Weaning/baby led weaning

Clare - posted on 09/13/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Any tips on mixing weaning and baby led weaning ? Baby is 6 months next week so far I have tried carrot,banana,apples & blueberries,baby rice and baby cereal all going well! Banana was a real hit blueberries and apples got a few strange faces but all good. : ) just not sure how to approach combining the two ..tips please : )

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Chet - posted on 09/13/2014

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You can't really combine the two...

The point of baby led weaning is to specifically exclude things like spoon feeding and specially prepared baby foods. Moreover, a huge aspect of baby led weaning is leaving the start of solid foods up to the baby. Many babies are older (like 7 to 9 months) when they start self feeding with baby led weaning.

In the beginning, a lot of baby led weaning has the baby not actually eating, or not eating very much. The baby might be just sucking or chewing on a large chunk of something, or even just playing with food and getting flavours off their fingers.

I found the arc of weaning to be totally different going the baby led route. Our babies went from not getting much to eating EVERYTHING in a very short period of time. At 6 or 8 months they weren't eating nearly as much solid food as babies who were being traditionally weaned, but at 10, 12 or 14 months they were basically eating the same as the rest of the family (less a few problem foods, they had trouble with lettuce for a long time, we peeled apples for quite awhile because the skin was an issue, etc) while the traditionally weaned babies were still eating jarred food, or not the same food as the rest of the family.

If you aren't just setting the food in front of your baby it's not baby led weaning. Since finger foods are a huge part of mainstream feeding today, I'd say that a combination of self feeding with things like spoon feeding and prepared baby food is just regular weaning.

Even if you're doing more traditional weaning baby-led resources can be useful for getting ideas for things to try for the self feeding portion of your baby's diet though.

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