1. When did your baby commence BLW?
Our BLW journey started when Max reached for his Dad’s apple at just a week shy of six months old. I excitedly chopped off a wedge for him to munch on but a mild panic and worry Google later it had been taken from him and I had to refresh myself on Gill Rapley’s book that I’d skimmed read the month before. Unfortunately, I was due to return to work a few days later and had to relay all of the information to Max’s nana who was nervous and sceptical about the whole approach and so the majority of the meals were during my time with him.
2. What were bub’s first foods?
We started on steamed vegetables and fresh fruit initially and only ventured into ‘true’ BLW of sharing our own food with Max when he was around seven and a half months old. He now eats pasta, chicken, avocados, polenta and scones amongst lots of other goodies. I’ve only just begun baking Max his own snacks to take with him to his nana’s house during the week which I find really exciting and rewarding, even when it ends up on the floor! At first he joined us just for breakfast or tea but now regularly has three meals a day in addition to his four bottles.
3. At what month did your baby ‘really’ start to eat/swallow a lot more foods?
We started to notice Max swallowing purposefully when he was almost eight months old and this is when we started to include him in every meal we could. He’s now nine months and can eat a whole banana, slice of buttered toast and a yoghurt in less than fifteen minutes! We really enjoy having Max at the table eating with us; he’s become more social, laughing along with stories being told around the table, and it’s so nice being able to eat food while it’s still hot and not have to take turns to feed Max before we’re able to eat.
4. Any setbacks ie allergies, intolerances, eating regression?
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. There’s a lot of raised eyebrows, worried expressions, swift fingers in Max’s mouth at the first hint of a gag (not mine and therefore promptly swatted) and even an after-hours trip to the walk-in after an allergic reaction to egg. However, I know that we have researched this way of weaning and have more knowledge and that makes me more confident to proceed. The allergy hasn’t impacted Max and I’ve actually found it quite easy to avoid egg. My partner has a nut allergy so we’re used to checking ingredients and there are plenty of substitutes to use in cooking.
5. If you could give one piece of advice to new mums/dads starting out, what would it be?
My advice to ‘newbies’ would be:
- Attend a First Aid class and drag along anyone else who will be looking after baby (you’ll just be sat at work wondering if they’re going to be able to cope). Similarly, read and get them to read Gill Rapley’s book on baby led weaning.
- It’s also been amazing that when eating at my partner’s parents’ house he has taken the lead with feeding Max and fending off any comments or suggestions.
- Try new, adventurous foods when in the comfort of your own home to make you more relaxed.
- Join a social network for support, recipe ideas and reassurance whenever it’s needed. Baby Led Weaning Ideas has been great for us and I’m sure Max is appreciative of the tasty treats!
- And finally, just keep going. For almost three months everything Max ate ended up on the floor or in his air but now he finishes whatever he’s eating and if we’re not quick enough he’ll start on ours!
6. What age is your baby now and is she/he a good eater now?
Baby led weaning has been a lot of fun and really rewarding to do with Max and as a natural worrier I thought I’d struggle. Watching Max lead the way though has made me really proud and in awe at his abilities and I’m so glad we did it this way…even if I still sit on the edge of my seat to watch him eat sometimes.