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.
8 thoughts on “10 Reasons I Loved Baby Led Weaning – Two Years On”
We did something similar, we weren’t insistent on the children feeding themselves, we did a combination of finger food and spoon feeding, but they always ate the same as us and we all eat together. We’ve also found it really beneficial, the girls have good food habits and good table manners and will still eat virtually anything.
my little girl is 6 months in about a week, would love to go with BLW, bit scared though, what food did you start with at the very first beginning?
Literally anything chunky that they can grip easily – mango slices with the skin left on was fantastic. Also sticks of cucumber x
thank-you i might try the mango, i just worry she will bite a chunk off with her gums with some food. Would be so much easier though :)))))
We’re weaning again now and like with Toby the first time we’re doing a bit of a mixture of babyled and traditional weaning. For us it’s the best of both worlds – if Gabe can pick it up easily he feeds himself and if it’s really messy I spoon feed him. He still just eats what we eat though and I love if we go out he can just have something off our plates.
This is the exact reason we chose to do BLW. No fuss. No effort.
The mess bothered me at first, as I’m a complete neat freak, but once I saw T enjoying his food and having fun I quickly got over it. There really is something special about watching a baby enjoy a roast on Sunday or pancakes on Saturday.
I know some babies can take their time getting used to it, but it’s totally worth the wait. It’s brilliant. I do, however, feel for the poor restaurant cleaners!
Oh I can’t agree more with the above! We’re doing BLW for the second time now and it’s SO much fun! My biggest plus as a parent is that everyone gets to ear their OWN food – no spoon feeding while my food gets cold 🙂 x x
We loved baby led weaning too. I was the only one of my friends who did it surprisingly, and it was so much easier when out and about. The others all had to take out food in pouches etc, I could just bung in whatever, or just buy something. I’m lazy so I was never going to puree if I could help it.
We were lucky. N was so keen on food, it just went straight in his mouth, even preloaded porridge spoons! There was very little mess. He’s worse now because he fidgets, talks and looks around everywhere more. And he comes home from school and after school club with plenty of muck down his front! Although less on his face.