Baby-led weaning is a simple way to introduce solid foods to your little one. Read on to find out how easy it can be: no jars or blender needed!
The “correct” way to introduce solid foods to babies has changed a lot since I was a kid. Currently, as long as a child doesn’t have any history of allergies, it is safe to introduce all foods (except honey) before a year old, as long as the baby only drinks breast milk or formula.
When we had our first two children, we had no money for baby food. I wasn’t interested in getting government aid if I could avoid it, so I looked into making my own baby food. It wasn’t hard to do, but my babies didn’t like it very much. I tried to get them to eat it, but I ended up using the leftovers in our own food so they wouldn’t go to waste. (It turns out that pureed fruits are pretty tasty in pancakes.)
By the time I had my third, I had found some information on baby-led weaning and decided to give it a try. It really works! Baby-led weaning has some pretty awesome advantages, and all you have to do is feed your baby what you are eating at your meals, assuming he/she won’t choke on it.
- You don’t have to buy baby food.
- You don’t have to make baby food either!
- It’s ridiculously easy.
- Your baby will get to experience a lot of different flavors at a young age.
- Your baby will get lots of practice learning to feed him/herself.
There are a few disadvantages too.
- You might get weird looks. Rice cereal has been so ingrained (see what I did there?) in everyone’s mind as a first food that doing something different seems really strange. My babies LOVE rice, but I could never get them to eat rice cereal, even with stuff mixed in! Have you ever tasted it? It’s pretty gross.
- Your baby might gag on stuff and freak you out a little. See this article for the difference between gagging and choking. I have never had a child choke on anything.
- It’s potentially messier. When I start giving my babies solids at 6 months, I expect them to feed themselves. The mess is nothing that a bath can’t solve, though, and some foods are just worse than others.
In conclusion, I absolutely loved using baby-led weaning. Though a bit messy, I found it to be very cheap and convenient for my family.