Baby-Led Weaning

Tell me how it’s gone for you. I’m reading the book right now and from what I’ve been reading, it sounds amazing… but it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. (Nothing is ALL sunshine & rainbows when babies are involved.)  I’m interested in hearing some real life experiences / opinions on the topic.

Charlotte turned 5 months old last week (another post for another day) and she has recently become totally unmanageable when there is food around. You can’t have anything edible even remotely within her reach if you don’t want her hands in it. She is so curious about food, and I want to be ready to hit the ground running once we reach that magical 6 month mark.

Honestly, 3 more weeks feels like FOREVER because she’s so desperate to play with our food NOW. Last night at dinner we broke down and gave her a giant hunk of raw carrot to gnaw on while we were eating – she only has about an eighth of a tooth right now (it broke through the day after Christmas!), so I wasn’t exactly concerned about her being able to bite off a piece and choke. The carrot was more like a teething toy than anything. She would have much preferred the ham we had on our plates.

Bonus points if you can recommend a high chair that you love and tell us why you love it. I think Catch is going shopping for one tomorrow.

If you look closely, you can barely see the start of her very first tooth. And a booger. Just ignore that.



26 thoughts on “Baby-Led Weaning

    • I’m really looking at BLW as just an opportunity for her to participate in meal time, rather than an actual replacement for breastmilk. This girl loves her boobs way too much. I don’t see green beans being able to compete!

  1. I did BLW with Evelyn and don’t regret it. She started at 6 months and her first food was sweet potatoes. She ate pretty much anything I had for meals and loved playing with the food, too. That said, breastmilk was the majority of her calories for the full first two years of her life. When she was first introduced to foods, for the first year she ate ANYTHING. Now she’s much (much) pickier.

    I didn’t read any books about it so I’m not sure what they say, but think blw is great.

    • My only expectation from BLW isthat it will give her an opportunity to participate in meal times with us. She loves boobs way too much for it to be a breastmilk replacement. I mean really–give her the choice between boobs and carrots and she’s going to pick boobs every single time. She’s my daughter for sure.

  2. I had a totally different experience, but my girl was off the boob by 7 months and off formula by 11 months, so she’s gotten all of her nutrition from actual food for a long time.
    She had some puréed food at first, I started at 4 or 5 months just to introduce different tastes/textures, but as soon as she perfected swallowing and got her pincer grip, she pretty much ate whatever we ate.

      • She’s just a fast developer. By that age, she had 10 or 11 teeth, and was close to off the charts for weight/height/head size. My good friend’s kid, on the other hand, had 0 teeth at a year and only eats the boob still, every kid is different 🙂

  3. I plan to do a mostly baby led weaning arrangement with J. My experience with it comes from working in a childcare center where a family practiced this method. Once parents, teachers, and other caregivers were all on the same page it worked wonderfully. It was a rough start because at six months old they tried to send him with chicken strips the first day and we were so unused to giving the children anything but purées, they adjusted some on there end, we learned with them and baby did great!

  4. Love love love baby-led weaning. We started both of our kids on solids a few days before they hit the 6 month milestone. Never did purées except for the occasional prunes-and-oatmeal, um, declogging mix. Like Lindsay’s kid, Clementine ate pretty much everything until preschool pickiness set in. Julia of course is only a month into solid food but is on track for similar, I think, except has an affinity for spoons above and beyond her sister’s. We avoid high sugar, high sodium and delayed eggs a bit (C had a skin reaction early on that she grew out of) and honey (obviously). We note more common allergens but don’t avoid them (well, except for whole nuts because, you know, choking hazard–non-chokable versions are a-ok for us).

    High chairs, I hear amazing things about Stokke but we opted for cheaper–Fisher Price space saver which had a few too many nooks & crannies, but good washability, for Clem and hand-me-down Eddie Bauer chair for Julia, which takes up a lot more space and is currently a bit too large for such a wee body. I like that its center brace doesn’t go all the way down to the seating platform (easier to clean) and the removable tray features and dislike that the straps are all one piece. No strong recommendations one way or the other on either but I adore our booster seat–Prince Lionheart brand–and am excited for Julia to be ready for it.

    Solid food is so fun! Enjoy! (But ugh to the diaper transitions.)

  5. We’re doing BLW. I do highly, highly encourage you to wait until six months. I know it’s hard-C was the same way, and doing BLW won’t magically cure it because she is still going to want whatever you have and not NECESSARILY what you’ve put in front of her, but it does help. Charlie hasn’t eaten a ton yet. A lot of stuff has gone in her mouth but a lot of it comes back out lol. She’s not a fan of banana because she can’t get it to her mouth without squishing it. She tried orange slices and looked at me like I was trying to kill her. Green beans were okay, but we had a similar issue as with the bananas. Pasta and broccoli have been big winners so far. And grilled chicken strips. And french fries (don’t judge me).

