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Mums doing Baby Led Weaning

We surveyed a group of parents on our Facebook page, to share their experiences with Baby Led Weaning.  This is a way of starting solids, that instead of feeding your baby soft mushed up pureed food, you only give them food that they can pick up and feed themselves.

Read the following comments that were shared.  Overall, the results are positive with parents glad that they started this form of weaning for their baby.

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We did it - best thing I ever did. My wee man now has a very broad palate and happily chomps down veggies and goon grains and pulses. No opening cans and spooning in mush for us! We started off with soft cooked kumara, carrot and very ripe pear then moved on to soaked prunes, banana and avocado.

Kind of did it. Kyle point blank refused to eat of a spoon so we ended up just giving him finger food and would serve him up whatever we were having and just let him eat with his fingers. Was very messy but he never really had trouble eating anything and he now chews up meat much easier than my nearly 3 year old who often gives up and spits it out.  We then just let him have his own spoon which was again very messy but at 15 month he just feeds himself with his spoon and is pretty good with it and doesn't make much mess. Well until he has finished eating then the food throwing starts!

The only way my son would eat, no purees for him he won't touch them, I tell you he is the best eater (if he can feed himself). My daughter (almost 5) still prefers her veggies mashed together

Absolutely AMAZING! It has taken all the stress out of meal times. The four of us sit and eat together. I haven't bought one single jar of baby food! $$$

LOVE Baby-led weaning. I can't rave about it enough! I have twin 7 month old girls and I am constantly amazed by there ability to figure out how to eat non pureed food. Basically it's giving a baby (from 6 months) hand hold sized food and letting them figure it out for themselves. Gill Rapley has written a book called 'Baby-led Weaning' which is very informative.

We have done a mix of both methods. Baby Led Weaning can make meal times takes ages, with sore teeth DS eats almost nil, but will eat purees and as far as I am concerned, don't care how, as long as he gets food.

Did it with my 2nd son. Started at 6 months and he "took off" with eating around 8-9 months. He wouldn't let me spoon feed anything in till almost 9 months old (still now at 13 months prefers to do it himself). I leave him to it, but sometimes like to do a few spoonfuls if I'm in a hurry.

We have done this with our son (now 14 months). At 5.5 months started having him sit at the table with us while we ate meals. At 6 months he started having food - steamed sticks of veges were good to start with. Sticks of toast, cruskits, mousetraps etc all good too, unfortunately we discovered my son has lots of allergies so we had to cut all those things out again. Since he started solids we have always tried to have meals together - my husband and I have had to get used to eating dinner at 5.30pm! I'm really pleased we've done it, I love that he has always had control over what and how much he wants to eat.

We do a mix too, works really well - this is with Ruby, number two. Wish I had have done it with number 1, he is a really bad vege eater!!! She just loves getting anything in her hands, preferably something someone else is eating!

We have done  Baby Led Weaning too, sit her with us for meals and offer age appropriate chunks of whatever we are eating

Much easier than purees. Baby just happy to join with us at meal times. Tonight he had spag bol with us and he is nearly 7 months old.

I'm partly doing this. My girl has pieces of food to munch on first then afterwards she has a little bit of mashed fruit/veges. She didn't stay on the puree for very long as she just wanted to chew everything and is now on lumpy food at 7 months! It is great for taking her out to cafes because she is kept entertained by sitting on my lap and having something to munch on from my plate.

I think I am in this process at the moment... my 7 month old started on pureed solids around 5.5 months and really enjoyed it. Since then I feel she has started to wean herself off the breastfeeding as she just loves real food too much!! At the moment I am doing around 5 bf per day but she also has 3 big meals + snacks, however every day I feel she gets more and more interested in real food so not sure how long I can keep bf her for until she's over it and onto the real stuff!

I never heard of it until the other day, and found it interesting, I introduced homemade soft pureed foods to my daughter between 4 and 6 months and she ate it fine, but has always preferred finger food so that's what I do! I think it's an excellent way to introduce food to the lil ones. They do amaze you with what they can do.

Yes I did this with my third. It is a fantastic way to introduce foods. We never bothered with baby food at all. Occasionally my daughter would choke, but would recover by spitting out a piece of food. She is now 15 months old and has only really choked maybe 3 times where I had to intervene.

