Six months ago, Mr Pilot and I started Baby-Led Weaning to introduce solids to Squirm. Although I wrote a short update soon after we started, I haven’t actually revisited the topic since. Now that Squirm is a year old, I thought it would be a great time to revisit Baby-Led Weaning and talk about both the positives and negatives of using this method to introduce solids.
Six months after introducing solids, I’m pleased to say that Squirm eats almost everything that we eat. He eats three solid meals a day, plus snacks, as well as breast milk. He’s been exposed to a wide range of food, and seems to enjoy almost all of them. Like most adults I know (myself included) he goes through periods where he likes some foods more than others, though there are a few favourites all the time (sultanas are always welcome).
- The different food. Squirm happily eats lots of different flavours, including some which I don’t like! It’s been really exciting watching him eat new things and seeing how he’ll react to them
- His dexterity. It’s been great watching Squirm move from picking up food with a full palm to delicately picking up beans and pieces of rice with his finger and thumb. He’s working on using cutlery at the moment.
- The cost. BLW has cost us very, very little. We buy slightly more fruit and vegetables than we did before and there’s a few snacks Squirm prefers, but we haven’t had to spend money on anything other than the kind of food we usually eat
- Time – I don’t spend any extra time making food for Squirm, and he eats at the same time as me
- The health aspect – because we want Squirm to eat healthy food, Mr Pilot and I are eating healthier. There’s more fruit and vegies in our diet and less salt and premade meals. I’m also more likely to eat three good meals a day, rather than skipping breakfast and snacking through the day
- Being able to eat out – Squirm just shares whatever Mr Pilot or I am eating.
- My Confidence – because I read up on BLW before I started, I had a good understanding of the difference between choking and gagging. I also knew what to do if Squirm happened to choke. Although he gagged a little in the beginning, I was able to be pretty calm about it and let him work it out
- Squirm’s confidence – He’s so eager to try new and different food!
- Squirm’s attitude to food – he really loves eating. He watches us prepare food, stands next to his chair when we put the food on the tray and makes the best eating noises. I know there might be issues as he moves further into toddler-hood, but for now he loves food in all its different textures, shapes and flavours, and that’s an excellent thing!
- Cleaning up – After every meal we need to clean Squirm’s tray and the mat underneath. Although this is getting easier as less food drops (or is thrown) to the floor, it’s still a job to do three times a day
- Finding healthy food – although we cook a lot from basic ingredients, I feel like I’m on an endless search to find food with less salt or sugar. It definitely opens your eyes to the amount of ‘stuff’ in our food. I wish I had the time/a decent oven to make more from scratch, but I can’t see that happening too soon unless the oven fairy and the Thermomix fairy want to come for a visit with some presents for me :)
So that’s how Baby-Led Weaning has worked for us. If you’re interested in reading more, I cannot recommend Gil Rapley’s books (Baby-Led Weaning and The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook) enough. It’s definitely a great way to introduce solids and I’m so glad I discovered it!