Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby Led Weaning: the first month

Baby led weaning is not weaning baby from breast milk or formula. A better way to say it is baby led solids. This is a no spoon feeding way of introducing your babe to solids.
It is most commonly recommended that you give your baby what you are eating while practicing baby led weaning. I think this is okay for older babies if you eat clean but I personally think it's awful for babies starting out.

The earliest you should start baby led weaning, or any solids, is 6 months. However, it is very common to wait even longer in the natural parenting community. Most people wait until their baby is expressing they are ready and interested in eating solids. If your baby is physically ready to try solids, he/she will: 

  • Not be drooling anymore. This means they have learned how to swallow without sucking. 
  • Can sit up.
  • Working on pincer grasp.
  • Tongue thrust reflex is gone.
Not all babies will have these by six months, that is why it is okay to wait until they are older. Not all babies are alike. They all develop and grow at their own pace. Look for these signs in your baby before you give them any solids. 

Now onto the more fun part of this post! What are the best first foods? There are so many opinions and advice in this, but these are the top ten first foods you should try!

(Another note: don't give baby too many new things at once. Start slow, adding a new food every few days to ensure there are no allergies or sensitivities.) 

Avocado. Super healthy, and easy for baby to eat! We used mesh feeders for the first few times so they weren't so slippery! 

Butternut Squash. Heathy, easy to serve cubed, or pureed!

Banana. Soft and easy to eat. Serve cubed or a "banana handle" like I do! 

Zucchini. Peel and sauté, bake, or steam! Amelia loves zucchini. 

Yellow squash. Treat the same as zucchini! 

Oatmeal. Using real oats, and not cooked in the microwave, oats are healthy and yummy! I add a little cinnamon and homemade vanilla or some smooshed up banana! 

Peas. Steamed well these are great for learning the pincer grasp! They're also a great veggie to purée along with another vegetable or even a fruit. Amelia liked them blended with banana, frozen in ice tray, and served in a mesh feeder. Perfect for teething!

Carrots. Something to try toward the end of this first month. Steam them well so they are very easily mushed by gums! 

Blueberries. Definitely not the first thing you should try but a good one for the first month. Blanch then cool to ensure the skin is very soft. 

Broccoli. Another to do toward he end of this month. At this stage it's best to steam it very well so that it's very soft! 

BLW is about feeding with respect. which is why there is no spoon involved. 

Do you practice baby led weaning?
What was your little one's favorite first food?


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