Friday, October 8, 2010

Doing it BLW Style

Who has heard of BLW? (a.k.a Baby Led Weaning) The general idea that if babies are ready for solids, then they can eat soilds and shouldn't have to have it pureed. Now, I am NOT saying that this is for everyone. In fact I'm not even saying that you should think about it if its not for you. People have been pureeing food for their babies for hundreds of years... but what did they do before pureeing was possible?

I'm a firm believer in Baby Led Weaning, but I am not going to get on my soap box and start preaching about it. Everyone has their own opinions and as long as it works for you, why should I care? But Riley is mine and Dave's child and this is about our experience.

Riley LOVES getting his hands on a chunk of banana, a whole snack size cucumber or some peach slices and his favourite food is a vegemite sandwich. We started soilds ealier than the "recommended" age, but he was showing us the 'signs' that he was ready to move on from his liquid diet. As we chose to formula feed (if you missed that post you can check it out here) I was able to see just how much he was feeding on formula.

During the week before we started him on solids, he was taking in as much as 1400mL (1.4L) of formula during a day. (the recommened amount for his age at the time was about 1000mL) so this equated to 2 extra bottles and he never seemed full afterwards. He was trying to grab everything we ate and was trying to eat everything he could get his hands on.

I had been thinking, discussing and researching Baby Led Weaning since I was about 5 month pregnant with Riley and it just made sense to us. Riley eats (essentially) what we eat and he loves nothing more than to feed himself. As I sit here typing this, he is chewing on a snack cucumber and he has gotten so good at biting, chewing and swallowing.

Its no messier than puree (especially when they try to spoon feed themselves) and its so rewarding to see him try new flavours on his own. If he doesn't like something, he won't eat it. (He can tell the difference between pumpkin and carrot just by looking at them. Love carrot. Hates pumpkin. Just like his mum!) When he is full, he stops eating. (It normally ends up being thrown on the floor)

I love not having to spend time cutting, cooking, mashing/blending, mixing, sorting, freezing, defrosting and spoon feeding Riley, when I can just make myself a fruit salad for lunch, and give him a chunk of my apple. Or just make an extra sandwich. Do you have any idea how much nicer it is to eat as a family instead of feeding baby, then feeding yourself? Do you have any idea how much nicer it is to go out for lunch, and be able to buy your baby a half sandwich and let them eat while you eat? Or even buy a baby-friendly lunch and let them get into it with you.

If you are almost at the beginning-solids stage and have ever had this pass through your mind as a fleeting thought... I highly highly recommend at least looking into it a little more. If its not your thing, then its not a problem! If it is, give it a go, you can always go back to puree!

Banana - His first food. Eaten off my thumb because it was too slippery for him. This is the closest to puree we ever got with Riley. Even then it was small chunks on my thumb.


Mummy's chin

Shaved ham

Cruskit (Crispbread)

Carrot, Potato and Pumpkin that he didn't eat

His favourite - Vegemite sandwich

Peach slices


  1. Hi Kahlia - this is so interesting! I'd never heard of it before but it makes sense. Our little one is 5 months tomorrow and showing signs of being ready for solids - I've been trying him on pureed fruit/veges (he hates pumpkin just like yours!) yet when we gave him a floret of broccoli he was more than happy to suck on that. You've definitely given me something to thing about....

  2. It's great to see them trying to feed themselves! and you don't have the head-waving-trying-to-get-the-spoon-in to worry about because when they are full they just stop themselves. Riley started solids at 20 weeks (about 5 1/2 months) and to be honest we could've started earlier. I'm following your blog and will be keeping my eye out for feed-time pics!

  3. Found you on Kiwi Mummy blogs and am just getting to the feeding solids stage with my 2nd. I'm thinking a mixture of BLW and puree - will see how it goes. It was good to see some pics of BLW on your blog!


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