I'm doing it with my third bub. So far she's enjoying playing with it more than eating it but she has a good chew going. I just give her some of my food. I have a book called Baby Led Weaning by Gil Rapley that I'm going to read but there are heaps of websites and forums in support of it that I found useful.

YES!!! and it was the best way to do it for my boy... He loves food and has always had a fascination with what we were eating so thought it would be a good idea to let him have a bowl of his own to play with but at 6 months old he just started eating it, we have only had a couple of 'it going down the wrong hole' episodes but he has ALWAYS managed to bring it back up himself before we even had a chance to react.... Now at 9 months old Noah eats EVERYTHING we eat for every meal. Breakfast = Toast or Hot Cross Buns, Lunch = Sandwich or finger foods, Dinner = everything from steak to chicken you name it he will eat it even salad... all this and tooth number 3 has only just cut through... Very clever little boy but I will be doing the same with number 2

I did this with my son, read heaps about it online and was pretty scared he would choke. He didn't, he got really good at pushing the food back to the front of his mouth so he could chew it.

Yes Baby Led Weaning all the way!! Much easier - they eat what you eat, less stressful as you take away the "how much is she/he eating" thing... Love it! Olivia's fav is eggplant and olives at the moment... and she is so NOT fussy. Good little eater - never had any choking issues. Best thing is to see her with a portion of corn cob - by the end there is nothing left, and she only has 3 1/2 teeth (at 12 months on Friday!)

I will definitely be using Baby Led Weaning with my second bubby. She's happy and healthy, and at almost 4 months no where near ready to start solids! I can't wait to see her eating real food, rather than having slop spooned into her mouth :) It really is a more natural approach ♥

I would like to add that I do still do some purees/mashed too, as that is a valid texture too!! And she likes her "dessert" that way - yoghurt, pear etc....

Do it, Love it

So am I right in understanding that you do this right from the start when they go onto solids? i.e. even if they have no teeth you give them solid bits of food? My little girl is 4 months old and I'm definitely keen to hear more about this.

Yup, fingers of steamed, boiled, roasted or raw food :) But not until they are actually ready, at this stage most don't really need solids!!

Oh, and you intro yogurts etc as them eating them, not being fed them. It's a very independent way of them feeding, while supervised, rather than being fed :)

Grab a book called "baby-led weaning" by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.

We practiced baby-led weaning on my daughter from 5 months. Never fed her mush or processed foods we gave her lamb chops, sausage, capsicum, cucumber, zucchini (a favorite), pasta, rice, potato, apple, banana etc.

It is extremely messy but from 7 months she had the dexterity to pick up a single blueberry and put it in her mouth. After a few months she was an expert at feeding herself, and while it was still fairly messy it was totally worth it.

We would sit at the dinner table and she would enjoy the taste and textures in her mouth and hands. She was really enjoying the food rather than just the TASTE or the feeling of being full.

My wife persisted and she continues to eat whatever healthy food we put in front of her. She doesn't like to be fed, and prefers to feed herself.

I seriously recommend it to parents out there thinking about it. At the least you can avoid giving your child canned/tinned processed food, at the most you can actually sit down and enjoy a meal with your child while you all eat the same thing! The feeling that you get from knowing the food is home made from fresh ingredients is amazing.

It just happened naturally for us, at four months he just lunged for my croissant and sucked it, and it went from there. Saved a bundle on baby food and so much less fuss mucking around with puree. I did mash things on my plate with a fork for him sometimes, but 17 months on and I still swear by it!

Just remember that the difference between solids and mush is just a few minutes in a child's mouth. With baby led weaning they grind on the food with their tongue/roof of mouth/gums until it's able to be swallowed... they also have the baby gag reflex so not much chance of choking. Win win!

This is a very interesting topic as my boy is nearly 6mths and so I'm looking at starting him on solids soon - am now doing lots of research on BLW :)

I never pureed anything. I started feeding E at 6.5 months with mashed pumpkin, we then moved rather quickly on to all types of foods and within a few months he was eating just what we were. He will not eat bland food, nor do I give him anything out of a can/bottle. He eats just as we do and has a fork. We let the dog clean up the mess. He is also quite happy to sit up and watch me prepare meals in anticipation of eating them, I love to cook! I get claps when everything is served up and we all eat together. He is 14 months now.

P.S. I never really read anything I let Ethan lead me. Chunks of food well steamed when they are really little moving towards food just as you and I eat it.
Yes we did this via ideas on web ... and also got Gil Rapley book for ideas. I loved that it pointed out how kids were force fed food other than milk so early it had to be pureed, puree actually made my boy gag.

