Baby-led Weaning (feeding) is a way of following your child’s lead when it comes to introducing solids into baby’s diet. Typically, solids are started at 6 months of age, and the first food introduced is a grain cereal. With BLW, we watch for baby’s cues that his digestive maturity and motor skills are ready for him to ingest and digest solid foods. Signs of readiness are: able to sit up independently, tongue-thrust reflex has disappeared, baby is ready and willing to chew (even if teeth are not present), baby is developing his pincer grip with forefinger and thumb, baby is interested in food and being at the table. The main principle behind BLW is to leave feeding up to your child and to offer actual solid foods instead of purees. And no need to make a special menu; just offer what’s on the table for the rest of the family. (Although salt should be used lightly or not at all while cooking. Older family members should salt their own food to taste.) Food is offered in pieces manageable for baby’s grasp, and the baby feeds himself. Steamed pieces of broccoli, carrots, potatoes, yams, zucchini, asparagus are great veggies to start with. Also, banana, avocado and ripe melon make easy first foods. Babies also enjoy exploring bones with small bits of meat. When baby learns to eat in this manner, he will actually ingest very little food and what is ingested will not be broken down. He will continue to depend on breastmilk or substitutes to meet his nutritional needs until well past the one-year mark. In the meantime, he will learn to chew and swallow, and will have tasted and experienced a wide variety of foods, flavours, and textures. For more information, visit http://www.babyledweaning.com/ and http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/ready-solids-links/ .
Submitted by Trayci Lepp