In the first part of this three part series I talked about the top 10 reasons why you would even think about sharing your baby led weaning experience with others via 2 social media platforms or blogging.
Today, you will read how 10 moms handled baby led weaning, with the best parts, the bad parts and the messy parts. And all of them share their journeys online as well, in one form or another.
Let’s dive in. Power to the mammas!
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10 moms share their baby led weaning journeys
If you’ve read my roundup posts with breakfast ideas and muffin recipes and you’re quite familiar with them, then you’ll probably have heard about Nicola’s blog, www.mummytodex.com. She’s the happy mom of 1 (soon to be joined by another), sharing her baby led weaning journey, from beginning all the way through toddlerhood, as well as various parenting tips and hacks. What I loooove about her recipes is the simplicity and the fact they’re nutritious, and you know I like simple and yummy food, so it only made sense to start with her.
Here’s what she had to say about the whole baby led weaning experience. You might just find some baby led weaning meals ideas in there to start with.
We loved our baby led weaning journey. At first it was a little scary as I had no support and I worried about Dex choking but he took to it straight away. I had a few comments from friends and family who thought we were mad but once they saw him at a year old able to eat whatever we were eating without fuss, they soon changed their minds. It got very messy and was quite stressful having to change clothes several times a day but I invested in a coverall bib which saved my sanity! We started with banana pancakes as the first ever food and he ate all four that I made. After that I just offered him a little bit of whatever we were having and his firm favourites became spaghetti bolognese, bananas, blueberries, crumpets, omelettes and savoury muffins.
Yum! My toddler’s favourites as well! It must be something in the air!
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Now, Jen from Minnesota Momma, has a lifestyle blog which includes some baby led weaning tips, along posts related to DIY, pregnancy and blogging tips. Her posts on baby led weaning may not include recipes, however you can purchase her Baby Led Weaning Quick Guide with 3 months worth of food ideas for your little one.
Here’s what she said about baby led weaning.
We absolutely LOVE baby left weaning! We had a great experience starting our son with baby left weaning. His pincer grasp developed so quickly, eating together as a family is so fun and easy, and never worrying about baby food has been a huge bonus.
If you don’t know what pincer grasp is, I wrote a post about it here, including ways to improve and develop it.
So Jen makes money from selling her own products. She decided baby led weaning is worth teaching to others so she wrote a handy ebook.
Olivia from Happy in the Hollow, on the other hand, has a more lifestyle type of blog, where she combines stories related to travelling, money, home, garden and life in general. She also shares recipes and food tips. Her baby led weaning experience is a bit unique, in terms of foods, as you will read below.
We started BLW out of convenience – and a tad of rebellion. Who wants to be mushing and pureeing and cooking up extra stuff every day? I’m also a foodie through and through, so I wanted our kids to experience the joy of flavor and develop a varied palate as early as possible. You should have seen my glee when my son happily gnawed on lacto-fermented carrot sticks, plastered his face with dry seaweed, and shoved heaps of salmon into his mouth. Well, that didn’t last. He’s now a preschooler who tends to say “no” to everything, even if he likes it – or would, if he ever tried the food. But here’s the thing: I have faith that once this developmental phase is over, he’ll return to his adventurously eating self. The foundation has been laid.
Do you have a child who tends to say no to all kinds of food? Then my post on picky eating might open some eyes.
From quirky foods to frugal living. Rosalinda, from What a Sweet Journey, is not only a beginner when it comes to baby led weaning, but her blog is also fairly new. She deals with all aspects of family life and has the coolest About Me page I have seen in a while (yes, I do read About Me pages!). She also has a Facebook page.
We started BLW at 6.5 months old and my son is almost 8 months, so we have only been on this journey for 1.5 months. I love, LOVE the fact that I don’t have to worry about what baby will eat. We pretty much just plop him in the high chair and serve a small portion of what we are having. It makes feeding baby so easy. As much as I am enjoying this experience, I could definitely do without the diapers. It’s been a big change from his diapers when he was only breastfed.
