What Is Baby Led Weaning?
- January 8, 2015
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello everyone! Brrr it is COLD today here in NY. So happy to sitting on my bed with my nice furry blanket on top of my legs and talking about babies and nursing and feeding and all cozy things!
A viewer wrote in recently with two questions: how do a deal with a clingy baby and what is Baby Led Weaning? I do my best to answer these great questions in today’s video.
First, how do you handle a clingy baby? There’s a lot written about separation anxiety and babies, which normally takes place before a baby’s first birthday. I went through this with most of my 5 babies. Suddenly, the baby would cry when I left the room or put her down. This viewer seems to be discussing a younger baby, though (since she’s also asking about first foods) who does not want to leave mama’s arms. I advise cuddling and affection as much as possible, and then trying to offer the baby some experience of autonomy. One reason I loved the bouncy seat is that it allowed me to put the baby down in a stimulating environment and get break for a little while. Activity playmates can be great for this purpose as well, as our crib mobiles. Also, try handing your baby off to your partner or mom!
Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning is not a term I was familiar with, as I explain in the video, most likely because it is a hot trend in the UK but not as much so here in the US. I thought baby-led weaning meant allowing the baby on his own to decide when he is finished breastfeeding. Contrary to what I thought, Baby Led Weaning actually means allowing the baby on his or her own to sample and self-feed their first foods from the age of 6 months.
How do you do this? Well, you basically say goo bye to the applesauce and pureed peas and instead, offer baby a whole host of very soft cookies foods — think of soft broccoli, chunks of banana, pasta, carrots, very ripe pear, even a soft cooked chicken drumstick… any simple food that is soft enough for a young baby to try to eat.
The theory is that babies start off trying a lot of different things, and become autonomous and more adventurous self-feeders from the get go. They also can join in family meals, and don’t require you to be spoon-feeding them. Negatives include wasting a lot of food (because you have to toss what your baby does not eat), a pretty big mess!, and not being able to carefully screen for allergies by introducing one food at a time according to a set schedule.
For more information and my thoughts on Baby Led Weaning, watch today’s video. Oh, and please check out my other videos on starting baby on solids.
Stay warm CloudMamas and Papas!