Baby Solids: Baby Led Weaning vs Purées
This is a follow up to my previous post where I share what we did for solids from 4-6 months.
At 6 months, I really noticed a change in Aurora and a much greater interest in food. Now it was much harder to eat in front of her as she was very interested in what was on my plate. At around 6 months, Aurora also started to crawl, and her being more mobile made it even harder to keep food away from her! I really welcomed her interest in food though, as I know that could only help her become a better eater.
There are two schools of thought: Baby Led Weaning and Purées only. I saw the merits in each and decided to do a modified form that included both styles.
Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is giving your child whole pieces of food, cut into manageable yet larger pieces/chunks so that they can grasp and feed themselves.
- Baby practices dexterity, pincer grasp and handling food
- Baby chooses what they want to eat
- Baby practices “chewing” by gnawing on the foods
- This approach is more exploratory
- Parent doesn’t have to give every spoonful (though watching and helping is necessary)
- Parent saves time if making purées
- However, I still spent time preparing the BLW foods
- Baby might not get a lot of food successfully from fingers to mouth
- Baby might get frustrated that they can’t get food into mouth
- More success in actually getting nutrition into your baby’s mouth
- Parent can direct more of the exposure to tastes
- Pouches are useful on the go
- Time consuming to prepare (if making own)
- Can be expensive if buying jars/pouches
- Can be taxing to figure out good combinations & vary meals
- Baby can get bored or not use hands as much
- I found that a combination of BLW and Purées was the best approach for Aurora.
- I wanted to make sure that she had good exposure to tastes and I wanted to get nutrition and calories into her little body, so purées were a staple of every meal.
- I enjoy making food for her, so when I had time, I liked to prepare purees with my Béaba, and experiment with new combinations.
- Aurora was very into BLW as she loves to feed herself. She got very good at the pincer grasp and at handling food quickly–she realized that there was a reward to learning how to do it well!
- I found that combination for each meal worked well as while she was picking something up, I’d get a spoon loaded and waiting. After she swallowed the bite that she fed herself, I’d offer the spoon.
- I felt good knowing that I guaranteed that she good nutrition with purees but she had the fun, exploratory aspect of feeding herself with the BLW foods.
- I also watched many Youtube videos on Infant CPR and walked through it with my babygroup leader. I do suggest doing an Infant CPR course. I used to be a lifeguard so feel pretty confident but have signed up for one just in case as I feel it is valuable to know.