Baby Led Weaning
by Nov 11th, 2010 // Baby Feeding
Baby Led Weaning
Pardon the brief interruption from Thanksgiving Sides, but I’ve been meaning to share something with you about cooking with my other kid. More specifically, my 7 month old. My sister in law, who is a nurse practitioner and a certified lactation consultant, introduced me to a new baby feeding concept called Baby-Led Weaning. The basics premise of Baby Led Waning is that babies do not need to start with pureed food. The book Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater, encourages parents to let their babies explore foods on their own by presenting them with large chunks they can gnaw on. Babies naturally explore everything with their mouths and are actually pre-programmed to be able to feed themselves. I’m not a hippy-dippy mom so I was incredibly skeptical. But, my SIL is on her third kid and she very experienced with children – she ran a clinic at Georgetown Hospital – so I decided to give it a whirl. At 6 months old, I offered the baby a piece of broccoli. As you can see from the video, she put it right up to her mouth and began to gnaw on it! SHOCKING. AMAZING. UNREAL. It’s been a month and I have yet to spoon feed her anything. I’m really loving this concept. It seems so natural. I kind of can’t believe I did it any other way.
I know what you are thinking. You’re afraid she’ll choke, right? Well, the book says that babies are more likely to choke on spoonfed food than gnawed food. Reason being that with a spoon you are moving the food to the back of their mouths, but when they are feeding themselves they need to do this themselves. The book also says they don’t do this before they are ready. I don’t like to parent from books so I asked my pediatrician about this. She actually concurred. She was not worried about my baby choking from gnawing on food. (She, like the book, suggested we stay away from chokeables like raisins, nuts, grapes, hotdogs, etc.)
I know this isn’t for everyone. But I’ll be updating you on our adventures if you’re interested. Oh, and if you want to try this at home, I encourage you to check out the book. I’m not the expert – I’m the guinea pig!