Why I Chose Baby Led Weaning Instead of Purees

Getting ready to introduce solids to your little? Check out my real mom story - it may help you make the decision on how to get started!

I'll tell you a little story about my son's solid food journey. It all started when he was a newborn and was waking up every few hours to nurse. When others heard of my supposed problem - which as far as I was concerned, babies wake up at night, that's what they do. But to everyone else, apparently my kiddo should have been sleeping through the night the moment he came out of the womb. Anyway, I digress. I can't tell you how many times I heard "give him oatmeal before bed and he'll sleep through the night." First of all, it's not proven - and just because it worked for so-and-so doesn't mean it's going to work for us. Second, giving a baby solid foods before they're ready can end up causing an upset tummy which will really keep me up at night. So guess what I did - I didn't give him solids and continued to nurse my baby on demand.

Fast forward to four months old. Our doctor whom we loved, told us we could start introducing solids "if we wanted to," but that it was also OK to wait until baby was 6 months old before starting solids. Since I was still not getting a full night's rest, I decided I didn't want to add any more tasks (trying to feed baby solids) to my day that weren't necessary. And on top of that, I did a lot of reading and the Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastmilk and formula remain baby's food source until 6 months old, to which then you can introduce solids as a complement to breast milk and formula. So we waited.

Now my son is 6 months old and I can finally put to bed all those people who continue to tell me to give him oatmeal because guess what, we're starting solids!! I decide we'll start with pureed carrots because I have one of those fancy baby food makers collecting dust and a large bag of baby carrots in my fridge. Easy peasy - no biggie. I steam up something like 2 cups of carrots - a lot - and puree it until smooth. Portion into little baby food containers and place in the fridge for later. Grab my perfectly developed baby spoon that helps baby get the food into the back of his mouth. And here we go...

Our first try at solid foods lasted all of 30 seconds at the most. My kid was not interested in the carrots. He just wanted to do it himself. I was confused. How come all the other babies open wide and eat the carrots?! So fine, I'll give him the spoon. He did a great job of getting the spoon to his mouth and inside, but since he spent 5 seconds flailing the spoon around before attempting to put it in his mouth, none of the carrots were left on the spoon. I felt like I was wasting both of our time. Sure he was doing a good job at getting the spoon to his mouth, but there was no food on it!

This is where things changed. I made a few more attempts to give baby the carrots. I even decided to try mashed sweet potato since they taste better than carrots. He took to the sweet potato more and it stuck to the spoon better so he got more in his mouth, but it was just not happening.

Side note: how come nobody told me my baby wouldn't really eat much, if anything at all, the first few weeks/months of introducing solids?!

At this point I was done wasting time and energy on a lost cause. We were going to try Baby Led Weaning! 

We started with dinner. I often make steamed vegetables as part of our own dinner. So I would put a piece of broccoli in front of him. He'd pick it up - and straight to his mouth - success! It was so gratifying to see my son take to solid foods so well. This encouraged us to continue with Baby Led Weaning. And today [at one week shy of 12 months old] we are constantly told how good of an eater my son is - and we think so too.