give me strength to carry on!

I’ve just pre-ordered The Baby Led Weaning Cookbook.  BLW’s been getting a little more difficult.  I’ve just started back to work – a week and half now.  Although I haven’t taken the most-trodden path type decisions in several areas of my life including parenting – cloth nappies, breastfeeding, BLW, being a vegetarian – I don’t tell anyone else what choices to make.  (That’s not to say I don’t offer advice & opinion!)  You have to pick your battles.  Dom isn’t vegetarian, he gets formula during the day in creche and has done for a while leading up to that, and other caregivers spoon feed him.

Well he’s taken to the spoon with gusto.  He’s settled in well in creche.  So far there’s been the expected crying on arrival, but he’s obviously not traumatised – he’s napping really well, playing with the other babies & minders, taking his bottles and eating okay.  I say okay, because he’s only eaten all his dinner once.  Dinner!  At lunchtime!  Like a farmer or someone on Coronation Street.  But from the point of view of a baby led weaning baby, when they say he ate half the food I’m actually pretty impressed.  On his first day I also had to point out that he’d barely eaten any meat at all ever, so nearly every meal is a new taste to him.

The only thing he ate none of was cod.  That’s my boy – note to self I must tell him about overfishing, and recommend he holds out for  Hoki as an alternative for his teeny palate.

And the only thing he ate all of?  Coddle! So he’s certainly broadening his foodie experiences in there – I can hand-on-heart say I don’t think he ever ever ever would have got that at home.

So, what’s my issue? Well, sit tight, I’ve a few:

  • It seems to me right now that Baby Led Weaning suit a stay at home mum more than a 40hour a week working mum.  Or at least a working mum that doesn’t go back to work til her baby is a year or so before the reigns of feeding are handed over to someone else.  Dominic’s an okay eater, but he still ignores/chucks away quite a lot of food and his portions are pretty tiny.  If we’d had til the end of the year there’s a good chance he would have been better established at eatin’.
  • Part of me goes phew, I don’t have to worry about his protein & iron intake.  Someone else will take care of that.  Then I give myself a mental smack on the wrist and think ‘he gets most of his nutrients from milk up to age one, I don’t need to worry about lashing the grub into him.’  But I do.  I guess it’s natural.  Creche feeding him perpetuates those feelings.  Either way he’s getting the nutrients, so I can let this one go…
  • I’ve told the creche what we’re doing, but not in a shove down their throats way so I think they think that he just likes to hold a spoon. And he’s opened his mouth wide for breakfast there, and as I said hasn’t shied away at lunchtime either.  So now at home in the evening, he opens his mouth like a little baby bird, and has to be coaxed to put out his ‘handie’ for the spoon.  If it’s a sure-fire favourite – yogurt – he’ll grab it, but if he’s not really hell bent on eating it, he’ll wait for you to come to him now
  • We’ve not settled into a routine yet.  BLW encourages the family to eat together.  It’s hard to cook in time for us to all eat together in the evening, so far at least half the evenings after creche Dom eats on his own & we eat later.  The earliest he gets home with parent A (Mark, every flippin day so far) is 17:45, parent B’s earliest arrival is 18:15 and he goes to bed by 19:00.  *sadface*
  • Because he’s had his main meal in the creche, we give him something smaller.  I have a few different soups in the freezer and they’ve been a real fall back option.  Although he can eat it with his hands on chunks of bread it’s not the ideal finger food.  Something more challenging might be better to keep up his development feeding himself and I don’t want him getting more used to such smooth food.   Even if he’s going to eat without us, I need to start giving more solid finger food.

On the bright side, one of my sisters reckons her kids creche pretty much let them feed themselves from age one, so they had to learn fairly fast then.  If that’s the case, then at least Dom will have a headstart!

So, although a specific Baby Led Weaning cookbook goes against the very strictest interpretation of what the method stands for , I have high hopes for it.  Anyway, I don’t think baby led weaning families go in for strict interpretations that much – sounds a bit to close to a Ms G. Ford…  I’m hoping for  food you know is suitable for all the family, recipes you don’t need to adjust the salty content of, and hopefully, some stuff you can prepare in advance.

In the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to progress with BLW while I’m only feeding him about a third of his meals, please feel free to share in the comments.

Because this post has been a bit heavy, here’s a picture of Dom preparing for Halloween to brighten it up.

practising being a roary lion.



7 thoughts on “give me strength to carry on!

  1. That’s a really cute outfit! I am starting back at work when Ethan is 11 months old so not much to offer in the way of advice really except it sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job 🙂


  2. Oh the joys of ‘having it all’.

    We are also in the throes of back-to-work (3 weeks in) and Blánaid has been steadfast in her refusal to be fed. A teeny tiny part of me is very proud of her, but another part wishes she was just a little more pliable. She doesn’t discriminate… bottles, cups, doidy, spoon… whatever… I’ll do it myself thank you very much. Let me tell ya, that’s not much fun either.