I heard about BLW in a local La Leche League group and, after researching it, I knew we wanted to do this in our family. Our family has only used TW (traditional weaning) to introduce solids so it was fun getting to explain that baby eats eggs, pasta and fruit, just like we do. The look on my mom’s face when I handed my 7 month old a hamburger pattie…priceless.
My son and I are certainly enjoying this process. It took a little getting used to, especially when he would bite off a huge chunk of whatever he was eating and had to gag his way through it. But I’m so glad we chose BLW. I’d definitely recommend joining a BLW Facebook group for extra support. Some of those parents do amazing things with food and you get access to all sorts of fun food and recipes.
Yes, it’s going to be messy, yes, diapers won’t ever be the same and yes, you WILL have some non-believers around you. But surround yourself with lots of supporters too, and as she said, Facebook groups might be a good place to start.
We continue with frugal living and we arrive at This Crafty Home, a blog full of freshness and all kinds of DIY projects. What I like about Rachel’s story is that she gives a tip which I hadn’t even thought of before, but which makes a lot of sense. You can also follow her on Pinterest.
I did baby led weaning with my now three year old and we loved it. We started out with foods like bananas and avocados and went on from there. It took her about a month to get the hang of it, but when she did she ate everything! We got several compliments on how well she ate with utensils (the site of a one year old shoveling rice in her face with a fork is pretty impressive). The only con of baby led weaning in my opinion is the mess! It’s fun to watch it being made but cleaning it up is not. My best advice is to get a highchair without any grooves so it is easy to clean. Lastly something I don’t see suggested often is to make sure to have baby benadryl on hand when trying new foods. My little one has 8 food allergies, thankfully none she had a major reaction to when doing baby led weaning. But it never hurts to be prepared.
The World Health Organization recommends the introduction of all allergenic foods from the beginning of the weaning process, so that’s why her advice makes total sense! Even if, like me, you believe your child cannot possibly have an allergy! You never know and it’s best to be prepared.
Anna, from Abrazo and Coze, also has an interesting story.
I first tried baby led weaning with my middle child. She ate bits of what we were eating, and seemed to enjoy eating. That said, she gagged often, and actually choked a couple of times, too. Because of that, and our distance to the nearest medical facility (15-20 minutes for an ambulance to get to our home), I didn’t want to take the continued risk of her choking. She did just fine on purees. Like my eldest (all purees to start), she knows how to chew and swallow without gagging or choking. She does, however, deal with some anxiety around food and eating, which I attribute to her earlier negative experiences learning to eat (as did her feeding therapist). For my youngest, I decided to skip BLW and just do baby food… but she had other ideas. She has always been very independent and wanted to feed herself. She also always wanted what everyone else was eating. So she chose BLW. Like her older sisters, she knows how to chew and swallow without gagging or choking, which is the desired end result, of course. If you (or your child) decide BLW is right for you, I would suggest getting infant/child first aid training (good to have regardless of how your kids eat), and be aware and present while they’re still learning (I think most parents would do that anyway…). If you’re still deciding, know that whichever way you choose will result in kids who know how to eat.
Love the conclusion: no matter what, your child will know how to eat. I find it fascinating how her child chose baby led weaning over purees by herself! Usually it’s the parents who take this decision for the child. You will love Anna’s blog if you want to read about family and parenting tips, across a variety of topics.
No two children are alike and you can definitely see that from Brenda’s story.
There are so many reasons that I love BLW. Both of my children had MSPI (milk and soy protein intolerance). With my first child, introducing solids was a very stressful experience. Even though I waited until she was 6 months old, she still struggled to digest solids, and would be up screaming in the middle of the night. Up until about 8 months old, she only ate about 3 purees. When my second baby also had MSPI, I was worried about going through the same experience. Then I read about BLW. The belief is that a baby will not put something into their mouth that would bother them. Our BLW experience was amazing. She tolerated food well and I didn’t have to spend time making purees. I also loved it because SHE was in charge of how much she ate, and even now at 3 years old, if she becomes full in the middle of eating a cookie, she stops eating it! (I wish I could say the same about myself!)
