Baby Led Weaning and Baby Led Weaning … Same, same but different

Baby Led Weaning and Baby Led Weaning … Same, same but different

One of the few good things (yes, there were some positives) that came from our sleep school stay was the session that they ran on Baby Led Weaning. At the time, my first baby was 4.5 months and I wasn’t too sure what my plan was with solids. The session was informative and the concept really sat well with me as a breastfeeding mother. I purchased Gil Rapley’s book, Baby Led Weaning and loved it even more. After the sleep battles I had gone through with my baby, I had made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t fight against him anymore. I didn’t want the stress of purée and worrying about how much he ate and when. I loved the idea of just putting food onto his tray and letting him at it. Letting him control it all.  

And so we started, and just as I had thought, it was the perfect fit for my guy who didn’t like to follow a schedule or anybody else’s lead. He fed himself from day 1 of Baby Led Weaning and would not allow me to help him at all. Even foods like yoghurt. I could preload his spoon sometimes but he insisted on taking it to his own mouth. If it was slippery, he’d try and try and then if he couldn’t get it, he’d simply move on to something he could. He never seemed phased by how much he got in. He was still a major booby monster and preferred to fill up his tank on there and food really was just fun until he was just over 1 (turned out I was pregnant and my supply was diminishing). He was the classic Baby Led Weaning baby.

Then comes Number 2 … Very different personality. Both of my boys know their own mind though and as I follow their leads, I can already see that despite being more relaxed by nature, this second child of mine is no shrinking violet either.

I fully intended to wait until this guy was 6 months. I think that’s often the way with number two. The excitement you may have felt about starting solids the first time around just doesn’t appear (or at least it didn’t for me). It’s so easy just packing my boobs to go out instead of snacks, meals and drink bottles. Not to mention that once you start, they don’t stop and my grocery bill was already quite large as no one in my house is a small eater.

But to my horror (mock), this cheeky little fella started raiding our dinner plates at 5 months … Literally, snatching whatever he could reach (even from your open mouth as you put it in) and shoving it straight into his mouth. If we tried to put him down while we ate, he howled until he was up with us with something to gnaw on.

I thought, great, here we go, at least he seems keen to eat family foods again. Yippee, for no purée.

But after only a week of him stealing from plates, we could see he would get very upset while trying to shove food in and he’d make his desperate hungry urgent cry he does when he wants boob. I’d always offer boob before meals though and he wasn’t ever keen. He seemed to be struggling to feel satisfied just feeding himself. So that night I spoon fed him some yoghurt and he demolished it!! The ‘mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmm’ satisfied sounds said it all. He NEEDED that volume to feel full. The next few meals, I tried to offer him some mash with a spoon and his finger foods. He nailed everything he could with the spoon.

 I have tried just doing finger foods a few times since and within minutes, he starts his desperate hungry calls and only settles when I am their spoon feeding some mush into him …

I really didn’t want to do purée. I don’t really like the idea of all those flavours smooshed into one mushy pile but just like everything with my babies, I am following my baby’s lead and this is what he needs and this is how he wants to be weaned.

And so, we are once again, Baby Led Weaning … Just the way my unique little creature has decided.

Who has found a massive difference between the way their babies have interpreted Baby Led Weaning?

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