I had never even heard of Baby Led Weaning until about 18 months ago, and when I did I was still not total convinced that it was as good as everyone was making it out to be. So when it came around to weaning Logan, I was really pleased to have 2 wonderful friends to talk me through it, share recipes and be on hand to support when I wasn’t sure. Now a couple of months in to BLW and I am a massive advocate.
Around 5 months Logan started to try and steal my food from my plate if I held him while trying to eat; mealtimes often became rushed affairs while he was sleeping or involved me wrestling with him while eating as quick as I could. He was nearly 6 months when we were at my friends house for lunch and she could see what a monkey he was being, and offered to cut him up some cucumber sticks. It was my first peaceful mealtime and the start of Logan’s adventure with food.
For those that haven’t heard of BLW, it is feeding your baby “normal” foods, not mush. It takes all the hassle away of pureeing and mashing away the lumps, and encourages them to eat real food and master chewing and lumps.
You start by giving them pieces of food that are big enough to be held, then sit back and watch. If they like it they will eat it, if not not, they will try it and leave it. I have yet to find anything that Logan will not eat, and there are some things that he adores and makes beautiful yummy noises as he eats.
The most important thing with weaning your child is making sure that you wait until they are ready to wean. Health visitors recommend waiting until 6 months now, to ensure that your baby’s digestive system is mature enough to cope with food. The three points that show your baby may be ready for weaning (as advise by the NHS) are:
- They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
- They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
- They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out with their tongue, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.
The biggest fear with BLW is, of course, choking. I attended a baby first aid course when Logan was 4 months old, which made me confident that if he did get into difficulty, I would know what to do. A baby’s gag reflex is much further forward on their tongue so they have a natural reflex to gag before they choke. So far, (touch wood), we have not had any problems with Logan choking on his food.
I love the ease of mealtimes now and the fact that we are all eating healthier as a family. Ordering a takeaway is too much hassle when I need to still need to make food for Logan. I have started spending much more time in the kitchen making dinners from scratch; a talent that I thought I had lost
What are your favourite family meals?