I can’t stop eating a cookie before I finish it either, Brenda!
Brenda’s blog, Paper Heart Family, is all about the little ones. Pregnancy, baby and toddler tips that you didn’t even know you need!
So far, I have shared only moms that do blogging, however Hannah from Baby Led Eating has chosen Instagram as her platform to share and inspire others with her recipes. She’s even cooked one of mine!
I was pretty anxious to begin with and used to worry about gagging and choking but within a few weeks I became more relaxed about it and started really enjoying it. It’s such a lovely way to introduce your baby to food and it’s great to see them develop their motor skills and use of cutlery. I also loved trying out new recipes and ideas for finger foods (easy to hold, soft enough to chew without teeth, portable for meals on the go, freezable for quick and simple options ready to use at a later date). It’s been a great experience.
On the side I’ve absolutely loved sharing our experience and our recipes on instagram and on our blog and (virtually) meeting so many like-minded parents.
I find that you never get over the fear of choking. At least, not me. I even heard about a two year old almost choking to death on a grape. So you can never be too relaxed about the whole thing.
If you don’t have Instagram, you can also check her website.
Gemma, from Rafe Eats, has also opted for Instagram, where she shares her meals with almost 300 followers. She’s a first time mom and posts the most colorful of foxy plates for your inspiration. She says baby led weaning laid the foundations for healthier eating habits.
Initially we said we would do a combination of blw and traditional but it soon became clear blw suited my son. He loves exploring foods, feeding himself and we enjoy eating as a family and how with just a few tweaks there are no additional hours spent pureeing food and expensive jars etc. Albeit we do spend more of better quality food now and have found we eat better meals and are more adventurous with food. The mess can be a bit annoying at times but you have to keep telling yourself it will get better. My son can already use a loaded spoon, can drink from a cup himself and although he is young if I put a biscuit or fruit in front of him he will always go for the healthier choice. I know this will change but I believe that blw allows for them to enjoy healthy food and discover what they like. You must have long sleeve bibs, flannels, Ikea Antilop and trust the process.
So baby led weaning can even change the way you as a parent eat! That’s something to keep in mind if you want to go down this route. And yes, you also need to trust your little one, as it is fairly easy to give up when you see he is not eating much or is going through a rough phase.
Last but not least, we have Lara, from The Baby and The Bean. She is making a bold statement and I just want you to read it first and I’ll add my thoughts afterwards. Lara has a blog and an Instagram page to share her thoughts on baby led weaning.
I believe that BLW is a trendy term used to categorise something that doesn’t need categorising. this is what I mainly dislike about it – it is essentially a buzzword for getting babies to eat by themselves, which is what parents have done for thousands of years, long before the term BLW came about. I am personally a flavour led weaner and focus on taste and making cooking and mealtimes a family occasion. I spoon feed my baby when he is tired or ill. I give him finger food. It doesn’t matter to me. I believe WHAT baby eats is far more important than HOW they eat in the crucial first year. My tip for parents would be to not get caught up in the stigma of BLW or feel like they have to follow the BLW ‘club’. Just feed your baby and don’t feel guilty for being frustrated that your floor is covered in food again! Much more about this on my blog and all my recipes for ALL types of feeders on my Instagram page.
I agree with her thinking. Baby led weaning shouldn’t be an elite club and parents who aren’t doing it shouldn’t think they are missing out on something. I believe that maybe the term itself is misleading?! Whether you’re talking about traditional weaning or baby led weaning, there is always intervention from the parents’ part: they decide what to serve baby at each meal. It’s not as if baby casually sits down in his highchair and chooses the menu.
So there you have the 10 journeys all rounded up for you. Some moms are making money with their blogs, others simply share their journeys and inspire others. Either way, they are giving something to the community, making a change in the world for someone. Their “voices” are “heard”.
If you want to make your own impact in the online world, then please join me in the last part of this series, where I am going to show you how you can start sharing your journey by blogging.