A Quick Introduction to Baby Led Weaning ||
This post will be pretty short and simple but it really has been one of my favorite milestones River has gone through. To continue the Baby Food Series on the blog I wanted to share the next step we took from pureeing River’s food. Back in March when River first started on purees we helped some dear friends of ours with their children while they were on vacation.
I was left instructions from Caroline that they were “baby lead weaning” their 11 month old little girl, Sawyer. She told me what she ate and to cut up the food into “bite size” pieces and let her feed herself. I kept looking at her tiny little petite self and her 4 teeth and tried to figure out what “bite size” meant for her. I just couldn’t fathom how she could chew the food with so little teeth. Not wanting her to choke I cut the food in to the tiniest little bits and stood by her side the entire time. She did great and got I little more confident in her ability as the week went on and didn’t go so drastic with cutting up the food.
I started noticing River was very interested in watching her feed herself. It’s amazing how babies learn so much faster when watching other children. I noticed he began quickly making more of a distinct chewing motion when eating his purees. To see how he would do with something less pureed I decided to simply cut an avocado into small chunks instead of mashing it and he did really well with it. I then progressed to chunking his mangos and bananas, etc…This was about a month after pureeing and he 6 months of age.
At 7.5 months I decided to start full-on baby led weaning. I would put small soft chunked foods in front of him but he wasn’t quite ready to start feeding himself so I would spread some out in front of him as I fed him at the same time. I thought this would help him become a little more familiar with the food and hopefully start exploring them with his hands. After a few days River started becoming incredibly upset when we were feeding him. Screaming out and acting agitated like he couldn’t get enough in his mouth even though it was completely full. This went on for a few days and I was starting to become concerned. Using that good ol’ Mom instinct I realized he was frustrated because he wasn’t getting the instant gratification he was getting with the purees and didn’t have the patience yet to chew. In a pinch and not having pureed any veggies I decided to grab a handy baby food packet and mix it with the chunked chicken.
He immediately calmed down and the screaming and frustration stopped. BINGO! I ripped the band-aid off too quickly. The next few weeks we continually just introduced cut pieces of food on his tray, fed him a mix of puree and cut food.
He is now 8 months and the last 2 weeks he has pretty much completely fed himself. All of a sudden he just started picking up the food on the tray after I walked away a minute. I believe, in most part, from watching 1 year old friend, Mr. T. eat lunch and snacks on his own.
His pincer grasp is getting better each day and I just have to say this kid can eat! Just this morning he had 2 scrambled eggs, about 5 large strawberries and 15-20 blueberries and topped it off with a 10 minute nursing session! If he keeps up this insatiable appetite Luke and I will for sure be eat out of house and home!