Baby-Led Weaning: one year

Eating with forks and spoonsI have been wanting to get started on this post for weeks now and I am so happy to finally be doing it! I’ve sat down numerous times to talk about how eating has gone for us in the last few months and how it has been such a great experience for our family. Then out of nowhere, during the week of his first birthday party he reached out to me, stole the spoon I was using from my hand, and started using it for his own food! My jaw dropped and I just smiled from ear to ear. I knew it was time to get moving on writing this and to put out an update of how everything has been going since my last update almost 4 months ago.

It took us until about eleven months until we completely stopped breastfeeding. Or more so, I stopped producing milk. We had only been doing morning feedings for a while at that point and even those seemed like they were just there for his comfort. Which may have been the reason my milk supply shut down… This time I had to wean him off the boob. It really started to hurt after a while and since I wasn’t making milk anymore I wanted to stop the feedings before it became even more of a habit. After a few mornings of distraction and him trying to weasel his way into my shirt without success he quickly lost interest. Every once in a while he will still try to latch on randomly but for the most part I don’t think He misses it. I think I miss it more than he does. 🙁

Looking back at the whole weaning process it felt like It happened so slowly, and so quickly at the same time. Starting with just trying out foods. I got to watch him go from experimenting with food like toys to actually eating it over time. Then it became all about picking what to give him and questioning everything he was gonna eat. Is it soft enough? Is it large enough? Is it too large? Everything was evaluated and decisions were made and the process repeated itself until it became second nature, or until he got older and the questions weren’t as big of deal. I can’t really remember when that part stopped. All of the sudden I looked down and realized that I wasn’t monitoring every piece of food anymore. In fact, I was making him a plate of what we were eating and he was reaching over to grab my fork!

At a year old I couldn’t be happier with were we are at when it comes to everything there is food. To date we have not found a food that he doesn’t like and just last week he even gave scrod a try (and loved it!)! He loves to try new things, and as long as he can feed himself, on his own terms he will try anything. I strongly believe that following that idea from the start has helped him develop a good relationship with food. We have never tried to force feed him and he has always had the freedom of eating as much or as little as he wants at a time. I definitely have some meals were I worry about whether he is getting enough food but then there are others were I can’t even comprehend where it all goes. Our family has even commented on how much he has eaten during family dinners, haha. My husband calls him the garbage disposal now because sometimes he will start eating food off other people’s plates after he has finished his own!

Even the messes have gotten better. He no longer throws food all over the kitchen and over time he stopped swinging his hand across his tray to let us know he was finished eating (that couldn’t have stopped soon enough). Spaghetti is still no treat ( and one of his favorite foods :/ ) and he is all the sudden VERY interested in gravity, but still, more food ends up in his tummy than on the floor. Making the dogs a little more upset each day, but making mom and dad more and more happy! Restaurants have even become less intimidating lately and now when we go he just hangs out in his booster seat and munches away on his meal. It’s definitely not perfect and I am sure that part of it is that the two of us have also gotten better at handling everything, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He gets so excited when his food comes and he takes joy in eating and feeding himself.

Eating was the first thing that Jax really got to tackle by himself and control on his own terms. He is confident with food and I have seen that same confidence spill into other everyday activities. I am so proud at how well he is using utensils and even more at how excited he is to do it. He giggles like crazy if he sees a spoon and a yogurt cup and can’t wait to dig in, literally. It isn’t the cleanest food, but I am still so impressed at how well he can do it on his own. His independence makes me such a proud momma. You could see how successful he felt when he started using the utensils and I watched how that success made him want to figure out more about the other things around him. With all the troubles of parenting and childhood I feel so happy that food (right now) doesn’t have to be one of them. Eating on his own. Using a spoon.