Baby Led Weaning & Being New Parents
Starting solids for your little one is an exciting time for all new parents. Infants give cutest reactions to different kinds of food. Their first reactions are epic! Babies’ cute little nose wrinkles when they don’t like a particular food and how their eyes go wide with appreciation if they want it. Whenever there is a new phase in the baby’s growth, doing it the right way becomes the biggest priority for all new parents. Starting solids for infants can be scary, as well as an excellent experience. My husband and I decided to try Baby-led weaning for Aurav, and we love it. Let’s talk more about baby-led weaning – my experience as a new parent.
What is Baby-Led Weaning?
When our doctor told us to start solids as my baby turns four months old. I was genuinely excited and nervous. I was excited because I love cooking for my family, and I couldn’t wait to introduce him to all the fantastic foods. Nervous, because till now things were simple. If he were hungry, I would breastfeed, and he will be sound asleep. Anyways, starting solids is crucial for babies, and so is establishing healthy eating habits. When the doctor explained the concept of baby-led weaning for the first time, we really liked and decided to give it a try.
There are tons of write up, but no one prepares you for actual experience. Whatever material I could find was insufficient. Most of the blogs or articles explain the theoretical side. Therefore, I felt the need to write a complete guide on Baby-Led Weaning. So, if you don’t have time to read a whole book, you still have enough information before deciding to try baby-led weaning.
The following video is excellent for understanding the basics of baby-led weaning. If you want more detail, continue to read this blog.
Phase 2: Baby-led weaning looks scarier than it really is!
The first food we tried as per baby-led weaning was a soft pear. Initially, when Aurav started gnawing on the pear, my heart was happy. To see him take this leap, cross this milestone was terrific. He looked so proud of himself, but the awesomeness of this moment lasted only for a few seconds. As soon as he took a bite of that pear and tried to swallow it, it was followed by gag reflex. Which is absolutely normal, but we didn’t know how dramatic it can look. He gagged, and both my husband and I lost it. His eyes went wide, and tears started flowing. He was trying to swallow and throw up at the same time. We couldn’t understand if he was choking or gagging (despite having full theoretical knowledge) for a second. He threw the food, held in hand, and started crying aloud, maybe because of shock or newness of the whole experience. Next were tears in both of our eyes, and I don’t remember being this scared in my life. We had researched everything there is for baby-led weaning, but no amount of research can prepare you for what happens for the first time.
Baby-led Weaning – Finally a Victory
When we went in for a 6-month appointment, the pediatrician asked us how he was doing with solids. We told him we can’t continue with baby-led weaning. We told him about our experience. He sat with us and discussed the whole process once again. He made us understand why baby gags over the food? What foods should we try? He told us which book to read and the difference between gagging and choking. He described the benefits of baby-led weaning. He convinced and encouraged us to give it one more try. All through the ride back home, both of us were quiet. We had the option of going with what we know or try the new technique. We were convinced with what the doctor told us, but we were still nervous if we had enough courage to go through it again.
The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: Delicious Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods―and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy.
The first thing I did after returning home was ordering the book. I can’t praise the book enough. It cleared all my doubts and gave me a lot of ideas of what to give my baby to eat in different phases of baby-led weaning. Overall, it took me two more weeks to try again, and this time it was a success. We started baby-led weaning with a banana. By now, my baby was 6 months old plus and started sitting independently in a high chair. So, it was easier to feed him as well. There were few bumps on our way to baby-led weaning but nothing as intimidating and scary as the first time. Today, when I am writing this blog, my baby is 11 months plus, and in just 4 months, he has learned to feed himself. He drives his appetite, enjoys touching and feeling different textures of food. It’s unbelievable, but he doesn’t like to be fed any more, he is happiest eating on his own, and I am a proud mommy to see my baby growing up so beautifully.
Baby-Led Weaning: Lessons Learned
1) Don’t try baby-led weaning till the time baby is sitting independently
2) Do your research and read the book.
3) Baby should be sitting on the high chair when you try it for the first time
4) I couldn’t do it but try and not panic.
5) Baby-led weaning is one of the best ways to establish positive eating habits
Mum Mum Ma
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