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!

Baby is Eating: To Puree or Baby Lead Weaning?

So ‘Little Dimples’ (I’m trying out new nicknames for my kids, as I’m getting a little superstitious about using their real names), turned 6 months last week and is now onto FOOD, yay!

The question is of course, ‘To Puree or not To Puree’.  My decision is to go the rather laxidazical route of the second child, which is to make it up as I go along and see how it goes.

With ‘Curly Headed Boy’, I didn’t know much about anything asI ‘d had so little warning about the ‘baby thing’, so I just assumed I’d go the puree route.  But after a couple of weeks of baby rice, he had a nasty stomach bug and then refused anything pureed.  I’m a pretty rubbish cook, so I was tearing my hair out making stuff that he then refused, especially as he wanted to be held all the time, so the whole cooking experience was a nightmare.  Then I went to a local Mum’s for coffee who passed him a strawberry when I mentioned my worries (I think that actually anyone with potential allergy issues is meant to avoid strawberries!), and heh presto he munched it down.  So I ended up sort of ‘Baby Led Weaning’, even though I don’t think it was even named at the time.  Which means, I cooked normal food (healthy, no salt etc), and let him help himself off my plate.

The downside is that obviously they can’t get lots of food into their tummies for quite a while (i.e months).  But as I was breastfeeding, it wasn’t too worrying.  The upside was several months later, when Curly headed Boy was munching on anything pretty much, and other Mums were having ‘lump refusal’.

So with Little Dimples, I’ve been letting her munch on cucumber for some time and suck my apples.  This week, I’ve given her baby porridge in the morning and evening, and let her munch on my crusts or some pitta bread.  At lunch time, I’m letting her munch on a slice of apple, or suck my banana into a big mush (she doesn’t like it squashed up); apparently fruit ferments, so it’s best during the middle of the day, which I didn’t know, but luckily was doing things the ‘right’ way around.

For a baby who has only had milk so far, it’s amazing to see her munching on bread, I really wouldn’t have imagined that it was possible.  But she can sit up really well, and has a couple of teeth; and one of my mummy blogger mates (muddling along mummy) said that is a good indication that a baby can manage baby lead weaning.

She is VERY keen on her food!  I’ll let you know which way things go and how she manages over the next couple of months.  My body is already a bit relieved, as I’m pretty sure her demand for milk has reduced just a little.