Saturday, February 6, 2010

Baby-Led Weaning, Week 1

I can hardly believe it, but I've become a believer in Baby-Led Weaning. I honestly thought it was insane when I first saw my friend doing it with her daughter. (Love you Danielle!) I was a huge believer in the Super Baby Food method, to the extent that I have blogged about it and bought the book for nearly every new mom I know. But in the last week, I've become a complete convert.

Now, that's not to say that Super Baby Food is a bad choice for some babies. My son totally thrived on it. He loved his super porridge. He adored his food cubes turned into baby food. I absolutely loved making food for him. But my daughter? Two weeks into spoon feeding and she still hadn't actually swallowed more than a couple of bites of cereal. She appeared to hate bananas. She appeared to hate everything actually. Even the foods she liked she seemed only to tolerate.

Then I gave her that piece of asparagus and she loved it. And I realized, oh my gosh, that she might eat other things on her own as well. I asked Danielle about BLW, and she pointed me to some resources.

That night, I gave my girl a piece of avocado, about 1/4 of an avocado cut into 2 slices. She eagerly picked up a slice, brought it to her mouth, and nommed on it. The whole thing was gone before the rest of us got to the dinner table! That same night, we were all eating chicken and broccoli. I cooked her broccoli a little longer than ours (we like ours pretty crisp) and gave her some. She ate nearly all of it, leaving over just a stem that she had been holding on to. She didn't eat any chicken, but I think I made the pieces too small. When you are doing BLW, the pieces actually have to be a bit bigger at first, until they get a pincer grasp.

So far, baby girl has tried avocado, asparagus, broccoli, bananas, potatoes, whole wheat pasta, and red peppers, and she has at least tried if not loved all of them. Am I nervous about allergies? Perhaps I should be. I'm being careful that she doesn't eat anything too harsh (we took the potatoes out of the home fry mix before adding the chili powder for ourselves and we don't give her anything too acidic) and she doesn't eat anything in the major allergen groups that affect our families (no berries, shellfish, nuts or legumes for a while, but we don't eat nuts or legumes in the house anyway, and the point is she eats what we eat). With my son I waited 4 days between foods for over a year, and you know what? He wasn't allergic to anything. We did wait until he was 3 to give him some kinds of nuts and legumes, but the only allergic reaction he ever had he grew out of after a few months. Meanwhile, my daughter is enjoying food in a way I've never seen a baby enjoy food, and it's completely thrilling.

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