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There are too many choices when it comes to raising a child. Choices I had no idea that I was going to have to make. Pacifier? No pacifier? Types of bottles so that baby doesn’t get nipple confusion. Types of crib sheets for allergies or for the weather or to color coordinate with your child’s PJ’s for the night. Types of PJ’s (I’m Team Snaps, my spouse is Team Zipper). One choice that I was not prepared to make was when, how, what we would do for our baby’s solids journey.
I’m Lisa and this is my son Atlas, and this is our story of how we chose to do baby led weaning vs. the traditional baby purées.
We didn’t start solids until 7 months because I wasn’t in a rush and I was looking for the signs from my son to see if he was ready. I wanted him to be able to sit up unassisted and have the tongue reflex needed to start solids. When he started following our food with his eyes and trying to grab our food out of our hands, that was a good indicator that we needed to hurry up and decide the how, when, what we were going to do!
We loved the idea of baby led weaning because it “seemed” easier because he would eat what we were eating just cut up in a different way. (I put ‘seemed’ in quotes because nothing is ever easy, especially things that you think are going to be easier!) One benefit was it forced my spouse and I to eat better because if it was something I didn’t want to give Atlas (like fried food) we didn’t eat it for dinner. But it was hard on days when we would eat leftovers and Atlas didn’t eat it the first two times, we had the meal, so he wasn’t going to eat it the third time.
If you are thinking of doing baby led weaning, here are my tips to succeed or at least to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone:
Every baby’s journey into the solids world is different and you have to find what works best for your family. And sometimes what you think will work, your baby will dictate something completely different. Parenting is full of choices and this one should be a fun exploration of figuring out what your baby can or won’t eat.
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