In the beginning / Little Miss / Our Life Now

Baby Led Weaning??

Our Little Miss will be 3 in July. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
She was a baby 2 minutes ago!

Anyway, she’s a great wee girl, great wee personality, she allows me to be the type of mum I want to be…she doesn’t need me to be an all consuming parent, she let’s me be me, not just mum. But this post isn’t about that, its about what she eats!

We decided from the beginning, that when we started to wean from milk to food that we would do Baby Led Weaning. Knowing NOTHING about babies when I was pregnant, having no friends with babies, no contact with babies, I hadn’t thought about weaning at all. My sister did baby led weaning with her little boy, he’s 10 months older than our Little Miss. When my sister started BLW I didn’t think it was a controversial decision on her part, I didn’t think it was going against the norm, I didn’t have a clue what the norm was. Spoon feeding wasn’t even a thought in my mind. BLW was working for her and despite the controversy surrounding it, I loved it. Her little boy was in control of what he was putting in his mouth, he was growing, he was enjoying food and he ate EVERYTHING that was put down in front of him. I trusted this method of weaning! (I got the book, read it, bought into the method 100%, Mark even read the book too and also loved it!)
When Little Miss was showing signs of readiness we started. We lived in Belgium so family members, other parents, friends, etc couldn’t give me their opinions on our weaning style. By the time we went home to the UK to visit we were established, Little Miss was eating so no-one could complain that they thought what we were doing was wrong, or not working, she was growing and they were happy.
We started out giving roasted veg and fruit with every meal, not really concerned about what was going down and what wasn’t. Little Miss would sit with us at the dining table for every meal and we’d give her bits and pieces off our plate, we eat healthy anyway so this was fine. She was “eating” and we were happy.  She would fist little pieces of veg, put it in her mouth and gum it. I won’t go into detail about the actual mechanics of what happens with BLW, if you want to read about that, you can check it out here. She moved onto picking up food with her pincers, she was developing little skills right before our eyes.

I loved that I didn’t have to make separate meals for her. There was no standing around making purees for hours, no extra cost for jars of baby food. I made one meal for everyone.
The whole time we continued with her milk feeds as normal. As the days went on, she started to eat more, (we knew because her poop was changing! Sorry TMI?) and her milk feeds started to reduce, this happened naturally, she was in control and stopped when she was full. We trusted the process. She was happy, healthy and growing well. As the months passed, we introduced a spoon, snacks during the day, a sippy cup, later on a fork.
When we started out BLW we fully believed that our little girl would grow up with a diverse palate, eat anything we put in front of her….that’s not really the case. Now, I don’t know any other little toddlers and I don’t hang out with any other mums so I don’t know if our Little Miss is less fussy than other kids her age. She does eat almost everything, meat, veg, sushi, chicken, rice, pasta, spicy’ish food, salami, cheese….but there are some things she ate when she was younger that she won’t touch at all now….(mushrooms, some sauces) so there is some coercing involved, where I thought there would be none. I still make the same food for her as we’re eating, if she eats it, fine, if not, that’s up to her. The same as what we would do if we went to dinner and didn’t like something.
BLW was the perfect way for us to introduce food to our Little Miss.
Now, I don’t want to preach to anyone that this is the only way to wean, it was the BEST way for us, it made sense. Some people think its unsafe, its not, at all, if you do it properly and trust the method.

Food isn’t something I was worry about as a parent. There’s no forcing our little girl to eat, no worries about how much she is eating, she has a healthy attitude towards food and that’s all a parent wants for their child if you ask me!

What method of weaning do/did you/are you thinking of using? Would you do things differently? What are your thoughts on BLW? I’m interested to know your thoughts?

P.S. My little girl is a little crazy, as you can see, so maybe just take what I say with a pinch of salt! haha

Louise xo

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22 thoughts on “Baby Led Weaning??

  1. When my son was born, I decided to feed him : I was educated with the idea it was the best way to make a baby grow up naturally. One month and half later, I realized how tiring it was and wasn’t able to feed him anymore. I felt guilty about that, but I had no choice : my breast could not produce milk anymore. So I decided to bottle-feed him. He was 6 months when I changed little by little his food : I mixed milk with vegetables in his bottle. It wasn’t a pleasant period, he couldn’t stand it! Moreover, my former mother in law was insisting on the bad choice I was making, telling me I was stopping his growth.The fact remains that few days later everything was going on and my son accepted this new way of feeding! I was surprised at seeing he could eat anything I cooked! Now he is 9 and he didn’t change so much. : he knows he can tell me what his preferences are (it’s rare). As a mum, I just can have respect for that.

