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The Year in Review: Baby Led Weaning Style

by Guest in Birth & Baby

A guest post by Renee:

When you have a baby born in January one of the neat things about the inevitable New Years “year in review” is that its also a retrospective on their first year – and what a packed year that is!

In just these last 12 months this little guy:

Baby Led Weaning

is now practically walking.  It blows you away sometimes as a parent how quickly these little precious beings grow and change.

After my third child I am maybe not as blown away at that though as my husband was when I first started baby led weaning with this little guy.  Suffice to say – it was not something we had done before and he was not convinced it was safe.

Here’s the truth about it:  Sometimes it is scary!  Every time our little guy gagged on something and my husband gave me that “Are you sure about this?” look I definitely second guessed myself.  But ultimately my mommy instincts felt like this was ok.  I didn’t force it.  He was trying to grab things from our plates.  He just isn’t really happy being spoon fed.

I will note though that there are some things that personally I did not feel comfortable giving him.  At 6 months he was gnawing on BBQ ribs happily but I still get anxious about whole grapes. You can get basic guidelines on how to manage BLW all over the web but mostly I go with my gut.  If it doesn’t feel comfortable to me – I break it up a little more.

And yes…my husband still feeds him organic jar food when I’m not around because that is his comfort area and our daycare does both jars and finger food.  So we have progressed our way through and found a balance that works for us.

I won’t say I ever really “sold” my husband on the idea completely but I will say this cute video made us both laugh and took away some of the scary factor.

So here is what I know now at 11 1/2 months

  • He is totally fine!
  • He still sometimes gags but it gets less and less frequent.
  • He is a voracious eater. This kid LOVES to eat.
  • Of my three sons he has the most diverse palette. He will literally try anything.
  • He eats off a spoon but he definitely seems to prefers to feed himself.
  • His weight is healthy

For us BLW was not a an “all or nothing” thing. We combined it with some jar food feedings in a way that worked for us but overall we are really happy with the way the experience has made our newest family member more of a part of family meals and we think *fingers crossed* that it will help lead to healthier food choices in the future.

Now the biggest question is: What do I make for dinner tonight? Hmmm…

Renee is the mom of three crazy boys, an avid yogi and a self confessed data geek. You can see more of her rantings writing at Life Half Crunched.

  • Shannon

    Cute video? I don’t see a link but my hubby is a little nervous about BLW too ( my baby is 6 months and we just started) so I would love to see it!

    • I just re-added it Shannon. For some reason it disappeared after I hit publish, second time that happened this week.

  • I did baby lead weaning with little E, and am so happy I did! She eats so well. I mean she didn’t start really eating full meals until about 13 months, but she was nursing like a champ. She drank my smoothies and juices, and I started her on bananas and avocados. I personally hate watching people force-fed their kids. Maybe they aren’t hungry, maybe they don’t like the food. I just gave her food and off she went. It took a few months for her to realise that she could actually put the food in her mouth and eat it. It was fun to watch her discover new foods. I will definitely be doing this with #2! :)

  • We did baby led weaning, too! That child is still a very adventurous eater and I think all the better for having had that experience. It was also so much easier on me as the parent. Way less planning involved, and going out to eat was a lot easier, too. 

  • Baby-led weaning made our eighteen-month-old a champion eater. He hasn’t met a food he didn’t like–except those terrible Gerber Graduate meat sticks, which he politely returned to the jar.

    BLW was a great experience for us because it allowed our son to join in our family’s most important ritual from a very young age. He remains eager to learn how to do all the things we do, up to carefully sweeping the floor and making his own PB&J. I think letting him eat “grown-up” foods right away showed him that he’s just a person in training–the adult world is open to him if he is willing to learn.

    (Thomas and I are sharing a banana when he is 7 months old. I know eating a banana isn’t really a feat for a baby, but sharing a meal at a table with adults is a wonderful skill!)

  • Jenn

    babies also gag on pureed food… :)
    my son is 7.5 months and I am in no rush to begin at this time, however I will definitely be doing baby led feeding with him!