Prior to weaning I did a small research about puree feeding (spoon fed) and baby led weaning. 29 years ago weaning recommendations were completely different as far as I know my mum was adding a little bit of mashed apple in my diet when I was only 4 months old, solids were thoroughly mashed and meaty purees were introduced at 8-9 months. From what I can remember I loved fruit pots a lot, and I wanted L to try them as well.
Having said that I was a little bit intrigued about baby led weaning, which simply means that baby feeds themselves.
Initially your baby might only touch and play with the the food, before moving on to licking, tasting and finally eating some. When offering foods such as rice and cereals you can give your baby a spoon, but they will probably start eating it with their fingers first, before mastering the use of a spoon. Be warned, this can be a messy process, so you might want to invest in a messy mat and some bibs first!
My mother in law gave me few leaflets and books to read about introducing solids, but I have picked an old-fashioned method of introducing 4-5 types of veg for a week, then the same with certain fruits, then dairy and then meat.
Things didn't go to plan as L was constipated most of the time, I had to adjust the diet and to introduce Lactolose into our lives.
At around 6- 7 months we had a weigh in with a health visitor who advised that L should eat what we eat as apparently after 6 months they can eat everything! And if I'm worried about her choking I can do First Aid course. I didn't say it out loud but I wouldn't give my daughter the same food which some days consists of takeaways, fast food, ready meals and value products. When I said this to my husband he said that we should then share tonight's pizza with L, which is obviously a joke but proves a point that some parents might actually consider giving junk food as health visitor gave a permission to do so.
I don't think that baby led weaning works for every baby, some are just not ready for it. Why would I want to waste my money on a product which will be mashed in her hands, wiped all over her face, hands and highchair and not even being put in her mouth once? Why would I watch my child do it over and over again (they advise that you should offer the same food around 20-25 times), mind you she wouldn't even consider eating this food or she would be choking every time she tries? To me it looks like she is still hungry, feeding times drags for hours if I can simply mash the food I cooked or buy a jar and feed her in less then 5 minutes knowing that she is happy and full? Simply, it's not for me or L. She was clearly not ready to feed herself or eat food without it being mashed.
L was extremely fussy when it comes to eating, she liked (still does sometimes) purees, particular fruit pots, meaty jars and would spit the lumpy bits or choke on them.
Now L is 10 months old and I can see that she is more accepting, more interested in proper food. She likes rice, jacket potatoes, spaghetti, drinks from a cup or a sippy cup, eating bananas, mangoes, toast and is still a big fan of particular meaty jars. She wouldn't eat pureed food with bits in it but she will happily eat the same food what we eat, but obviously we pick and choose what she can have.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider baby led weaning I'm just trying to say that it didn't work for us as I felt it was more of choir than enjoyment from both parties.
Don't force your baby to do something they are not ready to do just because it's trendy or someone else's kid can do it. Babies are all different and maybe yours is just not ready for it.
I want to think of baby led weaning as a way of baby telling you when they are ready for certain food and not parents forcing them to eat.
Do you agree or disagree?