Baby Led Weaning, dogs, mess and smelly houses!

I’ve been meaning to post for ages about how the whole baby led weaning went on, having asked people their opinion on whether to be a purist or mix it up a bit.  In the end I’m rubbish at following any kind of technique, so I just did what Little Dimples wanted, which was no puree, let her feed herself until she had cracked it, and then be allowed to help with the odd spoon full of yogurt.  I did use some baby porridge for a few weeks, but dropped it quite quickly.

She pretty much eats everything we eat now (she turns 1 this weekend), just cut up a little smaller, and has been for the last couple of months.  I have only just given her little sips of drinks other than breast milk, so she went straight onto using a cup, or sometimes a cup with a top if I can’t watch her carefully.  The good news is that dinner doesn’t take an hour any longer, and she can pretty much get through her meal in the same time that Curly Headed boy does (mind you, thats not that speedy!).

I just followed the rule that if she could pick it up, she could eat it.  With yogurt I would dip the spoon, give it to her, and then get another ready.  Soon she was eating it herself (but I hold the pot for obvious reasons until it is nearly empty).  Now a days, she is less bothered about being independent because she can do it, so if she is tired I help out (not very purist), and if she isn’t she gets to do it all.

It has been quite messy, luckily the guys in Starbucks thought this was funny, but I don’t recommend the blueberry yogurt!

Here is a list of her big favourites, just incase it’s useful for anyone thinking about what to feed their babies

  1. peas/sweetcorn – especially one at a time – arrggggh
  2. toast with marmite/bovril/humous/squashed avocado/banana/jam/philidelphia
  3. cheerios, corn thins
  4. Pasta, potatoes, rice
  5. blueberries, strawberries (be careful of allergies), apple, pear, satsumas with the middle bit cut off the segment, grapes cut long ways, basically any fruit.
  6. broccolli – very fun!  Little tomatoes also very popular cut into 4.
  7. chicken, ham & fish, she’s not keen on beef
  8. quick snacks are: raisins, yogurt covered raisins, breadsticks, pink wafer biscuits, fig biscuits

When she is getting full, there is lots of squashing and feeding the two doggies who are now very banned from the kitchen during feeding time.  As you can see below, they are very keen on baby led weaning, but OMG the farts!  I also miss the sweet smell of a breastfed nappy, one of the prime benefits of breastfeeding if you have a sensitive nose!  All in all, I’m using a lot more of those smelly bottles with sticks that send out constant yummy smells!

If you’re thinking about baby led weaning (but not in a purist kind of way), then I can really recommend it.  You don’t have to face all the problems with lumps later on, and it is pretty incredible what they can eat straight away with just a couple of teeth; really you won’t believe it, but stuff just doesn’t have to be squashed up.  Plus, if you are a rubbish cook like me or you are working, then it’s a hell of a lot easier to be cooking one meal for the whole family.  The criteria I used to decide was that she was sitting up really well, she had a few teeth, was very dextrous and she seemed to easily handle it if she had a little choke/gag.  But I can totally see that for some babies this would be tricky, plus some mums might find it worrisome because you can’t get the quantity of food into them and puree is a lot easier in the first couple of months.  They all eat properly in the end, so don’t worry if you make a totally different decision!

5 comments

  1. I too used a relaxed baby led weaning approach for my youngest son who is 2y 3mths. Mainly driven by lifestyle, he is the youngest of 4 and frankly I didn’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen making delicate little purees.

    I found the process messy but fun and he has definitely developed a taste for a wider range of food. It was much easier to go out, make up a couple of finger sandwiches, a banana and a ‘squeezy’ yoghurt rather than keeping little pots chilled and then struggling to warm them up.

    The only small drawbacks I have found is that his table manners are still lacking somewhat! He still thinks its ok to play with his food and pick off my plate. Also he was a lot slower to get the hang of cutlery, although this has improved he will still resort to using his hands. Also, he is a complete grazer, he would rather eat every hour than a big meal with the rest of the family. I’m sure this is because he has always been able to control his intake rather than being spoon fed to almost bursting point. None of these are major negative points but it can be annoying when he won’t eat a meal but is hungry an hour later.

    1. Thanks Karen, yep I think that is probably a good description of what Curly Headed Boy was like for a while. But don’t worry – he’s fine now, and surprisingly in the last year really stopped the grazing (hes just 5).

  2. Well done sounds like it’s all gone great! Know what you mean about the small things eaten one at a time though – Bub does the exact same thing. Only comment I’d add is that they don’t even need teeth to get started – Bub had no teeth till nine months and still ate loads. It was amazing how much he could bite and chew just with his gums. Here’s to toddler led eating I guess 🙂

    1. Oooh thanks Jenny, I thought it would probably be OK without teeth – those front ones are only good for biting (ouch my shoulder!) anyway!

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