Baby Led Weaning. I’ve heard that term a hundred time since I was pregnant. Now that the princess is starting on solids, I’ve finally looked into the topic.
See, here in a America, we interpret the word weaning as taking a child off of breastmilk, but baby led weaning is an English term. In their sense, baby led weaning means introducing foods to a baby with their lead. Breastmilk or formula still provides the child’s nutrition for the first year of their life.
As I looked more and more into the concept, I came across picture after picture of babies grasping carrot spears, gnawing broccoli florets, clutching chicken fingers… It was enough to give me a heart attack. I’m already a typical paranoid first-time mom. I see everything as a danger, so the first thought that popped into my head was, “That baby is going to choke!” Well, obviously I’m not alone in my choking fear. Article after article described how a child is going to gag, it looks that they are choking, but choking and gagging are two different things.
A baby’s gag reflex is located higher up in the mouth to help prevent a child from choking (however, it can still happen). As a child gets older, the gag reflex moves down the throat. The location of the gag reflex is what causes a child to gag while they are learning to maneuver food around their mouth. Usually, when a baby is just gagging, there is noise being made, maybe even coughing. I came across a YouTube video that shows what a gagging episode would look like. Warning, it still looks pretty terrifying.
In instances like this I would have to remember not to grab the baby and start slapping her back. Doing that could actually make her choke.
None of this information made me feel any less paranoid, but it did make me a little interested in the concept.
Is this something the Princess should try? I mean, eventually, she is going to have to eat real food anyways? Don’t get me wrong, she loves her baby food.
I’m not saying I’m going to try it tomorrow, but I’m definitely thinking about eventually giving it a shot. I’m sure you will hear plenty about our endeavor.
So, all you mommas (and daddys, grandmas, grandpas…) out there, what are your thoughts on baby led weaning?