  2. I’ver just read your link for BLW and I think, had a known about it, I would have given it a go too. The more traditional method seem to come with so many age related expectations.
    Hector was a little slow with going onto the 7month lumpy stage, probably due to him being late getting teeth. However at the time it did concern me.
    In restrospect, those lumpy mixes never looked too appitizing.
    Maia, is a fantastic ad for the BLW, she is such a great tittle eater. Well done Louise.

    • Thanks Avril, I think a lot of parents have been doing BLW for years without knowing it, it just didnt have a name! They also realized there were some flaws with the traditional method of weaning.
      I know for sure you would do BLW now if you were to do it again…its much more in line with your style of parenting! I’m pretty sure Kimberley is doing it now with her wee boy.
      Thanks for the comment 😉
      xo

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  6. Love this blog! It’s the only way! I’m baby lead EVERYTHING! My intervention to most things (minus the safety aspect) is kept to a minimum. From food, potty training, exploring and even squabbles I take a step back and let the children do what feels right for them. They are safe in the knowledge that I’m there beside them through their decisions but let them lead from the front. It works. I watch mums so worked up with getting their children to do all the things “they should” be doing because a book says or so their friends will think they’re worlds number 1 mum that the poor kids are forced to comply and more often than not. They don’t! And who ends up happy? Nobody. Mum feels like a failure and kid feels “naughty”. No one knows your child like you do. Trust them. Let them trust themselves.

    • Thanks Amanda! You know, I’m pretty much this kind of mum, some people think its lazy BUT I think it’s the only way I can parent. I’m not an expert on anything, I’m trying my best to figure out stuff as I go along….so why shouldn’t I let my child do the same. (obviously taking common sense into account and guiding her/preventing her if decides to cross a busy road or play with the oven!)
      Love that you are this type of parent too. Life is HARD enough without being a pushy/overbearing parent, eh?

  7. Hey Louise,
    Ive just stumbled on this accidentally as my 18 wk old little man guzzles a bottle.. he is so hungry feeds every 2 1/2 hrs so I started a little baby rice which takes him through a little longer.. I really love what I see with your little one.. got such a giggle from that clip!! would love to do this bit where do I start?? Daunting!!

    • Thanks for your comment, id love to help you…blw is brilliant and honestly the only way id know how to feed a baby, i had no experience with babies before. Is your little man your first? Is he formula fed or breast fed? How often do you feed him babyrice? Does he sit upright on his own? Theres a lot of questions that need to be answered before you start blw…
      He’s almost 5 months?
      Let me know and i’ll help where I can.
      Lou

      • Thanks Louise,
        He is 18 and a half weeks, was breast fed for 12 wks but formula now.. just started the baby rice this wk once daily.. I pureed a pear and added it to it yesterday.. loved it!! He is’nt sitting by himself yet but is v sturdy and the hands are chewed off him!! just ubsure where to start with this.. do I continue with the rice until he is sitting up or introduce more pureed foods until then?? He is my second.. first lad was weaned as normal but just think this is so interesting.. sorry for my lack of knowledge!! all help appreciated..

        Joan..

      • Hey, thanks Joan for your reply. My first advice if you wanted to go down the blw route would be to wait til your little man is sitting upright by himself. Its important he has control of his posture to prevent him choking. Its also a sign of his digestive system being developed. If you dont think you can wait, then maybe you can mix both later on, though I dont really know much about puree/finger foods as we exclusively blw’d from 5 and a half months. Our little miss was also breastfed for 4 months then we switched to formula so the formula seemed enough for her until she was ready to wean. You need to do what is best for you and little man. If you decide to wait, we did the banana test to start with, we put a banana in front of her, if she picked it up and started gumming it in her mouth, she was ready. Then we moved on to roasted veg, porridge pancakes (thick porridge oats and milk, left to chill and harden) anything we were eating, she would have a little piece of….until we knew she could handle different textures, consistencies, in her mouth. You get to know what they can and can’t handle in their mouth, the further you get into the weaning process. You should check out the link I posted in the text above. The BLW site helped us out a lot. We also bought and read the book so we were content and comfortable we knew what we were getting into. Hope this helps a little.

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  9. Hi Louise
    I cam across your blog by accident. I am on baby no 3 and really struggling with the whole weaning thing (so there you go mums, even old hands are brought down to earth with a bump!) My little girl seems to be hating her food and starts to cry every time I put her into the high chair. I had thought about BLW in the past and asked my health visitor about it again when no3 was born, but got no help whatsoever. So, having now started to do a bit of research, I would like to try this option and see if I can help my baby to enjoy her food as much as I do (the other two have become quite picky eaters) Can you advise of any good books or recipes to help me get this up and running please?

    • Hey, thanks for dropping by. What a relief to hear that even after 3 you’re not an expert at this mummy thing! haha. I always love honesty. So, here you go…honestly, my daughter loves food but even with BLW she has foods she turns her nose up at, after all, she is a little human with the ability to decide what she likes and doesn’t…so, its not going to fix the picky eater problem, but it will encourage your new little one to decide. We gave our daughter everything…EVERYTHING! Did you see the little chicken video?
      Anyway, the only book we read was the BLW book by Gill Rapley. The only reason we read it was because we knew nothing about weaning at all and I needed to know the idea behind BLW. It explains the mechanics, types of foods, ideas on how to introduce solids, etc. We were confident once we read it that what we were doing was safe. To this day I still don’t know anything about “traditional” weaning.
      I’m sure whatever way you go about introducing solids will work for you. Just do what comes naturally to you and let your little one play. They are getting what they need from milk and as long as little one is growing and developing at a rate you are happy with, all is good. Check out the book if you like, its a really convincing argument and makes total sense to me. I wonder why most health professionals dont also buy into this method of weaning.
      Good Luck!! Though, Im sure you dont need it!! (because believe it or not, you know what you are doing more than I do!)

    • also, I should ask, what age is your little one? We waited til 5.5 months to start with our little miss. As for recipes, we made little miss what we were having. which usually consisted of veg, some kind of meat, potatoes…and always pasta (we are a family of athletes so we eat pasta a lot, which was perfect for BLW because pasta is a perfect size for little hands!)
      check out porridge pancakes too, those were a breakfast essential for us. (porridge oats, a little water or milk, cook them but make sure they are thick, like really thick so when they cool they stay in one piece…we sometimes added fruit, berries, raisins…we made one big one in the lid of a caserole dish, you know the glass ones…perfect size and we gave little miss one half one morning and the other half the next morning…)
      If you need some more ideas, which im sure you dont, let me know…Ive also written another blog post on BLW, maybe with more details, I cant remember, click the parenting or BLW tag on here.
      Hope this helps,
      Louise

  10. Thank you for sharing your BLW story. I am just starting this with my 6mo and we went to our pediatrician today and when I told her I haven’t given any purée just a carrot stick and apple slices her mouth dropped to the floor! I’m confident but it got my husband a little worried. Do you know of a website besides the babyledweaning.com that shows more scientific evidence or further information online?

  11. Found your blog when googling today how to get my 9th old to either eat back off a spoon or to eat on his own. All of a sudden my wee man won’t eat off a spoon anymore! So I decided to just go with what we were eating and offer it to Finn on his highchair, yes its messy as you say but he loves it!! I’;m a mum of 3 boys and wish I had done BLW with all of them from the start too!!

  12. Hi, I LOVE the video of your baby eating the chicken drum SO CUTE. I just have a question, how did you cook it? I really want to try it with my daughter, she is 6months now and LOVES to eat. she eats avocado, apples, banana, bread, carrots, pretty much anything I put infront of her. The gagging reflex is starting to disapear as she is learning to swallow better. I dont know when to start giving her smaller peices, I give her big chunks so she can hold them since she doesnt have the pincer grip yet!
    Also with the more slippery food (Like avocado) how do you control it when she is eating it? my daughter will kinda suck on it a little and Im worried that the whole peice will go into her mouth all of a sudden!
    If you could let me know how you cooked your chiken and when you started giving her rice I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Mali, thanks for the comment. Sorry its taken a bit to get back to you…don’t get on here as much as I used to.
      So yeah, we just baked the chicken in the oven, made sure it was fairly easy to break off…took off the skin in the beginning, and let our LO go for it. Obviously sitting at the table at the same time as her… (people worry that she’d choke on the bones but we’re there the whole time, making sure she isn’t biting into any bone that could break off and go in her mouth)
      As for the slippery food, it’s a pretty cool game watching them figure out how to grasp at the slippery foods. If the whole bit goes in LO mouth, it won’t go far, your LO will become more familiar with foods in their mouth and deal with size accordingly. I wouldnt worry about that kind of stuff, your LO will figure it out eventually.
      Hope that helps. I’m really glad BLW is going well so far for you.

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