Baby-Led Weaning. Kind of a fancy word for skipping the spoon-feeding step. Believing breast milk is the best and perfect food for baby, mom continues to nurse as the main source of nutrition, while slowly letting the baby learn to use their hands and mouths to feed themselves solid food. It is fun, it is messy, and it makes dinner time so special. Everyone has their own way of going about this; their own set of qualifications and what foods they want to try first.
With Little W we waited until she could sit up on her own, had at least one tooth popping through (this was no problem since she had 4 teeth by 7 months), and was eagerly reaching for our food at meal times. So we started her out with little chunks of food shortly after her 6 month birthday. I didn’t document it thoroughly on here, but it was a slow process that she enjoyed and Little W was eating full meals at the table with us by 10.5 months, chewing and swallowing spaghetti, chicken, veggies, you name it. (She did not eat certain things, like dairy, beans, bread/crackers, nuts, or raw honey until she was one year old or older, depending on how many teeth she had, and other factors. She also was still nursing 5 times a day.)
Baby A can sit up on her own, has been reaching for food (and her big sissy’s sippy) for quite some time, but has yet to have a little tooth pop out. I waited to see if one would come through, but finally a few days ago I went ahead and gave her some chunks of banana, just to see what she would do. I know hardly any would go into her mouth, and I knew that she might even gag some, but that is just how the first time goes. It is all about learning! Baby A is seven months old today.
I was attempting to introduce the smell/taste/feel of banana to Baby A. (If you can see the little green speck on her chin, that is a bit of pea that Little W tried to feed her as well.)
I love this action shot- food goes in, food comes out.
A very concerned look here. I am wondering if she is thinking, “Wait, I am supposed to like this better than breast milk?” Or, “It looks so good when you eat it!”
“Here, let me help you out.”
Just after a few minutes she was already getting much better at taking the slippery food into her hand and putting it to her mouth. We humans are such quick learners!
We haven’t tried anything since, but hopefully in the next week or two we will try avocado, boiled egg yolk, and maybe some more easy to chew fruits. This is just the learning process. These are “snacks” and are not to be used instead of a full meal of milk. We tried out this banana during our dinner time, which was shortly after she had nursed to her fill. God made breast milk for babies, so don’t rush this time! Let your baby learn and explore with food while still giving them all the nutrition they need from nursing. As your babe gets older you will naturally start weaning them and they will be prepared with this fun training to eat healthy whole foods with the family.