Isla loves solid foods! She took to it right away when we started at six months. As we began introducing foods to Isla, we realized she preferred finger foods compared to purées. Unlike my first Daughter, who liked purées. We decided to go with the finger foods. And see how we would do.
I was slightly nervous at first because of the choking hazards; feeding her the correct size of food, and the right softness without tarnishing the nutrients in the food. With Lily, we didn’t start solid finger foods till she was eight months of age. So I took the time to research ways to be successful at solid finger foods, which is also known as Baby Led Weaning (BLW). The baby leading the weaning off milk, by self feeding themselves solid foods.
Two months into BLW and here are some things I’ve learned, helping us be more successful.
1. Invest in a good quality steamer. Steaming foods has shown to keep more of the nutrients in tack, compared to boiling. Cook them till they are really soft, mushy to the touch.
2. Cut the foods in long pieces, or lengthwise to make is easier for your child to grasp the food. Or for foods like meat or cheese, you can grate them.
3. Invest in a good stash of bibs and a floor mat. About 50% of Isla’s meals end up on the floor. Either from her learning how to pick it up, or her just having fun.
4. A great suction plate, keeping foods in the little dishes helps Isla pick them up easier. Some days it helps contain the mess.
5. Be present! Don’t leave your child unattended. It will help reduce the choking risk. And to really help prepare yourself for a choking episode, take a CPR and First Aid class, where they yeah you technique to help a child in distress.
I wish we had done BLW with our first Daughter instead of purées. Isla has been introduced to more foods at eight months of age, that Lily wasn’t introduced too till twelve months old. When we eat our meals, I give Isla bits of ours with her normal meals. I learned recently she loves lentils and turkey. Mashed potatoes not so much.
Isla pincer grasp developed quite quickly shortly after we started BLW, faster then my oldest Daughter for sure. Another bonus to this method is the that it requires less preparation compared to purées. I plan a lot of her food around the foods we are going to eat. So for dinner if we have chicken and broccoli, so does Isla. Makes it easier, with less prep time. I found Lily’s puréed meals use to easily add an extra 10-15 minutes. Now that I have two kids to feed, the shorten prep time has made my life less chaotic.
I highly recommend BLW if you’re considering that method. Make sure to do some more reading to help you prepare, learn some recipes. Give yourself the time to buy the products you need and prep. Get ready for the mess!
Thanks for reading,