We’re doing this thing called Baby Led Weaning. It means you don’t puree the food, you just give it to them whole and hope they don’t choke.
I had never heard of this method until Monk A & B‘s six-month check up. Our paediatrician encouraged us to research it, so I did. First I found this YouTube video of a baby chomping on a whole chicken leg. I’m sorry, but that’s weird. Then I found some normal babies – babies who were eagerly picking up soft fruits and veggies and eating them. Now I’m warming to the idea. Then I read this:
The distinct advantage of weaning at around six months is that by then, our children are developmentally capable of feeding themselves proper food… no purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher.
What caught my eye was the last half of that sentence. This Baby Led Weaning could actually save me a bunch of time. Plus, the pioneers didn’t have Baby Bullets so it’s only natural, right? (comparing my situation to the pioneers is a little trick I use to help justify potentially poor parenting decisions).
I told my husband we were going to try this. He dug up the Infant CPR handouts we were given in our pre-natal class.
Here’s roughly how it went:
Day 1: Avocado. Tip: If you want your child to “wean” himself, give him a food he can actually pick up and won’t simply mush in between his fingers. This does not include an overripe avocado. I spent the rest of the day cleaning up and checking their bodies for the non-existent rash I had convinced myself they’d develop as an allergic reaction to their first food.
Day 2: Less ripe avocado. In fact, it was so unripe that even I couldn’t bite into it.
Day 3: Normal avocado. Another tip: don’t make your child feed himself an avocado if he is already starving or tired. One website advises to feed your baby his bottle then wait an hour before giving solids. Another site says to give half the bottle then wait for a while, then give solids, then the other half of his bottle. Another site says to wait until the sun has risen exactly three quarters above the horizon, then sit facing the Northeast corner of the room and hold the spoon at a 30 degree angle. Fine, I made up that last one. But when do these magical times actually occur? Monk A & B only stay awake for 2 hours max – usually less. And I’d like to invite the authors of those websites to attempt giving a baby only half their bottle.
Day 4-14: Rice cereal. From a spoon.
Now, a month later, we’ve adopted our own hybrid-version of Baby Led Weaning combined with purees. It is going fairly well. Unfortunately my clever method fails to save time. In fact, it has actually added an additional step to their eating routine.
My conclusion after all of this? Maybe it WAS the pioneers who invented the Baby Bullet.