If you’re anything like me, whenever I cook something for my little one and it is a success (in the sense that it gets eaten), my first instinct is to tell someone. And in most of the cases I take a photo and/or write a short sentence.
Sharing has never been easier nowadays. You’re 140 characters away from the whole world (Twitter) or one post away from your 338 friends and acquaintances (Facebook, an estimated average) or your 194 Instagram followers (again, on average).
Since the term baby led weaning came to be 10 years ago, things have rapidly taken off on social media and the internet as a whole.
If you look for baby led weaning on Google, almost 7 million results! If you search for it on Instagram, 700 000 photos come up!
This is a three-part series called “Your BLW journey – from table to the World Wide Web”. Read the other 2 parts below.
- 10 reasons your baby is not eating solids
- 5 foods you should stop giving to baby
- 33 powerful tips to end picky eating for good
- The ultimate guide to baby led weaning
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Why would anyone share their baby led weaning experience with others?
1. It keeps you going
Just like starting a new diet, quitting smoking or learning a new skill, you want to share the experience with others so that you are not alone in the process. You get fuelled by telling others about it and makes you accountable for your actions.
2. You can learn stuff
By sharing your journey with others, you’ll want to follow others in return. In this way, you learn something new everyday, even if it’s a new way to serve potatoes or how to get your baby to eat broccoli.
3. It’s socialising and giving back
Whenever you share something, you help others. And when they share their own stories, they help you. So it’s a win-win situation for all involved.
4. You can get free stuff
If you pitch the products you use and tag the respective brands in your online post, then they might just offer a partnership (assuming your following is high enough too). You can get freebies to test out or even sponsored posts offers, where you get cash for writing about their products. Who doesn’t love some free stuff or extra cash?
5. You can reach a lot of people in a very short time frame
Of course, you can help your neighbour with advice, or your co-worker with weaning tips, but this is the whole world we’re talking about! Distance means nothing when you’re online and the time it takes you to reach other people is usually between 1 minute (writing a tweet for example) and 1-2 hours (writing a 1000 words blog post).
6. It builds authority
If you are sharing your tips, your recipes and your advice, this puts you way ahead of the ones just starting out on their journey. This means you are regarded as an expert in baby led weaning and people will start to listen to you. Who knows, you might even build a massive following of raving fans, who eagerly await your next story.
7. You build your own digital scrapbook
Whatever platform you choose to share your journey, you can post video, text or photos which normally you couldn’t do on paper. Your space becomes your personal canvas which you can fill with whatever you want. You can also save what others are sharing and you can build your own digital collection of recipes or tips.
8. It can help you remember things
This is especially true for recipes for example. You can always go back to your oldest posts and remind yourself what baby has eaten when and how well she did with certain dishes you forgot about. Plus, if your having another baby, you’ll have this database to come back to and read without going and trying to find that lost diary or journal.
9. It helps you unleash your passions and creativity – gives you a purpose or side hustle
Sharing your journey can also fuel your passions. Whether it’s photography, cooking or writing (or all of them!), you can do this freely. My passion are baby nutrition, baking and photography and I feel I can express myself through this blog and inspire others at the same time.
10. It can be a way of making a living
Besides the paid sponsorships that I mentioned in number 4, if you choose to go through the blog route, then there are so many ways to make money from it, including displaying ads, affiliate marketing or selling your own products.
Being a mom who’s feeding her child at the best of her abilities does not mean there is no room for something else. And sharing your journey can inspire and help others to change and try to offer a healthy and balanced start in life for their little ones.
Now let’s see what are the three most common ways for you to share this journey with others.
Start a Facebook page
This is by far the easiest to set up and get going, mainly because most probably you already have a personal account that you use daily.
You are already familiar with the platform and know your way around.
Most likely you already have a list of family, friends and contacts whom you’ve added and follow you. That makes gaining followers a bit easier if they choose to follow your page as well.
You can easily take advantage of the various Facebook groups for moms and baby led weaning to socialise and get some traffic over to your page.
The thing I do not like about Facebook is that it shows less and less content from the pages you follow, unless you’re really interacting with them or have the notifications turned on for those specific pages. Unless you do these things, there are slim chances of getting seen by people.
Start an Instagram account
I find Instagram comes second in terms of how easy it is to set up an account, as you may not be using it already and may not be familiar with how it works.
Hashtags are the life of Instagram and you can use them to quickly grow a following.
In the baby led weaning world, moms spend most of their time sharing their creations and recipes with whoever wants to follow them and I believe this is the platform they spend the most time on, besides Pinterest that is.
So Instagram is great for recipes, but not so great for tips, tricks and advice. I rarely found a piece of text telling me how to do something like getting my child to eat more veggies for example. On Instagram, people tend to be quite quick and only write the basic information needed to cook a recipe or share the latest milestone that baby has achieved.
For everything else, there’s blogging.
Start a (mom) blog
I think that one of the most powerful things in the Internet world is blogging.
What makes it powerful is the fact that your voice and your content can really influence someone, more than a social media post. I find myself in the position to trust a blogger more than I do someone who just shares something which he or she randomly came across. Blogs are by far the biggest tools when it comes to expressing yourself in front of an online audience. There’s only so much you can write in a social media post.
Another advantage is that the content you write and whatever you post is entirely yours. It is not owned by Facebook or Instagram and you do not depend on them surviving as a platform and sending you their love. You have your own house instead of simply renting a flat.
Over in my next post from the series, I will showcase 10 mommy bloggers/social media accounts that have shared their baby led weaning experience with me. You will see how they leveraged their online presence to do what they love and teach others in the process.