> Mushypea, Sprout et al: Baby-led weaning: Two months in

Monday, 18 June 2012

Baby-led weaning: Two months in

Do you remember me posting about baby-led weaning a couple months back?  If not, you can read it here.

Munch is eight and a half months old now and we have made adjustments and added new skills along the way.  We started baby-led weaning (BLW) when Munch hit the six month mark.  For the month and a half prior to this we had introduced him to his high chair; in part because he had gotten bored craning his neck to try and see what we were doing from his activity centre when we were eating, but also to get him used to being included at meal times.  At around five and a half months of age we started leaving him easy to grab pieces of vegetables from our meal - of course all he did was play and look at them with the odd piece reaching his mouth but other than that he did nothing with it.  We knew he swallowed some by the way they came out in his nappy.  Oh the fun I had determining the food items that had made it to his stomach.  We purposely waited until six months before going at BLW with vigour as Munch was prone to eczema - even before we started we knew we would have to be careful as he had suffered from bad bouts of nappy rash in reaction to certain foods which had passed to him through my breastmilk.

On hitting the six month mark we started with breakfast.  Fingers of toast - they found his way to his mouth and he gummed away to his delight.  From there on in BLW has become this magical journey of food discovery - Munch has this expression that he has when he tries a new food which passes as quickly as it appears and he will then quite happily take his fill.  Our eating habits were pretty good before Munch and so the adjustments we needed to make to our diet was minimal. In the first couple of weeks of BLW he did suffer from trapped wind but that passed once his digestive system had gotten the message that his diet was changing.  After two weeks on BLW, his dirty nappies changed completely much to the disgust of Sprout!


We have been very aware of the foods neither of us really ate - namely fresh tomato.  Imagine our surprise when he absolutely loved fresh tomato!  As with most adults, Sprout and I do have a few food preferences of our own but we have worked to offer these foods to Munch so that he doesn't miss discovering a new taste or texture.  Hell, I've eaten bits of hard boiled egg with a smile on my face at breakfast with him and I cannot begin to tell you how much I cannot stand them.  Maybe you think we are going to extreme but I look at some of the children we come into contact with and have noticed that they are already displaying the same attitude towards certain foods as their parents.  Sprout and I want Munch to enjoy all foods - even if they are those we don't.

We watched as he got upset and frustrated with things like rice and mince and made the decision that a preloaded spoon was the way to go for a while.  OK, at times he ends up with food all over his head and other times he will sit and open his mouth and we will feed him because he is having a lazy day.  We're not the strictest of baby-led weaners; we follow his cues so in our own way I think we are.  He has never been one to launch food off his tray even though we have a splash mat in place.  Nor does he like being cleaned up with a damp flannel after meals.  We announce that we are going to wipe his face so it's not so much of a shock but even after more than two months of this we are still met with tears! 


Meals out are a joy.  The only thing that has taken getting used to has been not having dessert.  Boy is that difficult.  A meal out is a treat in my book and I have always been one that has dessert but because we are not at the stage where we are offering them to Munch, Sprout and I agreed that we cannot have them either.  Yes, there may be fruit salad on offer but I refuse to pay for something that I can easily whip up at home.  It is doing me good but it has meant we secretly eat our treats once he is in bed for the night - so possibly not so good huh?  During the recent bout of summer sunshine we even had our first picnic together.  I was not sure what to expect as Munch has always eaten at a table but hey, no problem whatsoever.  He sat and ate without once trying to crawl away - success.



Sprout and I are used to BLW; he gags very rarely and we have learnt to trust him when he proceeds to put something in his mouth.  The hardest part I have found is when we are in the company of others - "That piece is too big", "He won't like that", "It's too spicy for babies" etc, etc, etc or even the simple act of helping put something in his hand/mouth.  I have many a time stated in my most authoritative tone that he is fine and to leave him be.  Interfering usually means he is more likely to gag or choke but try explaining that!  He eats three meals a day without it becoming a drama and I can be found trawling around the fresh fruit and veg looking for new things to offer him.

We are learning and adapting all the time.  The only thing that has beaten us thus far is how do we get the spoon back from him without a fight?  We have offered a different spoon but that normally results in Munch holding one in each hand.  Suggestions will be gratefully received!

17 comments:

  1. Lovely! We're enjoying the BLW journey too. We feel so proud when he figures things out for himself.

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    1. Us too. He has finally taken to holding food over the edge of his tray and looking at us as if to say "Watch me. I can drop this!" LOL

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  2. Brilliant. We've done BLW with Bug. Started at 5 1/2 months with a Sunday dinner! We found the first couple of months tough going. While our friends little people were eating pots and pots of baby food, Bug was throwing most of her dinner over her head. Then we began to understand what was important is Bug's relationship to food. Dinner times were (and still are) fun.

    She's 19 months now and eats a good, varied diet. We're very proud of her.

    Oh. And we had similar comments from friends and family. It's often a case of 'what, you dare to do something different to us?'

    Xx

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    1. Glad you're doing so well, we're 7 months in and loving BLW! For the spoon: we tapped the tray and said put your spoon down. Then we loaded it up again. If difficult, why not just bring the bowl or plate over and move their hand so they can scoop up the food onto their spoon? Advanced but might work!

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    2. We have found, amongst family at least the amazement in what he will eat and what he can do. It also means that we can eat our meals hot/warm as he eats at the same time. Much nicer than cold meals any day. We are the only ones doing BLW amongst our friends - we do what we feel is best for us and they will do what's best for them. Each to their own as they say.

      @ExMiss - we tried asking for the spoon and holding out our hand but he just smiled his little smile and babbled at us. Hmm, will try the tapping and the bowl though. Thanks!

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  3. I love BLW for the same reasons, I think it's great that they learn about textures and what things really look like. It's also much easier knowing that you can just give them part of your dinner. Matilda is 14 months now and has just started liking having her face cleaned in the last month or so. Before that we had screams to!
    On the spoon thing I wouldnt fight, just offer another spoon with food on. I'm sure he'll give it up eventually :)

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    1. I think part of it boils down to me not being willing to make food separately. I barely have time to do consider that now nevermind when I return to work in a few months! I have no idea how those going down the puree route find the time. Like you say, it is the easier option in my opinion. As for the spoon, he has such a smug little face once he has both spoons and the grip he has on them is amazing! Glad Matilda likes having her face cleaned now - I very much look forward to that day.

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  4. Yay for BLW! It makes so much sense!

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    1. I know! It is my most favourite thing so far :)

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  5. Well done and what a fab name Munch ;)

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    1. We just put the food in front of him - Munch does all the hard work :) We are trying to call him by his real name so he doesn't get confused once he goes to nursery heehee.

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  6. We did a mixed version of BLW with Meg - it made life so much easier! Eli has been a bit lazier and due to his reflux we had to wean earlier so spoon-fed him up until the last week or so - boy am I enjoying being able to eat hot dinners again!
    re: spoon - with both ours we gave them a spoon and had a spoon ourselves so we a) didn't have to battle to get it back if it was a meal we were spoon-feeding and b) could swap a loaded for an empty and they didn't get cross you were taking something from them x

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    1. I think we're going wrong with the whole spoon thing! He ends up with two spoons and won't give either up :(

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  7. It sounds like he is going well with it, it makes so much sense.

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    1. He loves his food! Meal times are a joy and we all get to eat at the same time rather than taking it in turns - everybody wins.

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