I knew I wanted to try baby-led weaning when I was pregnant, after reading about it on a parenting forum. I haven’t always had a great relationship with food, going through phases of being incredibly unhealthy and I wanted to do what I could to ensure that Seth understood what I see now – food is fun!
My husband and his family have a really good relationship with food, I think. Meals are family occasions, all of them. They sit, they talk, they help themselves and it’s a lovely thing to be a part of. I wanted that for us.
Baby-led weaning encourages your little one to participate in mealtimes from the very beginning and because they feed themselves, very little intervention is required from you, leaving more time for you to enjoy your food! That was a huge plus point for me. I like that he sits at the table, eating the same food as us, at the same time as us, learning the value of a sociable mealtime.
But I have to confess, one of the major turn-offs to pureeing for me…was pureeing. Man alive I can barely organise myself enough to reply to a text message in a reasonable timeframe without needing to find time to cook, puree and freeze food for Seth. Let alone remember to defrost it in time! One thing I always find time for though is to throw together a reasonably healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner for myself so it was always going to be a whole lot easier for Seth to just share that.
Luckily, since I’d got extremely excited about the whole thing, Seth took to it quickly. I can only imagine how disappointed I’d have been if three months in, he’d done no more than nibble on a stick of cucumber! It’s been a great decision for us, one of the best we’ve made according to my husband. Seth loves mealtimes; he doesn’t rush, he takes his time, smiles at everyone around him and just stops eating when he’s had enough. His hand/eye co-ordination is great and he’s not even really that fussy about what we put in front of him. He eats a LOT as well. He’s shot up two percentiles since we started weaning and he’s dropped two bottles in that time so it must be the grub.
Ultimately, I weighed up the pros and cons and BLW stood out as the best choice for us. It meant waiting til six months which was sometimes hard when there is a lot of pressure from other people (including my health visitor, tut tut) to wean earlier but it was worth the patience which is not something I’m known for. I figured if it didn’t work out and I couldn’t unclench about the whole thing, I’d just have to spoon feed but it would have been harder to do it the other way round.
I’ll share some more in the next post about how we actually did it – the wheres and whens and some first foods that we tried. Until then…