Baby led weaning is a fairly new concept for my husband and I. Although we had heard about it when Lia was starting solids, we were not very educated on how to start or the importance of it. Since Lia was diagnosed with a speech delay and sensory processing disorder this time around we wanted to truly work and target the sensory systems of the boys. We wanted to be proactive and well food is a great way to start. As I mentioned before we did not know much about it, but we have been and continue to learn the benefits both mechanically and from a nutrition aspect of BLW . So what do you need to do before you start?
Related Post: 5 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
1.Educate yourself on Baby Led Weaning
My husband and I have been taking the 100 First Foods Baby Led Weaning course created by our friend Dawn Winkelmann, a Speech Language Pathologist and Pediatric Feeding Specialist, and Katie Ferraro, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of 7. Dawn and Katie walk you through everything you need to get started, when it’s safe to get started, etc.
Probably my favorite feature has been their Facebook Lives where you can get your questions or concerns answered AND the fact that they have printable worksheets and videos breaking down the best way to feed your baby a variety of foods to help encourage them not to be picky eaters. Their program is designed with both the mechanical and nutritional aspects of eating giving you a comprehensive approach to getting your babies started on solids.
The course basically includes everything you need to know and two amazing resources for whatever else you are wondering about. I want to invite you to take a look! They are the BLW dream team!
2. Get the gear!
A high chair is a must. But did you know there are some that are made more appropriately than others? This is also a topic that Dawn has so much knowledge on and provides you with the best information and guidance possible, because good foot support is so important to prevent choking.
3.Baby utensils, plates, and cups
Our choice of plates, utensils, and cups is the EZPZ line. We learned about EZPZ from a panel at a parenting conference from Dawn a few years back. Although the might look like just silicon plates to the untrained eye they were designed to help our kids explore more foods and learn to independently feed. The items we have and are on my must haves list are the; EZPZ bowl, the EZPZ mini mat, the tiny spoon, and the tiny cup.
If possible, it is a great idea to get CPR training just for some training in case of choking. Remember you are feeding them solid foods and while they are learning how to navigate this new territory it is not uncommon for them to choke or gag. I took my first class about 10 years ago and made sure to brush up and retake a course when the boys started solids.
6.Have Fun with Baby Led Weaning
Don’t forget to enjoy this time. It can seem scary and overwhelming but we are 3 months in and loving it as are the boys! Meal times have become something we do as a family and all enjoy. I want you to as well!