Read all of my Spearmint Baby posts here.
Have you heard of Baby Led Weaning? Here's a quote from the website:
"Based on a paper written by Gill Rapley, Baby Led Weaning just means letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning."
That's right, no baby food, no purees, no mush. The argument is that babies who eat purees from a spoon fed by the parents learn how to swallow before they learn how to chew. They don't get used to the texture of food and as a result can become picky eaters later in life. Babies between the ages of 6 months and 1 year get all the nutrition they need from breast milk or formula, so the food they eat is just for learning and exploring. No need to force them to eat, just give them a tray full of a variety of soft foods (cooked carrots, beans, fruit, etc) and let them go at it.
Our adorable niece Ava
The downside? First of all, it's really messy. You can't give a baby a bath every single time they finish a meal, but that's what wipes are for, right? Feed them in nothing but a diaper and wipe them down after. Secondly, they might choke. The website says it's better to learn what to do when a child is choking than to constantly worry about it happening. They say to make sure that risky foods are cut up properly (grapes cut in half), but really since they're learning how to chew/gnaw before they learn how to swallow, they won't choke as much as a baby food fed baby might.
I plan on trying out this new method of food introduction. I'm not saying it's the best way or the only way to do things. I do think it seems a whole lot easier than buying or making baby food and spoon feeding it to a squirmy baby.
What do you think? Have you tried BLW? Would you?