Lil' L is exclusively breastfed and not complaining, and I'm pretty sure that at this point he wouldn't want it any other way. He LOVES the booby and can have at it whenever he wants. He's a healthy boy, weighing in at about 20lbs at 6 months old, not too big & not too small....juuuuuust right! I was told by my doctor when Lil' L was born that it would be in his best interests to give him only breast milk until he was 6 months old. The reasoning I was given was that it was the perfect nutrition for my little angel, and that if I introduced other foods to him too soon, it was more likely that he would have a negative reaction to them or develop allergies, neither of which I want. So, only breast milk it has been, despite the pressure and subtle suggestions from well intending relatives and friends, who, since he was 4 months old, suggested I "start" Lil' L on baby cereal.
Lil' L is 6 months old this next week, so I've been researching as much as possible, how to go about introducing food to him. It is very interesting to read all of the conflicting information out there in regards to what foods are recommended or not recommended, and how to go about feeding your LO. After reading many different articles, I have come to the conclusion that we are going to try out baby led weaning aka BLW. Baby led weaning is the practice of allowing your baby to feed themselves right from the get go. You skip the mushy cereal & puree feeding phase, and start by giving your little one manageable sized pieces of real food. If they like it they eat it, if they dont, they dont. This really appeals to me. Along with the rest of my "natural parenting" practices such as cloth diapering, baby wearing, baby signing and EC, Baby led weaning just seems more natural to me, not to mention a lot easier in terms of food prep. And considering that we will soon be on our way back to Ecuador, the fact that I dont need to pack (or buy) a blender, baby spoons, bowls etc to bring with us is another added bonus. Lil' L will eat what I eat, steamed veggies, soft fruits, coconut water, and chicken....sounds good to me, all I have to do is cut it into small "sticks" for him to hold onto and let him go at it!
One of the stated benefits of baby led weaning, is that a baby gets to explore his food, and eats it when he is ready. He gets to feel it, smell it and taste it. They don't feel rushed, and eat until they are satisfied. This food is a supplement to breastfeeding, and not vice versa.
I sat him in his highchair next to me, and passed him the peach. He immediately grabbed my hand and forced the fruit into his mouth, he didn't know what to think! His reaction was quite funny, he scrunched up his face, and spit out the bit of peach mush in his mouth. I put the peach on the tray in front of him for him to play with while I ate my lunch. Lil' L DESTROYED that peach! He had peach all over him and his high chair, it was on the floor, and even in his hair! He mushed that thing to pieces, and I can proudly say, that he even "ate" a little bit. I think he found it very interesting, and was not happy when I took him out of his chair for clean up. We will try the peach again tomorrow, and see what he thinks about round 2!
If you would like more info on Baby Led Weaning (BLW), there are a ton of good websites out there. This is just one of many - www.babyledweaning.com