Has anyone tried baby led weaning?
Shanyn - posted on 02/23/2009
Reading your questions, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by child led weaning, but my definition is allowing your kiddo to nurse until they decide they're done. For us, solids had very little to do with it. My son self-weaned at 22 months and I'm almost positive that it was because I got pregnant and my milk changed radically - much to his dismay! :) My daughter just self-weaned a few months ago at 31 months. Essentially I just didn't ever say no to them when they asked to nurse and let them nurse until they were ready to stop (both in reference to individual nursing sessions and nursing in general.)
In regards to starting solids, there is a huge range of theories out there for the "best" way to start solids. Everything from only starting on the cereals to starting with meat as a first food. Everything from feeding only "baby foods" to only table foods. You name it and there's a theory to back it up. :) I would say figure out what's most important to you for starting solids, i.e. do you have family allergies you are trying to avoid, do you have family diet issues you need to incorporate etc. and then go from there. I started both of my kiddos on cereals mixed with breastmilk, but should I ever have another, the research I've done on starting babies on meat thinned with breast milk has swayed me into thinking that may be the way to go. Introduced in tandem with some easy to digest fruits and veggies is the easiest way to break in the digestive system on babes as the high protein content most mimics the structure of breast milk. But that's just my theory for now. :)
Good luck and keep us posted!
Allison - posted on 02/22/2009
I haven't - I've always started with mushed or pureed foods, although I quickly move to more textures. I'm too much a wimp when it comes to choking - I just worry too much!!
You've probably already seen the webpage (I think it's mostly in Dutch) that shows young babies eating whole pears and stuff - very interesting. The idea is that they won't be able to put more in their mouth/bite off more than they can handle and they are self-limited by fine motor development, which is very slowly. By the time they can get bigger bites off, the theory is that then they can handle them.
I do know that you don't want to also feed purees, as that is then will counter their understanding of food and how their mouths need to work. They should only get the food that they can get themselves (and since breastmilk is all they need for development and nutrition for their first year, they won't be hurt by not having a lot of solid foods). I don't know exactly what you *do* feed them, though.
I don't know anyone who's personally tried it, but I've certainly seen it talked about a lot. I'd love to hear more about your experience if you do try it.
Mary - posted on 02/22/2009
Hiya! I have more or less done this with all my kids. They also got older and older before I started them on solids. I just realized it was easier to nurse, and to feed them when they demanded food from me.
The earliest I ever started solids was 6 months old, and other than the rice and oatmeal baby cereals that I started with (first mixed with breastmilk, and only introduce ONE new food per week, to pinpoint any allergies that might show up). Other than that I never wasted money on baby food, I would just make something for dinner that she could have. ie. take out a potato peice to mash with breastmilk instead of what I mashed ours with, smashed up beans with a fork, and when we had something baby couldn't have, I would take out a banana and mash it, or microwave a carrot and mash that with a fork.
You do have to watch them for choking of course, but breastfed babies have a very good gag reflex and choke much less easily than a bottle fed baby. Although I did have 2 incidents but both when they were almost 2, and both was on the skin of fruit.
Not sure if that answered your question, but hope so!
Oh, and as you gradually increase food, the baby will gradually decrease her nursing... not sure if that is a strict definition of baby-led weaning, since you are actually encouraging it by offering food, but whatever! lol.
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