Tuesday, November 8, 2011

having a go: baby-led feeding

A quick google search yesterday uncovered a lovely article in the Sydney Morning Herald about baby-led feeding, or baby-led weaning. It talked to a lovely mum with cool art on her wall who had introduced solids to her little boy via soft, hand-held pieces, rather than the traditional rice cereal-purees-mash route.

I had a conversation with my awesome early childhood nurse about a month ago, about baby-led feeding. I had seen little mentions of it around the interwebs, and I was surprised to hear her response in support of it. I had fully expected Well, dear, that's fine, but your baby will probably choke. Instead I got a wealth of information about suitable foods to use, why this method is beneficial, and how to tell if bub is ready to eat food.

So, we are having a crack at it. This is why:
1. She's ready. She can sit up in the highchair. She can pick things up in her hands and bring them to her mouth. Her tongue thrust reflex is gone. She is interested in what is happening at mealtimes.
2. I am, essentially, lazy. I remember a strong feeling of satisfaction at cooking up lovely purees of fruit and vegetables for my sons. But busyness is taking over this time 'round. The thought of sitting and spoon feeding during the morning rush sends my brain into meltdown.
3. Despite my amazing ability to over complicate anything, logic wins. It just seems to make more sense to start the way you intend to finish. I can't see a good reason to teach a baby to accept food from a spoon when she can learn to put food in her own mouth. Surely this will aid in her co-ordination and her eventual ability to spoon feed herself? Also, I never really 'got' the rice cereal thing. It smells and tastes awful, and made my babies constipated.

4. Eating is a lovely social behaviour. I want our family to enjoy sitting around the table and sharing a meal, and the little one should be included in that! I only have to see how the toddler follows his big brother's lead if he is offered some food he isn't sure about, to know that so much that we learn about food comes from those around us.

So, there you go. We have been having a go for about three weeks now, no pressure, just little bits. Here are some links to more information about baby-led feeding:
Baby Knows Best SMH article
Baby Led Weaning- The Mush Stops Here fab website with blog, forum and recipes. First stop, really!
Baby-Led Weaning an Aussie mum's blog about her little girl learning to eat
Starting Solid Foods by Gill Rapley, on the Australian Breastfeeding Association website

Remember to talk to your Early Childhood nurse, this is just an account of my experience, not expert advice! How are you going/ did you go about supporting your children learning to eat?


  1. Skye worked very well with baby-led feeding. She never ate rice cereal and after a week or 2 of yoghurt we started on pieces of banana etc and she loved it. She is almost 2 and happily eats a wholoe apple or pear including skin and her favourite vegetable is broccoli. I found making and feeding her puree's much more stressful for both of us :)

  2. I used this method with my third baby and now at 11 months she is an excellent eater. Definitely a great way to introduce solids. No rice cereal in sight! I posted about it a few months ago too. By the way, your little one has the most amazing lashes!

  3. She certainly looks like she's ready and enjoying eating there:) I had never heard of this method before until recently but my girls are big now but it makes sense and makes life easier too. Your little girl is gorgeous.

  4. Cute!!!
    We baby led weaned my daughter too, at 6 months-her first food was a whole pear with skin on, her second a piece of steak! she didn't even have any teeth but it'd didn't stop her!
    I like it, it's respectful both of babies abilities and preferences, if very very messy!

  5. I was wondering if you continued on with the baby led weaning? How did it all go? We did traditional puree with Cooper, but wondering whether i should look into this for Indiana?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...