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Ok, it's early to be thinking about this since the baby isn't even here yet, but it's on my mind.
With DD I breastfed for 4 months, then switched to formula. Around six months we started introducing the rice cereals followed by store bought baby food from a jar. I was working full time and in school full time, and it was easier to drop her off at the babysitter with a jar that I bought, rather than cooking, pureeing, freezing, packaging, etc. Then when she started eating real food, it was just easier to give her things I knew she liked, rather than fighting with her to get her to try new things. This kickstarted 4 years of incredibly picky eating. I finally wised up and just stopped giving her any choice in the matter. She eats what we eat, end of story. And surprisingly, we've only had a handful of food related tantrums in the year or so since I started doing that.
With Baby #2, I'd like to skip the whole picky stage if I can. I'm not the slightest bit picky, but DH is and DD is, and it drives me absolutely nuts. I'm determined to do it right with baby #2. (Isn't that always the way? We figure out all our screw-ups with Baby #1.)
I've been looking into Baby-led weaning, and I have to say it looks promising. The idea of having the baby sit with us at meal times and get little bits of whatever it is that we're eating sounds great. From what I understand, it starts out as more of a tactile experience...learning to pick up the food and get it to their mouths...tasting a bit...eventually eating. In my mind, starting the baby out with a range of real foods rather than tasteless mush will lead to a child who grows up with a broad palate - not a child who grows up and refuses to eat anything but PB& J and goldfish crackers. Plus, it's a heck of a lot less work to just give the baby bits of food off my plate to play with and taste, rather than all the cooking, straining, pureeing, etc of baby food.
Does anyone have experience with baby-led weaning? I'll take any advice or stories of personal experience that I can get!
We did baby led weaning with Everett and I must say he is my least picky eater. I did make some purees in the beginning but we used everything from avocados to eggplant. Then when he was about 7/8 months we stopped them pretty much all together and I just cut up what we were eating really small and never looked back. I plan on doing the same this time.
Ditto, Lyndsey. We did it with Connor, and although his story is a little different because he had some developmental delays and wasn't really eating full solids until around a year, it was really easy to just give him finger foods. We started around 6 months and gave him sliced/chunked up avocado slices. Probably the most slippery food for a baby to try to handle! LOL I later read a tip to roll it (and bananas) in something like rice krispies or corn flakes or something like that.
We gave him the "low allergen" foods; avocado, banana, sweet potatoes to start out. As he got older, we just gave him whatever we were eating. Of course, nowadays all he eats is mac n cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas! LOL He definitely takes after his carb- and cheese-a-holic mama! But he will eat any type of fruit you put in front of him! He's never met a fruit he didn't like!
I don't know if what we did would be considered baby led weaning. We did give Alex food from our plates but we mashed it up real well and fed it to him with a spoon. We did give him his own spoon to play with and to try to scoop up food. When he got to be about 9 months the majority of the solids we gave him were in soft chunks for him to pick up (no more pureeing/mashing just cutting into cubes).
Very rarely do we make up his own plate of food. We only do it when our own plates of food are unacceptable due to it being mostly junk (lol) or when it would be too difficult/spicy for him to enjoy. We do try to make sure that there is at least one thing on his plate that we know he will eat.
'Scuse the bad typing, please. 'Breast is Best' but not when browsing the internet!
Yep we did BLW with Nolan. He never received any type of food tell he was almost 11 months old (Thanksgiving), but after that first taste BAM he is my best eater. He uses silverware great also.
But it has not lead to weaning
Sami, married to Joe, mama to Debra (9), Kaydence (7), Nolan (2) and Jarek born 6/26/2013, unassisted at home
^^ that's the other thing I would say came from the BLW we did, Connor has always used a fork (and later a spoon) so well. We've always gotten compliments on it at restaurants and such, he rarely used his fingers to eat once he was over a year. Even now, we have to ask for an extra fork or place setting when we go out because no one ever gives him one! I guess they expect toddlers to be fed or eat with their fingers?
We did BLW with DD we just didn't know it at the time. I did feed her cereal and jarred food at first for like a month. She was feeding herself with silverware at 8 months. She wasnt very picky but has started going thru a pickier phase once she hit 2. My child that would eat anything will now say she doesn't want her fave foods lol. She is a lot less picky than other kids though. She loves all kinds of fruits and veggies. She's never been much of a meat fan though unless it has some sweet sauce on it. Except fish she loves fish lol.
I have no experience of course, but I definitely want to try BLW because of all of the good things people have said about it. Also, they're saying now that once you know that baby isn't allergic to things (like bananas or peaches, etc) that adding spices in small quantities like cinnamon really helps with preventing food allergies later in life and also helps the baby develop tastes for more things.
We did BLW with B1 and will do it again with B2. B1 eats a huge variety of fruits and vegetables. He will choose sushi over ice cream and mushroom risotto and kale with cashew sauce are some of his favorite dishes.
He always had what we had, mashed up or cut up unless it was super spicy.
I don't know if I was just blessed with a good eater or if it was the BLW.