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My youngest son has just turned 6 months old and i'm considering baby led weaning. Has anyone else tried this? if so what did you offer them and what are the pro's and con's.

asked 05 Jan '10, 13:52

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Phil Seller
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edited 05 Jan '10, 15:41

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Fun2Dream
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We have not yet tried this, but plan to start. We have read some good information on the following websites:

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/babyledweaning.htm

http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedselintroductie/blw/engels.html

http://helloalliebaby.blogspot.com/2009/08/baby-led-weaning-experience-thus-far.html

Here is one more article I just found that is quite useful: http://www.rapleyweaning.com/assets/blw_guidelines.pdf from here: http://www.rapleyweaning.com

We intend to start with avocado and go from there.

link

answered 05 Jan '10, 15:43

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Fun2Dream
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edited 20 Jan '10, 02:50

Is this another one of those British English terms? To me, "weaning" means stopping breast feeding, not starting solid foods. Or maybe I've just always had it wrong.

(05 Jan '10, 17:46) Dennis Palmer
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In this sense, "weaning" means that the baby is starting the long journey of becoming independent from its mother by starting to have foods other than breast milk. At 6 months, when introducing foods the baby should continue to nurse just as much as before the introduction of food. Also, I'm Canadian and I've heard this expression used here so I don't think it is an exclusively British English term.

(05 Jan '10, 18:37) cat_g

Baby led weaning means not mashing it up, but chopping things into chip like shapes for them to feed themselves.

(05 Jan '10, 19:24) Phil Seller
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You can mash up some things for baby in babyled weaning, but you allow the baby to hold the spoon and control how much he/she eats. You do not puree the food and spoon feed the baby - the baby is in charge :)

(05 Jan '10, 20:24) Fun2Dream
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+1 for the wholesomebabyfood link - I use this site and love it!

(06 Jan '10, 01:35) Lin

@Dennis Palmer - I'm American and am familiar with the term, but many of the pages I sited have a British author, so the term may have originated there.

(06 Jan '10, 03:32) Fun2Dream

@Fun2Dream: We started solids about a month or so ago and we do puree and feed her, but we let her open her mouth all by herself. She is still in control and if she doesn't like something, well, then she doesn't like it and she gets more mother's milk. I think most of the pros of baby led weaning seem to not actually be related to actually giving table foods instead of purees, but the way you prepare stuff (i.e. yourself vs. prepackaged) and how you feed your baby (i.e. stuff it in her, of let her lead) and you can do that with purees too ...

(30 Apr '11, 14:47) Alexander
showing 5 of 7 show 2 more comments

My son is now 8 months old and we have adopted a baby-led approach to introducing foods. We've only been doing this for 2 months, so I'm not an expert, but we have found it to be a positive experience overall. For me, when we were getting ready to introducing our son to foods, I had a hard time with the notion that we should feed him prepackaged foods. For the first 6 months of his life, he only ate 100% all natural breast milk. I did not feel comfortable even giving him baby cereals (Reading the ingredients list of infant rice cereal revealed many more ingredients than just "rice".).

Pros:

  • You don't have to spend extra money on prepackaged baby foods. The baby eats little bits of what you are eating.
  • You know exactly what is going into your little one's food.
  • Our baby is very interested in what we are eating and wants to do what we are doing. By using baby-led weaning, he gets to do what we are doing which he seems to really enjoy.
  • Baby-led weaning is a perfect complement to breastfeeding (or bottle feeding) on-demand, since you are continuing to use your baby's cues to decide when and how much he should eat.
  • There is very little food wasted. Whatever he doesn't eat from my plate, I eat! (I found a friend of mine was always throwing away half-eaten jars of baby food.)

Cons:

  • Sometimes we have something to eat that I don't want to feed my little one, like a very spicy meal. This means I have to prepare my own meal and make something for my baby. But, it usually doesn't take too long to do this.

Some people feel that you should only introduce one food at a time in case of allergies. At first, I only gave him one new food off my plate every few days (but I did combine two or more foods if he had already tried them). But now, I share just about everything he wants to try (excepting nuts, egg whites, shellfish and foods that he cannot easily mash with his gums). But, I have continued to keep a daily list of which foods I've introduced to our son, just in case he has a reaction.

