Today’s post features a guest blog, Abbi Meadows. She is a blogger and owner of BodSchool. It is always nice hearing stories from moms who are going through what you are going through or have been down that path before. Eli has become very independent and Abbi’s post about Baby-Led Weaning was very helpful! Enjoy..
From the moment a woman finds out she’s pregnant, she’s bombarded with decisions: Midwife or OB? Natural or epidural? Find out the gender or be surprised?
These questions are just a foreshadowing of the myriad questions a parent is faced with after Baby arrives: Cloth diapers or disposables? Bassinet, crib, or co-sleeper? Breastfed or formula? Should we ‘schedule’ Baby’s day? What do we call the grandparents? How are we going to discipline? Who do we trust to babysit?
I researched and read up on pregnancy as if it were my full-time job. I checked out library books by the dozen. I could quote the “Business of Being Born;” I knew statistics and the reasons I wanted to have a drug-free, natural birth; I adapted my workout regimen so I could keep exercising. By my second trimester, I felt like a pregnancy guru!
During my third trimester, I switched the focus of my reading to child-rearing books. And while knowledge is so important, researching cannot ever totally prepare you for actually BEING a parent. I realized this when my son, Beau, reached six months old– the magical age when babies are ‘approved’ to start solid foods.
In my maternal excitement, I gathered spoons and cute bibs and bowls and got ready to introduce my guy to the joy of mushed bananas! I even had a recipe book, tools, and plans to make all of his food myself. And then? He adamantly refused to be spoon-fed. WHAT?! All the books say he’s the right age! I spent time mashing up all this food! Is something wrong? Why doesn’t he like it?! What do I do now?
Luckily, I have many wise friends who have walked before me on the Mother road. One told me about “Baby-Led Weaning” and I found this book, and this site, Baby-Led Weaning Blog, and I just knew this approach would fit Beau perfectly.
Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) isn’t very mainstream, and because of that, it’s often misunderstood. Even I had my reservations about trying it out, and I was desperate. Rapley’s book explains the principles behind the method in such a way that my world was rocked! I originally thought there was only one way–the Gerber way…You mean not everyone feeds their babies the same things at the same age in the same way?! Whoa!
So we switched our method.
In following the BLW approach, so much has changed as a result. My son is an adventurous eater. There isn’t a power struggle to get him to take “one more bite.” My husband and I eat even better because we don’t want to be hypocrites and eat foods we won’t allow Beau to eat. I only have to prep one meal at each mealtime. Less food is wasted. Beau’s meals come from whole foods and fresh produce, not boxes and jars. When we travel, we don’t have to pack special baby food. Beau is learning independence, hand-eye coordination, textures, colors, and flavors…and Mama is learning a lot, too. There are many, many more benefits to BLW, but you’ll just have to read the book. 😉
As parents, it’s our job to be the expert on WHO our baby is. Whether it’s feeding or sleeping or daily routines, sometimes the “normal” way of doing things doesn’t work for our particular child(ren) and as the parents, we have to find a solution that does work. This is where all that research comes in handy!
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)