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Baby-Led Weaning

Meal times are so much fun with Camille!  She just jumps in and eats whatever we're having and absolutely loves the process.  We're just letting her feed herself--right from the start.  This process is called Baby-Led Weaning.  The term is of British origin.  Across the pond they use "weaning" to mean "adding solids."  This term does not mean "cessation of breastfeeding."

A dear friend told me about Baby Led Weaning and it just seemed to make sense.  For my first kid, I enjoyed making all of her purees myself.  I knew where everything came from and what exactly she was eating.  The problem this go-round?  TIME.  Now that she is three-and-a-half, how would I find time to eat myself if I was making purees, freezing them, thawing them, feeding them to the baby, and making Annique's meal?  The idea that I could skip this spoon-feeding stage was so intriguing.  I checked out the book and liked what I read.  There are some precautions.  I've adapted my cooking to be free of added salt, because her little kidneys can't handle all the sodium.  You also can't feed her too much processed food, again because of the sodium (crackers, cereal, even bread are very high in sodium!).  We're weeding out processed foods for the whole family, but we are still on that journey- we haven't arrived.

At first, not much was getting down.  Not a problem, since her nourishment was still breast milk at that point (and still is).  It was so cute to watch her pick up food and gum it.

See?  Now, however, things are definitely getting in there.  She seems to like everything (well, asparagus didn't have a first good run, but we'll try it again).  She tries everything.  And, she makes a mess of everything.  :o)  She really gets excited when we put her in the high chair.

Lovin' some broccoli.
It is fun to watch the progress of her pincer grasp.  She can pick up peas and corn kernels and get them into her mouth with increasing accuracy.

Exploring curry chicken.
The social aspect is great, too.  For dinner, the whole family is around the table, eating, talking, and enjoying each other (unless the three-year-old is low on sleep, not too much to enjoy there).

Token spaghetti picture.
Definitely check out the book or poke around the Baby-Led Weaning website because this mom says IT IS SO WORTH IT!  Camille thinks so, too.

Thumbs up for baby-led weaning!


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