Friday, May 6, 2011

Moment of the Week

What a cute moment! This was taken earlier this week when I decided to give baby led weaning another chance. I never really gave up on baby led weaning, I just was too much of pansy for it. The gagging just made me too uncomfortable. It still makes me uncomfortable. I just tell myself that I am human and that just because I "planned" on doing baby led weaning doesn't mean that it was right for my family.

The concept behind baby led weaning is that it is baby led and you allow your child's eating skills to develop as their motor skills develop. You allow them to play with and explore their food in order to learn how to eat it. They experiment with taste and texture. Babies that are fed this way will learn how to chew first, then swallow. Babies that are fed purees may just learn to swallow their food without learning to chew until much later. Another great thing about BLW is that the baby controls how much they want to eat and how fast they want to eat it, reduces the chances of biting off too much or being fed too much. You don't have to sit there with a spoon coaxing your baby to eat and then fretting over whether they are full or not. It goes wonderfully with breastfeeding because the baby will naturally eat more as their motor skills develop, which is a good timeline for solids introduction. As they eat more, on their own terms, they will eventually wean themselves. This is a natural process and thus, the baby will naturally wean when they are nutritionally ready to (between 18 months and 3 years). If you would like to learn more about baby led weaning, or are just a curious person, there's good info here, here, and here.

Now, don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful concept and it makes sense and works beautifully for other families, but I just don't quite like it. It's mostly because I started waaaaay too early. I began offering food at about 5 months because he was refusing to nurse and wanted to put everything in his mouth. He was showing all the signs of food readiness. If I had waited, it probably would of worked out better and some problems may of been averted. He was probably not nursing because of developmental milestones and being distracted; hindsight is always 20/20. Since it's never too late to make changes for the better, I occasionally re-offer whole table foods in attempt to give baby led weaning another chance. There's still alot of gagging with most foods, but I will probably continue to offer whole table foods occasionally. He does mostly feed himself with a preloaded spoon. Makes a huge puree-splatter-fest, but totally fun for him.

So, my point with this is that we are not all perfect. Things don't go as planned. All the perfect methods we previously chose don't always work out the way we imagined them in our heads. But, just because something went "off'plan" or you "failed", it doesn't mean that you actually failed. It's just a little bump on the road of parenting. You certainly don't need to give up. With a few tweaks here and there, you can be the best parent for your family. Not every family is the same and so we can't be expected to do everything the same. Donnie is having fun eating either way I give it to him and our breastfeeding relationship has not suffered. I probably feed him too much food but he likes it and he still drinks plenty of breastmilk. It's all good. 

No comments:

Post a Comment