Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baby-Led Feeding

So I've been looking into the concept of baby-led feeding (also have found it called baby-led weaning--no idea what the difference is or if there is one) as an approach to starting baby food. So far, Blueberry has started to show interest in grown-up food but really more as a curiosity thing than an actual, "I need more food" thing. This got me thinking about starting solids and when to start solids and what to do and so on and so forth. I'm wanting to breastfeed for as long as possible, but at the same time, if she's interested in playing with food--why not?!

Any of you readers of mine out there have much knowledge on this topic?

5 comments:

Stephanie said...

I'm not sure how this works for most kids, but I started Toby on baby cereal at 4 months and he caught right on. (He's always been a great eater though.) The baby food didn't seem to reduce his breastfeeding at all. I think he was just at the point where he needed more calories than the breast milk could provide. He went on to nurse regularly until he was a year old. I started to wean him soon after that because I was pregnant again.

Is it pretty common for baby food to reduce a baby's interest in breastmilk or formula?

Hillery said...

Funny thing, I just read an article on this very topic not 10 minutes ago! And I even thought about forwarding it to you.

I think the baby-led weaning/feeding go hand in hand. The principle being that if you let baby decide when they are ready to eat solids, they will then need less milk and begin the process of weaning naturally. Instead of the idea of cold-turkey weaning or mom-led weaning when baby wakes up one day, they are X months or years old and mom says, "No more nursing/bottle for you, only a cup and solid food." Instead of waiting for them to show signs of transitioning.

After doing the puree with Gabbie and none with Davy, and trying baby food with Lily to no avail, I am enjoying the idea of baby-led feeding. Like today when she wanted my food and I gave her a cracker and she ate the whole thing, or the other night when she ate sweet potato off my spoon, but spits out all "baby food."

Here it the linky to the article I just read. http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/115704/your_baby_doesnt_need_purees?utm_medium=sm&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=natural_fanpage

Ouph said...

LOL. Great minds think alike I guess. Here are some links to the articles I've been reading on it. http://www.babyledweaning.com/forum/; http://realbabyrealfood.com/; http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/03/13/baby-essentials-that-arent-part-7-baby-food/.

So far I'm really liking the concept. And hey, sounds like waaaay less work on my part. The only thing I kind of question is just giving anything. I think I'm a little more cautious and want to at least have tried different ingredients individually before mixing them.

Ouph said...

Stephanie--I'm not sure. I would think so as they're getting more calories from that. Check out the links I posted above, you might find it really interesting (and far easier with Abigail than trying to find baby food in SEA).

almamater1@juno.com said...

I haven't read the posted articles, so I won't speak to them. I think with your celiac/allergy situation I would be cautious about introducing foods a single ingredient at a time so you can assess more easily if Charlaberry has inherited any of these issues. I occasionally use some baby foods or make my own, but mostly Baby eats what we have on the plate. Sunshine's first food was a fistful of guacamole...yum! Juju ate a jar of baby food carrots the other day, but today enjoyed some Goldfish from her sister and some peas from the Chicken Pot Pie on my dinner plate. Also, she finds a lot of treats on the floor ;) (Can you eat off of my kitchen floor? Oh yes, several meals a day, in fact!) Of course, we strongly discourage such a diet! I am kind of lazy about making baby food, but am cautious about introducing the buzz-foods: dairy, wheat, citrus, egg. Once they prove to be okay, eat away, Baby!

I have always understood that the first solids are the start of weaning, but certainly haven't found that the early eating ventures do anything to discourage breastfeeding. My babes have all nursed 2-21/2 years--so far. You do what you can and works best for you and your babe.