Baby Led Weaning
I intend to practice baby led weaning this time around. What that means basically is that you skip spoon feeding baby food and offer safe cut up and soft finger foods when baby can pick them up to feed herself. Usually in this case you rely on breastmilk or formula as the main nutrition until well past 6 months of age- which is supported by the WHO and AAP. Solid foods are offered, but it's not expected that they will become a major source of nutrition right away.
There are several reasons why I want to do it this way. First of all, spoon feeding is a hassle. You have to mash food at home or buy jarred food. You spend forever trying to feed baby, and half of it ends up spit out and staining stuff. Honestly as fun and cute as it is, it is just a hassle for me. I would rather my baby have the freedom to pick up her own bits of food and decide if she wants to eat them or throw them on the floor.
I am always worried I will try to feed her after she is full when I think about spoon feeding. I had that worry with my older kids too, but I didn't know you could skip pureed food. I bottle feed on demand right now as well, because I feel that a baby should listen to their own body and eat whenever and however much they feel they need.
Another reason I want to feed her this way is because we have a very severe family history of food allergies. My immediate family, including myself and my other kids, all have life-threatening food allergies. Studies have shown that feeding babies anything other than formula or breast milk before 6 months of age increases the risk of food allergies. Not only that, but rice cereal is supposedly a HUGE culprit in this. I'm willing to avoid a lot of things to lessen her risk of multiple severe food allergies. She's already allergic to dairy, so the tendency is obviously there.
I know that nothing I do will completely protect her from food allergies, since she already has one and everyone in the family has them. However I hope that doing things differently with her will mean that she doesn't end up with as many allergies as my older kids had when they were little. It was very hard to manage avoiding the 30 foods they were allergic to between the two of them. Thank goodness they've outgrown almost all of those, but it would have been nice not to have so many to begin with.
I never knew rice cereal with a trigger though. That's great information!