So if you’ve never heard of baby-led-weaning (or BLW for those in the know), don’t worry, I hadn’t either until about 9 months ago. Then a baby came out of me and all of a sudden I had to feed it (well it was fairly straight-forward for the first few months).
Eco Thrifty Papa and I don’t take a very strict approach to our eating habits, but we like to think we eat fairly well. We buy local, ethical (free range, etc.), organic, in that order of importance. We eat about 90% vegetarian… used to be about 99% until I got pregnant, but that’s a whole ‘nother post. But we also have a slight tendency to indulge in reduced price baked goods (I blame him) and chocolate (he blames me). In any case, we try to eat well. And we want to instill that value in Eco Thrifty Baby. This is especially important for me, since I was a kid who HATED veggies growing up and never tried anything new.
So, when it came time to introduce ETB to food other than breastmilk, we (I) did a lot of research and then we (I) decided that baby led weaning seemed to make sense for us and our lifestyle. I promise I will write a post about the start of BLW some other time.
But for now, here’s how it is working a few months down the track:
Age: 9 months
- 3 meals a day (8:30am, 1pm-ish, and 6 pm),
- breast feeding on demand during the day (big feed right when she gets up, big feed before bed, and 3-4 in between),
- trying to reduce the number of breast feeds during the night, but currently anywhere between 2 and 6 (!!yikes!!)
Favorite foods: toast fingers with butter, beans, broccoli, steak, peas, cheese, yoghurt, pears, pesto pasta, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, feijoa, apples, pumpkin, grapes
Meals: Generally ETB eats what we eat when we eat. Porridge or yoghurt and fruit in the morning, leftovers or a random mix for lunch, and a hearty dinner. If our dinner is too spicy, We will separate out some for her before we spice it. There are still a few things she hasn’t had yet for worry of allergies (nuts, berries) or diaper rash (citrus, kiwi), but those are becoming less and less.
Food size: Over the past month ETB has been working on her pincer grip. It is really cute to watch her try to pick up little beans, peas, and pieces of rice. So I have been trying to give her some smaller items, and she seems goes for them first. What an over-acheiver. We still try to giver her things in long strips, so that she can bite off an appropriate bite (rather than in chunks, that might get caught in her little throat).
Routines: We have found that eating routine is very important. Verti knows that her high chair is a place for eating. When we put her in there she is expecting food (and we better have some ready for her). In an effort to instill in her the notion that when we are at the table together, we eat, we don’t put her in the high chair unless it is time to eat. She is also learning other routines, she will put her hands out now so we can wash them after eating (although getting the face clean is still a struggle), and she responds to the signs for “milk” and “all done”. We have also learned that if her meal times stay consistent then very little food ends up on the floor (on her face and hands, yes, but floor no)… but if they get a bit out of whack, and she’s less hungry, whoah. Food explosion.
You’d never believe that my baby eats: palak paneer (indian spinach), tamarillo, brussel sprouts, persimmon
So the short story is: eating is really easy for us right now. Any place we go we can find things for her to eat, and she is loving experimenting with different textures and flavors. She can eat almost anything by herself even though she still doesn’t have any teeth at all.
So, is anyone out there doing BLW? How has your experience been? Any good ideas for breakfasts (we seem to do the same things all the time)? What’s the weirdest food your kid eats? And, most importantly, am I the only one whose 9 month old still wakes up about a million times a night?