A few weeks ago my sister wrote a guest post on Baby Led Weaning. We have been following this method with Alexandra for several weeks now. I love the idea and rationale behing BLW. It just makes sense to me. But I have to admit it isn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be.
Our first challenge was where to sit Alexandra during meals. She still isn’t sitting up on her own - the kid crawls, climbs stairs, and pulls herself to standing using anything available, but she has never gotten herself into to a sitting position (strange, right?). Since I don’t like the idea of putting babies in a chair before they are able to attain and hold a sitting position on their own, we started off by holding Alexandra on our laps during meals. However, she is super squirmy and seems to prefer eating upside down. She will twist and turn and arch until she is leaning way back, and then cackle with delight. Plus she is strong and it takes both arms to hold her in a position suitable for eating, making it impossible for the holder to eat his/her meal. We ended up putting her in a high chair. It isn’t great since she is tippy, but tippy is better than upside down. And Dave and I want to eat too.
Our second challenge is that she gags on everything. She gnaws on her food, softening it up quite nicely just as she is supposed to, but then she gags. And gags and gags. It is awful to watch. I know her gag reflex is forward so the food is not actually threatening to choke her, and I know she’ll get it out on her own, but I just can’t get used to the gagging. It is not at all relaxing.
Our third challenge is what to give her at the table. It often seems our meals aren’t quite right for her… nuts (we eat a lot of nuts), soup (which she can’t really manage on her own), small bits and pieces (like beans), or uncooked vegetables that are way too hard for her to deal with (although they are great for teething). We end up giving her bread, cheese, and vegetables meal after meal when we get the impression from BLW that she is supposed to be eating what we are eating. What are we missing here?
But despite these challenges, Alexandra does love mealtime. She enjoys handling her food and trying everything. That is the point, right? As for the weaning part… well, she is not leading in that direction yet.
What are your experiences with BLW? Do you have any advice for us?
(Alexandra has no idea she has broccoli hanging out of her mouth… it was there for a long time.)