Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Led Weaning

With Evelyn, we are handling the introduction of solids much differently than we did Miles and Vivienne.  With the twins, we were always focused on getting them to eat more and grow, because they were somewhat small (though the doctors never had any concern about this whatsoever).  In retrospect, I think we were more concerned about it than we need to be.  We introduced homemade baby food around 8 months, if I remember correctly.

Evelyn is just over 6 months old, and she seems very interested in food.  She has had a small amount of baby food from a spoon and has eaten some regular food from our forks and spoons while we're eating.

We have now begun to do baby led weaning.  Basically, baby led weaning is just introducing solid foods (in actual solid form, not mashed) and letting the baby set the pace for what and how she wants to eat.

The term "baby-led weaning" appears to be a point of confusion for a lot of people.  My rough understanding is that in Europe, "weaning" is the beginning of introducing solid foods.  In the US, "weaning" typically means ending breastfeeding.  "Baby-led weaning" is just an unassisted way to introduce solid foods.  I am definitely not weaning Evelyn in the American sense, and I hope to nurse her for a long time to come.  I'm just introducing solid foods in their whole form.  

So far, I would say that Evelyn is a fan.  This baby loves to eat (or at least play with her food), and she seems thrilled that she gets to join in on the eating experience when we are all sitting at the table.  When we don't give her something to chew on, she gets very frustrated and complains.

She has had bananas, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, eggs and cheese and she seems to have liked all of them.

Baby led weaning gives babies the opportunity to explore color, taste and texture on their own, and allows them to decide how much to eat.  It also gives them some practice with their motor skills.  It was fun to watch Evelyn eat broccoli last night for the first time.

"Well, hello, broccoli.  I like you now, but I'm pretty sure I will reject you in about a year or so."


  1. Interesting to see it in action. How do you manage the choking hazard aspect? Like if she actually ate the broccoli, how does she mince it small enough? I've only read a tiny bit about this so I'm just curious. Can't wait to read more! And we are finding the while solid foods thing to also be far less stressful this time around too. It helps to have bigger babies and less growth concerns, we agree!

    1. Surprisingly enough, the choking hazard aspect is supposed to be minimized by the fact that the baby is controlling how much food is going into their mouth and how far back the food is going. I think the key is to cut it into large enough pieces (the size of a french fry) so that they can grasp it well. They are supposed to be able to chew without teeth (just using their gums). It seems weird, but sort of makes sense once you start reading about it.