    So from when I leave in the morning (8:30ish) until I return (3:30ish) she eats and drinks very little… maybe an oz or so of ebm and an oz or 2 of a puree which is largely shovelled into her while a toy is waved around with the other hand (and I swore I’d never become THAT parent!). I called a truce with AK and stocked up my freezer with mush, which I spend my sundays making.

    What we do is follow on the ‘mush’ part of the meal with finger foods. She still likes her pittas and hummus, loves tomato and cucumber, bit of avocado or similar. But I would never call that BLW. I guess we’ve reverted to traditional weaning and finger foods. I’m sad about that, but something had to give and she definitely gets a little more when spoon fed than she would if feeding herself, difficult and all as she makes it! We also try to make the evening meal a BLW one, and breakfast is mostly fruit which she eats herself.

    But on a happier note I have the BLW cookbook on pre-order this two months and I CAN’T WAIT to get it 🙂 I’m dying to drop the purees altogether, which I will do as soon as she starts eating enough by hand. I know I’m delaying things by pureeing in the meantime but so be it. There’s no doubt BLW is more suitable for SAHMs or mums who are at least at home until age 1. But I have come to terms with that… it’s a lovely way to wean, but I’m beginning to realise the puree fed brigade aren’t less well off once they’re getting plenty of finger foods. They’ll pretty much end up the same way by the time they’re 2.

    Love the lion outfit! Adorable 🙂


  3. Such a cute little lion 🙂

    It is so hard going back to work and all the change it entails.
    I’ve been worrying about it for months 😦
    Its great that Dom has settled so well and is eating in creche, and I’m very impressed with him having coddle.
    I’d say it is hard in the evenings getting home late and not having time to cook/eat together. Could you cook up some big batches of stuff that frezzes well ? Curries, pasta sauces, stuff like that ?
    The new BLW cookbook might have ideas, I’ll be ordering it too.

    I am going back to work in December when my guy will be 15 months.
    Back when we started BLW I was sure he’d be eating well by then and it would work out fine, but he’s been on strike the last while with colds, teething and just plain old lack of interest. We’ve even tried the dreaded puree/spoon thing but he is VERY good at clamping his mouth shut and turning his head. I guess he’s just not that interested in food right now. I am trying to relax about it and let him go at his own pace but its hard. When I go back to work he’ll be minded by my Mum, who has been a bit sceptical about BLW but she is happy enough to follow what we are doing at home. Oh well, hopefully it will work out ok in the end 🙂


  4. Thanks for all the support! I guess its clear from each of the different experiences that there’s just so many variables involved that going back to work at 10 months or 15 months may not make the difference – they’re all going to go through phases.

    My mum would never follow BLW Gillian, she’s particularly old school when it comes to baby feeding in the shovel & scrape sense. So count yourself lucky you’ll have that support!

    Cecily it seems like you’ve found a decent compromise though. Even if Blánaid’s eating purees, she’s obviously really determined to self feed too, and tries lots of other textures so that’s probably more than half the battle. Like you said, they all get there in the end. I remember one episode of the David Coleman ‘Families In Trouble’ show where a 5 year old girl had to be spoon fed mush all the time due to parents neuroses over the years. It keeps coming back to me, and I can always think well at least we’re not going to be like her!

    Our lack of organisation so far isn’t great. My other sister and one of my friends do the weekly meal plan on the weekend and shop accordingly. Am so envious of that – we’ve talk about it a lot but we’ve done it maybe 2 weeks ever, and then stopped immediately. Mostly we have a bit of a scrap on sunday about it and then end up going into Dunnes or Aldi on the way home from somewhere and grabbing whatevers there. We do do a weekly shop though at least we manage that! Some sauces would be a good idea – then we could just cook rice/pasta when we get in.

    we’ve had a good day today, Dom will be posting about it later!


  5. hmmm, weekly meal plans are such a good idea in theory. I try to have a general idea of what at least 4 or 5 of the meals will be while I’m doing my shop and I’m getting better at it but it somehow just crystallises the repetitiveness of what we eat.

    the children who were forced to use spoons themselves in creche from their first birthdays or starve (I promise I never thought of it like that at the time) still love to be fed (but not puree TG). It’s totally an attention seeking behaviour.

    maybe the BLW cookbook will have a meal planner in it!!!


  6. you have now identified yourself as the sister without the meal plan. emma wins the organisation award. but we knew that 🙂

    i would love if the cookbook had a meal planner. talk about having my cake & eating it. unlikely though!

    i’m a fan of a certain amount of repetitiveness. me and mark are divils for staring in the fridge & googling the ingredients and then not bookmarking the things that go well!


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