Highchair is from Ikea for $20 fyi! Highchair silicone mat & cusion cover- yeahbabygoods
HI GUYS. Remember when my goal was to blog more???? Yeah, go ahead and lol @ ME for being amazing and not following that goal very well. IT'S FINE. Guys, running a business and raising a very active little sweetie take up 110% of my time. Adding the extra 10% bc that sweetie up there still has a 3:30am feeding most nights and I'm like "B, I'm trying to sleep, are you sure you want to nurse at this hour??" and she's like "mom, duh, now pop out that boob". In case you were wondering what our silent telepathy conversations sounded like. Anyways, since B turned 6 months, I've been slowly introducing solids!! SHE LOVES SOLIDS. Like so so so so so much! Also- we learned she knew how to use a straw when she was grabbing for mine (I had a chocolate milk shake) and so I let her chew it and she sucked it up so quick before I realized she knew exactly what she was doing hahaha. That sugary sip was like crack because she kept grabbing for it and going wild trying to suck out more! My child :)
Anyways, let's preface this post real quick! My goal is to nurse B for a full year. Just a personal little goal of mine and we are 7 months strong! I, however, would like her to wean herself but also not have a 10 year old asking for milk, ya feel me? I had heard about baby led weaning here and there prior to having B but I always felt like it would be the right route for us! Baby led weaning is basically skipping all the jarred baby food & puree's and going straight for the good stuff of actual real pieces of food. Depending on their age, you give them bigger pieces of food that they can hold and bite off little pieces and chew/gum into pieces they can safely swallow. This also usually leads to a little gagging as they get used to swallowing and learning to chew things up enough, etc. Babies have heightened gagging reflexes anyways so gagging is 100% normal and totally fine! Choking is different than gagging and obviously choking isn't good and should be helped asap.
(the false advertising part of this post is B is for sure never wearing clothes when I feed her because it's a messy ordeal! I just have this weird mama bear instinct that is a little freaked out to post shirtless pics of her on the internet. Because you hear crazy stories about weirdos on the internet. So that's why she's eating a simple cracker haha aka crumbs don't stain cute jumpers. K bye)
Pros to baby led weaning:
- More opportunities for babies to eat fresh + healthy foods instead of canned processed baby food
- They get used to different textures right off the bat which is said to make them less picky as they grow
- Less time consuming prep because I literally give her exactly what I eat
- Baby eats until they're full vs being fed food and possibly over eating, said to carry on into adulthood of not overeating. Wish I had this skill now ;)
- It's been said this method helps babies be less picky with foods since they're introduced to a lot of tastes and textures right away
- Helps with hand-eye coordination
- They learn how to feed themselves!! Which means you get to eat while they eat instead of feeding them first and then eating your food after. yay!
And there's plenty of other pros, just ask google or pinterest! Aka where I got all my info anyways.
Cons to baby led weaning:
- Not every baby will like it and some prefer purees (maybe not a con but it wasn't a pro so it's on the con list)
- It's messssssssy. 1/2 (or more) of her food ends up on the floor or in her seat as she's learning! Sometimes when she is eating something, it slips out of her hand or she squeezes it to hard and it gets all over, but she is learning how to hold things better so maybe less messy soon??)
- People judge the ^$@%* out of you if your baby gags because they think you're just a dumb mom who gives their kid chunks of food and wants them to choke. Just be prepared for people to freak a little because it isn't "the norm". Remember that gagging is TOTALLY FINE (& normal!) as they learn they need to chew things more or push it out of their throat and stuff. And obviously don't feed a baby an entire grape or things that anyone without teeth could easily choke on.
Foods to try for baby led weaning:
- Crackers (I love ritz because they're soft and yummy and easy for her to hold)
- Apple slice. She loves gnawing on apple slices and bites off teeny tiny pieces and then chews those up and swallows
- Banana chunk (length of a finger)
- Avocado slice
- Spaghetti squash with a little sauce. SUPER messy but also super cute so it's worth it
- Strips of toast
- Cooked baby carrot/ other cooked veggies like zucchini, celery, etc.
- Pasta (penne is a good sized one)
- Strawberry. I usually give her one with the tip cut a little so she can gnaw it and bite off teeny chunks. These are so messy!
I try to give her healthy foods as much as I can but she realllly loves crackers the most it seems! Right now, I usually give her a little something whenever I eat something. Obviously 99% of her food intake is breast milk but she does love to try all these foods. It's so cute how excited she gets when I put something on her highchair tray. She grabs it and eats it so quick! I do give her some "baby food" if I'm eating it- like apple sauce, oatmeal, and recently she seems to like those squeeze packet things. I make these intense green smoothies every morning that I try to give her a little bit of but she seems to mostly love feeding herself overall. Usually I will put food on a spoon and let her try to feed it to herself. Usually she needs some assistance if i don't want it going down her shirt.
Here is a good pic to show sizes to use, if I give her meat, I shred it up a bit more than this pic but you get the idea! I also don't give her blueberries or little chunks (as shown in that pic) yet. I will as she gets older, but for now, the bigger finger sized pieces of food work great for her!
Obviously whatever you choose to do for your baby is what you feel is best! Baby led weaning isn't best for everyone. Pretty much anything in motherhood will never be "best" for everyone and that is the beauty of it! We can all learn so many things and we get to pick and choose what we feel is BEST for OUR babies!! We love baby led weaning so far and as she eats more and more, I am hoping she weans off of breast milk before she's like 18. (or like 14 months, it's fine) If you have any tips for weaning off of milk send them my way! I have a few months before I will think much more about it but I welcome the tips for future reference. Also, my highchair mat and cushion is from a cute shop called Yeah baby goods. She is the nicest and is offering 15% off her shop with the code "lovelylittlerants15" :)