Last week I started work again. I had 4 wonderful months off for maternity leave. The extra time I had off was truly needed for bonding time with Sammy! Sammy has hit a milestone at 4 months. If we wanted to we could start playing around with solid foods!
Our pediatrician has told us that Sammy has a high risk for developing heart disease thanks to Alex. My dad always said if you have a weird habit, bad health condition, or really anything you can just blame you parents for bad genetics. He always meant it as a joke, but in this case, it is true!
We discussed the best method, for our situation, to introduce solids into Sammy’s diet. She recommended doing Baby-Led *Weaning (BLW). Basically, you skip the purees and go straight to real food. You prepare it in a way to ensure that it is safe for your child. You can start introducing the food around 6 months. Once your child has good neck strength, able to sit in a high chair unassisted, and be able to move food to the back of his mouth with up and down jaw movements, they will be ready for BLW.
*Quick note! Weaning is meant in the British sense, which is adding food. The American uses the term to describe stopping breastfeeding.
At this point breastmilk or formula is still the main source of nutrition. Food is for fun at this age. Discovering what they like, seeing their reaction to new textures and flavors, and teaching them valuable skills. There are also a ton of additional benefits to BLW.
- Join in during family mealtime
- You feed your child the same food you are eating. You just have to do some additional steps to make sure it is safe. Cutting food into small bite size pieces and cooking some items longer to ensure they are soft enough.
- Eating a wide range of foods early on
- Helps develop hand-eye coordination, chewing skills, and dexterity
- An important step for babies in learning self-regulation
- learning to stop eating when they feel full
- Encourages babies to choose healthier foods
The last two points are the main reasons why we decided to go with BLW. Sammy’s high risk to inherit Alex’s bad genes is a part of nearly every decision we have made for him so far. We want Sammy to choose the healthier options early on to help his overall health. Now, this is not to say we won’t enjoy our fair share of ice cream, pizza, or some junk food here and there. I want to be clear, we are not putting our infant son on a diet, but rather encouraging healthier eating habits early on. This will hopefully help prevent or delay health complications for Sammy.
Sammy is only 4 months, so we won’t be starting BLW for a few months still. I’m excited to start this journey with our little boy! He will truly be a part of our Mediterranean Diet Journey soon!
I know there are some moms out there who already have done BLW. I want to hear all about your experience and any tips you may have!