Okay so first off if you don't know what baby led weaning is it is a process of feeding a baby in which you just skip all the purée and goopy food. You wait until the child shows interest and then feed them little bits from the table. Also you don't actually wean them, unless of corse you want to and them more the power to you. Why are we doing this with Ava? I hate baby food. I mean sure it's more natural and intuitive to do it this way but if I'm 100% honest it's because I hated the baby food phase. I'm not big on processed and packaged food so with The bug I made all of her food which I didn't mind but its definitely not my favorite. It's not just the making it though, it's the bowl and spoon and begging to open their little mouth and the, "is she full, should I try more," all of it just annoyed me.
How? Well when I read up on this everything was extremely vague, there were huge ranges and foods to start with and none seemed to agree with another. I will be no help because now that we are in it I can see why. For Ava she started really showing interest a little after six months. I have her minuscule bits of bananas and avocados only to discover she could handle much bigger bits and LOTS more food.
It took Avacakes all of two "meals" to figure out how to get the food from her fingers to her mouth and she has been rolling ever since. I also discovered that she can eat pretty much anything we eat at this point. Even when I think she can't Lily proves me wrong. We were having pizza for lunch today and Lily tore a piece off and gave it to Ava. Before I could make it across the room to get that big hunk of whole wheat crust out of Ava's hand she had popped it in and chewed it right up.
This means we break a lot of "food rules" such as eating eggs before a year, giving her breads, and even little bits of meat. We have low risk for food allergies (and in my heart I think it might help not hurt to have a little exposure).
Benefits: 1. Cook one meal 2. Baby gets used to the food that family eats from the get go. 3. No separate meal time. I'm not begging the baby to eat after everyone else has packed it up and headed from the table.
Issues: 1. She won't let us feed her. She likes to do it herself so yogurt, applesauce, and oatmeal are out right now. 2. It's messy. If your a neat mommy this wont work for you.
So it's not for everyone but so far I can say without a doubt baby led feeding is a win in our books!