My little boy is almost 7 months old now (!!) so I wanted to share our experiences with Baby Led Weaning so far to help you decide if it’s for you and your kiddo!
Before starting solids, we made sure he met all of the readiness signs (sitting up unassisted, brings toys to mouth, lost tongue-thrust reflex). He began sitting unassisted a little before 5 months old, so for about a month before starting solids we had him sit in his highchair with us and play with a spoon while we ate so he would get used to the chair and being there with us.
We were going to give him his first meal with us the night before his 6 month birthday because we were going to be out the next day and we wanted to be all together for it. A couple days before though, we were eating waffles for breakfast with Gideon in his high chair like normal, and he got so upset and was trying to take our food! So we decided to go ahead and start him on solids just like that.
He did really well, much better than I expected! I read Gill Rapley’s book, “Baby Led Weaning”, and am a part of multiple Facebook groups and subreddits about Baby Led Weaning, and I had gathered that babies don’t always get the hang of solids very quickly and might even be uninterested or overwhelmed when you do finally had over some food. But Gideon picked up his strip of waffle and shoved it right in his mouth like a champ!
About a week later all three of us came down with the flu, so Gideon took a break from solids until his tummy was a little better. Once solids were reintroduced, he was even more excited to eat with us! There was a meal or two where I gave him something different than what I had and he definitely noticed and was not happy about it. Whenever he has the same thing to eat as Mom and Dad, especially if we take things directly from our plates to give him, he is a very happy boy.
This method of starting solids is definitely messy though! I am looking into buying a new high chair that is easier to clean. He manages to get food into every crack and crevice at every meal, which means I have a lot of cleaning to do 2-3 times a day! He’s also eaten out a couple of times since starting solids. I keep a pack of disposable wipes in the diaper bag now to clean him, the table, and the chair up when he’s done, and always make sure to pick up all the pieces off the floor! While he does make a mess, I know I’m going to clean it up when he’s done so I’m not overwhelmed or embarrassed by it at all, as I know some moms are.
Learning about his tastes, likes, and dislikes has been very interesting! I thought that all babies enjoyed sweets because of the sweetness of breastmilk, and that bitter or more savory foods would be rejected, but we’ve had the opposite experience with Gideon! He doesn’t really like fruits very much, and his favorite foods right now are bell peppers, hummus, asparagus, and brussels sprouts! At least it seems I won’t have to be fighting him to finish his dinner before he gets dessert!
After all of my research about Baby Led Weaning, I was at first sure that I was never going to give my baby purees so he could learn to eat and explore the textures on his own. I have wavered a bit on this lately though. I have fed him my oatmeal with my spoon and also given him a pouch or two, and he surprisingly really enjoyed it! I think this boy just loves to eat no matter how the food gets in his mouth. I still mainly just place the foods on his tray for him to eat and explore on his own, but I do feel a little better if I get some food into his mouth as long as he is willing! I think he has also been trying to get more food in his mouth on his own since I’ve fed him a little.
So overall Baby Led Weaning has been a really fun experience so far and I would definitely recommend it! Did you do Baby Led Weaning or purees with your baby? How did it go? If you have any questions be sure to Ask a Bestie!