We had been planning on baby led weaning Benjamin at 6 months, even before he was born. I had gone down the more traditional route with the older two and started them on purees at around 4 months, but this time round I wanted to give baby led weaning a shot.
To prepare I read lots of other blogs on the subject, I bought myself the baby led weaning cookbook and I refreshed my memory on baby first aid and how to spot the difference between gagging and choking. We also stocked up on some useful products such as the Nuby catch all bibs, sure grip miracle mat & suction plate, sure grip suction bowl, feeding spoons and suregrip moneky mat.
I still didn’t really feel that prepared though and worried about whether I was doing the right things. I needn’t have worried though, from the start it was clear Benjamin was ready to wean, as well as other telltale signs, by the time he reached six months he was grabbing onto our food and trying to bring it towards his mouth. It wasn’t much of a surprise to us, therefore, that he took to eating like a pro.
He does tend to drop around 2/3 of his meals on himself, in his highchair or on the floor, but that 1/3 he does swallow, he absolutely loves and it’s amazing to see him sit and enjoy the same food as us each evening. The suction mats are brilliant as Benjamin loves to sling things around at the moment whilst eating, and they stay put no matter what.
To start with we are only really giving him dinner, and some snacky lunch stuff. Breakfast is always a bit of a hectic affair getting the older two ready, but he will happily nibble on a piece of toast. Over the next few weeks I’m planning to increase his meals so that he will be on the same 3 meals as us, which will make things so much easier.
Benjamin hasn’t really rejected much yet, other than a banana which immediately made him gag, and which he simply didn’t seem to want. His favourite food of all time has to be meat, of any form. He’s clearly not a vegetarian! Probably his favourite so far was the turkey meatball he had with spaghetti, he loved it!
Generally Benjamin will pick his food up from his plate and feed himself with his hands. He finds longish sticks of food the easiest to grab hold of and keep in his hand to chew on. He’s a little young to develop his pincer grip yet, so things like mince, sweetcorn and peas I usually end up helping him with.
So far, touch wood, we haven’t had any incidents. He’s not choked and has only gagged once or twice and both times managed to bring his food forward and out himself with minimal panic on my part (which is pretty amazing when my anxiety is so bad).
We’ve been using the Nuby flip n sip cup to offer Benjamin some water alongside his meals. He loves it and will often play with it with the lid up as well to amuse himself whilst waiting for food.
We’ve taken Benjamin to a couple of restaurants for meals since we started weaning and he’s been brilliant at eating whatever we are having. So far he’s had some pizza, pasta, fajitas and a burger, so his diet is definitely varied!
I would totally recommend baby led weaning to anyone else considering it or who is unsure which route to opt for. As I mentioned, I did traditional purees with the other two children and it was, in my opinion, messier than baby led weaning, a lot more faff and hassle, and it ended up being way more expensive once I got frustrated trying to make my own purees and ended up buying the ready made pouches instead.
With baby led weaning, Benjamin is eating everything we eat, and it’s actually helped us to be more healthy with our choices, as we need to cut the salt intake for Benjamin. This doesn’t limit our meals, but it does mean making healthy swaps, so instead of a ready made jar of bolognaise sauce, we will make the sauce from scratch, and instead of highly processed microwave rice to accompany dishes, we’ll cook it fresh.
The older children can be fairly fussy with their food, and sometimes won’t eat things like stews and curries, I think that as we continue baby led weaning with Benjamin, they’ll be a bit bolder with their foods too, so it can only be a good thing.
We are brand ambassadors for Nuby UK and were kindly sent some items from their weaning range, however all views and opinions are our own, and we have also bought some additional items ourselves.