Weaning Adventures from Little Pink Teacup – Guest Post

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!

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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.

Carie’s Baby Led Weaning Experiences – Guest Post

Today’s Baby Led Weaning guest post comes from Carie who can be found on Space for the Butterflies and over on Twitter @CariemayMakes – Her blog is worth reading for the photography alone, I love the photos of her gorgeous girls!

I never set out to be a baby led weaning mama. But then again I’m not sure I set out with much of a predetermined plan for parenting. All we really knew was that we were having a baby, we were going to love him or her more than any baby had ever been loved ever ever ever, and we’d figure the rest out as we went along.

And that’s pretty much how it’s been. I nursed and Kitty thrived, so I kept doing it until she weaned herself just shy of her second birthday. We co-slept when it was what Kitty seemed to need, and let her have her own space when she wanted that, and I think I am, and always will be, learning from my girls and trying to figure out what’s best for our little family at any given moment.

When it came to the time to start food, a friend from our antenatal class mentioned Baby Led Weaning I was intrigued; I’d never heard of it before but the more I heard the more I liked.

We had a great weaning session from our Health Visitors at the baby clinic, which was extraordinarily eye opening as far as the content of pre-prepared baby food was concerned, and she talked about purees for weaning and baby led and simply presented them as options; no bias, no judgment, just information and the confident expectation that we would choose whatever seemed best for our family and our babies.

And for Kitty it just seemed to make sense. She’d been trying to poach food off our plates for a few weeks before we started and I think the first food she ever licked was a slice of cucumber purloined from the salad accompanying my fish and chips when we were out to supper one night. She started officially with sticks of fresh pepper or cucumber; steamed broccoli ‘trees’ and a good handful of whatever she could pinch off someone else’s plate and never really looked back, especially when she discovered just how much fun you could have with a bowl of tomato pasta shapes!

Kitty

Kitty

And Elma, finally let loose on all this lovely food after six months of sitting at the dinner table watching us eat, just couldn’t get going fast enough. At fifteen months she still very firmly believes that all food was put on this earth for her to eat and gets very cross if she thinks someone is eating something that she hasn’t been offered. And as Kitty is always sweet enough to want to share it’s probably a good thing we went down the BLW route, or we might have found it was sister-led weaning whenever we weren’t looking.

Carie

Elma and Kitty eat what we eat, and always have. Sometimes cut up a little more, or mixed with a little yoghurt to cool the spice and the heat if it’s curry night, and they seem to be thriving on it.

Right now Elma’s favourite foods are sausages, blueberries, mashed potatoes (eaten by the fistful), breadsticks, carrots, stewed apple and anything currently on Mama’s plate – I keep going to pick up my supper and find that a little hand has reached out and snaffled it first, even if there’s already some of whatever it was on her plate!

Kitty at three and a half is right in the middle of the neophobic stage and sometimes even the things she loved yesterday are persona non grata today. We’re trying to stick to those principles that made BLW work for us in the first place and trust her with her food; we say what appears on the table and she has complete control over how much or whether she eats, although we do encourage her to take a ‘polite taste’. She loves chocolate and olives, blueberries and pasta with tomato sauce, just not all at once

At the end of the day, the aim of the whole process is to feed our children. BLW was and is the perfect fit for our family, and I have no doubt I’ll be starting all over again about this time next year!

Thanks so much Carie for this lovely post – Your plan to love your babies as much as possible and figure the rest out as you went along sounds pretty much like our plan in the beginning too!

If you’d like to read more posts about Baby Led Weaning then you can see the full guest post series and more here.

6 Months of Baby Led Weaning

We has been 6 months since we started Baby Led Weaning with Little Man. Those six months have been some of the messiest but most rewarding of my life!

I don’t think BLW second time around has been as messy as weaning LP but I think part of that is we knew what to expect and nothing will ever seem as messy as BLW for the first time.

Little Man eats food like it’s going out of fashion, tries everything and has clear favourite foods – Pasta and meat – Sausages, chicken, ham. He isn’t really fussy where meat is concerned! He also loves fruit and will eat it until it comes out of his ears.

Like with LP we have had a couple of instances of Little Man overeating if he really enjoys something – Pasta generally. He will eat and eat and eat so quickly that he doesn’t realise he’s full. LP used to do the same thing with mango. There have been a couple of horrendous episodes of him being sick just after going to bed because of this and so we try and pace him at meal times as much as possible.

Little Man has started to use a bowl at some meal times that suctions onto the highchair tray. Generally it’s still easier to put food directly onto the tray but we’re also trying to get him used to a plate as well. It’s a balancing act! We haven’t introduced cutlery yet apart from loaded spoons of yogurt and fruit purees which he loves!

