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Baby Led Weaning Diary – Why my baby wants to be spoonfed!

Posted on: 8th April 2013

Posted in: Baby Led Weaning Diary, Weaning

Age: 27 weeks 3 days (6-and-a-bit-months).

The last 10 ten days have been difficult and challenging. Baby led weaning is marketed as being easy and rewarding for those who pursue it. However with Meadow, this has not been the case, and it has been a challenge for both of us. Meadow has not been getting on too well with being given finger food and eating it herself. I feel that this is down to the following reasons:

a) she gets frustrated at not being able to get the food quick enough

b) I feel she is genuinely hungry at mealtimes and gets frustrated that she has to really work for her food

c) she gets tired very quickly as she is a small baby (she is on the 9th centile). She still has 3-4 hours of naps a day, and having to work for her food tires her out even more

So I am slightly sad to say that the ‘baby led weaning’ approach has gone out the window (!), and instead we are going for a more traditional mashed / lumpy foods from a spoon in conjunction with finger foods. She does not need smooth purees as she has been used to eating lots of different textures already. Despite not following the true principles of baby led weaning, I am sticking to the following principles, which will help ensure that I wean a happy, accepting and adventurous eater:

  • Cook healthy, balanced, homemade weaning foods – research has shown that homemade weaning foods contain more iron than shop bought weaning foods/jars. Homemade foods are healthier, easier and cheaper – there is no need to cook something different or ‘special’ for your baby
  • Let the baby join in with the eating experience by always trying to share mealtimes together at the dining table, without distractions like the TV or radio. Avoid feeding the baby on their own
  • Offer a variety of foods, and also try to offer a variety of finger foods at most mealtimes. This will give baby the opportunity to become more independent with her eating
  • Let baby set the pace of her eating – avoid trying to get in ‘one my mouthful’, and definitely avoid force-feeding. Milk still provides the majority of nutrition during weaning, so baby will just take more milk to compensate. Babies will have ‘off days’ just like we do
  • Let baby try and self-feed with a spoon as early as possible. Meadow likes to hold the spoon and push it into her mouth by herself – this should be actively encouraged

So, although baby led weaning worked for us in the early weeks, my baby prefers to be spoonfed now, as she requires the food quicker than she can get from feeding herself. She is, of course, still being offered lots of finger foods in addition to being spoon fed, but we are both much happier with how weaning is going now. I am not feeling at all anxious about the weaning experience anymore, which in turn seems to have transferred onto my baby, meaning she is a happy and chilled out eater. I will be writing my next weaning diary when Meadow is 7 months old (in 3 weeks time). In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you need any advice on weaning. I will, of course, be posting other blogs, so please keep reading!

You can also follow me on Twitter @expertdietitian

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