I found the world of baby led weaning and bit confusing and very scary as a first time mother. I weaned Sienna on to baby rice & purees at 19 weeks old but we didn't start Sienna on baby led weaning until about 6 months. I started by spoon feeding her a bit of puree and giving her finger foods after. This way, I knew she was still getting food and nutrients but also got to play and explore at the same time. The first thing we gave her was banana as it was soft and she could hold it herself, although, it was a bit slippy and she kept dropping it! I was concerned about choking with BLW but I didn't find Sienna choked that often as she got used to chewing and knew what to do. Now we have been using baby led weaning for a good 4/5 months and she hasn't had a puree or jar for nearly that long either.
I thought I would list my pro and cons of BLW to help any other first time mum's out there who are as confused as me, or maybe don't see the point or how it helps. Of course, this are my opinions and I am very pro BLW.
I find baby led weaning much easier. I don't have to worry about having a jar, making purees or having spoons when we go out. Sienna will generally eat a bit of what we are having or I will get her something simple (& cheap!) like scrambled eggs on toast and take some fruit with me. Some people find it funny that when we go out, I do Sienna packed lunches of sandwiches and fruit and she is only 10.5 months old but I'd much rather do that. I find that Sienna also has much more variety from these meals rather than jars and we tend to eat healthier as I know Sienna will be having it as well.
I like how Sienna can choose what she wants to eat and how much she wants. Sometimes she will get lazy and we do just give her a helping hand but we can tell when she has had enough. Letting her choose what she wants is supposed to help make her less fussy when she's older and she realises if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat it, rather than forcing a baby to eat whatever is on their spoon even if they don't want it. It's also fun trying new textures and flavours and she is brilliant at chewing and using those 6 teeth!
Some of the cons I find the most annoying is that it can take forever for her to eat and the mess can be everywhere. I used to get embarrassed when we went out and Sienna was chucking food everywhere but now I just think, she is a baby, she is going to make mess. I am her mum and this is how I choose to feed her; If you don't like, it doesn't make any difference to us!
Some days, I do get sick of sitting there for an hour whilst she eats and then clearing up the mess, only to do it again a couple hours later and then again at dinner but I always remember how good it is for her to do it. If we are in a rush or she has nice clothes on to go out and I don't want them getting messy, I will feed her myself, but not purees or anything, I will give her a banana or sandwich but just break it off into tiny chunks and put it in her mouth myself. This stops the mess but she is still chewing and eating real food.
BLW has worked amazing for us and Sienna eats pretty much anything we give her nowadays, this style of feeding really suits us. I will definitely try to use baby led weaning when baby number 2 comes along, I hope he/she is as good as Sienna at eating and trying new flavours!
I hope this has helped anyone that is unsure of BLW. If you have any questions or anymore tips to add, please leave them in the comments! :)
What are your views on BLW?