Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Baby Led Weaning

Have you heard of baby led weaning? If you have babies, I’m sure you have. It’s basically the idea of letting your baby (6 months or whenever they reach for food) feed themselves.  No pureed baby food or mashed up bananas and avocados.  You just let that baby grab a pork chop or in our house a slice of pizza and let them go to town.  The idea is that by around the age of 6 months babies are developmentally capable of feeding themselves.  The term was coined by a former midwife, Gill Rapley.

I had read all about this when Lars was getting close to 6 months.  It sounded like a lovely idea and I was intrigued.   Everything I could find about baby led weaning was positive.  It seemed to be the new way to go about feeding baby. 

While I continued to make Lars pureed baby food, we also did baby led weaning off and on.  It was going swimmingly until……..he choked.  That was the end.  He was chewing on a piece of apple and started choking.  Not just a little cough choking… like couldn’t get air choking.  I’ve never in my life been so panicked and terrified. I literally felt my heart stop.  For whatever reason, I lodged my finger down his throat (probably not the right way of going about things) and got the piece of apple back up.  He then started throwing up and coughing so much and crying. Everyone was crying.  It. Was. Horrific!  For days following I was so paranoid.  I was basically feeding him smoothies.
I never even gave baby led weaning another thought.  Lars began getting pieces of food when he got teeth and we felt ready. 

It scared us way too much to even consider it again.  It wasn’t an option.  The fear lingered and the thought of trying it again made my stomach turn.  Sort of like when your older friend buys you way too many cranberry vodkas for your 16th birthday and you spend 2 days throwing up and the thought or smell of cranberry and vodka to this day sends you hurling to the bathroom.  No, that didn’t happen to any of you?  OK, well just imagine :)  The fear still lingers.

It didn’t work for us and personally I don’t think (my) 6 month olds were ready to be biting off pieces of food.  I have friends who love this method and have never had a scare but we did and we’re done.
Townes just turned 6 months and we’ve been playing around with food (pureed food).  He loves it (not as much as big brother) but he’s really enjoying it. 

Some say that giving pureed baby food distracts baby from learning proper eating and chewing methods and maybe it does but I have one HUGE exception to that rule and it’s my 4 year old who was fed pureed baby food 95% of his baby food life and from the moment I put food in his mouth, is one of the best eaters out there.  Has zero problem chewing, eating or trying foods.  So, we’re going to stick with the tried and true method. 

Townes’ favorites so far:
Sweet potatoes (of course)
Green beans
Roasted squash and garlic

His not so favorites:
Broccoli (funny, because it was also the only food Lars ever turned his nose up to. He now loves it)

this is Lars (left) and Townes both around 6 months. 

those tummy rolls!!! LOVE

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