Someone asked me the other day how baby-led weaning is going. Initially, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to respond, but decided I’d go with totally honest:
- It’s going fine.
- It turns out Boo loves to eat from a spoon (d’oh!).
- I still forget to feed her “real” food more days than not.
By the way, this (left) is her wearing a 2T t-shirt yesterday. At 7.5 months old. Clearly her massive size allows me the privilege of not stressing about this whole new stage.
Generally, we sit her down for at least one family meal a day. Her favorite foods still include pickles and cucumbers, but now also include Cheerios, broccoli, and a prune/pear puree I bought at Target.
A puree?! Yep.
Because something blocked her up a few weeks ago and I wanted to get substantial amounts of prunes into her to fix it. And it worked! Probably too well. I’ll spare you the details.
She also likes peas, but only when fed to her on a spoon. Not mashed or pureed pees. Just peas. On a spoon.
Babies are weird, no?
So, we’re chugging along, taking it slowly, handing her things to chomp on when we think about it. We’re not shying away from spices or flavor and so far she’s turned down very little.
Poppy has helped us along by feeding her little sister several things on her own — pretzels, bunny crackers, apple slices, hard boiled egg, and bouncy balls.
Clearly, we need to (1) keep a closer eye on these two when together, and (2) start calling it what it is: sibling-led weaning.
I’m still referring to the Baby-Led Weaning cookbook here and there, but it’s proved less helpful than I initially thought. I do sometimes struggle with exactly what I should give the baby for dinner when whatever we’re eating isn’t conducive to self-feeding (like chili), but the book is really just a standard cookbook. In the intro, they talk about how some families struggle with BLW because they don’t cook “from scratch” and rely a lot on quick/prepared foods that are too sodium-heavy for babies, but we don’t do much of that around here so 95% of what we eat is fine to share without any special preparation. The cookbook‘s intro and opening chapters are useful for learning about the general principles of BLW, however, so I’d still recommend it for someone looking for a quick-start guide to this style of weaning and some inspiration for healthy meals to try.
[If you're looking for more in-depth info, the original Baby-Led Weaning book is a good read.]
Overall, I’m glad we’re taking this approach again. It seems that Boo is going to learn to love food more quickly than P did and really seems to have better fine motor skills than her big sister did at this age. I remember P taking forever to figure out how to pick up little bits of food and successfully maneuver them into her mouth with any reliability. But Boo has no problem.
Pick up. Stuff in face.
She’s a pro.
She still loves nursing above all else, however, and I expect that to continue for some time. We’ll continue to follow her lead on that front and see where it takes us. I will say, though, that I am looking forward to food taking a bigger role in her daily diet only because that will allow me a little more flexibility in my life. But then suddenly she’ll be three years old and perfectly capable of existing for days in someone else’s care and I’ll miss these months when I (well, the boobs) was her primary security object, so it’s probably best not to get ahead of myself.
Did your family practice BLW? If so, how did it go for you?