Accidental Baby Led Weaning

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When K was four months old, the doctor suggested starting her on rice cereal. She was a little peanut in the weight department, and he thought it might help her sleep through the night (haven’t we all heard a variation on this?) So, just before Christmas, we started spoon-feeding her a brown-rice cereal…and she loved it! Gobbled up bowl after bowl…until her stomach protested. She had gas pains, constipation, and really struggled to go to the bathroom. So we backed off until 6 months, when we attempted to introduce other foods.

I prided myself in making all of my own baby food for K. I whipped up combinations like pear and ginger, avocado and lime, and cinnamon peach. And though we offered a spoon to K several times a day, she wanted nothing to do with these purées.

We had decent success with store-bought pouches; she seemed to love them! So I ordered some reusable ones from Amazon; this way, my farmers-market-fresh fruits and veggies wouldn’t go to waste. But the little stinker knew the difference, and would ONLY eat the store bought pouches. Puffs were a hit, as were Cheerios…but a baby can’t survive on carbs alone!

By the time she hit nine months, she had 6 teeth, was skinny as a string bean, and still only showed limited interest in food. Knowing full well that she needed to be eating something other than breastmilk and puffs by the time I went back to work in August, we tried seeing what food she showed an interest in.

And wouldn’t you know it, she was interested in ANYTHING from my plate. Hot, cold, breakfast, dinner- it didn’t matter. If I was eating it with a fork or spoon, K wanted some. So that’s what we started giving her. Slowly at first, because gagging freaks the heck out of me, but then with more gusto as we realized the kid would eat almost anything!

Avocado, black beans, chicken, tofu (in spicy peanut sauce!), fish sticks, pasta salad…anything she could chew and gum, she devoured.

We’re sitting here just shy of 10 months, and after a good 4 months of struggling, I can confidently say that K is a good eater. She learned the sign for ‘more’ quickly; the faster she signs, the faster she can cram her face. I can’t sit down with a plate before she’s pulling up on my lap, saying ‘mmm’ and signing ‘more’.

I didn’t plan on baby led weaning , frankly, the idea of her gagging and choking freaked me right out. But BLW found us, and it’s been easier, healthier, and more fun than I could have imagined!

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