After writing about the reasons why we chose Baby Led Weaning, I’d like to share how we’ve been doing so far. First of all, let me tell you: we absolutely love it and would choose to do it all over again, but it has been a rollercoaster (like everything baby related, it seems ;-).
So today and next week, I’ll share with you the upsides and downsides of our journey into baby nutrition so far.
Let’s start with what we liked.
The whole family eats the same
It’s true! It’s soo convenient not to have to think “what will the baby eat today?” because the baby eats exactly what we eat: scrambled eggs for breakfast, chicken & zucchini for lunch and vegetable curry for dinner. Sunny-side-up for breakfast, fajita for lunch and meat stew for dinner. Since the beginning (6 months old) we’ve given Oliver anything we eat (including seasoned and spicy food) and we discovered Oliver actually prefers strong tastes! This also makes it a whole lot easier to eat out.
Very few prohibited foods
There’s very little Oliver can’t eat. Among those, there’s honey, which can cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness. Nuts & co, especially if there’s allergy history in the family (Oliver ate almonds in Chicken Korma several times since he was about 8 months old and he’s been fine). Sugar, of course (but that’s not just when he’s a baby ;-). And then just use some precautions, like cutting some foods in half: for example, olives and grapes, because of their shape, could potentially obstruct his thin esophagus.
Healthy eating skills
I can already see that Oliver listens to his body, which is one of the premises I loved about baby-led weaning: because there’s no spoon-feeding and we just put the food on his Babybjörn highchair’s tray, Oliver decides how much to eat and lets me know when he’s done or not hungry (just recently, he started shaking his head when we offer something he doesn’t want). As I personally struggled all my life with limits when it comes to food, I think learning to listen to your body is one of the best eating skills we can give our children.
Raising good eaters
Oliver (and all his friends doing baby-led weaning) are really good eaters: they’re not fussy when it comes to try something new and they eat pretty much anything. They say it gets harder after the year because the baby starts selecting what he likes and refusing what he doesn’t, but I think Oliver has already started doing it and I actually like that he develops his own tastes. I’ll let you know soon if I have to take that back ;-)
It's not that messy (or is it?)
We’re lucky, I guess, because Oliver has never been a messy eater. I actually think at the beginning he didn’t like touching mushy, slimy foods like banana or ripe avocado, always preferring hard, clean ones like raw carrots or cucumber. And even now that he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, he does it quite discretely (the dirtiest I’ve seen him was in the cover pic). This has NOT been the case with many of his friends (and I’m talking lasagna-hair and avocado-face here!).
Next week I’ll tell you what we didn’t quite like about baby-led weaning. I bet it’s the same things you don’t like, but we managed to find some tricks that worked for us… maybe they’ll work for you, too!
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How’s your experience been with BLW? Or did you go for a more traditional approach? Share your story, if you feel like it 🌸