Hello sweet friends!
Welcome to my series on baby-led weaning! This first post will be all about why I chose to do BLW, some basics, how I got started, my struggles, and some great resources. Let’s get started!
Why I Chose BLW:
I knew that this was the way I wanted to introduce solids to my little one because it made so much sense that babies should learn to chew then swallow, be included in meal times with us to build better social skills, and lessen his chance of being a picky eater. BLW allows babies to explore food – taste and textures – and choose the amount and speed in which they eat.
How I Got Started:
I started off by reading the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook. This was sufficient enough for me because it’s filled with great information about signs of readiness, how to start, which foods are appropriate, and 130 recipes! There is another book in the series called Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater. I didn’t end up reading this one because I got plenty of info from the cookbook, but I’m sure it has more in depth information about BLW. If you prefer to get the most information possible, these are a great place to start!
To begin, I started sitting Nolan in his high chair so he could get used to sitting at the table before we actually introduced any food. He had no problem doing this, so I began watching for signs of readiness such as sitting up completely unassisted, being able to grasp things and bring them to his mouth, showing interest in food, and making chewing motions. These are just a few signs of being ready for solids! If you would like more information on this, I highly recommend the books I mentioned earlier. Nolan had been showing signs of readiness for a few weeks, so we started about one week before he turned six months – which is the recommended age to start solids.
The first food I offered him was avocado as you can see in the above picture! I cut the avocado into quarters and left half the peel on to give him something to grip. He pretty much just played in it, but did get a few bites in his mouth. He loved solids from the very beginning, but at first I was not confident in my skills at all. Once we started I completely threw everything I knew out the window and was afraid he wasn’t getting enough food because he would only try a little bit or none at all. I didn’t think I was serving him the right food. I was terrified that he would choke. I almost gave up several times thinking that it would be easier to feed purees. Well, NO! I’m so glad I stuck with it! It has been so amazing to watch him develop the skills needed to eat. Plus, it truly is SO MUCH easier to feed him this way.
It was a struggle to get over some of those things, but once I reminded myself that babies get most of their nutrients from breastmilk or formula I really started going with the flow and stopped worrying about how much he was actually eating. Now to get over the fear of choking, I watched several videos on YouTube to see the difference between choking and gagging. Gagging will more than likely happen, so you should educate yourself to know what it looks like. That really helped ease my fears. There is also research that suggests babies are just as likely to gag and choke on pureed food.
I will get more into our favorite first foods in another post!
Facebook! I joined several baby-led weaning pages and found them very helpful because you will get so much support from other moms doing BLW. You’ll find tons of recipes and tips and are easily able to ask questions! Here are a few pages that I love: Baby Led Weaning for Beginners, and Baby Led Weaning.
The two BLW books I mentioned above: Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater and Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook.
And Pinterest, of course!
Do you practice BLW or have you in the past? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!
See ya later! (: