Why I Let My Babies Decide When They Were Ready For Solids
We finally gave my twins their first solid food: avocado. They were 26 weeks and three days old — at the time it felt like my sweet little babies are growing up so fast. Since then, we've progressed and have been giving them some vegetables and fruit or meat once or twice a day. At first, we gave them the vegetables lightly boiled, no salt added and cut into long strips or "finger" shapes, giving them a good handle for the babies to grip.
My twins are now nearly eight months old and have never eaten a puree, or anything off a spoon. Instead, they enjoy feeding themselves a variety of foods that I make for my husband and myself, including green beans, eggplant, butternut squash, bananas, roasted chicken. Baby-led weaning describes the process of letting babies self-feed from the very beginning.
There is a whole range of methods, but the main steps each method has in common are that:
Baby decides the pace — no force feeding!
Baby gets to eat "real" food, as long as it is cooked healthfully with little (or no) salt added.
The main reason our family subscribes to the BLW method is because it made sense for us. We were on an exclusively breast-fed, nursing on-demand schedule — as natural and as baby lead as it gets. Every time I would have any down time, I tried to read about introducing solids — the purees, the timetables, and making sure that the babies would eat correct amount of teaspoons then increasing the amount over time… but I was just so overwhelmed by the process of it all.
Additionally, I wasn't trying to wean my babies off breastfeeding completely. Instead, my goal was to simply introduce a new experience for them and let them play with the new textures and flavors. Sure, it gets a bit messy and they are still playing more than actually eating, but we are slowly getting a routine down.
It is a little bittersweet, since the days of exclusive breastfeeding are done. But, so far so good — even if it is a little sad for me. I will let my twins set the pace for their eating as long as they continue to thrive and judging by their chunky thighs and chubby cheeks, they are doing just fine!
How did you start introducing solids into baby's diet?