Exploring Baby-Led Weaning
When I had my first, I was working full-time at a demanding job in tech. My supply dropped after returning to work, and I was looking forward to exploring solids with my baby. I was intimidated by the idea of making purees myself, and hadn't heard about it until we were well into our journey with store-bought purees and rice cereal.
Fast forward to my second baby, and I never bought a puree or packaged baby food. We started with mashed avocados, bananas, steamed fruit and veggies that I pureed in the blender. It was so easy and I loved making fresh food for her. I involved big sister and it was a fun toddler activity for her.
Big sister Adalynn making baby food for Ellery
Now with Lilah, my third baby, I had a no-pressure framework that encourages curiosity and exploration rather than relying on solids for caloric value - at least in the early stages.
Lilah, 5 months tasting avocado
How we do baby-led-weaning:
1) Intro real foods gradually. For us, it’s initially more about playfully encouraging curiosity and interest versus pushing our littles to eat for the nourishment.
2) We don’t get fancy, we steam zucchini and sweet potatoes, and offer steamed veggies in a silicone feeder like @booninc Silicone pulp feeder. We also slice fresh strawberries, ripe banana, or ripe avocado and put those in the feeder. Occasionally we offer new flavors and textures with a spoon. We avoid choking hazards, sticking to soft foods and avoid honey until 12 months.
3) We encourage baby to feed herself either with the silicone feeder, a spoon, or picking food up with her fingers. She’s in control!
Lilah, 6 months self-feeding yogurt
4) We introduce new foods every few days, and started when she had strong head and neck control, and could sit up assisted.
5) Lilah is 5 and a half months, and still gets a majority of her calories from breast milk. She gets about one tablespoon of solids 1-2X per day. We will gradually increase her solids based on her interest!
We follow @solidstarts and @feedinglittles for baby self-feeding and baby-led-weaning ideas!
Happy feeding and weaning (at you and your baby’s own unique pace❤️)!
Disclaimer: always consult with your pediatrician before starting any solids. Every baby is different and follows a unique development schedule!