Before I was even pregnant with Luna I knew that I wanted to go down the Baby Led Weaning route when I had children. If you didn’t know, Baby Led Weaning is where you give your baby “proper” solid foods from 6 months. Unlike traditional weaning, spoon feeding and purees are not involved. I researched Baby Led Weaning for a few months before Luna was ready to begin and started following some Instagram mums for inspiration. I did find it hard to find some honest reviews about it though. Everything would bang on about the amazing benefits of BLW, including improved fine motor skills, speech aid and babies that ate everything under the sun! I would recommend BLW to anyone, but there are some bits I wish I would have been more aware of before I began.
Okay so when researching BLW you see a lot of people saying it’s a messy business but I don’t think anything can prepare you for how messy it can actually be! We have carpet in our house which made it about ten times harder! For the first few months be prepared to spend as much time cleaning as you do preparing their meals! I thought I was prepared, I brought a cute MyBabiie high chair, plenty of bibs and had an old sheet to lay on the floor. Luna quickly learnt to pull all her bibs off so she would have her meals in a nappy. Which was 100 times easier and saves on ruined clothes. The sheet on the floor was basically ruined on day one so we invested in some foam floor mats to go under the high chair. They made cleaning so much faster! I could just sweep them and then wipe them clean. Obviously if you have hard flooring this won’t be a problem for you anyways! I would recommend placing the high chair in the middle of the room because food will fly and hit the walls! I would also recommend an Ikea Antelope highchair, or we picked up a cheaper version in the Aldi baby event. Our original highchair was cushioned, and as cute as it was it was just so long to clean! The hard basic high chairs are so much better, I think they can even go in the dishwasher! One thing I wasn’t ready for is how messy I would get! You get covered whilst trying to clean them up, it’s unreal! The mess is not something that goes away over night, you need to be prepared for the mess for a good few months. Luna is now 14 months and most meals I can leave her clothed but I still need the floor mats. There are some meals that will be messy forever, or until they’ve got full control of cutlery at least!
Expectation vs Reality:
Whilst following other mums on Instagram you quickly learn that every baby is different. I followed a few other mummies whose babies started BLW at the same time as Luna. A few of them took to weaning really quickly and were clearing their plates in no time. Luna would play with her food, maybe have a little munch but was no where near finishing off a plate until she was nearly a year old. She began eating properly around 9 months old, 3 months after we started. At first I was worried that she wasn’t getting what she needed, but with BLW you don’t reduce their milk until they do it on their own. Luna slowly cut down on her milk so by the time she was a year she would have one in the morning and one at night so she obviously wasn’t hungry and was getting what she needed from her meals!
BLW is great for encouraging independence. I find that Luna is so independent in so many ways and I’m not sure if it’s down to the way she was weaned or what but it wouldn’t surprise me. As much as I love my independent little moo, sometimes it can make things hard at times. When she was younger when we were out and about it would have been handy if I could have fed her to save on mess, time and ensure that she was getting some food in her. But little miss independent has never ever let me feed her! It’s not so bad now that she’s a little older but it would save me climbing under the tables in restaurants to clean up after her! So next time around, with baby number 2, I may occasionally feed them their breakfast just so I have a little bit of control!
I may have had a good moan about the mess but honestly it was and still is so worth it! It was so much fun watching Luna explore her foods. Watching her play with different tastes and textures was worth all those hours cleaning up! She would get so excited when I brought her plate out! You could see that she really enjoyed meal time even if she wasn’t eating a whole lot! One of my favourite memories of the early weaning days was when I froze some Ella’s Kitchen smoothie pouches in an ice lolly mould and gave her one. She was pulling the funniest faces at the cold but she kept going back for more! I have so many videos of her eating on my phone!
Eating as a family:
One of the best things about BLW is you can all sit down and enjoy a meal together. Luna can sit at the table and enjoy the social interactions that come with meal time. But honesty the best thing about it is you can eat your meal without having to spoon feed your baby at the same time! You can enjoy your dinner whilst it’s hot and most of the time even have a little time to let your dinner go down. Luna would sit in her highchair for around an hour a time just exploring her food! Obviously we had days where she didn’t want to know and food would get thrown instantly but I quickly learnt that if she was tired she wouldn’t eat so we adjusted our meal times as a family.
Another great thing about BLW is watching your bubba grow. When we first started weaning there were foods that I gave Luna that she had no chance of reaching her mouth. Small foods such as peas and sweet corn which required her pincer grip were always wasted as she just couldn’t grip them. Then one day, about 6 weeks in, I looked up and she was picking Cheerios up one by one and they were making it to her mouth! I was so happy for her and it meant we could broaden her menu. Pre-loaded spoons are also a great way for bubbas to get used to using a spoon. At first nothing from the spoon would make it to her mouth and then she gradually got better. It takes a lot of patience I’ll give you that! Luna now tries to load her spoon herself, she’s not great but she’s getting there and every day she gets more and more on the spoon. It’s so amazing to watch her trying!
8 months later:
So Luna’s weaning journey began at 6 months, she’s come so far in 8 months! When she eats so well, her favourite foods are broccoli and baby corn! Although she is now becoming more aware of sweet treats! I blame my cravings for having so many in the house at the moment! She’s getting there with her spoon and we’ve recently introduced a fork! She loves to stab at her food, pull it off and then throw it. She says ‘more’ to let me know she’s ready for more food, well sometimes shouts it when I’m not fast enough! Overall I would one hundred million percent recommend baby led weaning to anyone!