We started baby-led weaning with Theo a couple of weeks ago when he turned six months and it’s far less stressful the second time around. In case you don’t remember, didn’t care then or are new to my blog, Isla was a baby-led weaning champ when we did it with her, and Chris and I were a nervous wreck the entire time. The fear or choking is still there a little bit, but I feel more seasoned and a little more prepared for what’s to come. But that’s not to say the experience is the same. In fact, Theo is not the eater his sister was.
This time we made sure to introduce one new food every three days, instead of every day, to rule out allergies. Again, if you recall, we discovered Isla was allergic to egg after I gave her a meatball with egg in it at eight months and she broke out in hives. A subsequent allergy test confirmed the allergy and a follow-up test after she turned one found it had gone away already, which was a huge relief. The fear stayed with me though and I’m not taking any chances with Theo.
We started him off with avocado (sliced length-wise; thick enough to grab), just like we did with Isla. The first day wasn’t very successful. He got the food to his mouth, smiled a few times and then sobbed uncontrollably. I made sure he had recently nursed so I don’t think he was hungry, I just think he was tired and frustrated that he couldn’t easily grasp the big chunk. After a very long nap the following day I nursed him and then offered the avocado again and he ate about two-thirds of it! He loved it and sat in the high chair for an hour playing, eating and laughing.
After avocado we tried banana (broken in half), then broccoli (steamed and served in large trees). Theo had zero interest in these. He ate a little bit of the banana, but for the most part just scolded me until I gave him more avocado. The broccoli was easy for him to hold and he gnawed on the trunks a little bit because I’m sure it felt good on his gums, but he wanted no part of the tree.
At the recommendation of our pediatrician we decided not wait on peanut butter (we introduced it to Isla at eight months). I put a tiny little bit on a spoon and let Theo feed it to himself, which he did with ease and a whole lot of excitement. In fact, he sobbed every time I took the spoon to reload it because he wanted more! We gave it to him for three days straight and watched him like a hawk, but no allergy. Yay!
Then onto strawberries (cut in half or given whole), another possible allergen, and just like that he found his favorite food. He stared at it and pushed it around his tray for about 30 minutes with very little interest, but when he finally got that first taste it was all over. Theo and strawberries. Separated at birth.
And finally, peaches (peeled and cut it in half or quarters), another favorite. He loves to suck the juice, just like Isla did.
All in all, I’d say it’s going well. I was a little surprised at how long it took Theo to get started each day, especially since he puts everything he finds into his mouth, but I’m thrilled he’s enjoying feeding himself and finding foods he likes. Isla devoured absolutely every single food we introduced to her so I was sort of expecting the same experience with Theo, but this just proves once again that no two kids are the same and that’s okay!
Next up: Sweet potatoes, steamed carrots, hummus and other seasonal fruits and veggies.
Now for the feedback. Are you doing / have you done baby-led weaning? Do you have questions or ideas? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!
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[DISCLAIMER: This post is meant to provide useful tips about baby-led weaning. This is our family’s personal journey and is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor. I am NOT a doctor. I am a stay-at-home mom with a background in public relations so taking medical advice from me would be straight up crazy. Seriously. We’re exploring baby-led weaning in consultation with our pediatrician … every step of the way. You should do the same.]