Hannah Chard

Baby led weaning

written by Hannah Chard

  1. #weaning
  2. #baby led weaning
  3. #baby
  4. #solids
  5. #food

There we were happily going about our six to eight feeds each day and then suddenly whispers of, "when are you going to give her food", "what baby rice will you try", "will you start before six months"...the minefield of weaning had arrived!

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As an expectant parent there are things you and your other half pre-agree. For us it was my hope to breastfed, not using a walker, no video monitors (only sound) but also our hope that we could do Baby Led Weaning (BLW).

The technique, if you like, isn't new...the term perhaps is. In my early twenties I had worked with one of the authors of the Baby Led Weaning book and found it fascinating. So when the time came for my little super star to start embracing food we followed the Baby Led route.

BLW is as it sounds, letting the baby led the way when it comes to food, placing them in front or within reach of solid finger food and letting them pick it up and if they are ready putting in their mouth. They control when they do this, how they do this and how much they want.

Weaning as it's more commonly known is often approached with baby rice initially (mixed with breast or formula milk), building to puree's, then onto a lumpy purée and onto finger foods.

We waited until she was six months old to go down the BLW route, by this point she was fantastic with her hands and eyeing up food (there was an incident in a pancake house...mummy does not share pancakes so spotted just in time!).

Having done the research (reading the book, attending three(!) sessions on weaning and following the world of fellow BLW mums on Instagram). We started nice and simple with banana. Why banana? Well it's one of those foods you can mush up easily, well she can and she did straight into her mouth. By the end of month one she had munched on a grocery aisle variety of fruit and veg.

By month two, we'd embraced meats and fish. I'd describe myself as an ex-fussy eater so getting baby girl to embrace difference meats and fish was really important to us, and embrace she did. Chicken is a nice BLW starter meat as it's easy for baby to shred, hold and soft enough for those with no teeth (not an issue for us with a daughter who has teeth galore). Salmon is a great fish to start with and also fab to add flavours too, keeping things interesting for her!

So now here we are, nearly three months into BLW and I nearly have a nine month old (where is the stop time button?) and she is a feeding machine. Loving everything that is put in front of her. I'm not pretending I do feel like I'm constantly picking up bits of veg off the floor but to have a baby girl who eats like a dream I'd pick up everything and anything. It's also allowed my husband and I to cook and eat new things, watch the amount of salt/ sugar in foods for us all and really enjoy that family meal time.

It's easy to think all babies should go down the same route with new things. For us being brave and different and going with Baby Led Weaning we've proved that as parents your gut instincts can be spot on!

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