Apparently this has been around since forever and like always, I am the last to know! What it is, is basically letting your baby feed themselves normal food instead of being spoon fed. I think that this sounds like so much fun! And will also save me time and hassle cooking and mashing her own food. Mothers have been doing this for ages so it is nothing new. But now it has a name! Baby Led Weaning:) If your are worried that this is a program to get the bub off the boob, don't worry! I assure you it is not. It is just another way to introduce solids :)
I started experimenting with this yesterday and Reia loved it! As you can probably guess from the last video of her grabbing the spoon outta my hand, she likes to be independent and so this is perfect! I started with apple in the day and broccoli at night. Obviously she isn't going to be able to eat the apple because it is too hard. She just nibbled and sucked on it. With the broccoli, she was able to eat the florets and hold onto the stem. The goal is not to actually have your baby eat apples, but more to let them explore through touch and taste. Baby's primary source of food should still be breast milk or formula for her first year. It is also a good way to include baby during family meals. This method improves motor skills and studies have shown that it lowers the chance of obesity in the future. When it comes to choking, it is said that they are no more likely to choke than if they were to be spoon fed. As long as the baby is the one in control of what is being put in the mouth and is sitting up straight, they should be fine. The down side to this is that it can get verrrry messy very fast! But if you have plastic mats and what not, you'll be sweet. More info can be found here! If you search in youtube as well, there are heaps of videos of babies being fed this way. Some are eating chicken drumsticks!! o_O I don't know if Reia is ready for that just yet.
This morning I gave Reia some banana and there was one point where she was gagging on a piece and it freaked me out! But she just spat it out, so she was okay... but it was enough to make me think about how I want to present food to her. With foods that are harder to swallow, like banana or sweet potato, I may have to give them in smaller pieces or even just mash it up rather than giving big chunks. At least until she sorts out her gag reflex. The only problem is that smaller foods will be harder to grab. It is very important that you never leave your baby alone with food or any small objects for that matter! That being said, I am still looking forward to this method of feeding and to see how she will develop :D
Here is how our little experiment with food went :)
FYI, she did not eat that whole banana lol it just fell out of the skin :D But so far so good! Tonight we are trying avocado!