he wasn't eating anything at the beginning. What can I say, I'm a first time mom and worry about tons of things! lol I constantly reminded myself that "food before one is just for fun". But now that we're almost a month into it, he's eating a good amount to far.

One of the best things about BLW is watching him learn how to do things on his own. He'd instantly grab the food at the beginning so he knew what to do and he'd usually get it to his mouth or close to it. He doesn't have the pincher grasp yet since he's only 6 months, so foods are usually cut around 2in in length so he can grab on and still have food to put in his mouth while holding it in his first. Yesterday he finally opened his first and went for more. It was so cool to watch him really think about what he wanted and then do it.

Stay tuned for part 2 which will be picture heavy!

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