Hi again! I actually like writing posts in my Versus series, because it gets me thinking about the choices I have made for my little guy. Sometimes I get caught up making choices because this person, or that person says I should, but I have to remember that I need to choose what works best for our family! So anyways…on to this week’s versus! Oh, and hey, if you missed the previous posts, check them out here:
- Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers
- Pacifier vs. Thumb Sucking
- Co-Sleeping vs. Crib Sleeping
- Homemade Baby Food vs. Store Bought
In my researching (er, um, googling) I have come across a growing trend with baby-led weaning as an approach when starting solids with infants. Before I get to the pros and cons let me explain what it is a bit. Basically, instead of pureeing foods and spoon feeding them to your baby, you start right out the gate by letting your baby feed themselves. Cooked, appropriate food, in soft, small, and safe pieces is offered by placing it on their highchair. It is then up to the baby as to what they eat and how much they eat. A little guidance by mom or dad is given, but it is (much like the title) baby led. The more traditional method of spoon feeding is basically pureeing food and then feeding the baby with a spoon.
Pros and Cons
- Baby uses own hunger cues to tell if they are full
- Pincer grasp is perfected early on
- Sense of independence fostered in child
- Baby feels in control of his/her eating
- Frustration may occur at first when they are unable to pick up food easily
- Question on parents part whether enough food is being eaten
- Increased choking hazard
- Wide variety of food is able to be offered
- Able to measure how much baby is eating
- Puts parents at ease for choking hazards
- More work to puree food
- Baby may eat more than what they need (it’s offered on the spoon so why not eat it?)
- Baby learns how to swallow first instead of how to chew
My Take on Baby-Led Weaning VS. Spoon Feeding
A couple things first:
- My mantra is: what works for your family is the best for you!
- The title of my blog “Spoon Fed Baby” wasn’t intended to be against baby led weaning…I actually named the blog that BEFORE I learned about baby led weaning.
For US, spoon feeding has worked, but of course I didn’t try baby-led weaning to start out with. Baby boy has been a wonderful eater, so I have just stuck with what worked. My hesitations with baby led weaning basically have to do with the fear of choking, and that baby boy wouldn’t be eating enough to satisfy himself and his growing needs. I have enjoyed making his baby food (check out my safety tips here), and feel that I have gotten to know his hunger cues and when he is full vs. wanting more.
A pro to baby-led weaning is that the baby learns to control how much they eat…when they are full, they decide for themselves to stop eating. Now that we have been going at solids for a good amount of time, I have learned to read the signs that baby boy is full, and have also tried teaching him the sign language for “all done”. I can also gradually make his purees thicker to get him used to chewing instead of just swallowing. There ya go! That’s my take. Click here to get more info on the steps to make your own baby food.
What is your take??