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None of my three daughters have been interested in baby food.  After my first was born, I decided not to fool with it at all.  So, with Ivy and Gwen and by default with Deladis, I have practiced baby-led weaning.

Baby Led Weaning, quite simply, means letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning. The term was originally coined by Gill Rapley, a former health visitor and midwife. – Baby-Led Weaning: The Mush Stops Here

The term “weaning” is used in the British sense on this website and does not mean ending nursing (breastfeeding).  It simply means introducing solid foods.

Deladis’ first swallowed food was cucumber.  Ivy’s was avocado, and Gwen’s was peas.  For Gwen, it is more about exploring the texture and the taste of the food.  She rarely swallows it.  I have noticed her increasing the amount going in to the stomach little by little.

I also do child-led weaning.  “Weaning” in this use means end of nursing.  Child-led means that the child dictates when the breastfeeding relationship will end unless the mother becomes uncomfortable and ready to wean prior to that time.  Deladis stopped nursing at 2 years and 6 months.  Ivy did at 2 years and 2 months.  It worked out beautifully for our family.  My girls have rarely needed antibiotics and are generally very healthy and strong.  I love nursing my babies and fortunately I’ve had an relatively easy go of it.  With Deladis I had some difficulties in the beginning, but once they were worked out, I had no more problems.  The key is when problems do arise to seek help if your remedies do not solve the problem.

Child-led weaning is actually in tune with the American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding recommendations.

Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk,” published in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 27), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.

Anyhow… all this to say that this is what baby-led weaning looks like in our home. 🙂  Happy Sunday!

Yep, I "gommed" up a strawberry.

Yep, I “gommed” up a strawberry.

And now I get a bath in front of some nice moist heat and a picture window looking out on the sunny Sunday!

And now I get a bath in front of some nice moist heat and a picture window looking out on the sunny Sunday!

 

From Wild Wild World: Gorillas by Liza Jacobs copyright 2003 Blackbirch Press –

“A female gorilla is pregnant for about 9 months.  When a baby gorilla is born, it weighs about 5 pounds.  Baby gorillas stay close to their mothers and are very well cared for.  They drink their mother’s milk for 3 or 4 years.  They also eat solid food starting at about 6 months old.

A baby gorilla sleeps with its mother.  The mother also carries her baby for the first year.”

Today during our little school time, I read this passage to Deladis.  It made me smile.  In this small segment is attachment parenting, breastfeeding, child lead weaning, cosleeping, and babywearing.  All these things are things I do too.  All these things are done by amazing mama gorillas.

In the natural world, there is an order to things.  A system that when left alone goes uncorrupted.  In this world of gorillas, they have a system of parenting.  One that insures their infant the best possible chance at survival, and a healthy full life.  Since Darwinism, many people are either claiming we are more evolved monkeys or they are trying to make sure that we in no way shape or form resemble our fellow primates.

When I read this passage, I felt like congratulating myself and other mothers who are making the attempt to learn and do what is natural when it comes to parenting.  Here we have an animal that is not bogged down with gaining wealth, industrializing, and gathering material things.  They are not uber intelligent beings set on a crash course for self destruction.  Their parenting skills are uneffected by these empty goals.  They are using the instincts given them by their Creator.  That is all I am trying to do.  Parent by instinct and the obvious choices of what is right for my girls.  I was amazed by the excellence in mothering these gorillas achieved by instinct, and intuition, and can only hope that I do as good a job as they do.  They are my new mothering heros.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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