When I was pregnant with my first baby, the talk in all of the online forums I was in was about how to do Baby Led Weaning first foods.
I had no idea what it meant but it was such a buzz phrase!
After a little online research, I found out about Gill Rapley and bought her baby led weaning book.
What is Baby Led Weaning
What is BLW?
Rapley had coined the phrase ‘baby led weaning’. The concept being that instead of giving your baby mashed up fruit and vegetables or other purees and spoon feeding them, you go straight on to them eating ‘proper’ food and learning to feed themselves.
Whilst most of my friends were looking forward to creating culinary masterpieces in the kitchen for their little one (and then pureeing them to pieces), I wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook. But with that, I love to eat too! So with the promise of letting our baby learn to feed herself, I was hooked.
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You can grab my free Baby Led Weaning guide here, as well as stack of other helpful resources for mums:
We had an open mind, the forums I was in spoke of babies who just didn’t like it. Or parents who didn’t. We decided to give it a go though. You can read more about our experience of baby led weaning here.
I think this is one of the world’s most popular baby led weaning books and the original.
How to Start Baby Led Weaning – How We Did
I’m sharing some of my top tips on how to do baby led feeding from what worked for us. If you have any concerns about your baby starting solids, please check with your GP first.
If you want to know when to start baby led weaning, you can also ask them when to start weaning your own baby.
1. Keep it simple at first
In the beginning when starting baby led weaning, look for easy baby led weaning ideas.
We started with baby led weaning food ideas like soft fruits and vegetables like bananas and soft-cooked carrots and sweet potato. We chopped them into finger food sticks so that our baby could pick them up easily.
Baby led weaning banana is really popular with first-timers.
It took a few goes for my baby to get the food to her mouth – we watched in excited anticipation for day! Then after just a few days we saw her developing her pincer grip and getting some success!
After a few weeks we introduced buttered bread and toast fingers and she loved them! They were her favourite first weaning foods for a while.
She also loved sweet potato sticks as blw first foods.
2. Be prepared for baby led weaning mess
For the first few weeks (at least), expect most of the food to hit the floor or at best cover your baby from head to toe. We invested in some full-coverage bibs that definitely helped to keep her clothes protected.
Don’t feed them on a carpeted floor – or if you do, spread a garbage bag under their high chair or a surface you can wipe clean. It gets messy!
The best weaning foods for us were the ones that she loved the most and the variety – we didn’t care about the mess and just cleaned up after.
3. Add variety when you’re ready
After my baby had gotten the hang of what she was doing, we introduced more variety. We found that in the meals we were eating ourselves, there was a lot of food she could try to.
These baby led weaning fingers foods included soft-cooked vegetables, penne pasta, rice, pieces of cooked chicken, grapes cut in half etc.
It was so lovely to see her enjoying the food we were eating too – plus meant we didn’t have to cook anything differently for her.
We could literally sit and eat our own food while she was sitting and eating her own food – brilliant!
When we introduced new baby led weaning foods, nine times out of 10 my baby would turn her nose up at it.
It took three or four days of trying the same baby weaning foods before she adapted to liking it. So don’t give up at the first hurdle with baby led weaning starter foods – keep persevering.
5. How to do Baby Led Weaning – you don’t have to be ‘All or Nothing’
Some of my friends did only BLW and some only purees. We decided to do a bit of both as we were a family who were out and about a lot.
Through a combination of baby led weaning and some purees, my baby had the chance to not only learn to feed herself but to also try a variety of different textures, shapes and flavours.
I really think that doing baby led weaning has helped both of my kids to love all food and they are not picky eaters at all – I hope I haven’t jinxed that for myself! I just want my kids to grow up making good food choices.
Do you have any favourite baby led weaning recipes? Or baby led weaning meal ideas?
I’m always on the lookout for more baby led weaning meals!
You can grab my free Baby Led Weaning here, as well as stack of other helpful resources for mums!:
You can buy Baby Led Weaning here in Australia, here in the US and here in the UK. It also includes a babyled weaning cookbook!
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