This week is the final installment in my Baby Led Weaning series and it comes from Clare over at Little Pink Teacup. Clare has to be one of my closest blogging chums and as we have fairly similar aged children I can relate a lot of what she blogs about. Go and look at her blog or find her on Twitter too @Belledidyoutell.
I am the proud weaner (is that a word? Microsoft says no…) of two babies and I wear my invisible mummy badge with pride because as any mama (or papa) knows, it ain’t as easy as it looks in them picture books!
My eldest, Moo (now three and a half), weaned early. She suffered from a very severe type of reflux that caused her to fit when it struck. It was upsetting and traumatic so as soon as she hit that four month mark I was there, armed with a Bumbo, heat-sensitive spoon and home-made apple puree!
She took to it like a duck to water and yummed it up. I was so glad when her reflux died out into nothingness. My husband’s cousin had not long had a baby and she had done all the things that at the time were considered ‘new-agey’ and ‘hipsterish’ like hypnobirthing, water birthing and baby led weaning. I remember being pregnant and she’d pop over from Jersey and rave for hours about pregnancy yoga, birth plans and the dreaded weaning. To be honest, I thought the idea of baby led weaning was all a bit hippy-ish…
…until she hit six months and would physically wrestle the spoon of my lovingly-hand-prepared purée combos out of my hands. She was SO over being spoon fed now that she had figured out how to get her hand to her mouth and out again. So I did a spot of research and tentatively tested the waters with some carrot fingers.
We never looked back.
So naturally, when my second rolled around to the weaning stage I already had a very clear idea that baby-led was the way forward. Ha ha. He had other ideas. I tried him with foods at five and a half months as milk just didn’t seem to be enough. He wasn’t interested in either finger food or ‘mush’.
Three weeks later he finally started eating…but he wasn’t interested in feeding himself, he very much wanted the spoon treatment and would just ignore anything grab-able that I would place on his tray. I spent two tortuous weeks spoon-feeding that little monster, and if anyone thinks that traditional weaning is the ‘lazy’ way or the ‘safe’ way, I challenge you to pop round and take a look at the butternut squash stains in my carpet and hear about the backache I got from eating my (cold) dinners sat on the floor beside the Bumbo (my skinny Minnie children couldn’t sit in high chairs for ages).
Suddenly, one day he started to make grabs for the spoon, he’d snatch it and stuff it in his mouth (occasionally getting the right end, too)! Prising that thing off of him to re-load it with yet more brightly-coloured, fresh, home-blitzed gloopiness was like a battle that usually resulted in one or both of us crying.
Once again we started with baby carrots at dinnertime and it was the beginning of yet another beautiful relationship with BLW! At the moment I tend to help him with breakfast (baby porridge/muesli or yogurt) but lunch and dinner are baby led with our top favourites being clementines, carrots, parsnips and banana!
I’m really lucky to have two children who love their food and my best advice I could give for anyone just starting out on weaning would be to just not give up. Just keep trying, no baby will let themselves starve and the temptation to explore will grip them sooner or later!
Thanks to Clare from such a lovely post – It’s great to hear from someone that has tried different weaning methods and found a way that worked in the end.
If you’d like to read more posts about Baby Led Weaning then you can see the full guest post series and more here.