Baby Led Weaning two years on
This week Adele over on Circus Queen announced that she is hosting a Baby Led Weaning blog carnival, and she has invited bloggers to submit old and new blog posts about their experiences with baby led weaning.
Of course, Little Man is two and a half, so weaning seems like a lifetime ago to us. It’s interesting now to look back and see how far we’ve come.
When starting out with weaning, I read so much about how different weaning styles would impact my child’s eating habits in later life. Baby led weaning appealed to me because it seemed to promise a child who would eat real food, and would know how to control his own portion sizes in later life.
So how did it all work out? Well I think my over active imagination had conjured up images of a child who would happily pass up a chocolate bar or an ice cream in favour of a carrot stick or a piece broccoli. Hardly! Given the choice, Little Man would always pick ice cream, every single time. 🙂
But in many ways, our food habits are very much influenced by the lessons learned in our baby led weaning days. Both Charlie and I now readily accept that Little Man is not hungry every day. He almost always eats a very good breakfast. But he may not be that fussed about lunch, or about dinner if he’s eaten a big lunch. And then some days in the week, he will eat all around him. And we accept that. If he is hungry, he will eat. We have baby led weaning to thank for that lesson I think.
So we believe him when Little Man says he is not hungry. Don’t get me wrong, I still find myself chasing him around with a spoonful of potato every now and again, especially when we have visitors or we’re visiting someone and there have been more treats that I would like before dinner! But mostly, I serve up much the same dinner to Little Man that I serve for myself and Charlie, and he eats what he wants and leaves the rest.
We have a rule that he must taste everything but that if he doesn’t like something he is free to leave it. This rule has had me biting my tongue more than once. Like a few weeks ago when carrot sticks were “deee-licious” but carrot rounds were “yuck.” A week later
the opposite was true apparently! Life with a toddler folks. Never the same day twice!
Thanks to baby led weaning, we’ve been very open with dining out. Little Man has eaten in most of our favourite restaurants and we generally order from the adult menu for him.
Recently he has decided that any kind of sauce is a definite no-no, so that’s been a bit limiting. But I expect it’s just a phase and we’ll soon be back to foods with sauces again. In the meantime, I serve the sauce on the side for him. And sometimes he dips his food in it and other times it is ignored.
All in all, I think Baby Led Weaning was a positive experience for us, and while we still find ourselves subjected to toddler whims regularly, I can honestly say that our two and a half year old eats a wide variety of foods, and meal times are rarely a battle in our house.
If I had my time over again, I think I’d do more baby led weaning rather than less. It’s a great relaxed approach to weaning and a lot more fun than making purées!