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Moving On with Baby-led Weaning

Every baby will progress with solids at their own pace. With Oliver I wanted to establish lunch and see how he got on then introduce dinner maybe a month/two months later and then finally breakfast after that but Oliver had other ideas! On the second day of blw he had some lunch and it went really well and I wasn't intending on introducing dinner but he was literally all over our plates so I had to get the highchair out and give him some of our dinner! What I love about blw is that you don't have to make a different meal for your baby, they eat what you eat (well most of the time). So that night on day 2 of blw I gave Oliver some of my cauliflower and carrots and from day 2 he was having two meals a day. This is unusually fast, Jessica did not progress this quickly so just listen to your baby and take their cue, that's why its called baby led!

blw week 4 - pasta and bolognese

So once your baby has mastered individual foods in their clenched fists it's time to start offering them a variety of foods with varied textures and introduce different tastes that will test their capabilities.

You can introduce them to spaghetti, rice, mince, noodles, risotto, mashed potato. Don't worry if your baby doesn't actually manage to eat anything it's all part of the learning process. A word of warning though, be prepared for mess!!

You can start to offer smaller things like sweetcorn and peas that will test their pincer grip. The pincer grip is where babies pick up items with their thumb and forefinger. This is normally established between 8 to 12 months. Your baby may still grab these items in a fist to begin with but practice will make perfect. 

blw week 6 - chilli and rice

Something that I have found crucial in the success of blw is offering your baby a variety. As adults we are all normally guilty of eating the same foods week in week out and I found this had a negative effect on Jessica's blw experience. Around the age of 2 when her speech development was improving vastly coupled with the beginnings of the terrible twos I found that being stuck in a food repeat soon turned into a eating nightmare. She refused to try new foods, foods that she had not had in a while she would not eat and eventually meal times became quite stressful. It didn't help that I was pregnant with Oliver and my sense of smell made me gag at a lot of foods. 

blw month 3 - overnight oats 

When Oliver started weaning this definitely helped Jessica's eating habits. She was curious about what he was eating and she wanted to try some of the things he was eating. She has started eating carrots, scrambled egg and potatoes which were all complete no nos for her. We still have a way to go and there are some foods that I know she might never eat but I will keep offering her them and take it meal by meal. 

So I hope that by offering Oliver a varied diet now we will not encounter the same reluctance to try new foods when he is older. I find a meal plan a massive help. I try to do them two weeks at a time so that I don't fall into the food repeat trap and helps keep on top of my food budget too. 

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