Baby Led Weaning
So, if you have twins, you probably spend a lot of time feeding. Once they start on solids, it becomes even more time-consuming (whoever said it gets easier when referring to babies is LYING).
Today I’d like to talk about a wonderful book I read by Gill Rapley called “Baby Led Weaning”. The premise of this whole movement is simple. You start to introduce solids (not jarred baby food or purees, but actual solid food) when your child shows an interest in the food you are eating. The beauty of this idea is that you simply feed your baby what you eat (with some modifications) and don’t waste time with jars of baby food, “choo choo” training spoons into their mouths and stressing about them finishing the whole serving, or, if you’re like me, spending hours making your own organic baby food (purees).
When your child is physically able to sit up and hold their head upright, and show an interest in what you’re eating, you can offer them large, soft pieces of the same food you eat. If they are exhibiting a pincer grasp, they are ready for this type of transition to solids. Some babies do this at 5 months, others not til 8. Obviously it’s different with every child. The boys were both different with this too. The book says it is better to stay away from spoon-feeding purees and instead encourage the child to feed themselves as it teaches things like hand-eye coordination, grasping, feeding, and even helps them learn where their own gag reflex is. Although I loved the idea of not having to puree separate food for the boys, I also wasn’t sold on not having it at all. So I compromised. I pureed SOME stuff (like oatmeal for breakfast or soups at lunch) but also offered solids that they would feed themselves. It was great not to have to buy jarred baby food or stress about pureeing absolutely everything, and they seem to enjoy feeding themselves.
Overall, this method of introducing solids has worked well for us. It has made food “fun” for the boys, but more importantly, mealtime has been instrumental in them developing their coordination, dexterity, general interest in feeding themselves and a whole array of other great skills. The rule of baby led weaning is that “food is just for fun before 1”. Breast milk or formula is still your baby’s primary source of nutrition until 1 year old. This reminds the parent that they don’t need to stress about finishing that last bite. Allow your child to eat what they want and continue to give them the milk they require. At 11 months old, the boys are happy and healthy, aside from the fact that one seems to be a more picky eater, they both enjoy mealtime and we have been taking them out to eat for stress free meals for several months now. It has been a great experience. I love that they can sit and eat a meal with us, or at someone’s house or in a restaurant and I don’t stress about having to carry around jars of baby food. They are slowly eating more solids and drinking less milk.
Whether you have one baby or two (or more!), if you are thinking of introducing solids and this has piqued your curiosity, you should definitely check out the book, or at the very least, google it. You will find a ton of info on baby led weaning.
Thanks for stopping by!