Post natal yoga was the first I had ever heard of Baby Led Weaning, or BLW for short.
It was over four years ago, shortly after my oldest son Mason was born. I remember clear as day, sitting in the yoga studio half listening as the other mommies shared what was going on with their lives. I say half listening not because I wasn’t interested, but because when you have your infant laying in front of you on a yoga blanket, it is hard to give anyone your full attention. One mom was speaking about giving her child, a few weeks older than Mason, solid foods. “Oh gah.” I thought. “I have to start planning for that now too?” I had just gotten used to breastfeeding him around the clock, and while at one point early on in his few months I never thought I would make it six months exclusively nursing, we were now happily in our rhythm and quite enjoying the lack of intrusion of these so called “solids”. As she was speaking, my ears perked up at the mention of something I never heard before – Baby Led Weaning.
“What is THAT?” I thought to myself. Must be another one of these hippy dippy Vermont things.
Well, my attitude and I didn’t get very far when I went home and decided to look up BLW. Fully prepared to feed Mason traditional baby food, mostly made at home, I was surprised by the concept that BLW supported – feeding your child healthy, nutritious foods that are just, well, food! I ordered the book right away, as I was fascinated with the idea. Did you know there was a book? There are actually a few. And websites. And a Facebook group. And places to share recipes! There are a lot of resources attached to BLW as it has gained steam and become more popular.
BLW with Mason worked for us, letting our child feed himself healthy and nutritious foods right from the start was amazing.
Amazing and incredibly messy. The mess is not for the faint of heart. Starting out with soft avocado and ripe banana, Mason just went to town mushing and playing, and eventually was able to get some food in his mouth. Eventually, as he got older, we moved on to cooked slices of carrot and zucchini. Then rice, pasta, eggs, yogurt … we never once bought a jar of baby food.
Now that we have Charlie, our second son, we are once again doing BLW. This time around we are a little more comfortable with the concept, always watching like a hawk to make sure he doesn’t choke. So far the only foods Charlie has rejected has been waffles and rice cakes, tossing them over the side of his high chair like they are on fire.
Starting solids is like the breast feeding vs formula conversation: as long as you are feeding your child healthy foods and taking care of him, do what works for you. There is no judgement on anyone who feeds their baby from a jar. BLW works for our family, and may be right for yours too!
If you are interested in BLW, look into these resources: