28 August 2015

Baby Led Weaning - our journey so far

When Harlow was born the last thing on my mind was how she would be eating when she was 6 months old. I was more concerned if I would still be able to breastfeed again or not! As the weeks went by and breastfeeding become established, like second nature again, it was time for me to start thinking about how Harlow would wean. With Logan I did the whole puree weaning from 6 months onwards and I always found it hard having to cart food around with me or to try and find something he'd like and enjoy eating etc. If I could I wanted to avoid that stress this time around and that's when I thought about trying baby led weaning. I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing but my friend had tried it and sworn by it so I was determined to give it a go.

Yummy ice cream
What does baby led weaning actually mean though? Well simply put it means letting your child feed themselves right from the very start of weaning. Recent research shows babies start to reach for food from around 6 months old and in accordance with NHS guidelines babies don't need anything but breast milk or formula milk for the first 6 months of their lives. Waiting until babies are 6 months old before introducing solids also means that it gives their digestive system time to develop fully so it can cope with solid foods. Another advantage of waiting is that they can feed themselves, yay! You can eat your dinner in peace, well almost. Basically you don't have to do any purees or mashing the food up, just give your baby smaller sized handful portions of what you're eating and away you go.

Now that's a juicy strawberry
As Harlow was approaching the 6 month mark I spoke to my health visitors about doing the whole baby led weaning thing and they were very encouraging. I had a quick run down from them and received a little leaflet but they did say I'd probably be better chatting to my friend about it all since she went through it with her first and was very experienced so that's what I did. I asked questions here and there but mainly I got stuck in straight away and just before Harlow reached 6 months (a week before) I caved in and gave her a slice of toast with butter for breakfast. Maybe not the best food to start off with but she eyeballed the hell out of my toast, hence Mummy guilt set in which ended in me giving her a piece, and you know what - she loved it! From that very first mouthful she has loved food ever since and eats with gusto whatever is put in front of her, hurrah!

"More Rice Krispies please Mummy."
I'm surprised at the amount of different foods my baby girl will happily eat but it's so refreshing to watch. She's eaten things like; yogurt, raisins, salmon, tuna mayo, olives, grapes, lasagne, garlic bread, houmous, peas, pizza, scones, chicken curry, ice cream and berries, rice, cereals the list is endless. Whatever I'm having she'll happily have a piece as well and let me tell you it makes life so much easier. When we're out and about I can just pick something from a cafe/ restaurant menu and literally give her a helping from my plate.

Juicy peach - she loves her fruit
The only down side to baby led weaning, well it's not really a down side but I can see how it would put people off, is that your baby makes lots of gagging noises as they get used to eating and having food in their mouth. To some people the gagging noises sound like your baby is choking and it does make you feel super nervous and paranoid at first but if you can get over this then baby led weaning is a winner. To put your mind at ease there's no greater risk of your baby choking doing baby led weaning, they're ready to eat solids at 6 months and the noises they make are just them getting used to moving the food around in their mouth.

It's a messy old business this baby led weaning lark
We're really enjoying the baby led weaning journey so far and yes it's super messy but with practice your baby will get better. Just remember to let them feed themselves, even with spoons! Pre-load the spoon for them and away they go. As you can see from the photo above Harlow loves a yogurt or two!

A Cornish Mum

9 comments on "Baby Led Weaning - our journey so far"

Unknown on 28 August 2015 at 22:51 said...

Aww, i remember going through this - well we are still in it! haah! Its so messy yet fun to watch isnt it?! Lovely memories too! Good luck with your journey - im sure it will be a good one! let us know how you get on in a couple of months! I bet she will be a food monster like my little man!! Such a lovely read! Suz x Beauisblue.com

Alison on 30 August 2015 at 12:41 said...

Fab post. We do a sort of mixture of BLW and traditional weaning, but trying to move back towards the BLW side. It can be tough once your child hits the point of chucking everything on the floor though, and the gagging can be horrible to see, but completely normal. #picknmix

The Breastest News on 30 August 2015 at 14:33 said...

Beau is Blue - It is very messy but a pleasure to watch. She loves her food so I'm happy she's happy :) Glad your little man is a happy munching food monster too x

The Breastest News on 30 August 2015 at 14:34 said...

Alison - Thank you. Yeah it's hard when they throw things over the edge and onto the floor. My dogs are having a whale of a time! I'm trying to keep them away but they're so fast!! Yeah gagging not so good but we're used to it now I think :) x

Anonymous said...

Aww she's really enjoying it isn't she!I weaned my first two the old fashioned way and then with my daughter I tried baby led with and I have to say it was SO much easier!The gagging scared me to start with but she didn't do it much.If I were ever going to have another - fat chance ;-) - I wouldn't hesitate to do it again!

The Breastest News on 31 August 2015 at 15:42 said...

pickinguptoys - she loves it :) I know what you mean, baby led weaning is tons easier than the traditional method. Haha, I'm the same - if my some miracle I have another I'd do this again.

Stevie - A Cornish Mum on 3 September 2015 at 23:19 said...

Brilliant that she wants to try so many different things! And very cute photos, thanks for linking up to #Picknmix
Stevie x

Stevie - A Cornish Mum on 3 September 2015 at 23:19 said...

Brilliant that she wants to try so many different things! And very cute photos, thanks for linking up to #Picknmix
Stevie x

Stevie - A Cornish Mum on 3 September 2015 at 23:19 said...

Brilliant that she wants to try so many different things! And very cute photos, thanks for linking up to #Picknmix
Stevie x

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