Baby led weaning is not as complicated as it sounds

“Baby led -what?”

I get this question/borderline insult to how I feed my daughter often. Whenever I attempt to explain why my youngest isn’t eating from a spoon or a jar, most are confused. To alleviate their confusion, I used to become a walking, talking parenting book. I would attempt to give a textbook answer on what baby led weaning is and why it works, but I stopped that when I realized how many eyes glazed over and how much drool began to form in the corners of mouths when I got into my standard history lesson on spoons and baby feeding.

So, I’ve learned not to call what I do by it’s name. Instead, I just say that I allow my baby to feed herself and set the pace for her weaning because she likes adult foods. This always works and makes my baby seem really advanced.

I started baby led weaning after visiting this great site on the topic when my second daughter was six months.

She’s now almost 11 months, so we’ve been doing this for five months. To help some weary mom or dad out there whose kind of interested in giving baby led weaning a try, I thought I’d share my some of my reasons for loving it.

My reasons for loving baby led weaning:

It’s easy. It’s so easy that in doing it you’ll wonder why purees are even recommended for babies. I like that my baby can feed herself because it gives me more time to feed myself.

It’s inexpensive. I kind of hated buying baby food and making baby pureed organic-only baby food with my first daughter. Now, with my second, I only buy good foods for our whole family. My weekly grocery budget is usually no more than $100 bucks.

It’s a messy kind of fun. It’s fun to see what kinds of foods my baby is drawn to eat. It’s fun to watch her gnaw on bananas and put whole pieces of bread in her mouth. It’s messy, yes. Usually, by the time meal times are over, her entire high chair and the floor beneath it are covered in food, but that’s okay.

It makes sense. Baby led weaning is what my gut was telling me to do with my first daughter, but all my traditional baby books did not. Doing it just feels right to me.

If you decide to try baby led weaning, check out this great bookby Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.

Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    I did baby-led weaning with my first child after Amazon recommended the book mentioned above (while I was searching for baby food recipe books). It worked great. We started at 6-months and tried not to stress over it. At the beginning, we might just try one meal a day; he was still getting the majority of his nutrition from nursing. By 8-9 months, he was a pro at feeding himself, and he began to naturally taper off the amount of nursing that he did (although he wasn’t fully weaned until after he turned one).

    My daughter will turn 6-months soon, and I will definitely use this method again. A friend also tried this with her second son after borrowing the baby-led book from me; he, too, is doing great with this method.

    I highly recommend getting the book. It lays out the right age to begin and the common-sense safety issues (e.g., your child should be able to sit up on his own). The book also provides a confidence booster in trying something that seems alarming to other adults (my mother-in-law got very stressed the first several times she saw our baby feed himself).

    Jessica, thanks for bringing this to the attention of more moms.

  2. Just FYI — the photo and Twitter caption implies breastfeeding weaning when it is the UK context of weaning, as in starting baby on solid foods. BLW is great, and the cookbook is fantastic!

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