Wait what? Weaning? Didn’t she just write a post about how she isn’t going to wean her son from nursing? Yes, I did.
Baby Led Weaning has nothing to do with weaning your baby from nursing, but adding solid foods and allowing them to feed themselves from the beginning of when you introduce solids. Basically, you are not feeding your child mushed baby food. My son’s first solid food was steamed broccoli in pieces that were big enough for him to pick up and eat on his own. You can read a little more about baby led weaning (BLW) here.
I have had it on my mind for a while now to tell you about our adventures with feeding my son. He will be two in less than two weeks (cue ugly crying!!). You might not know (well, because I haven’t really said much about it), but we did baby led weaning with my son when he hit six months. I started looking into it and researching more when he was about 4 months old and I was constantly texting a friend who had done it with her kids.
I don’t remember exactly why I started looking into it. I think I ran across a few posts on Pinterest that got my attention. Looking back I remember instantly being terrified of the idea…”what if he started choking!?” But I was so intrigued that I wouldn’t have to feed him mushed baby food…I mean, come on, that stuff is seriously so gross. I liked that I could basically feed him whatever we were eating.
I do have to admit, though, I did miss that typical ‘mom sits down to feed her baby’ feel. I didn’t get to do the airplane sounds with the spoon to try to get your baby to take a bite. I was a little sad about that because I had always pictured that when I thought about having kids in the future. But anyway, moving on.
My Son’s First BLW experience:
Like I said, his first solid food was steamed broccoli cut into good pieces he could actually pick up and eat. At six months, he had not yet developed his pincher grasp so he had to have pretty good sized pieces. Once babies develop the pincher grasp, you can start doing things like peas or cheerios. (I don’t have a photo of his first time eating, but that large carrot is about the size I gave him for his second food. The smaller pieces are from him smashing and breaking it off.)
We started off by giving him food around the time that we ate dinner. (You know how it is when they first start eating; you slowly start to add one thing every few days). So, he had and actually LOVED broccoli. Then he had steamed carrots, then corn on the cob, then chicken drumsticks (seriously though, a baby eating a chicken leg is the cutest thing ever!) Evidence of the cuteness below 😉
All I had to do was add a soft vegetable to our dinners!
No making a bunch of extra food. No mashing it up and freezing it to have on hand for later. No spending a bunch of money on overpriced containers of baby food! No boxes of rice cereal!
Then we started adding breakfast. I started giving him some fruit in the mornings. We probably started with bananas (I don’t totally remember). I would occasionally make him regular oatmeal (well actually if I had oatmeal, I would just give him a little of mine). Ok, so he couldn’t really use a spoon; he totally tired, but this is when I got to do the airplane with the spoon thing I was talking about 😉
BLW was so easy!
The last thing we added was lunch (this was probably closer to his first birthday).
-We started with one vegetable at dinnertime. He would eat that one veggie and that was all. But we allowed him to have as much as he wanted until he told us he was full. Babies that age know when they are full and they will let you know. That is one thing I wanted him to learn. I want him to eat until he is full, not to just keep eating until everything is gone and he is overstuffed. I want him to listen to his body and stop when he is done.
We would introduce one vegetable and he would have it for a few days to make sure he didn’t have any issues with it. (I have avoided giving him anything I am allergic to until he can communicate how he is feeling after he tried them). This was a slow process to introduce him to everything. But we were still nursing (a ton I might add) so I was not worried that he wasn’t getting enough.
-Then we started giving him something around breakfast. I would just give him one type of fruit and he would have a vegetable that he had already had for dinner. It was during breakfast that I started adding whole-fat plain Greek yogurt (he is still obsessed with that!).
-Next, we started giving him more protein. I had already given him a little when he was first starting. He loved chicken legs! Since he didn’t have any teeth, he was mostly just sucking on the chicken. But he loved the flavor! I started giving him eggs for breakfast and cheese with dinner along with his vegetables. He LOVES cheese!
-Then we added grains/carbs. I was already giving him oatmeal for breakfast (he loved when I would add Greek yogurt to it with some cinnamon). I would also give him toast or waffles for breakfast. He loves both of those with no sugar added applesauce on it. We would do rice with his veggies and protein for dinner or pasta for lunch.
-Lunch was the last meal I added. That was just a different veggie at first. I slowly added other things once he got a little older. We really like doing leftovers for lunch.
-I didn’t start giving him snacks until he was about a year and a half. It started out with just doing cheerios, but I try to add a fruit or cheese or something. His favorite snack is Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies! Those are great to bring when we go shopping and I want him to sit somewhat quietly in the cart, haha. 😉
So that is the timeline of how we used Baby Led Weaning with our son. Next time I will be looking back at BLW and talking about some of my thoughts, tips, and triumphs over the past year and a half. And I’ll share a few meals I gave him as well. You can read that post here!
Have you heard of Baby Led Weaning? Would you be interested in trying it? Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
**Please be sure to research this more before you try it. I am not a professional or a doctor, just a mom sharing what worked for her. 😉