Little Man’s BLW Journey…so far!

Little Man has been eating for over 2 months now and he loves, I mean LOVES food!

Our start to the weaning process was a bumpy one, it is probably the thing I have procrastinated over the most so far. I was torn between weaning the traditional and baby led way. I stopped breastfeeding early on as it just did not work for us, I was edging closer to PND and the fact that I was over the moon in love with LM and everything about him except the feeding is what made me stop. I was dreading each feed, just the thought of him latching on made me cry, this isn’t how I wanted to be spending that precious time with my new baby, so I started combination feeding and pumped as much as possible in between, I managed to pump for 6 weeks until I was hit with mastitis and after months of post partum issues, it was the last straw, it was my umptenth round of antibiotics and unbelievably painful, so I started weaning off and about two weeks later finished. Although I know this was absolutely the right decision for me and LM, I still feel like I failed and struggle with the decision I made, weaning was the next big feeding decision and I didn’t want to make the wrong choice again (even though as I said, I do know it was the right thing to do for us….honestly us mothers don’t make it easy for ourselves do we!?)

Just before his half birthday I decided to try a bit of both and let LM lead the way in his preferences, my main worry was that if baby led he would be unwilling to take a spoon should the situation call for it, it is also such a natural progression from breastfeeding and as such much of the advice is tailored to mums who are still breastfeeding (these women have nothing but my respect, and teeny tiny bit of my envy). But LM loves to feed himself, so although I occasionally feed him porridge or mash he usually grabs the spoon and does it himself, so we are officially doing self feeding, if not full fledged BLW, and I love it, I thought that eating out of the house was going to be difficult and squeezing some puree out of a pouch would be quicker and easier, but its so much easier to hand him a bit of what I’m having, if its not laden with salt, sugar and fat, or grab a few veggie and bread sticks out of my bag. I think just like with feeding and parenting in general, what works for you is best for you. Traditional weaning works for some people, a mixture works for some people, I’m definitely not adverse to feeding him if the situation calls for it, and full on by the book BLW works for others.

One of his many Banana eating approaches!

So far LMs diet has consisted mainly of Fruit, Veg and things like toast and corn/rice cakes with cream cheese or mashed banana and avocado, but now he is really starting to consume things we are taking it up a notch, and starting to give him meals and as of this week will start tailoring our meals to be able to include him, so we are all eating the same thing.

Enjoying his Fish Cakes

In the first two months of BLW, LM has had:

Broccoli
Banana
Avocado (on its own and mashed on corn/rice cakes and tortillas)
Pear
Mango
Melon
Carrots
Sweet Potato
Potato
Spinach
Cucumber
Celery
Breadsticks
Tortillas
Toast
Bagel
Some of his Uncles Chicken Sandwich
Corn/Rice Cakes
Cream Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Roast Lamb
Chicken
Beef Meatballs
Pasta
Omelette
Eggless French Toast
Pancakes
Fish Cakes
Mackerel

Mango…..done!
Look!!! Cucumber!!

His absolute faves are Mango – he just strips it from the skin, Cucumber – we now cut the skin of after a scary choking incident, Sweet Potato – roasted, mashed, mixed with fish, he loves it, and Pasta – he has a little suck and then the whole thing disappears!

I am looking forward to giving him some different combinations and new flavours as his journey continues and might throw in some smaller things this week so he can practice his ever emerging pincer skills!

So how are you weaning your little one, and do you feel pressure to choose correctly or haunted by any past decisions? What are your little ones favourite foods?

To Spoonfeed or Not to Spoonfeed?!?

Little Man is now nearly 6 months old! It’s going terrifyingly quickly but I’m learning quickly… as soon as you’ve got one thing figured out something else comes along! For us this is now the minefield of weaning.

After a lot of procrastination and stressing we have finally decided to do a combination of the two main methods, baby led and traditional weaning, mainly as it is going to fit into our lives easier that way, my husband works shifts and we can’t always guarantee we could eat together, we don’t always cook fresh each night and sometimes (between me and you) I’m just plain lazy if I’m on my own.

At the moment the plan is to spoon feed little man his breakfast which at the moment is mashed banana but as of next week will be porridge and then let him feed himself for lunch and dinner with occasional mashed veg if we are in a rush or at a friends house where the mess and time elements of BLW are more of an issue. I know this goes against how a lot of people do BLW but to be honest it’s going to work for us and although it’s taken me a while to accept mixing both, as long as it works for us, that is all that matters. Also I think it’s important to remember that spoon feeding and force feeding are two different things, once little man lets me know he has had enough, I stop.

I’ve struggled a lot making decisions about weaning and I’ve realised that a lot of my struggles with making a decision comes down to feelings I still have about deciding to bottle feed little man, it’s the next big decision that directly effects his health and well being and deep down I still have the guilt that many bottle feeding mamas feel about not being able to feed their baby, even though I know stopping was the right decision for us and helped me keep my sanity, so I have been over thinking it and worrying about making the wrong decision again. I also find it hasn’t helped that a lot of opinions are quite polarised so it is difficult to find advice on combining methods in a way that works for you as an individual family, it also seems BLW is a natural step on from breastfeeding, and as such much of the advice is based around a breastfeeding baby. Because of this I found the incredibly useful book Weaning Made Easy by Rana Conway, it is a non biased look at both approaches, pros and cons of each and also a guide to combining the two in a way that suits you, and although much of it is common sense I found that it made me feel less crazy for obsessing and struggling so much with the decision to combine self feeding and baby led.

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So far he seems to be enjoying both methods, he is definitely hungry so I’m glad I’m feeding him one meal so I know he’s actually getting something (I know he doesn’t need a lot but he definitely wants something), but I’m enjoying watching him discover food during lunch and dinner. We started him slightly early as he’s been sat up on his own for a few weeks and he seemed ready, so, so far he’s only had veg & fruit – banana (mashed and split in half), avocado, steamed carrots and roasted and mashed sweet potato, I think the carrots have been his favourite as they hold their shape long enough for him to have a good gum. Although I haven’t yet made a puree, I did spoon feed him some mashed sweet potato tonight, whilst also letting him go crazy with his hands on a ball of it, I think i will mash rather than puree when I do use this method so that he still has to chew the lumps and won’t just get used to swallowing, but I do plan on making some fruit purees to mix in with his porridge and eventually, yoghurt.

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I am looking forward to him turning 6 months next week and being able to branch out to meals other than veg & fruit. Stay tuned as I hope to share some of our favourite food discoveries.

Please share any favourite recipes or tips and feel free to discuss any struggles you’ve had deciding on the best way to wean your little one.