baby-led mess-making

I will not yet call myself a pro, but the baby food step has been successful so far. We’ve even figured out what to do when Arlo is so freaking hungry he cries and then chokes on his own food: we dip his binki in food and then give it to him. It sort of calms him as he eats so after a little bit he’s less hangry, and more able to handle the food not coming it at a constant rate like his milk does. Tyler remarked last week it was like a gross version of a Fun Dip, but you can’t knock it till you try it. (Does that phrase really work here? Too late, I already used it!)

Anyway, I started out on this baby journey wondering why I was so quick to buy baby food jars with my last two. It seems so easy to just mash up real food. So far I’ve successfully made baby mush of sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, banana, pear and avocado. But the more I talk to other moms the more I hear about baby-led weaning.

To be honest, it’s always sounded like something I just don’t have the patience for. Like decorating a homemade cake or following any sort of do-it-yourself craft on Pinterest. I just want to feed the baby, finish feeding the baby, and plop him back over in the corner by himself. (Just kidding, nobody puts baby in the corner.)

If you don’t know what baby-led weaning is, it’s basically letting your baby eat whatever it can without you turning it into mush. So they learn to grab, gum and spit out foods instead of just swallowing purées from a spoon. And the more I heard about it the more curious I was to try it with Arlo.

So last Thursday I gave it a go with bananas, and Friday we tried it with a ripe pear. It was mildly successful, but not enough to completely forgo mushy foods in my opinion. Arlo’s still trying to understand what to do with chunks of food, he spits a lot of it back out, and it definitely creates more mess. But Arlo’s reactions to cold fruit, and his whole body getting into the feeding, might just keep me trying.

banana baby-led weaning

I can’t post videos directly here, but if you want to see this little squirm in action, check this out.

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