Poor Corban was SO tired yesterday, but that didn’t keep him from thoroughly enjoying his first taste of blueberries. We do something called baby led weaning, the word weaning used in a British term not referring to weaning off of breast milk, but rather to adding complimentary foods in addition to breast milk. What I love about baby led weaning is that the baby controls the food.
Now I know some of you may be imagining a tyrannical infant demanding cake and bon-bons. No? You should! It’s a very funny image that’s now stuck in my head.
What the baby being in control means is that, rather than Eric or I deciding how much food he should be eating and giving it to him on a spoon, Corban gets pieces of whole food that he is in control of eating. This helps him to develop motor skills, tongue control, and healthy eating habits based on his appetite. A study in England has shown that weaning baby with finger foods rather than purees can potentially prevent childhood obesity. It’s teaching your child from the beginning to listen to their own hunger cues, something a huge majority of American adults really struggle with.
There are a lot of important things to be aware of with baby led weaning. You need to cut foods into appropriate sized pieces for instance, know the difference between gagging and choking, and observe your baby while they eat.
It’s also messy.
But so much fun! I love that we get to eat meals as a family. Rather than one of us having to feed Corban before or during dinner, we just give him some food to eat with us. We usually try to have it be something we are also eating, so that he gets used to eating the same food we have (no short order cooks in this house!). Today we had some chicken soup since Eric and I are home sick with cold/flu symptoms, and just took some carrots, beans, and chicken out of the broth for him. He loved picking up the pieces to eat.
I don’t have a problem with feeding babies purees, but for us right now, baby led weaning is a lot easier and more fun.
Just a warning, blueberries are a huge mess though! Wish I’d gotten these photos before Halloween. Here’s the cleanest I could get him with a dish rag, doesn’t he look like a little zombie?
We always joke that his tired stare is his zombie look, and oh man is it enhanced by a little bit of blueberry staining. Love our little zombie, and not to worry, he cleaned right up in the bath with daddy.
What are your thoughts or questions on baby led weaning? For a lot of great information you can check out BabyLedWeaning.com!