We waited until Capri was 6 months to start solids (okay she was like 2 days short of being 6 months), but still we waited.
We decided that Baby Led Weaning (BLW) was the best option for us as a family. Capri has been trying to eat our food for months now and I did not see purees being an option.
I found it hard to find a lot of information out there on BLW, but I found enough information through a few websites and some Twitter and Facebook moms that had done it as well. In the end it is really simple; baby eats real food and not purees.
What I love about BLW is that I can eat my meals and Capri can eat her meals at the same time and I do not have to worry about trying to feed her from a spoon while I am trying to eat. I make some breakfast and share with her and we enjoy our time.
I love that we still have a breastfeeding relationship. She still has the same needs for breastfeeding as she did before because that is where her main source of nutrition comes from. I feed her before we eat a meal or have a snack so she has something in her tummy so she does not get frustrated with being hungry and learning to feed herself.
A quick rundown on how BLW works is this: by the age of 6 months some babies have the capabilities to pick up pieces of food and move it to their mouths. Even without teeth they can chew items of food that are easily squished between your fingers. Babies have a reflex that allows them to move food from the back of their throats to the front of their mouths if they are choking. BLW is something you do with your baby; in other words you do not leave them with some food and go do something else. You watch them and encourage them. You eat with them.
BLW allows a child to first learn to chew and then swallow (while purees they learn to swallow and then chew). This helps babies transition from different foods and textures much more smoothly. By allowing your child to choose how much and what to eat, they are more likely to like more foods than if they are forced to eat foods by spoon feeding.
So far Capri has eaten and enjoyed the following foods in the last month:
- toast with butter
- avocado (sliced into wedges with skin still on for something to hold)
- potato wedges
- sweet potato wedges
- oranges, clementines
- pizza crust
- turkey (and gravy)
- green beans
- rice cakes