This week’s Baby Led Weaning post come from Jemma over at Thimble and Twig. Jemma talks about her weaning experiences with her two children.
When my now 5 year old was 6 months, I was dead excited to start weaning. I bought tons of little pots, had my blender at the ready and began steaming, boiling and pureeing with gusto!! The freezer was stacked to the brim with odd combinations such as cauliflower and pear (I had read somewhere that mixing flavours would make them less fussy!!)
Alas: the weaning experience was not as joyful as expected. Pip refused to eat anything off the spoon and just shook her head violently. It was one day when we were out and she snatched a pouch of Ella’s Kitchen out of my hands to suck herself, that I realised she was a lot more independent than I’d given her credit for. That evening as we tucked into pasta and olives, Pip reached in and took a whole handful. Olives are still her favourite food.
I didn’t realise we were ‘baby led weaning’ until a friend mentioned it and lent us a brilliant book ‘Finger Food for Babies and Toddlers’ by Jennie Maizels. This opened our eyes to lots more recipes and risotto bites became a firm favourite. At 7 months, Pip would regularly tuck into chorizo, omelette and broccoli, the only thing she ate off a spoon was yoghurt.
BLW seemed to be just coming into its own around this time (2008) and soon everybody was talking about it. I started to become slightly uncomfortable with it (I’ve never been one for the latest fashion and fads) it seemed to be the ‘trendy’ way to feed your baby and I had a lot of encounters with fanatical BLWners telling me I should pre-load our daughter’s yoghurt spoon otherwise we ‘weren’t doing it properly’. Mums that followed the traditional purée route were suddenly shunned and looked down upon and I found that some mums over complicated the whole situation with competitions of who could get their child to eat the most adventurous foods.
I also dreaded eating out with BLW little ones. The fanatical BLWners seemed to think BLW was synonymous with mess and that their choice of weaning style meant they were exempt from having to clear up the mess their baby had created. ‘Oh isn’t it fun to see them enjoy their food!’ A mother said to me as I watched her baby plaster banana and avocado over some walls in a restaurant. Obviously exploring food is important but some seemed to take it to the extreme. On a side note- I found catering rolls for spreading out under the high chair and Silly Billyz Bibs that can even tumble dry! Complete essentials for combating the mess!
When my son was born, I was delighted that he took food off the spoon! It made it a lot more easy when we were out and I offered him finger food at 7/8 months so it didn’t seem that different from BLW anyway. Just a couple of months later than with my first.
However, he is our fussiest child and struggles to try new foods. Although he adores fruit, the only vegetables he eats are carrots. I’m hoping this improves with age. I’ve no idea if his fussiness is to do with the lack of BLW but now that we are due to start weaning with our third child in a few months, I’ve found myself wondering what to do this time.
I’m not sure that I want to risk having another fussy child and so will probably do BLW alongside some purée food. I certainly think it’s fine to feed your baby with a spoon but also value the importance of finger food. I am firmly on the fence I think! I am also hoping that seeing his little sister tuck into different varieties of food will spur my son onto pastures new with food too! Thanks Jemma for this great post! Good luck with weaning your third child and I agree completely – It’s fine to feed your baby with a spoon, it’s fine to do whatever works for you as a family. If you’d like to read more posts about Baby Led Weaning then you can see the full guest post series and more here.