28 May 2012

Baby Led Weaning V's the Spoon

As I have mentioned before my daughter Evie is a great little eater. Evie was text book when it came to weaning, as she was sleeping so well on my breast milk we started weaning at 6 months.  This made it easy as she was physically ready for finger food and there was no real restrictions on what should could eat.  Max on the other hand is a hungry boy, he is constantly getting interrupted during feeds because he has a 3 year old sister and he also really dislikes the bottle.  The 3 milk feeds during the night couldn't go on any longer as I really needed some beauty sleep, this meant we turned to food earlier than planned.  What a difference it has made to his sleep. This has meant that I've had to change my weaning approach.

When I first weaned Evie we started to follow the baby led weaning approach, this is where you give your child finger food and allow them to essentially feed themselves.  They quickly learn how to move food round their mouth and how to hold different foods, which could be anything from slices of friut, toast or a bowl of pasta.  Its great to watch...but not quite so much fun to clean up! After a few weeks I realised that baby led weaning takes time, and lots of it!  It felt like all we'd done was live in the kitchen so I decided to also introduce the spoon.  From then on most of Evie's meals would consist of some mashed/purĂ©ed food, generally what we'd been eating, and also some finger foods.  Max is essentially the reverse of this.  As we started weaning him younger his co-ordination and gag reflex is not yet developed enough to be able to start with finger food.  He's got off to a flying start with the spoon and is as happy as ever, so I know this is right for him.  Just over the last couple of weeks his co-ordination has greatly improved and is now almost ready for finger food.  He's started to suck on cold cucumber and melon slices, which also gives him some nice relief on those sore gums, plus he's also perfected his throwing skills as bits of cucumber get hurled across the room.

My honest opinion is there is no right or wrong approach on how you wean your baby, but what is essential is that you read your baby's signs and adapt what you do to meet their needs.  If you can do this, then I'm sure the whole experience will be much more enjoyable and relaxing for you and your baby.

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