Baby Led Weaning is definitely a lot less messy now that we’ve been doing it for 6 months. Little Man eats a lot, only drops things on the floor occasionally or if they roll down his bib and onto the floor. There is definitely now light at the end of the weaning tunnel.

Baby Led Weaning has definitely been the right choice for us this time and Little Man is loving it. Meal times are a real family thing and it’s great to have the children really a part of that.

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Colette’s Weaning Experiences – Guest Post

The latest post in my Baby Led Weaning series is from Colette who can be found over at Going on an Adventure and on Twitter @Lollinski. Colette talks about her weaning experiences with her two children older children as she’s about to embark on weaning for a third time.

Weaning . . . aside from toilet training (which I’m currently going through for the second time) is my least favourite bit of parenting so far.  It’s hard work, it’s messy and it’s wasteful.  Weaning means being more organised, carrying even more stuff around with me and planning where I’m going to be at meal times.  Boobs are just there and ready when you want them with minimal fuss!

Eeee I sound like a right misery don’t I?

When I was weaning my eldest I found it so stressful.  I was so nervous about getting things wrong. I attended a class led by my Health Visitor, I read things online, I bought recipe books.  I didn’t want to risk getting it wrong.  I was worried about allergies, worried about making him a fussy eater, about over feeding him or under feeding him and I was terrified of him choking.  I went down the traditional route of pureeing everything – it took forever and I have painful memories of pushing mash potato through a sieve – he didn’t even eat it.  I introduced new things one day at a time in case of allergy, I followed the book to the letter introducing texture and so forth.  Urgh I feel stressed out just thinking about it.  What a blooming faff.

Wean Ben

When we hit the weaning phase a second time round it was very different.  I was more relaxed.  I’d learned to trust that incredible gag reflex and the structured mealtimes didn’t seem such a stretch from the flexibility of breastfeeding as I was already feeding Ben. I bypassed baby rice and purees and went straight in with a mashed banana.  Because I’d waited that little bit longer and Chloe was 6 months when we started I was able to give her just about anything and she was quickly eating mashed up fish fingers (with the crust removed) and basically whatever Ben was having for his lunch. We got rid of the highchair quite quickly too and just used a booster seat which meant Chlo was able to sit at the table and really able join in with mealtimes.

(Whilst I never called this approach “Baby Led Weaning” – in fact I actively avoided calling it that as I hated the idea of being sucked into this “trendy fad” but in all honesty I guess that’s what it was, I’m sure some purists would disagree but we just got on with it and it worked for us.)

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When I compare the two experiences not only was Chloe’s weaning phase considerably more relaxed but in the long run I would say it was probably more effective as Chloe is certainly a less fussy eater than Ben – that’s not to say she hasn’t restricted her tastes somewhat as all toddlers do or that Ben hasn’t outgrown some of his fussiness and really how are we to know if this is down to them as children on the way they were weaned.  At the end of the day they both eat a pretty balanced diet without too much fuss.   And now we’re about to start weaning again for the third (and final!) time and there certainly won’t be any baby rice!!

Thanks Colette for this great post. I love hearing about other people’s weaning experiences and how they ended up doing baby led weaning – especially when they didn’t even know about it at the time!

If you’d like to read more posts about Baby Led Weaning then you can see the full guest post series and more here.

Weaning – The Ordinary Moments

Weaning has been a part of our lives for what feels like forever. Little Man is now a year old and I am very aware that his weaning journey is nearly over – He is getting less messy by the day, hardly anything ends up on the floor and he’ll be eating with cutlery before I know it.

There are times though, when Little Man is as messy eating as he was when he started weaning 6 months ago. We tend to share all our meals with the children, even puddings and Little Man always has his share and loves the treat as much as the rest of us.

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Hubby and I have found amusement over the last couple of months in the way that Little Man puts food into his mouth. He’ll scoop as much into his fist as possible and then move his fist to his mouth…

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He’ll then opens his hand to push the food into his mouth using his palm but spreads his fingers at the same time!

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He does this repeatedly through meal times and it makes us laugh constantly like he’s going ‘Ta-Da!’ with every mouthful. He really does love his food and has a great appetite – I haven’t worried about the amount he’s been eating, drinking or whether he’s eating the right things at all. Weaning this time has been a complete joy and so much easier than weaning for the first time.

Yes, weaning has been messy but we’re nearly over that and at times, like this, you just have to embrace the mess 🙂 Weaning has turned to eating which in turn will turn into pretty normal ordinary moments for us.

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