To think it’s already time for Lu to start eating solids is so hard for my mind to handle, which makes trying to remember how this whole deal works nearly impossible. It has been nearly two years since the last time we weaned! To be honest, I think going back and reading my entries about Jaxon’s experience has been my savior this time around! To check out his first week, read a much lengthier version about our weekly progress and see how we handled our first experience with baby-led weaning (BLW) click here.
I definitely recommend reading Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid before starting. The book has a lot of information and is a perfect guide to getting starting.
The general concept of Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) is all about allowing your baby to feed themselves right from the moment you introduce solids and to let them decide when they are finished breast or bottle feeding. Basically once they decide to start eating more solids they will start to drink less milk. The idea is to eventually share the food off right off of your plate instead of having separate meals for everyone. Although I can’t really say we are aiming for that because I feel like I am making a separate meal for everyone, everyday…
To start off our first week we picked four different foods and used them for the entire week. Using the same foods helps to limit the causes of possible allergies and also makes it simpler to prep the food ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. As the weeks go on the list of foods she can eat will continue to grow until she can eat everything we eat.
THE MENU: Sweet potatoes, a carrot, avocado, and banana
THE FIRST REACTION: Lu was beyond thrilled to finally have food in front of her. She had been reaching for our plates and our food for weeks now. Her mouth got huge when she finally saw that we were putting the food right there within arms reach and it didn’t even take a second for her to reach out and grab at it. It was pretty difficult for her to actually hold on to anything, but she when she did manage to get the food to her mouth she was all about trying to suck on it and taste it. She wasn’t a fan of any of the food breaking into pieces and spit them out right away, so the softer foods were definitely her favorite choices.
HANDLING EACH FOOD:
Banana – When given the banana in slices she couldn’t pick them up and hold on to them, but when we gave her a half of a banana to hold on to and munch on she was able to easily grasp it and suck on the top. She seemed very unsure about the flavor the first time around but after a while she started loving it and wouldn’t let go of it.
Avocado – She loved that the avocado was mushy. It went into a mush easily and she was able to move it around in her mouth and smash it with her gums. She still spit most of it out but she seemed to enjoy the flavor. I cut the avocado into larger pieces than I did with Jaxon and it seemed to be much easier for her to get ahold of.
Sweet potatoes – Lu didn’t show any interest in the sweet potato. It was easy for her to pick up but I am not sure she liked the taste. Still, it’s one of my favorite foods to give because the consistency is easy to pick up and breaks apart nicely.
Carrot – She was able to pick up the carrot very easily and chewed on it for a bit. When a piece broke off she immediately spit it out and wasn’t interested in it anymore. After that she just kind of threw it around and ultimately handed right to the dogs, haha.
THE MESS: Be prepared for a mess. For us half the fun is in the exploration and we are definitely a family who supports playing with food. This experience is all about developing a good relationship with food and whats better than having fun with it? It also helps that the doggies like to clean up the fallen food. I am pretty sure that they were more excited to start this journey then all of us.
INTRODUCING MORE FOOD: On certain occasions like going out to eat we have introduced more than the normal 4 foods for the week. We let Lu chew on a soup soaked baguette and gave her a couple of spoonfulls of yogurt throughout the week. Neither of us have any food allergies that run in our family, so trying new foods in-between the dedicated weekly ones doesn’t cause us too much of a concern.
DON’T FORGET THE POOP: The poop tells all. Just like with Jaxon I was completely convinced she wasn’t eating anything, but her poop was much chunkier and definitely stinkier. And the little black wormy looking things that show up in poop after eating bananas?! I had completely forgotten about those until now!
THE WEEKS OVERVIEW: Lu did very well for her first week, which made me a happy momma. I was much more concerned with starting her on solids than I ever was with Jaxon. Judging by her boob obsession I truly thought she would be all about breastfeeding and not interested in food at all. I ended up being completely wrong and she has been all about eating food. I’m still not sure she can handle solids as quickly as Jax did, but only time will tell. She tends to be less comfortable with having actual food in her mouth so I am going to make sure we use more mushier foods in the next weeks instead of finger foods.