Baby Led Weaning: The Early Days – Guest Post

Carrying on our Baby Led Weaning guest post theme, Sarah from Toby Goes Bananas talks about her thoughts on Baby Led Weaning and how they are finding it so far.

Firstly, I just want to say a big thank you to Donna for giving me the chance to write this guest post. I’m hoping some of her lovely readers can help me out with some advice.

Ever since we started trying to conceive I have always read all the books, Googled things, read reviews and blogs; basically I have done my research about pretty much everything so that I can try and do my best for Toby. So as we headed towards six months and I knew we would soon be starting weaning I got myself a few books to read. I had heard of baby led weaning and I already thought it sounded like a good idea but I wanted to at least find out a bit about ‘traditional’ weaning with purées so I could decide what was the best way forward for us.

So having done my research I decided (I do discuss these sort of things with the husband but it tends to be that I find out the information, tell him what I think, and then he agrees with me!) that we would wait until Toby was six months and then go down the baby led route. It just makes sense to me for Toby to eat the same things we do and by waiting until he was six months I could avoid lots of time-consuming purée-making and also avoid having to sterilise everything as well.

And so, on Christmas Day, even though Toby was only about five and a half months, we gave him a couple of steamed carrot sticks and some roasted parsnip fingers to see what would happen. Toby seemed to enjoy playing with them and dropping on the floor but nothing went anywhere near his mouth. Since then we have carried on giving him things off our plates; green beans, stir-fried red pepper, baby corn, banana, cucumber, cheese, toast, pasta, noodles and even a chip! He’s also had breadsticks and rice cakes. I try to give him a chance to eat solids at least once a day.

Holding a rice cake

However, I am having a bit of a dilemma. Toby is now nearly six and a half months old and of all the different foods we have given him his hasn’t yet put anything in his mouth himself. It isn’t a question of dexterity or co-ordination. He manages to pick everything up that we give him, he’s developing his pincer grip, he passes things from one hand to the other, but he just has no interest in putting any of it in his mouth. He has tried some of these things though. If I hold things for him he’ll suck or chew them and judging by his nappies he’s definitely eaten some of it! Sometimes he will even hold something in his mouth himself if I put it there first (which is what you can see in the picture of Toby eating toast). I have also tried spoon feeding him a couple of things (porridge and some Ella’s Kitchen pouch things) but he wasn’t really into that either.

Eating toast

The thing is that Toby just isn’t really interested in putting anything in his mouth, which seems a bit strange for a baby. He doesn’t chew his toys; after a brief interest when he first got it even Sophie La Girafe doesn’t go in his mouth any more. The only thing he will put in his mouth is fabric; he’s always chewing his bib or a muslin.

And so my question is this: Is Toby just not ready for weaning yet? He seems perfectly happy just with his milk at the moment and, fingers crossed, has been sleeping through the night (a full 14 hours without waking up) again recently so he can’t be hungry. I know, from reading the Baby Led Weaning book that some babies take longer than others to get the hang of weaning, and some babies aren’t ready until seven or eight months.

Getting to grips with carrot

Should we just leave it a few weeks and then try again? Or should we persevere? Do we just keep offering him food and hope that one day he decides to eat it? I know I am kind of going against the point of baby led weaning by holding food for Toby but I feel like I at least want him to get a taste of things – maybe if he gets a taste he’ll work out what he needs to do to get it in his mouth himself.

Considering toast

I know I shouldn’t compare Toby to other babies but there are so many other people on Twitter with six month old babies who seem to be eating three meals a day. When I read other baby led weaning stories they always seem to be much further down the line and just start with “we gave him some fruit/veg sticks and he loved it from the word go”. So, I would love to hear from anyone who has gone through baby led weaning and had a similar experience to us. What did you do if your baby just wasn’t interested in eating?

Any advice will be very gratefully received!

Thanks so much Sarah for this lovely post. If anyone has any advice then send it her way @tobygoesbananas  or comment on this post.

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  • Great post x just keep with it giving Toby the opportunity to explore food. We BLW and Ethan didn’t eat a thing till 8mths and the feeds didn’t start dropping till 10mths. A better way to think about weaning isn’t getting him “off milk” it’s about getting “on new things”. Whilst he’s figuring it all out he still gets everything he needs from milk. There will be plenty of people who tell you theirs was “eating 3 meals by 7mths”. Good for them. Smile politely and carry on. Toby will get there, that I can promise. I’m glad we BLW’d, was frustrating at times but watching Ethan devour everything I put on his plate (he’s now 18mths), was definitely one of the best decisions we made. Good luck xx

  • We’re doing baby led weaning with our nine month old son. For the first while, he just played with a lot of the food rather than eating it. He did take to it after a while though and I think we tried quite a few different sorts of fruit and veg with him. It went through various stages where he’d put the food in his mouth but not eat it, chew a bit and then spit it out etc. Even now, he sometimes throws a bit of food on the floor and doesn’t always seem in the mood for it. As a Scottish dad, I was really pleased to see him enthusiastically tuck in to a bowl of vegetarian haggis recently though!

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences – I think we’re just going to keep going, and keep offering Toby different foods. He’s definitely been eating more the last few days and I’m sure he’ll get the hang of getting stuff in his mouth by himself when he’s ready 🙂

  • Oooh he’s so cute! I’d persevere with including him in meal times and as he’s ready he’ll manage to get more and more in 🙂

  • 6.5 months is still very very early days lovely. I wouldn’t worry at all – seems perfectly normal to me. Just keep offering food, different bits and bobs here and there and he will do what he needs to do soon enough. Oh and never compare to what other babies are doing – it will drive you insane!! 😉 xxx

  • (Angus’Mum)
    Hi hun I think you are doing great, you sound very similar to me (researching, discussing with DH & him agreeing lol)
    I had planned to BLW but similar to Toby Angus just wasn’t up for it but he does like being spoonfed jars. I was actually against using jars but you know what, it works for us. Anything I have made him he hasn’t liked so total waste of precious rest time so I’ve learnt to live with it.
    But we still do what you are doing offering him bits all the time.
    They will get there in their own time hun.
    I also agree with what Esther said I’m not looking at it like dropping milk Im looking at it as adding new things 🙂 xxxx