Our Baby Led Weaning Basics

Monday, March 30, 2015

In the U.S. the term "weaning" is associated with weaning from breast milk. Weaning this way means to introduce foods to a baby's diet and skipping purées. A few months after starting homemade purées, I found out about baby led weaning.  Had I known about it from the beginning I would have chose to only do baby led weaning. I never read a book about it, simply read a few articles online and followed my gut. 

* Many say, food before 1 is fun! Babies are meant to get all of their necessary nutrients from breast milk or formula. 

Baby may just play with food in the beginning. It took Hendrix a solid 4 weeks to get the hang of bringing food to his mouth, mashing it with his gums and swallowing. Hendrix got his first two teeth at 8 months. He has managed baby led weaning with those same 2 teeth for a while now. Babies chew with their molars anyway so it does not make a difference whether they have teeth or not. 

* The easiest foods to start with are finger shape/size steamed vegetables and ripe or steamed fruits. 

* Some of the foods we offered early on:
     Avocado (ripe) cut into wedges, can leave skin on for easier grip
     Banana (ripe) leave handle on so baby has something to hold onto
     Steamed Apple slices- skin on or off
     Pear (ripe)- peeled and cut into wedges
     Mango (ripe) peeled and cut into wedges
     Steamed Carrots- cut into wedges
     Sweet Potatoes- peeled, cut into wedges drizzle with olive oil, roasted at 350F
     Butternut Squash- cook same as sweet potatoes
     Steamed Broccoli
     Toast/pancakes/waffles- whole wheat/whole grain, sliced into strips
     Omelettes- we used whole eggs, cooked well and sliced into wedges
     Pasta- we chose whole wheat penne, well cooked

* Squish blueberries or cut in half for easier grasping/ lower choking risk.

We started homemade purées at 5 months and BLW at 6 months.
He has been give whole eggs since 6 months but didn't start loving them until 7 months.
I held off on peanut butter and meat until 7 months.
Introduced berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) at 7 months. His favorite food is definitely all types of berries, he is a fanatic!
We don't plan on introducing shellfish until 1 year, only 1.5 months left!

Baby led weaning has been quite the journey so far. As a severely picky eater many of the foods I have been introducing to Hendrix have been a first for me as well! The ease of having baby eat what the rest of the family is eating, going out to eat and ordering off the menu and being introduced such a variety of food early on are the main reasons why our family loves baby led weaning. We highly recommend it!