Monday, October 17, 2011

Update on Babyled Weaning

So, yeah, remember how I told you I'd let you know all about the babyled weaning? What we were giving baby E to eat, when, how he liked it, whether he choked? All that? Yeah, and I mentioned it the once (or thrice), and, I don't think, ever again. Well, I know he's 1 now and all, but I thought that I'd go ahead and give you the lowdown on how it worked for us, including whether or not it's something we'd do again. So, here ya go.

Babyled weaning is something that we totally fell into, completely by chance. I mean, I was at a local book store, waiting for a flashmob to start, when I happened to look over and see a book on it. I picked it up, as something to leaf through while waiting for the entertainment to start. And I was hooked. It sounded so interesting, and just kinda made sense to me. I was excited for baby E to finally be old enough to give it a go. Which, took a while.

When baby E was approximately 7 months old, we started offering him the foods we were eating. Asparagus, potatoes, apples, carrots, etc... At first, he really just picked it up and kind of "tested" it out, chewing and simply mouthing it. It was probably 6-8 weeks before he finally started eating some. I say it was that long because though the food was going in his mouth before that, it was then before it really started coming out, you know, in his diapers. Even then, it was probably only in the last 2 months that his bowel movements have become truly solid. Before that, they were like breastmilk-only (you know, yellow and pretty liquid-y) with a few chunks thrown in. (What? Was this more detail than you really wanted?! Sorry!)

Somewhere around the 11month mark, once E had a few teeth and seemed to know what to do with them, we added in some meat. This baby is certainly a carnivore! He'll eat anything (except sweet potatoes - HATES those!!!) but he sure loves meat. That, in hindsight, was probably about the time the diapers hit the solid and stinky mark. Yuck.

As far as choking goes, which several people had asked about and/or expressed concern, it's not been an issue. Sure, he's gagged a few times, but he's never actually choked. Now, to me, real choking involves something where I'd have to intervene, or when he experiences some kind of distress (during or after). It hasn't happened. I read where this wasn't supposed to happen, since babies have gag reflexes further forward in their mouths, but I wasn't convinced; we were waiting for the choking to happen. It simply didn't.

There are of course all kinds of great things about BLW. For instance we've allowed him to decide when and what he wants to eat. And, interestingly, he always over the course of a day, makes the choices of a balanced diet. There is no buying of baby food (or the extra expense associated with that). There is no making of baby food (and the extra time associated with that). He simply eats whatever it is we're eating.

Something I've noticed about baby E, is that he has fantastic fine motor skills (another benefit). And I think at least in part this is directly related to BLW. He gets all kinds of practice with those little fingers. This is an area the kid has always struggled with. And I wonder what a difference allowing him all this practice might have made for him. Obviously, too late to know for sure, but this one thing alone has convinced me about BLW.

Today's lesson - babyled weaning is awesome. Give it a shot. It's amazingly easy, simple. And just as messy - or possibly even less so! - than the babyfood on a spoon route. I don't know that I could have given up control in this way with my first baby, but I'm so glad I -we! - did with the 2nd.


Emms said...

I wanted to do this with bug, but got so freaked when she wouldn't put food in her mouth (everything else though lol) I gave in and we did babyfood. She loved 'regular' food and had the dexterity for it, but she wouldn't feed herself until right before her first birthday. It was crazy!

Lechelle said...

So I have a question about this baby led weaning thing. You give your baby the food you are eating and don't force food on him he doesn't like, right? But isn't that normal? what everyone does? Cuz that just makes sense to me so that's what we did with B. Well, he had baby food from 6-7 months to get him started. But other than that we give him real food, fruit, vegetable, grain, protein, dairy, etc, as he wants it. The only limitation we had was nothing crunchy that he needed molars for until he had them (like raw carrots and apples). And the only limitations we put on it was no cookies at every meal (because he will ask for them at every meal).
But seriously, do people do it a different way? How else would you feed your baby?