Weaning! What fun! And it is fun… Albeit a massive stress test for my orderly self- note to self, weaning is messy, you cannot control it and no matter how hard you try the food will get everywhere!
We are joining the world of Baby Led Weaning (BLW), for those of you who have no idea what BLW is, check out the next two links:
The basic principles of BLW are:
*Forgetting purées and spoons and letting your baby feed themselves.
*Offer baby age appropriate, nutritious finger foods.
*Baby can have almost anything you are eating with the exception of salt, sugar, honey, spices, fast-food, low fat foods, undercooked eggs, shark, shellfish and marlin.
*Eat with baby at mealtimes. This encourages baby to join in chewing and swallowing.
Do not fear! I’m not going to start preaching about purées vs BLW- whatever route you decide to take with your baby makes no difference to anyone else. It’s a personal choice and either form of weaning is beneficial and effective in it’s own way, we just decided to go with BLW.
We never intended to go down the BLW route, I had never even heard of it until a month ago, but after The Lamb practically ripped the spoon out of my hand and started feeding herself mash and happily chowing down strips of sausage, it became apparent that she was more than up to the task!
Originally, we decided to do a mixture between purées and finger foods and would offer her a preloaded spoon with porridge/mash etc on it so she could feed herself.
The Lamb enjoying pasta and peppers
She loves eating! She loves picking up pieces of food and exploring different tastes and textures. So far she’s had:
Pasta in tomato sauce,
Sweet potato mash,
Hard boiled egg mashed on toast,
Peanut butter on toast,
Soft cheese on toast,
Tuna mashed on buttered bread,
Cheese and onion biscuits,
Organix crisp sticks,
Cheddar cheese sliced,
Blueberry rice cakes,
Strawberry and raspberry purée.
She’s enjoyed practically everything she’s had so far and sausages, cheese and pasta are definitely a firm favourite.
Something neither a favourite of hers, or mine however, is porridge.
Porridge. The one and only time I have deviated from the BLW plan and fed my child her whole meal. Why? Well to put it simply A. I’m a control freak and B. We didn’t have the usual 30 minute window for eating, more like 15 minutes, so I thought it would be easier if I just fed her myself.
Will I do it again? No.
Why? Because, dear friends, despite me being continually asked “Won’t she choke on that piece of toast?” “Won’t she choke on that lump of sausage?” “Should she be feeding herself like that?” the one and only time my Little Lamb has come close to choking was with porridge.
Yes. Good old fashioned, traditional, healthy, wonderful porridge.
Not a carrot.
Not a piece of sausage.
Not with toast.
Not when feeding herself.
Only with porridge. When I was trying to feed her.
What actually happened was that she snorted it. Yes, snorted it. Babies can only breathe through their noses until around 6 months- here’s the sciencey bit- when rapid physical growth moves the soft palate and epiglottis further apart which allows for them to breathe through their mouths.
Egg mashed on toast was a winner, still unsure about the egg whites though!
I’m not quite sure how it happened but it happened. Of course everyone was fine, and it was even quite funny looking back, but it served a good purpose. I’m not going to interfere with mealtimes from now on.
One theory behind BLW is that all children develop at their own rate with crawling, talking etcetera so why should food be any different? It makes sense. If you’d see the look of glee on my little girls face when she feeds herself or the look of pure shock on mine when she grabbed the spoon from my hand and proceeded to feed herself with it first time (I never got the chance to even show her what to do) you’d probably take a different view point too.
I think we’re all processed to think of baby’s as completely incapable beings who need everything to be done for them and that’s not entirely true…
Plus I can’t imagine snorting porridge is very nice, can you?
If you are considering the Baby-Led route, these two websites are a great place to start with recipes and tips: