One of decisions that we made as parents was to do baby led weaning with LP and Little Man. It’s a decision that was easy to make and that I have been glad of ever since. It was part of the reason I started blogging and something I have blogged about regularly since but not since Little Man turned one. So I thought it was time to give a little update on how baby led weaning worked for us.
Here are 10 reasons why I loved baby led weaning:
It’s free – Baby led weaning fitted so effortlessly into our lives that we didn’t need to buy any extra food for the first few months and we only really bought extra exotic fruit or foods that we didn’t eat usually to see what the children would think of them. We didn’t have to buy any baby food products unless we wanted to.
It’s easy – As with the above, baby led weaning fitted so easily into our lives. The children ate what we ate. We didn’t have to make purees or anything extra for them and the most we did was add cucumber and cucumber sticks to the side of a typical meal. Baby led weaning for us was a lazy choice – but a fantastic one.
It’s convenient – The children didn’t have to eat something special in restaurants and shared our meals from the start until they were both over two – and then started having their own children’s meal. Wherever we went there was something for the children to eat and we didn’t have to pack special food or find some way to heat it up. The children just ate whatever was on offer.
It helps children make their own food choices – From the start of baby led weaning we offered the children a choice of foods on one plate – or their high chair tray at the start. They’d have what we were eating – bolognese for example – and so would have bolognese sauce, spaghetti, garlic bread, cheese and then veg sticks in front of them. They could explore the food, play with it and eat it but they had the option to eat which bits they wanted to eat. Even now, two years on, the children like to have the same food options as the adults and eat the things they want to eat. They have really varied tastes and love things like spicy curries, fajitas and stir fry.
It’s relaxed – From the start of baby led weaning we didn’t have to worry about how much they were eating, whether they’d eaten the right food groups or whether they were going to open their mouth for the next spoon of food. We put food in front of them and they ate it in their own time. Some meals were a success, others weren’t but we reminded ourselves constantly that food is fun until they’re one and by that point they were both eating a good meal three times a day. Before the age of one they still get all the nutrients they need from milk so food intake isn’t an issue.
It’s social – Baby led weaning lets children eat at the same time as their parents, without anyone’s food going cold. They can sit at the table with grown ups or other children and can participate fully in meals times – making happy noises and practising their sounds whilst eating. Baby led weaning helps children to learn about the social side of meal times and ever since LP has started weaning we have eaten together as a family as much as possible.
It’s a talking point – Whether we are at a friend’s house or out at a restaurant or cafe, people always comment on how well the children eat and have done since they were tiny. People are always amazed at seeing small babies eating proper food and it brings out curiosity in everyone. I used to love introducing strangers to the wonder of baby led weaning.
It made us laugh – LP and Little Man had a new taste face that they’d make each time they tried something new. It was the sweetest, cutest and funniest thing we had ever seen. As well as that, babies have their own techniques of getting food to their mouths and often Little Man’s hand movements would have us in hysterics. Baby led weaning is a funny business!
It was never boring – Cooking new things for the children to try, buying new exotic fruit or going to a posh restaurant when the children were a year old. Baby led weaning was never boring and helped us all to have new experiences. It was great seeing their reactions to different foods, working out their preferences and using those to try new things. It was an exciting time.
It was fun – Everyone knows that baby led weaning is messy but that doesn’t stop it being fun. The children loved exploring new foods and we loved watching their reactions. Once we’d got over the initial shock of just how messy it was we found it to be a really enjoyable experience – and the mess thankfully got less over time too! The children loved learning about food and we enjoyed it too.
If you want more tips or advice on baby led weaning check out our Top 10: Baby Led Weaning Tips post – it has my best advice for anyone looking to start baby led weaning.