From day one of weaning, I have given both Teddy & Oliver the same foods we would eat, whether that’s snacks or meals, I very rarely make anything special (except his pinwheels & yoghurt drops – who am I kidding? I love the pinwheels for myself!). I thought I would share with you my top tips in a sort of “Baby Led Weaning For Beginners” post.
As soon as I had my first little boy, Teddy in 2017, I knew when it came to weaning him onto solid foods that we would take the baby led weaning route. Firstly because I watched my sister do it with her (then) youngest child and it fascinated me! Secondly, It’s so much more time & cost effective. I’m not cooking meals that I wouldn’t already (with the exception of a couple of things), I’m not having to buy copious amounts of baby jars – they aren’t exactly cheap & I’m not having to spend time in the kitchen whizzing up lots of homemade purées to store & freeze.
BABY LED WEANING FOR BEGINNERS
*Babies should not be weaned onto solid foods until they are 6 months old, sitting up unaided for a period of time & able to grab things and put them to their mouth. All these markers must be met before you wean.
look on Instagram, Pinterest or in recipe books for inspiration & meal ideas. Save the ones you find on Pinterest to their own board, that is what I did & then I could find them easily enough when planning meals, writing shopping lists ect. I started doing this about a month before we were due to start, just so I wasn’t going in completely blind.
don’t feel like you have to go out & buy the most fancy, expensive looking high chair (we have learnt our lesson!) Baby Led Weaning is MESSY! My tip is to buy a high chair without a fancy-ass cushion in! Sure, they look nice but they stain like a bitch. The ikea high chair is fab & ridiculously cheap.
*Side note: you shouldn’t attempt BLW until your baby can sit on their own, unaided for a certain length of time! This helps prevent choking.
PREP THE AREA –
As soon as I put Oliver in his high chair I get his wipes, facecloth & bib ready. There’s nothing worse than disaster striking & you running round trying to grab some wipes to clean the mess up. Keep them all on hand within easy reach.
LESS IS MORE –
We used to strip the boys down to either their vest or nappy when we first started BLW, because I guarantee if you put them in a nice set of clothes, a food bomb will go off & you’ll be trying to scrub stains out of everything.
*side note: If you have any stained or marked clothes put them in the sunshine (I put them over the back of Oliver’s nursing chair in his nursery, which is in front of the window & by the next day the stains are completely gone! Trust me.
We don’t really bother too much with bibs anymore, only if we are eating out ect but I would definitely recommend buying the full bibs, you know the ones that are like a coverall? With long sleeves, they velcro fasten at the back & cover their top half completely!
CUPS & PLATES –
When Teddy first started weaning we picked up the Munchkin Miracle 360 Training Cup & the Tommee Tippee First Cup, this one is fantastic for when you first introduce water to your little one as it just flows out, that way they at least get a taste & don’t have to worry too much about figuring out how to get the water out. The Munchkin 360 is an all time favourite of mine as it doesn’t leak! It’s honestly the snazziest thing ever (you know you’re a mum when you find a kids cup snazzy…). The cup uses lip activation around the rim & it knows to let the liquid out. The spout free technology is also better for their teeth!
*side note: Up until 12 months old, you should give your baby cool, boiled water to drink.
FIRST AID –
Brush up on your first aid, you can find really useful videos on YouTube to watch when you have a spare ten minutes. We haven’t had any choking episodes yet but I think it is important to know what to do just in case. Choking is very rare & it’s good to also google the difference between choking & gagging. Gagging is a natural thing for your baby to do when they are eating solids. I used to sit on my hands to stop myself from intervening all the time! We have baby led weaned two children over 3 years & only had one very mild choking incident with Teddy, when he was 7 months old.
“Food Is Fun Before One“, don’t worry if your baby is eating much before they are 12 months. Anytime before that is all about experiencing new textures & tastes. They will still be getting everything they need from their milk at this age. Your baby WILL start to eat eventually, just see it as messy & sensory play before then.
FOOD SIZE –
Cut food into finger sized sticks or wedges at first! Foods such as peppers, carrot & cucumber are great for this. It means your baby can get a really good grip of the food. Also cutting meat into strips that are easy to manage. With meat we used to cut it up either into strips OR so it was very small.
We use silicone suction plates for most of our meals, we got ours from Amazon as they worked out more affordable & they came next day with Prime. We also have a Nuby Silicone bowl which is really handy for cereal or chunky soups. I swear by the suction as they prevent baby from throwing it off, making even more mess & to be honest.. they look pretty.
ENJOY IT –
I found BLW so much fun! So did Teddy, and Oliver is a huge fan and they both eat amazingly. Like I said, it’s a huge change for your baby so don’t panic if they aren’t overly keen straight away.
We hope these tips helped! We have a post coming up full of snack & meal ideas when you first start baby led weaning, so keep your eyes peeled for that!