Baby Led Weaning: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Pre-kids, I’d never heard of baby led weaning, BLW. But, in those early days of motherhood, it’s one of the concepts that you’ll be worrying about frighteningly quickly once you’ve recovered from the shock of owning a real live mini person.

If you’re reading this, I’m sure you know what it is, but just in case…. The idea is, that instead of spoon feeding your weaning baby pureed up fruit, veg, meats, combinations of the aforementioned, you allow them to pick up whole pieces of food themselves and gnaw away at the goodness. The benefits allow children to learn the textures, flavours, colours of real food themselves, and will stop eating when they are full.

So, in my experience of weaning x 2 here’s my honest (as always) review of baby led weaning (BLW):

 

THE GOOD

  1. There is something wonderful and wholesome about seeing your baby pick up with their tiny fingers a piece of pure unadulterated food in its purest form and nibble away at it. You will definitely feel like you’re winning at parenting when it happens.
  2. In theory, this is a cheaper way of feeding a family, as there is no need to purchase separate baby food meals – you should all be able to eat the same meal together. It’s certainly a lovely thing to be able to pull apart a bit of sand which and let your child share it with you when she’s watching you eat and salivating.
  3. This is something I’ve learnt With baby G #2 in particular. BLW will give you time, such a precious commodity to us mum folk. Whilst they nibble away you can wash up, prep dinner, load the washing machine… Or better still, eat your lunch, have a cuppa, read a few blogs, even write one. Always always always of course whilst keeping a very close eye on little one munching away.

THE BAD

  1. There will be mess. Accept it, move forward.
  2. Time you will gain (point 3) but only a positive if you have that time to spare. If you have a 15 minute window to feed the kids and get out the house, BLW can be a little stressful! They aren’t going to be demolishing anything at any speed for a good few months.
  3.  Doing BLW anywhere other than your own home can be tricky to master. It will involve lots of small Tupperware containers and a little bit of Wishful thinking. V easy to under or over cater for your food throwing little monkey. Doing BLW without a high chair will increase the food on the floor wastage factor. Unless you’ve got catching skills like Quick Draw McGraw.
  4.  The floor. That’s where a significant proportion of your lovingly prepared meal will end up. 3 second rule applies in sparkling clean kitchens; sticky restaurant carpets not so much.
  5. I’m struggling a little with variety, in all honesty. There are a number of foods which are perfect; little fingers of toast, cheese, soft fruits, cooked veg, strips of chicken, bread. But if I’m getting bored of giving the same bits each day she must be bored of eating them? I guess it’s better than the same tasting orange gunge though? If anyone can point me towards a blog post named ‘1000 different BLW foods’ I’d be very grateful.

THE UGLY

  1. If like me, you’re trying to feed up a tiny one, BLW can add to the worry. Cries of ‘you’ve done so well today!’ Swiftly retracted when you lift her out of the high chair and find she’s sitting on 80% of what you thought she’d eaten.
  2. A lot of mums (and Grandparents – its a generation thing) just can’t get past the worry of choking. I think somewhere along the way, somehow, I’ve conquered that mountain. But, it’s always there when they make any gagging noises it sends the fear of God into you. Attending a baby choking course helped, and I have the leaflet stuck on the inside of the baby cupboard – just in case.

So in conclusion? For us, the solution has been a bit of both. That happy place called middle ground. We do a BLW lunch of picky bits followed always by a yogurt. Dinner is nearly always spoon fed, with some side dishes of bits and bobs off her sisters plate. I love seeing her develop to new and different textures, seeing what things she loves (and hates) but, I need that reassurance she’s getting what she needs to catch up.

And that’s a wrap. She quite likes those, incidentally.

X MMT

 

Everything Mummy

 

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0 thoughts on “Baby Led Weaning: The good, the bad, and the ugly

  1. wonderfulandaverage Reply

    Hmm, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with BLW. Love the idea of little T eating the same food as us. Hate the clearing up and the worry about how much he’s actually eating. For a while he wouldn’t let us spoon feed him so we were forced into exclusive BLW. Now he lets us feed him sometimes, other times he chucks everything on the floor and refuses help. His latest thing is spitting. He either puts food in his mouth (or lets us do it), chews it for a while then regurgitates it. Bleugh. Weaning is basically one massive ball-ache. Why can’t he just have milk until he’s 5??

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Weaning is such pants! Our little girl also hates milk, so wishing that away too! Thanks for stopping by with a comment, good luck with getting to the next stage 🙂 x MMT

  2. Mama Reply

    We have the same issues with BLW . Today I wish we’d just done purrees but when he’s not being so fussy I quite like it.

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      I think it’s success is directly proportional to how well stocked the kitchen is too?! Thanks for stopping by…

  3. Mummy Tries Reply

    Nodded my head throughout this! BLW is great, but like you I came to the conclusion that a combination was necessary to get enough food into them. My three all had issues with being spoonfed in the very early days, which also made life tricky. My boy is 18 months and is still a ridiculously messy eater. As you say you just have to live with the mess. Fab post x

  4. orana velarde (@CLFAdventure) Reply

    omg, its sooooo messy!!! My third is the only one that did blw and she was really good at it. I think all kids should do it. #justanotherlinky

  5. min1980 Reply

    I started off doing BLW with Piglet. He barely ate anything for around 6 weeks, but when I did try to feed him with a spoon he would just turn his head away. Now he’s gone completely the other way, and when I give him something to hold he just throws it onto the floor, but he will allow me to spoon feed him or pop bits of food in his mouth (usually of the same type has he has previously just thrown onto the floor). They are funny little creatures!

  6. Something Crunchy Mummy Reply

    I love this post!! I tried a bit if both – could never do it fully lol! Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  7. BloggerMummyLauren Reply

    I had no idea what BLW was when my two were at the weaning age, and that was only 5/ 6 years ago, but I guess we did it a bit without realising. They got purees sometimes, and little bits of food other times, just whatever I could get them to eat really!

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      I thin all these labels just adds confusion really eh?! Thanks for reading and stopping by x

  8. thesparklenest Reply

    I’ve started to try this now as my munchkin was refusing purees. this morning he had a bit of both, and I agree, it was so satisfying to tear off a piece of my avocado on toast and hand it to him to eat. And I also agree with the disappointment when I lifted him out of the chair to see soggy green toast all over it! #BabtBrainMonday

  9. harps Reply

    I can relate to every single one of these points! We’ve stuck to a mixed approach too – sometimes Arj takes far too long which doesn’t work well with a sometimes strict schedule! I also am not always up for clearing up mess! Selfish I know! thanks for linking up to #babybrainmonday x

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      You sound like my kind of mum 😉 x MMT

  10. nipperandtyke Reply

    Apart from the yoghurts, Stella has fed herself all of her food – mainly because I wanted her to feel in control after her horrible relationship with milk that I have told you about before, I think 🙂
    Oat cakes spread with soft cheese are a hit, as are home made (or shop bought, when I’m not feeling so smug) homous spread on a wrap, rolled up then cut into pieces the right size for tiny hands. She also eats her cornflakes every morning with her fingers, then picks up the bowl and drinks the milk (when she doesn’t splash it all over the floor)
    Yes to the mess!
    x Alice
    #babybrainmondays

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      A couple of great ideas there, thank you! Oat cakes, will add to my shopping list! X MMT

  11. Everything Mummy Reply

    I did a mixture of both really for all my girls they loved finger food but I would also just mash up what ever we were eating and spoon feed it sometimes Thanks for sharing on #sundaystars x

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