It has been great in getting him to chew properly and also we don't freak at gagging cos it was such an early reflex, and everything was successfully gagged out!
I think we are all so cruisey about mealtimes cos he chooses what he feels like on the day... one day he will eat mostly meat, the next he will eat sticks of brocolli and carrots! He is a healthy and VERY active 13month old

Yep, we started out with purees but around 5 months, Mr point blank refused them, and was nicking food off our plates. We just gave up on the purees and gave him his own plate, minus any choking hazards (like whole peas, etc). Cheaper, easier, and at 9 months he eats everything he we eat, including curry, raw onions and sardines, and only asks for boobs 3 times a day. He now does accept being spoon fed when he wants something he can't pick up, like iron fortified baby rice with yogurt (this makes me feel more ok about him not eating a lot of meat). And some times he wants to be 'fed' a bite of what we are eating without holding it. So we haven't done it exactly to the book, but I was so relieved when I went online and found how many other people had had the same experience with puree rejection and were coping without them! It took the battle out of mealtimes, and stopped both Mr and me dreading them.

Love Baby Led Weaning. My 9mo son has a wider range of foods he'll eat than my 4yo daughter who was purée weaned. There's nothing he won't try, at 9mo he can already use cutlery, despite no teeth nothing is too hard for him. It's so much easier on me too, he just eats whatever we are which saves on prep time. There is a huge difference at meal times between my baby and my purée weaned one but one of the best advantages is that she is more willing to try a wider range when she sees her baby brother eating it.

Baby Led Weaning is the best thing we ever did. Challenging and frustrating at times, and it's hard not to worry if they're getting enough to eat, but you have to trust the child

My 7months old baby just works out how to use spoon and just start able to pick up a pea etc. Just give to your baby and play with it, soon or later baby will learn the control to picking thing up and using cutlery in their own time. Just watch out for "flying" dishes in first few weeks!

In some ways - it's really great. James has great dexterity, hand eye coordination, and baby led weaning helps with this too. His tastes change daily - and it is important to have lots of choices to be able to offer. And if he doesn't want to eat - he doesn't have to (like last night - not interested in dinner, but slept through the night which was a lovely change)

BUT it is mess, and it does take longer.

The other upside is whilst you are supervising their meal - which will always be longer than yours - you can do the dishes or something. Maybe even read a book!!
I chose it because there is a lot of obesity in my husband's family, and I wanted James to learn to stop eating when he had had enough.

We had BBQ 2 weeks ago, he was 6half months, he had piece of steak, tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, bread, all without teeth and today he still got no teeth yet....

Hey guys my son is 4 months if he didn't have is farex he would be drinking every few hours, in regards to Baby Led Weaning would you just feed more milk until six months then start finger food?

Just to expand on my 1st post I tried purees etc when pushed to by Health Visitors(5.5months) but was sure my little girl wasn't ready to wean, after many stressful and tearful mealtimes and a slight dip in weight I decided to go back to EBF and wait until she was a bit older, within a month of doing this my daughter was showing more interest in food and one day she snatched a piece of bread from her daddy and ate it, we were both shocked but we took her to the kitchen and gave her some more, she ate that too, and from that day forward we only offered her food that she could pick up and eat by herself (this includes yogurts which she would not eat if I spoon fed her, but she would snatch the spoon and then eat it herself).  A good example is a Banana, offer it to her mashed and on a spoon - nope, offer it to her sliced - nope, offer the entire banana with the skin peeled back......she eats the entire banana.

Peas, sweet corn and cubes of steamed carrot were a particular favorite which she would pick up one at a time - absolutely amazing to watch!

I was going to do Baby Led Weaning but my son had other plans. He is now 7 months old (born early/small) but just reaches the tray on the high chair and still sits in it with a slouch. Because of this I have had to use puree until he can sit better and reach with his hands. I have tried him occasionally with some toast, chicken, banana, and carrot but he just holds it in his hand and does nothing

He has started to put the spoon in his mouth though so that is a start.

Yes did this with no3, started with soft cooked broccoli and carrots and ripe pear. (around 5.5mths) by around 8 - 9mths he was happy to eat chicken legs and chops as well as heaps of different veg. Made life so much easier than having to make two different meals every night.

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