Claire Lambert wanted to have a go at baby-led weaning with her second child, Alfie. We gave her Gill Rapley’s video before she started. Here she describes how she and Alfie (pictured below) got on.
I had heard about baby-led weaning from friends on my antenatal club and was really interested to hear that their babies were eating nothing but finger foods from day one. I was confused as to how to start and the best way to go about BLW. My son Alfie was fast approaching six months old and was showing a huge interest in food. I really wanted to try BLW with him because it wasn’t around when my daughter was weaned. After watching this DVD it made me more convinced this is the way to go.
The film is approx 20 minutes long and packs in all the information you’ll need. It gives a step-by-step guide on how and when to start plus best foods to try. She explains you could give your child almost everything (as long as there is no family history of food allergies). To cook foods neither too hard, so baby can’t gum it, or too soft so it mush’s in their hands (trial and error with each baby). Cutting food into fingers strips and long enough so baby can hold the bottom yet eat the top.
I was worried about Alfie choking on certain foods but the DVD explained that a baby that can feed themselves are no more likely to choke than an adult. They appear to choke which in fact is gagging as until a child is around 7 months old they can’t get the food to the back of their mouths properly in order to swallow, to begin with baby’s don’t eat much as a result. As they get older and more confident feeding themselves they will take more and more food, she explains, this will appear in the nappy - a classic sign your baby is actually eating some food rather then playing with it!
She advises to let your baby explore as many textures and tastes as possible which will help your child become a good eater in later life. She goes into detail about food groups ie fats and carbs and explains that baby’s need more fat then adults. Some of the film was self explantry ie how messy it will be, stapping baby in high chair and never leave a baby alone while eating and to go at there pace and recognise when baby has had enough of eating at the sitting.
Putting the theory into practise
I was amazed to see a nine-month-old eating a whole apple completely by himself which convinced me even more this should work for Alfie.
So once Alfie was ready I began. I sat him in his high chair and gave him half a rusk to begin with to see how he would cope and he wolfed it down and wanted more! Since then there has been no going back he eats with the family three times a day, unless he is really tired or asleep. These are the things he has tried: Weetabix, toast, potato, carrots, peppers, cauliflower, brocolli, runner beans ,cheese, bread sticks to name a few! He has even swiped a sandwich from his Dad’s hands while sat on his knee!
Already I can see the benefit of BLW as my 2 year-old daughter has started to eat better because her little brother is eating things she apparently doesn’t like!
Watching the DVD gave me the confidence to start and it is still a great help and a useful resource to refer to at any time, especially for friends and family who are wondering why we are doing BLW!