Monday, December 12, 2016

Baby-Led Weaning vs Baby Food

 Can you tell these are two different kids? Neither can my relatives.

             Isn't it funny how everything we think we know and all of our parenting strategies with our firstborn go out the window with a second baby? I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but we have done things WAY differently with Little Bit than we did with Big Sister.
             Myka started sleeping in her own room when she was two months old. (Yes, my kids really are that good of sleepers!) Ripley is 10 months old and still sleeps in our bedroom. (To be fair, that's mostly out of necessity.) Breastfeeding didn't work out for me and Myka. I was lucky to at least get to almost 6 months with Ripley. I'm not as opposed to formula and disposable diapers as I was. (I've accepted formula as a necessary evil because my boobs suck and we still use cloth diapers, like, 98% of the time, but just sayin'.) One of the biggest things that sticks out in my mind is how we introduced solid foods.
             With Myka, I was very much on the “make your own baby food” train and made large stashes at a time. It was tedious and usually took up a large portion of the day, but I didn't have to worry about it again for months. I can't remember exactly when she started getting teeth, but it seems like it was later than Ripley, so I don't think she had any real solid food until after she was a year old? Sounds crazy, right?
             I have taken a MUCH more laid back approach with Ripley. I wasn't too concerned about introducing solid foods at all. She'd eat eventually, right? I did make homemade baby food for her at first, but not in huge batches. She's already eating “real people food” and, again, she's not even a year old yet. (She also has 4 teeth, though. ;) )
             I have to admit, I didn't understand what the big hubub was about baby-led weaning, that seemed to be growing more popular amongst crunchy parents, around the time Myka was eating baby food. To me, it didn't sound safe. Wouldn't their kids choke? But again, things change and I decided to give it a try with my new guinea pig. And honestly? It's so much easier! But, I'm not here to sway you your opinion. Let's look at some pros and cons of both. (At least from my perspective, for what it's worth. ;) )

Pros of Baby Food

*Can buy at the store (convenience)
*Can make yourself (cheaper and no weird preservatives)
*Can introduce it sooner
*Don't have to worry about choking as much

Cons of Baby Food

*Some have weird preservatives
*Can be pricey
*More dishes to wash
*Greater need for a high chair

Pros of Baby-Led Weaning

*No need to make or buy special food
*Cheaper (for above reasons)
*More likely to be less picky eaters (speculation on my part, but I think I have read this somewhere too)
*Introduced to a wider variety of foods and flavors
*Not as great a need for a high chair
*Work on fine motor control if/when you let them feed themselves

Cons of Baby-Led Weaning

*Choking hazard is greater
*May have a baby that loves eating anything and everything ;)

            Ok, so I feel like I'm dropping the ball on the cons of baby-led weaning, but that's really, honestly all I can think of right now. What about you? Did you feed your kids differently as babies? Have you noticed any difference in their food preferences as they've gotten older? Is one a pickier eater than the other? Let me know in the comments below!
Thinking Outside The Pot
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1 comment:

  1. My daughter has done baby led weaning for both her girls and I think it's wonderful. And I think they do have a much wider palate than other babies/children their age.