According to Dr. Sears, the first few months of eating solid foods is all about learning to eat. Babies are still getting almost 100% of their nutrition and calories from breast milk. He suggests that at first you aim for a balanced "week" instead of a balanced day when it comes to making sure your baby has all the food groups. This means that some days my son may eat mostly meat or fruit and other days mostly bread and veggies. But over the course of the week he gets a bit of everything.

I have also been surprised that my son actually wants to nurse more often now that he has begun eating food.

link

answered 05 Jan '10, 19:08

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cat_g
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+1 for not going with prepackaged baby foods and exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months.

(05 Jan '10, 19:36) Emi

Great answer - especially re: getting nutrition from breast milk and learning what it means to eat using the other foods :)

(05 Jan '10, 20:26) Fun2Dream

we always offer milk before solids. Don't know if it's coincidental with us now co-sleeping but and since starting solids, our daughter is now sneaking in 1 or 2 night feeds when previously she would go overnight without feeds!

(06 Jan '10, 02:37) Lin
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As I understand it, it's mainly about not using purees, but going straight to "normal table food". So some of those pros, actually most, aren't actually pros of baby led weaning, but just cooking stuff yourself instead of buying it in prepackaged form. We do all the purees ourselves, so while we don't feed our little one pieces of steak, we do just buy a normal portion of meat/vegetables/fruits for ourselves and put some aside to cook/prepare it for her and mash it up and mix it with other stuff.

(30 Apr '11, 14:44) Alexander

Quoted from Wholesomebabyfoods:

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is skipping thin and runny purées and not feeding your baby with a spoon. Baby Led Weaning means offering your baby (age appropriate) foods that are soft-cooked and cut or mashed into small easily manageable pieces. These foods are then given to your baby to eat. You do the cooking, the dicing or mashing and the offering of the foods and your baby does the rest.

As with breastfeeding on demand, Baby Led Weaning is a method of introducing solid foods that leaves it up to your baby to decide when and how much to eat. While not necessarily a "hands off" approach, Baby Led Weaning does advocate allowing your baby to make all food choices for him or herself.

I have read up a lot on BLW and am very interested in it, but am a bit of a clean-freak and have to get over my neurosis first so I can benefit my baby! I'm also a little concerned about the choking risk, even though I know I shouldn't be as the baby is in control, not you.

Some other benefits of BLW other than what's already been mentioned:

  1. faster pincer grip control
  2. increased sensory and motor development
  3. better control of the gag reflex

Cons:

  1. It's messy!

Gill Rapley has a great book, site and forum on BLW

If you don't want lots of reading but want some guidelines, this paper is very useful

link

answered 06 Jan '10, 02:04

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Lin
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edited 06 Jan '10, 02:43

2

I haven't tried either method yet (our daughter is only 5 months old now), so I can't be sure, but I have seen a TON of disgustingly messy babies with purees all over their faces. I'm guessing that feeding a baby in ANY way isn't going to be neat :)

(06 Jan '10, 03:30) Fun2Dream

@Fun2Dream - I've got a pretty good technique at keeping our babe pretty clean when feeding her purees at the moment, but I'm realistic enough to know that messy meal times are inevitable eventually especially when she starts getting into finger food!! I can see the spag bog on the walls already!

(06 Jan '10, 04:00) Lin
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Yeah, spaghetti terrifies me ;) I don't intend to give that to her for a long while. I personally hate the photos of babies covered head to toe in food, with the possible exception of birthday cake.

(07 Jan '10, 00:35) Fun2Dream

We did it for all three of our kids, although we didn't know there was a name for it the first time we tried it with our first son. For us it seemed very natural and the kids never would eat traditional baby food, so it just worked out that way.

Here's a post on my blog where I describe our experience:

http://newmothertips.info/http:/newmothertips.info/baby-led-weaning-blw-how-we-did-it/

I think the most important thing is to find what works for your family.

link

answered 16 Sep '10, 05:14

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Amy Sanders
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My wife and I have been doing baby-led weaning for about 3 months now. We have been documenting it on our YouTube channel, LaneVidsMobile. This video is the first video from our journey doing BLW! I hope these video help!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6SvGtoiVnQ

link

answered 24 Oct '11, 22:10

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Lanevids
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Asked: 05 Jan '10, 13:52

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Last updated: 24 Oct '11, 22:10