    The gagging is a bit scary, but it’s really obvious that that’s what they’re doing and that they’re not choking. It’s obnoxious when she does it around my parents though because they PANIC OHMAHGAH THE BABY IS CHOKING.

    High chair wise this is what we got:

    It’s perfectly fine. I don’t have any complaints. I picked it because the pattern is so dang cute, but it’s fulfilling all our needs. I don’t really have any specifics on it honestly because it’s just a chair. I was able to put it together myself, so that was a big plus because I’m incompetent about those things.

    • Oh, we’re definitely waiting! Unless you count the carrot, but it wasn’t really intended for her to eat so I don’t think it counts. 🙂 No judgement on the French fry, either! Charlotte wanted our fries at lunch today so badly! I totally would have given her one if she was eating solids!

      I like that high chair. It’s not all stupid fancy and huge. Our dining room is small and some of them are just too freaking big.

  6. I’ve started Scarlett on puréed solids now. We’ve tried snow peas and Pumpkin and she absolutely loves both! I don’t regret starting her at five months. I chose not to do baby led weaning. From my research, and don’t base your decision from my opinion, but I found baby led weaning led to a lot of picky/fussy food habits. I was introduced to food using the baby led weaning method (obviously back then it wasn’t called that, but you do exactly the same thing) and I am probably the fussier eater I know. My brother was the same, and he was introduced to food the same way. One of my cousins are exactly the same. The other cousin started with purées, then slightly chunkier food then normal food, and she pretty much eats everything! Since my mum also does daycare, I have been around a lot of babies over my time (my mum has done daycare for 23 years now, so she started before I was born) and she says the same thing. Usually the babies who are introduced via baby led weaning are fussy eaters in the end.

    But don’t let that sway you. Everyone has their own preferences and it works for some! I couldn’t do it even if I wanted to because Scarlett won’t put anything in her mouth except her hands.

    In terms of High chairs, I have the bloom fresco one and I love it!! It’s so pretty, is adjustable and could have been used from birth. I think (this might only be in Australia so don’t quote me for overseas areas) it’s also the tallest high chair on the market so you can pull them right up to the table of you wanted to.

    So exciting about her tooth!

  7. Our paediatrician recommended we start solids at 4.5 months because Azulito was getting too long relative to his weight and I couldn’t keep up BFing him even on domperidone with formula to top up his diet. Charlotte may be in the same camp? We started with purees as he was so little and I did with MT and am doing with A a mix of BLW and minced or mashed because we have very distractable kids it seems who are inclined to choking scares. My high anxiety has kept me from full BLW but we are in the same situation as you with the hands in everything. Tonight A’s dinner was the chicken, sweet potato and chocolate cream pie that were originally intended for the folks with teeth at the table. He nixed the yogurt and oatmeal I had made him. I think you need to go with what works for you and Catch.

    I love our Stokke wooden high chair that fits at table height and can be converted to a toddler chair. It was second hand and is on its second kid with us. It rocks. I don’t think they make this model anymore though. I looked for wood that could be easily cleaned and would fit at table height and convert to a chair for the in-between stage when we didn’t want booster seats but wanted our little one(s) eating at the table with us.

  8. We havea chicco high chair that attaches directly to the table and LOVE it. Space saving and useful. Don’t know the model because we bought it second hand. As fur BLW, it’s only been in the last few weeks that Ansel has really eaten much, but he enjoys paying with food and experiencing it. We do about 90% BLW with some spoon feeding for foods that are naturally smooth. The biggest issue is the gagging, which will scare the pants off you and takes a lot of being used to. It also forces us to eat well, or when we don’t, either be ok not sharing or have some standbys to feed him that aren’t what we are eating. No big deal, but something to consider. Traveling was really hard to do with BLW so I did purees in squeeze pouches then.

  9. I didn’t read all the comments. We started Gus on food around 5 months. Our friend is a speech pathologist specializing in swallowing disorders. She believes 5 months is the right time and Gus acted like a rabid dog. Our friend stuck her finger down his throat to test his gag reflex- he could gag, he got food. We did some purees- once a day then twice and stuck to that for maybe a month? Same friend reports a small period of purees is important for mouth/speech development. After about a month we did chunks of soft foods and meats and dairy then everything.

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