Diary of a Baby-Led Weaner
Once I got over my annoyance at the NHS Weaning class in which they said the government was suddenly recommending BLW for “the best start in life” (grrr!), I decided to give it a go. It sort of made sense to me and I liked the idea of Baby feeding herself. Before she hit 6 months, I dabbled in feeding her foods, but the day her half-birthday arrived, I started weaning for real.
I bought the book, checked out the blogs, and purchased a plastic cloth to put under her TrippTrapp highchair. I also acquired a “magic mat” from Tommy Tippee that suctions her plate to the table. Last but not least, I ordered a weekly Baby & Toddler box from Abel & Cole (although if I get another swede or celeriac, I’m going to throw it at the delivery man).
In the first week, there was a lot of gagging and I doubt anything went down. Whenever she gagged, I did my best not to react; in fact, I’d usually smile beatifically at her, like gagging was the best thing in the world and I was so proud of her for doing it. The gagging reflex in babies is located much more forward on the tongue (whereas it’s at the back of the throat in adults) to make sure they don’t choke.
After about a week and a half, I noticed a marked reduction in gagging and saw some broccoli in her poo. Yea, Baby!
We are now on our third week of BLW and the benefits as I see them are:
- She learned to chew pretty quickly
- She feeds herself
- She sits at the table while I/we eat as part of the family
- She tries everything I put in front of her
- I have NOT bought loads of new equipment, like mini blenders and Wean Machines
- I’m enjoying preparing food again
- My diet has become healthier
This last one is my favourite benefit. I don’t eat broccoli, but I have been eating it because I’m feeding it to her. I’m actually achieving close to my five-a-day! However, I’ve also turned into a bottom feeder – that is, I eat whatever she throws on the floor. I think that puts me in the same social strata as our cats.
So far, I’ve given her:
- Apple wedges baked with a sprinkling of cinnamon (THIS IS HER FAVOURITE)
- Banana (messy and turns into cement when you try to wash it off everything)
- Baked sweet potato and parsnip wedges (skins on) – (LOVES these)
- Steamed carrot and broccoli
- Courgette rounds baked with a little parmigiano cheese melted on top (LOVES IT)
- Fusilli pasta with homemade tomato sauce and parm cheese (doesn’t love it yet)
- Cheese omelette and toast fingers
- Chicken and turkey (the cats loved it when she dropped it on the floor)
- Organix Rice Cakes and Gingerbread men
I’m really enjoying weaning her this way. I don’t necessarily believe that it’s better than the puree route, but I’m having fun. And from the smile on her face and the mess on her plate, I think she is, too.