To Puree or Baby Led Weaning (BLW)??
A lot of parents when they want to start introducing food to their babies are filled with a lot of excitement and anxiety and the thought of their baby finally eating solids... Many of us over-prepare and many of us under-prepare plus all the noise from everyone around, needless to say it can all be a bit overwhelming.
The one suggestion I will give is DO NOT FORCE YOU BABY TO EAT. For the next little while, what they are drinking is more important. Do not starve them because you want them to eat more, their tongues will only frustrate them and make feeding even harder. So take your time especially when introducing new food. The beginning should only be for tasting and getting used to the concept of eating.
Let's talk about all the opinions on what, when, and how exactly you should start introducing solids. The general consensus here is 4-6 months, I personally like the suggestion of paying attention to your child's interest in food, which usually occurs around this time.
What I've noticed is that culture plays a role in the suggestions you get and some of them might seem nuts!
I have a friend whose husband is Sri Lankan and his family suggested giving the baby spicy food (I am not sure why). I have a Grenadian friend whose family suggested putting a little rum in the baby's milk to sleep better (Caribbean people - I see you). Plus, my husband's aunt said to me that coffee makes babies smarter.
SO needless to say, there will be a lot to decipher on the eating journey.
This is why I thought some insight from your favorite blogger might help you out a bit!
Why I prefer BLW
Purees are too much work. Baby Led Weaning usually means making the baby's meal the same time as my own. Even if she is not eating exactly what I am it is easy to make her version along side the general meal. And, a lot of times she is eating exactly what we are eating.
My baby is not afraid of eating different textures. Which translates to me being able to feed her almost anything. Plus this is good exercise for her tongue.
Practicing chewing is very important. This can lead to better speech and oral motor skills.
It's great for hand-eye coordination.
Plus babies seem to be more interested in food they can feed themselves and take their time with if they need to.
DO I EVER GIVE HER PUREES
Absolutely! When she started eating at 5 months - I pureed for about 2 weeks. BLW is recommended for babies 6 months and up!
I still do apple sauce/pear sauce occasionally plus yogurt and baby cereal/porridge for 'breakfast' and 'dinner'. I breastfeed when she wakes up and then later on she gets 'breakfast' - she eats dinner and a little later on she is breastfed before bed. (You can do this with formula as well). There are different strategies, this is just the one I use.
Popular foods like sweet potato, banana and avocado are just smashed if anything. When you start feeding, even when doing BLW, serving them smashed can be a good starting point. I still do sweet potatoes smashed for the most part because this is the way I also eat it.
A combination of the two works well for many moms!
Just remember to serve the healthiest version of every food.. SO if you are serving pasts/rice choose the brown one. If I make soup, I take our her share first and then I will add more salt or spicy pepper to ours.
IS IT MESSY??
It sure is!
BUT MY BABY HAS NO TEETH
They can still chew on pasta! You wouldn't believe how strong those tiny gums are.
I AM AFRAID MY BABY WILL CHOKE
Just be sure to cut your slices in shapes that are easy for your baby to hold. For example, when I started giving my baby cucumber at 6 months. I just cut it into wedges. And boy did she love that cold cucumber on her gums (my son too). Cucumber is an underrated hit with babies.
I HAVE TOO MUCH ANXIETY LOOKING AT MY BABY FEED HERSELF
This is just the beginning of watching your baby and kids try new things. It is healthy to encourage their independence. Plus you should be present when your baby is eating anyways. I personally believe in encouraging them to challenge themselves for all their milestones, but if you really don't feel comfortable with it - YOU ARE THE MAMA, you don't have to do BLW!!
THINGS IVE NOTICED
Because I am not caught up looking for baby food and what to make for my baby. I spend way less money on unnecessary gadgets and food, My baby has turned into a really great eater who tries everything!
PLUS DID I MENTION HOW TIME CONSUMING PUREE MAKING IS??!!!
Hope you found this helpful!