My story on BLW (Baby-Led Weaning)

If my daughter got a chance to go to “all you can eat” restaurant, she would get in, smell the air, then leave and she would be quite full. 🙂 Sorry, Eli. I think it’s funny.
She is not and was not a big eater. The beginnings were tough. I got lots and lots of advice how to feed my daughter. The only thing that worked was lots and lots of patience and this BLW (Baby-Led Weaning) method.

Our long story as short as possible

She used to hate the vegetable purées for lunch. She would eat 1 spoon and that was it. And that spoon would be sometimes the only spoon I gently shoved into her mouth just so she can taste it to decide “To Eat or Not To Eat”. 5 spoons were a huge success. And when that happened I immediately informed the grandparents so they know Eli was not starving. 😀 That was their biggest concern. 🙂

I tried to feed her with different kinds of vegetables. Sweet potato quite worked. But not always. Meaty stuff was surprisingly yummy. But. Only twice. Tomato stuff, sweet fruit purées were kind of working. Apple not so much. It seemed sour. I was probably trying a wrong variety. She kept making faces all the time. A pear worked. And oat meals were okay but not that she would dig it… I kept testing different flavors… but to be honest… she did not eat at all. I could see it in her eyes “Don’t bother mom, just give me the bottle”.

I must confess we also tried “the bombardier” or an airplane very inappropriate forbidden trick. You are making sounds like B52 while you are trying to make the baby open the mouth so you can send one spoon (the plane) in. Well, it was amusing for Eli for some time, for us not so much as we saw this was not the right way. 😀

Aha moment

We noticed around the 6th month??… I don’t remember… I don’t remember what I was doing two days ago… :D… you mommies you know what I am talking about… back to story… that she liked to grab food from our hands. My friend told me about this BLW method that allows a baby to eat pieces of food and the baby picks what he/she wants to eat. No purées anymore. But as my daughter wasn’t sitting at that time I was worried she could start choking on the food. So BLW had to wait some time. But the potential was there! I started believing…

Ready, sit, go BLW!

Once she started sitting and the two bottom teeth got out things have changed. Not dramatically, but there was quite a success. Slowly, day by day she kept nibbling on things I gave her.

What is this Baby-led weaning?

Gill Rapley figured this BLW thing out. The method basically lets the baby explore the food like adults do. Not unlike the traditional approach with purées where all the vegetable is all mixed up. The baby sets her/his own pace and explores the food by touch, smell, taste on its own. Now, imagine… how can you figure out how a carrot is yummy when it is mashed in a gooey mixture? 😀
The baby chooses, not you. The baby gets a plate with varied finger food from which she/he chooses. I found it brilliant.
What a smart lady Gill was! Thank you, thank you!

This paragraph was written with a big help of wikipedia 😉

The first time Baby-led weaning sounded quite sciency to me. Maybe it is because English is not my mother language. But now I see it clearly. It means “I am going to lead my weaning, not you mother. I want you just be my food guide. :)”

My approach to BLW

I cut the root vegetable into matchsticks-like pieces so my daughter could grab and bite easily. Everything had to be soft, overcooked so she could munch on it. It is not a rocket science. I started with this food:

Vegetables

Carrot
Sweet potato
Potato

Meat

She used to eat one spoon of the purées so I didn’t bother with cooking the actual meat. I used the puréed meat from supermarket and I dipped it for her. That way I was able to give her some meat. Eventually she started dipping the vegetable into the puréed meat by herself 🙂

Fruit

The fruit had to be very soft, so quite ripe.

Pear
Banana
Mango
Avocado

Apple – only shredded into tiny pieces

PASTA, RICE

I was careful with pasta and rice. I really overcooked it.

So does my daughter eat now?

Yes! I wouldn’t say she digs food like crazy, but she eats moderately. And to my surprise, she likes pretty much all vegetables, all meat, salmon, all fruit except something too sour. And mostly she likes my soups. Double yes! 🙂

Conclusion

There are many tips how to start with a baby food. Except… I think… all the manuals don’t say anything about what to do if the baby doesn’t eat at all.

If your baby doesn’t eat I highly recommend this BLW approach. Pay attention, observe and let the baby explore the food, be the “gentle guide into the food jungle”, respect the baby when it doesn’t want it. Let them make a mess. They learn by that as well. Sometimes I think the more mess they do the better. 😀 Be kind, talk to them about what food you are going to give them. Don’t play tricks. And if you fail one day, there is going to be the next day and the next day… 🙂

For a second imagine yourself if someone feeds you new things like olives, anchovies, capers, artichokes, raw salmon, fish… etc. 😀 If you are not a foodie I am sure you are probably making faces right now.

Teach the babies so they have a good relationship with food from the very beginning. By forcing you will do only harm, maybe later on when they are the “young adults”.

✌️ Let’s rock with BLW! One proud mommy! ✌️