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!
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.
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!