I had no idea about this with my oldest, the only baby food I really knew about was the purees. As he got older I started hearing more about it, but at that time he was already out of that stage. So with our daughter I wanted to do it once I did a lot more research and knew I was comfortable doing it.
I want to briefly talk about the term, because there seems to be a lot of confusion around it. Think of it as baby led feeding instead of baby led weaning. That is important to know because you are not decreasing your baby’s milk intake from the start. You are actually adding solid foods to your feeding schedule and gradually replacing breastfeeding and/or formula with the foods.
When your baby starts to have solid foods consistently, the milk feeds will naturally become shorter and less frequent over time. By the end of the first year, it’s most likely that they will drop to 2-3 per day.
When do I serve the solids?
Choose a time of day when you both are relaxed and not on a time crunch. You might have to play around with different times until you find the perfect time for you both. When I started our BLW journey our time was morning. Make sure your baby is not overly hungry or too full. You want your baby to be hungry but not so hungry they are overly upset because then they wont want to try the foods. I usually like to offer solid foods 45 minutes after breastmilk when we first started. You also want to make sure your baby is comfortable, any discomfort could hinder your baby from eating. Don’t make your expectations too high and don’t worry too much about consumption because eating that first month or so is mainly for practice and exploration (it will get messy).
As your baby starts to eat more, add the second meal because you want to work up to three meals a day by the time they are 9-10 months. I personally was at three meals a day with my daughter a little before that but that is just how it worked out with us.
Why did I decide to do it?
I didn’t want to worry about bringing purees everywhere we go. I wanted her to be able to eat with us. I also feel like it has helped with her not being a picky eater. It is also so fun and exciting being able to see her and watch her facial expressions when exploring new textures and flavors.
How do I do it?
There are many people who do long strips of food so the baby can pick it up, but what works with us is we break the food into bite sized bites. She has very good control with her pincer grasp and has always done great this way. There are a few foods that I put in strips for her and they are avocado, banana, and toast.
You want to make sure you are never giving babies anything rounded that could get stuck and always cut food into strips or bite sized pieces. I recommend reading and watching videos on it before you start, just so you have an idea of what it looks like and choking vs. gagging because there is a big difference in the two. There are many accounts on Instagram that has helped me and using Pinterest for meal ideas and once you start it is easy to make your own recipes.
We are about three months away from Quaytn having her first cake…..for her first birthday! I am very positive that our food loving little girl is going to be all over it!
I do plan on writing more about this topic and sharing my meals that I have made for Quaytn with you guys. I do hope that this was helpful to get you started and I know it’s a lot to juggle and you may be thinking that you need more guidance so If you have any questions or want to chat about this please feel free to reach out at any time!
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