One of my favorite activities as a parent so far has been introducing new foods to our son, Hewson. I was fully prepared to make the typical mushy baby food until I found out about baby led weaning. And guys, I have to tell you: IT IS AWESOME. It did feel a little overwhelming at first, though, so I decided to share with you what I fed my baby during the first month of baby led weaning.
It was encouraging for me to remember that “food before one is just for fun” and that babies still get their main nutrients from breastfeeding/formula. So no need to stress about how much baby is eating, but I was still concerned about his nutrition.
Technically speaking, with true BLW you’re supposed to feed your baby exactly what you eat. But I didn’t feel totally comfortable with that because of a family history of food allergies. (Also, we do eat a lot of spicy food in our house.) So we did choose to do foods one by one for the first month and then go from there.
What is Baby Led Weaning? The short version is this: instead of purees, babies feed themselves. I wish that we called it baby finger foods instead of baby led weaning, BUT the basic tenants are this:
- Baby feeds him/herself, you never put food in his/her mouth
- Baby can control what goes in his/her mouth and learns to chew instead of just swallowing food right away which, in theory, would reduce the likelihood of choking on solid foods.
But here’s the deal, you MUST wait to feed your baby solids (ALL SOLIDS, including purees) until all three of these things happen:
- 6 months
- He/she can sit up unassisted
- Shows an interest in solid food
I also want to tell you that you should absolutely talk to your pediatrician before you start BLW. This is just my experience and I’m certainly not a medical professional.
But if you want to do some research, you should should purchase this book:
I am excited to start making some of these recipies as they’re all portioned for two adults and a baby. They’re all low-salt (which is great for everyone, massively important for baby) and there’s lots of variety. Now that I know what Hewson can handle, I feel much more confident.
A few other things that will be helpful if you decide to do BLW:
A “Dinner Jacket” as we call it. The one on the top is from IKEA and we LOVE it! But if you don’t live near an IKEA, the one on the bottom is from from Amazon. I have five of them and they’re dishwasher safe on the top rack. It saves you from having to give baby a bath every time the eat… because it can get messy!
It is SO easy to clean. No cloth parts (because that’s stupid, high chair maker people. Stop doing that!) and the straps are SO easy to clean. It also grows with your child and you can take the top part to be portable. We didn’t do a ton of research before buying, but we lucked out because this one is great and super inexpensive.
Sometimes, depending on what you’re eating, you don’t need the dinner jacket. So a plain bib is fine, but it is helpful to have these Baby Bjorn bibs as well because they catch a ton of food. These are also dishwasher safe on the top rack.
This crinkle cutter makes food MUCH EASIER for baby to grasp. It’s often just too slippery.
Finally, sometimes there were items I wanted him to get a taste for, but I was nervous about the size as a choking hazard at first. Hewson loves frozen berries in this thing.
What Hewson ate ages 6-7 months:
Hewson has been interested in food since about four months. He used to watch us longingly as we picked up our food and drew it to our mouths. He even licked his lips. So by six months he was READY. (We started two days early when he stole a piece of asparagus off of my plate and we knew it was time.)
I have to be honest and tell you that I was freaked out about choking, so I have made it a “rule” to never give him anything thicker than a pen. So I keep everything long and thin so that he can grab it easily, but I don’t worry about him choking. We have had zero issues with this policy.
So with that in mind, Hewson ate the following things in (roughly) this order:
Broccoli (just the florets on top, see picture)*
Berries in a silicone holder (see above)
Berries in oatmeal
Black beans (cooked)
1/4 string cheese stick
Plain baked chicken
* Indicates that the item was steamed
We have given him purees like these after he learned to chew and we felt comfortabe that he knew how to handle the difference, but this was about 7.5 months. The Beach-Nut Coldpress Organic Purees are great to have in the diaper bag when you’re out and about and don’t have anything prepared or if baby can’t eat what’s on the menu. I should say though that BLW experts say that switching between purees and solids can be dangerous and confusing to baby, so make SURE that your kid knows how to chew first. We have found that Hewson doesn’t really like purees, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
His favorite foods are BY FAR broccoli, tomato, and hummus. I think he greatly prefers savory over sweet, just like mom and dad.
I hope that is hepful to you! Anyone have any interesting foods that their baby loves? I’d love to hear it!