Baby Led Weaning
I always thought that introducing my son to solids would be an easy peasy thing. Just puree some veggies and fruit, put it on a spoon and that’s it. This is what I had heard, read and what I had seen on TV. The message was clear: babies get spoon fed and eat purreed food.
My little bird taugt me differently. At around four and a half months, my son started to show a lot of interest in the food we were eating, so enthusiastically, I prepared purrees of pastinake, carrots or banana. Each time I let him try, he turned his head, closed his mouth and looked at me like “Are you serious?”. I had already heard about the baby led weaning (BLW) approach but had never really paid attention…until my cousin mentioned that her daughter did not want to eat any purees either. “She just wants to eat what her sisters and we are eating so I prepare most of our food in finger food size without salt and give her that…have a look at this blw article!” So I started to read a bit about this topic and the fact that some kids just prefer to see and touch their food and feed themselves instead of beeing spoon fed with mashed vegetables and fruit. Thiago was definitely part of these kids.
I didn’t see the point in buying the official baby led weaning book as I found enough information on the approach on the web (check this site). However, I wanted to get more details and ideas on what to cook for my boy at what stage so I purchased the official Baby Led Weaning cook book. By the way, it also includes a short chapter about the general BLW approach. The book really came in handy as it gives guidance on what food/forms to serve at what age and helps avoiding to cook always the same stuff.
Long Sleeve Bibs
Believe me, you will need these. BLW means that you will experienece a lot of mess. You can find simple long sleeve bibs at Ikea. I bought a couple by the brand Sillybillyz on Amazon as they are made both of fleece and water repellent nylon, making them a bit more comfortable. I also bought a cute one by Koeka; really soft but oviously less practical 😉 . Long sleeve bibs are in general made to fit for quite a while (size small = 6months – 2years) so it’s definitely worth it buying them…unless you don’t mind a doubled amount of washing.
BLW does not work over night. It takes time to see the results. Food that I thought was acquainted wasn’t anymore one day to another. Sometimes, I had the feeling that we were making one step ahead and then again two steps back. There was so much mess…but also so much fun. I always told myself that this apporach is what my son had chosen and that one day it would pay off.
The little bird started late to be interested in breakfast. I suggested fruits, porridge or bread but he preferred breastmilk or even skipped breakfast. Instead, he was hungry around 11am and wanted to snack. At some point, I realized as well that he was more into salty food so I started to suggest a tomatoe or croque monsieur (toasti) in the morning. BINGO, this is what he wanted.
Although my son ate real food at each meal of the day, he still requested the breats for a long time. I know from friends that the weaning process really worked with the blw approach but in our case it needed a slight push from the outside. When he began to go to daycare where he spent the whole day without me, that’s when he started to eat properly.
My son is now 17 months old and eats with his own cutlery and drinks from a normal cup. I always prepare one meal for all of us. Sure, he prefers food that most little kiddos love (i.e. home-made chicken fingers, potatoe sticks, pancakes) but also more “adult” food such as seafood risotto or lentil soup. Still, the only mashed or liquid food that he accepts from his parents is Guacamole or his beloved soy joghurt…but again, when he sees that other kids are eating mash, he suddenly eats it too…oh these kiddos!