Baby led weaning means letting your child feed themselves from the start of weaning. You serve your baby finger length foods and let them gum, suck, nibble and chew. With baby led weaning there is no puree, spoon-feeding or weekly batch cooking with ice cube trays. Basically baby eats what you eat.

My eldest was traditionally weaned, and Frankie combination weaned, he was traditionally weaned at the beginning and I then switched to baby led weaning at about eight or nine months. I witnessed huge differences between my two older kids eating habits. Kayla ate alot of jars, mush and plain foods while Frankie was milling full home made dinners before he was one. He eats every single plate of food we hand him. Kayla on the other hand just wants potatoes, pasta or chips. I struggle to get her to try new foods and everything is covered in gravy or has a dollop of ketchup on the side. So with all this in mind I decided to give baby led weaning a bash from the start with Kadie.

I bent the rules a bit and started two weeks earlier than the recommended WHO guidelines of 6 months. In my opinion she was ready, she was sitting up in her high chair licking and sucking her lips and fists during our mealtimes, getting frustrated with us, staring at our plates and reaching out to try grab some food off us. If there not signs of readiness I don’t know what is.

Kadie’s first taste was a slice of melon. She licked and sucked and smiled in delight. She loved it. To date she’s tried pretty much everything, even eggs and that’s a huge thing for me as we have a family history of allergies and food intolerances. Aswell as the allergies I was really nervous at the thought of baby led weaning such a small baby, the thoughts of her choking almost made me quit before we had even started. For that reason I did a paediatric first aid course with The Nursery. Since then I’m more at peace with myself and now know what to do god forbid she does choke on food. I’d recommend anyone with a baby to do a paediatric first aid course, even if just for the likes of fever management and bumps. I’m more confident now dealing with them and it’s invaluable information for the bigger things such as CPR, burns and respiratory issues.

At present her favourite foods without a doubt are melon, kiwi, butternut squash soup and banana and egg pancakes. She would eat them all day long if you let her. I use a mesh feeder for banana and really squishy foods because she loves them but struggles to hold onto them. Technically this is cheating and some BLW mama’s have recommended rolling the banana in oats but it still ends up in slush and frustrates her.

Baby led weaning is messy, very messy! I’ve yet to feed her outside of the house yet. Tink, our lab is loving it though. If she see’s me prepping a meal she loiters around the high chairs in delight. As soon as the food is served up she plonks herself right under Kadie’s chair, it’s actually quite funny. We also have a Tidy Tot Tray and Bib Kit for messy meals, basically it’s a tray that you pop over the high chair. It comes with a cover all bib that attaches to the tray preventing food from falling on her lap, the chair and floor. It’s an absolute life saver. Tink hates when we use it. It’s so easy to clean and the bib is one size, it fits Frankie too.

At present the The Baby-led Weaning Cookbook is my little bible, I’ve whipped up some fab meals that suit the whole family from it, even Daddy approves. Pre-loaded spoon meals are gas. I’ll admit I do try and avoid them on busier days. She feeds her eyes, ears and nose but that’s all part of the fun and exploration. She getting better each day. My mam has a heart attack every time she see’s me coming with all the spoons.

All Kadie’s food is cut into bitesize or chip/wedged shaped pieces with exception to noodles, peas, blueberries and the likes. I keep those whole to promote her pincher grip. She’s yet to pick up a pea but I can imagine it will be long before she flicking them across the room at her sibs.

She’s had lots of different types of foods to date, including curry, chicken, steak, tortilla pizza, pinwheels, and spagetti. Some days she will just play, lick and suck other days she will demolish and demand more. It’s still early days too so I’m not worried about how much she is actually eating. She’s six months and just gone into 12-18 months clothes, that will do me fine.

We are five weeks in now and she’s doing great. She loves playing and exploring, while actually eating her food. I think she’s the best fed in the house, followed closely by Frankie. For the first time ever I have enjoyed the first weeks of weaning. Before I know she’ll be eating chicken off the bone.

If your interested in doing a Paediatric First Aid course The Nursery will be holding another course on April 23rd. Courses are €50 and there is both morning and afternoon slots available. Check out The Nursery on Facebook for more information.

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14 Comments on Baby Led Feeding – Weaning Kadie

  1. We started the first week to two weeks doing traditional spoon fed mush and struggled to get M to eat. Then we decided to try baby led weaning and he loves it. Besides that it’s so much more convenient for us! Instead of mushing up a different food on the side he just gets what we’re having (within reason).

  2. She looks like she is enjoying baby led weaning. Excellent explanation at the beginning too, it’s been a long time since my son was born and it’s great to have a clear description of what it is (I know it sounds simple but you never know exactly until its spelt out) So often that doesn’t happen with a blog post. Do you do anything extra to make sure she gets all her nutrition? I presume she still gets lots of milk though.

    • Right now I’m not too worried about nutrition but I offer a wide variety (mostly fruit, veg and fish/meat) because it will take time for her to eat substantial amounts. She gets her daily dose of D3 in the mornings but that would be the only ‘extra’. She’s still taking 6/7 bottles a day though so yes lots of milk haha.

  3. We did BLW with J and he loved it! My mum was adamant he wasn’t getting the right amount of food but we never had any issue with him going hungry or anything. x

  4. We baby led weaned Rowan as I’d heard a lot of brilliant things about it and we haven’t looked back! Yes he has his off days with it but don’t we all. I’d recommend BLW to everyone!

    Laura x

  5. We did a bit of both with Toby, his weight was low so we spoon fed alongside BLW to try and get him to put weight on and it worked! He also had a dairy intolerance so couldn’t always have what we had. I do think BLW is brilliant, Toby’s an excellent eater now and I’ll do it with baby girl too xx

  6. I did a combo with all of mine leaving them to get a little messy and trying it themselves and trying to sneak the odd spoonful in to. Sounds like baby led is going really well for you though! x

  7. I did a combination of baby led and a few spoon feeds with Little Miss H. But I definitely think that baby led is brilliant. Little Miss H has never had a problem with eating lumps or different tastes and textures and I know that is due to baby led weaning. It is also a great idea to do a first aid course around this time. I remember being terrified of choking too and so Mr H and I also did a course around the same time. It is horrible to think that you will ever have to use any of those techniques on your own children. But I definitely had a lot more confidence in weaning and as a mum in general once i knew how to give my child first aid if needed. Hugs Lucy xxxx

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