Posted on February 1, 2011

Baby Led Weaning By Lizz

BLW/ Guest post/ weaning

This is a guest post on Baby Led Weaning by Lizz from http://easyweaning.blogspot.com/ or you can also find her on twitter @easyweaning – Thank you so much for your time Lizz x


What is baby led weaning?
Baby Led Weaning really is the easy way to wean your baby. As long as you eat a healthy diet then just give your baby what you eat. No need for pureeing, mashing, jars or even
cutlery. Breast fed babies and bottle fed babies can do it. The only essential item is a big bib!

I first got into blw when a friend mentioned it and I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. Then she lent me the Gill Rapley book ‘Baby Led Weaning’ and I fell in love with blw.

I went the traditional route with my first daughter and have to admit I didn’t enjoy it. It was far too much hassle. I breastfed both my daughters for a couple of reasons, obviously for the health reasons for both mother and baby, but my main reasons are it’s free and so convenient. No steriliser, no bottles, no teats and no organisation, so for me, not the most organised person, it was a bit of a no-brainer.

How does it work?
And blw is just the same. At the WHO recommended age of 6 months for weaning, you
can start to introduce solid food to your baby, even if they don’t have teeth. Anyone will know that gums can be just as painful as teeth if you’ve been chomped!
The emphasis has to be on eating healthy and common sense has to be used, for
example you can’t give your baby very hard foods, nuts, excess salt etc
My daughters first meal was mushroom stroganoff with potato wedges.
Within the first week she had eaten sandwiches, spaghetti bolognese, fruit, toast, sausages (veggie by the way as we’re all vegetarian) and baked beans and mashed potato. When I say eaten I really mean played with. Most babies learn to eat and food is fun for them. As long as you are still giving them all their milk feeds they will be getting the nutrients that they need and you will soon see a shift over from them wanting milk feeds to them wanting solids instead. But as the name implies the baby leads the way on this transition. When you give them the food they also choose what they would like to eat. What looks exciting, what’s easy to grab, and what have I had before that’s yummy?

 


Gagging
Yes, blw does involve gagging, but not choking. There is a very big difference. When a
baby gags they will bring the food back up and generally spit it out. Then they’ll move onto the next piece of food. The gag reflex on a baby is further forward in the mouth and gradually moves back as the baby gets older. When an adult gags, the offending item is right at the back of the throat so when we see a baby gag we assume the same. Normally the food item will be further forward and easily spat out. Though when weaning any baby, safety must be adhered to. Cut foods such as grapes, cherry tomatoes and olives in halve and squash beans, peas and chick peas etc.


Easy Weaning
Having been able to compare two types of weaning, traditional and baby led, I can
honestly say blw wins hands down for me. If I’m out and about and hungry, I’ll choose a
healthy meal so my daughter can share it. She can eat with the rest of us and enjoy the
whole experience of eating together as a family.
If she eats all her food I just give her some more of mine, or as has happened before, I just go round picking the best bits of everyone else’s plates and give this to her!

I would say blw is a newish concept but this is what we did before blenders were invented so it really isn’t new. And if I have anymore babies (wink wink at my husband!) I’ll definitely do it this way again.

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