Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FF: Baby-Led Weaning

Since the food party has begun for our sweet Linus I thought I'd post 5 favorites about how we do solids in our home. I heard about baby-led weaning from a friend. From then on, I did some reading and internet researching to no end. Everything just made sense to me; so we gave it a go.

1. Get in my mouth!
I love how our babies learn! Their inquiring minds are inspiring! Littles around the age of birth are learning to live with each breath they take. They take the world in with all of their senses. At around 4-6 months, the little ones start sticking anything and everything into their mouths. It's what they do. It's how they learn about the things around them. Case in point below.
Bigfoot was a pro at sticking all things under the sun in his mouth. Whether he was teething and self-soothing his gums or just learning the ins and outs of a new toy.
So, I figured how better to learn about food than letting them do what they do at this age.

This age being 6 months and on only because you want your little to be decently sitting upright. Sitting up helps with digestion and there's no pressure on intake when you go this route. BLW really encourage the nursing relationship because of the awesome nutrition factor, but formula babies can do this also! The idea is they get nursed first and then onto the food party. 

Learning is living, and this method really lets that happen! And, I love it!

2. Exploring is Fun
Textures, colors, smells, touch, and so many other delicious to-dos! The little ones get to explore! And, exploring is FUN!

I loved watching Bigfoot explore his foods. And now we get to enjoy it again with Linus.
Their faces light up when a new taste or texture enters their little mouths! It's exciting, new, and refreshing.
So fun!

3. Baby-led made sense and was low-maintenance
Babies technically led the way in all things food from the time in our wombs. They've dictated how much and when for quite a while once we get to the point of solids. Even moreso since we were blessed to be able to exclusively nurse, Bigfoot and Linus have always been in charge of intake.
So, I figured, why change up things now. I've trusted them thus far, might as well keep on keeping on.
Bigfoot was great. He loved his foods. He loved trying new things. He knew when he liked something and when he didn't. Meanwhile, all of his major nutritional needs were continuously being satisfied by our nursing relationship.

Also, a major plus was that I didn't have to do any extra work of pureeing foods or buying jarred foods. Nice on the budget and the idea is the littles eat what we eat - age appropriate of course. In fact, doing things this way made sure we were having baked veggies with our meals a number of times a week. Baked veggies are good because they are just soft enough for our little ones to gum in the earlier days of learning to chew and swallow. After a few months of learning and exploring, Bigfoot was eating meals I made. Spices, textures, and so much more. I never had to cook to him, which was nice.

4. Hands-Free!
They feed themselves. No spoon feeding. Another plus for my low-maintenance self!

Bigfoot was always so good about waiting for his food because he was so used to us all sitting down and then getting our food at the same time. He would sit, wait, pray, then eat. Every once in awhile he would get fidgity but for the most part he was just always so excited about getting something new.

I can already see Linus falling in that pattern too. Both boys sit, wait, we pray, then we eat. As soon as Linus gets in his chair he gets excited and starts looking around in anticipation. Once I put something on his tray - it's go time!
Now in regards to silverware, Bigfoot isn't a total pro just yet, but we started him pretty early. He loved it and for the most part does pretty well. Allowing them to feed themselves earlier on helps out with their dexterity which is always a nice side perk.
And, sippy cup fun starts early. They start sippin' on some water. Linus does need some assistance with this, but for the most part he gets it, likes it, and knows what its for.

This one counts as a favorite, because I like my food too! And, come meal time I am usually ready to eat. Being able to give the boys their food and sit with them while we all enjoy our meal makes me a very happy and well-fed mama!

5. Family fun for all
And, my last favorite is the fun! Food is fun! It's wonderful! It's a gift! It's nourishing and good and should bring smiles and togetherness.

But, my absolute favorite aspect of the dinner table fun is that we are all together as a family, eating as a family, and enjoying as a family. It's a good time.
The two pictures (one above and one below) were taken yesterday. Linus has been eating solids for a week. He started his food adventure with avocados (my most absolute favorite thing to eat always & forever! Right up there with grapefruits!). Since then he has had banana, carrots, apple, puffs, and rice crackers. 

What I love about these pictures is how both boys are just sitting and enjoying. I was sitting and enjoying too (GeekMan was a little late for dinner that day because of work, but he would have been there otherwise!)! 
My absolute favorite moment as of recent was the first time we all sat down at the table to eat. We were all enjoying our food; nourishing ourselves with gifts from above. It was a good moment. A moment I love being  present for everyday, three times a day.

It's the little things for me. I know this little method isn't all kinds of fancy. And, I know all babies learn to eat and there is nothing wrong with one way or the other. But, this one works for us and really feels like an adventure. 

I've written more about our food journeys with Bigfoot here and have a number of links to resources on that post as well. Check it out if you're at all curious. And, thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Came for theme Thursday, love the double posts AND feeding posts!


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