Baby led weaning with developmental concerns
We followed the ideas of Baby Led Weaning when we introduced Charlie to solid foods. I had done a lot of reading on it and was convinced that it was THE way to go. And it worked really well for him.
Then we had Poppy and my confidence in the method started to wane. I knew that low muscle tone and developmental delays could affect how we approached introducing different skills, but I didn’t know how. And neither our doctor or occupational therapist seemed to know a lot about Baby led weaning. Do I continue with the method because I feel as mom that it’s a good one? Or do I throw it out the window and follow the therapists suggestions instead?
I hemmed and hawed over this for a while until finally coming across this article). It addressed the issues of introducing foods to a child with developmental delays while answering the question,
“How can I respect and support this family’s mealtime culture while guiding this child safely through the developmental course of learning to eat?”
It reminded me of what I liked most about the Baby Led Weaning approach: meals as family, following the child’s cues and letting them feed themselves, making meal times about fun and learning and exploration. And most of all not stressing over feeding. Something I was not doing very well at the time. I realized I could still follow many of the principles of baby led weaning while still following the specific recommendations of our therapist regarding what foods to introduce and how. Now I feel like we’ve struck a happy balance and Poppy is loving mealtimes.
If you are interested in the Baby Led Weaning approach but are unsure how to navigate it with special developmental concerns, or even aren’t sure you want to go all in with the method, I would highly recommend this article.