Weaning twins can be both an exciting and daunting experience. It is a task that needs to be done mindfully by both parents. It is advisable to start weaning the babies at around six months of age.
Six months is the period where breast milk is not enough to provide adequate energy and nutrition for growth. Seek advice from a professional pediatrician if you feel premature weaning should be considered for you and your babies.
So, is it safe to introduce baby-led weaning to twins? Yes. It is a method that helps support chewing skills, hand to mouth coordination, and healthy eating habits.
What Is Baby-Led Weaning?
Going into twin parenthood is not a walk in the park. Any simple mistake can result in a huge problem. BLW has nothing to do with stopping breast milk or formula and is therefore a safe method for feeding.
Breast milk or formula is the primary source of energy and nutrients for babies under the age of twelve months. Weaning plays a crucial role in the development of babies.
BLW is simply the introduction of solid foods, allowing the baby to take the lead while the parent ensures the food is served in a safe size and texture. Close supervision is recommended to avoid unnecessary choking problems.
The method relieves the parent from the hassle of spoon-feeding the twins. The toddlers can feed themselves at their own pace. This trick creates a peaceful environment for the family to eat.
Is Baby-Led Weaning Safe?
Introduction of solid foods to babies can be a confusing and daunting task to the minds of many parents. The situation tends to be worse among new parents due to safety concerns.
So, is baby-led weaning safe? Absolutely. However, parents should supervise the babies closely while eating. It will help to reduce the risk of food choking the toddler.
Additionally, ensure the solid food offered is served in a safe size and texture. It is also important to note that only the baby should put food in his mouth.
Keep in mind that BLW should be considered when the baby shows signs of readiness and can sit up without being assisted.
If possible, continue feeding breast milk or formula to any child under twelve months of age. Breast milk or formula is crucial to their diets since it helps to enhance growth and development.
BLW vs Traditional Weaning
The introduction of solid foods alongside breast milk starts at six months. This is the period where the parents can opt for either baby-led or traditional weaning methods.
These two weaning methods are completely different. It is now up to the parent to choose which method works best for their babies.
The main difference between BLW and traditional weaning is that BLW involves introducing family food from day one. In contrast, traditional weaning entails food transition from puree to mash and finally to solids.
Be aware that babies usually gag when they start solid foods, regardless of which method you chose. The good news is that gagging is not life-threatening, like choking.
Gagging is a way of learning how to control food in the mouth. It normally takes about two weeks at maximum before going away.
Starting Baby-Led Weaning for Twins
Spoon feeding twins can be both time-consuming and tedious. It is a task that makes new parents hate parenthood. If this is the case for you, then BLW is the way to go.
This method enables the mother to feed both babies at the same time. In addition, it helps to motivate the babies to eat at their own pace since there is no taking turns between the two.
The most exciting thing is that BLW will enable the parent to keep the twins on the same eating schedule for solid foods.
Safe Foods to Introduce
Toddlers are highly susceptible to experiencing indigestion problems. Therefore, ensure the food being served is safe for new eaters to eat. Make sure the solid foods are of the right texture and size.
Start slow as you add new foods every few days to monitor any signs of an allergic reaction. Keep in mind that one twin can have an allergic reaction while the other does not.
Some of the safest solid foods to introduce to toddlers are roasted sweet potato wedges, steamed broccoli florets, thick mango slices, and dark meat chicken on the bone, which should all be cut into bite-sized pieces.
Advantages (Pros) and Disadvantages (Cons) of BLW
BLW usually comes with more advantages than disadvantages. That is probably the main reason behind this trend in many parenting forums and groups.
Pros of BLW
· Less time-consuming
· Supports chewing skills
· Babies develop good eating habits
· Creates a responsive feeding environment
· Helps to create hand-mouth coordination
Cons of BLW
· Causes double the mess
· Need double the effort
There is no better method for weaning your twins. Each method considered tends to come with its pros and cons. We recommend choosing a technique that you feel the most comfortable and confident with.
Besides that, seek advice from a professional pediatrician about the best solid foods that will provide all your babies’ nutritional needs. Continue breastfeeding babies under the age of twelve months alongside BLW.