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.