I read up on baby led weaning and thought it was a great idea for us. Pretty much, instead of spoon feeding your baby starting at 4 months like pediatricians recommend, you wait until your baby shows interest in food and let her start feeding herself when she's ready (usually between 6 & 9 months). No spoons, no jars, no making baby food. I was sold.
Until the following feeding situations occurred in our house.
1. The new eating ritual.
Stretchy starts eating as a normal baby. Usually she seems ravenous. I settle in with my iPad or Kindle and prepare for a good 10 minutes of web surfing or reading when suddenly, she becomes the most observant, interested and contemplative baby on earth.
I imagine the following to take place in her mind while eating:
"Can I fit my hand in my mouth while eating? How about this burp cloth? Will it fit too? Speaking of burp cloths, when did you last wash this one? Let me taste it to find out? HEY! Did you see a cat over there? Where's the cat? No? I was sure I saw a cat. Let me check again. You were right. No cat. But have you seen that light over there? Wow... what a light. Hmm... I wonder what toys we'll play with ne-- WHAT WAS THAT?? Did you hear that noise? Oh, it was just the ice maker? Are you sure? Let me look around to see if someone's there. Hey! There's the cat! I hear a cat! I hear a cat! I want to pet the cat. I WANT TO PET THE CAT!! Oh, the cat's gone? Guess I'll eat my hand... tasty... WAIT! Don't put that away yet! I wasn't finished!!"
Needless to say, I'm pretty sure she's eating less during the day.
2. While eating my food the other day, Stretchy obviously wanted some.
Here's the senario:
She's following the forks every move.
Plate, mouth, plate, mouth.
She starts opening her mouth when I do.
Plate, mouth open, plate mouth open.
Then she makes cute little chewing motions...
What was I to do... we keep trying pieces of food, but she's not coordinated enough to hold on to them yet.
So I broke out the baby food and decided that for us, Baby Led Weaning meant the Baby was telling us that she wanted to eat... and since she can't feed herself, that means we bought some cute baby spoons...
So I've waved goodbye to my decision to do Baby Led Weaning. Now, in our house, BLW stands for Bring Lots of Washcloths...
Here's a cute video of Stretchy eating avocado: