Talitha turns eleven months this week. As if some chemical reaction was timed for the appearance of two teeth, she’s suddenly begun to eat substantial amounts of food. Despite my bravado, opting for Baby Led Weaning from the start, a small part of me worried about her entering her second year of life without much of an appetite for anything but boob.
Mind you nothing’s necessarily wrong with that either. A mere century or so ago it was illegal to feed an infant solids before a year without medical advice to do so. Not that I’m advocating waiting that long either! I digress. On to the carnival.
About two weeks ago I invited bloggers and others to share their baby led weaning experiences as inspiration and encouragement, and generally as a resource for anyone visiting this Circus. Somehow I’ve got my dates mixed up, horrendously. So, this post was meant for this morning but it is now nearly the next day. Alas.
First off, if you’re not sure what I’m on about when I say “Baby Led Weaning”, head over to WAHM-BAM where Tasha gives a clear and thorough explanation of what it entails, with some tips about how to do it. I fully identify with the mess captured in her photographs and envy her the dog.
Next, we’ve got a photo from Molly of Mother’s Always Right. Her gorgeous daughter Frog is just past one here and making good headway with an apple. Unpeeled and unsliced, it was the stuff of nightmares for her unconverted friends. She looks like she’s loving it and it’s almost given me the courage to offer Talitha the same!
Fear can surround introducing a baby to solids this way, though. So, helpfully, Niamh from It’s Yummy Mummy knowledgably tackles the two biggest worries: gagging and what your mum thinks.
There’s a number of healthful reasons for going down the BLW route (that acronym amuses my father-in-law no end). One is that by waiting until a baby can sit up and manipulate food for herself, you ensure that the gut is sealed, ready for solids. Aly of Plus 2.4 talks about this in her response to the misleading media reports surrounding an inconclusive study of whether solids should be introduced earlier than six months. She explains further in a footnote to a guest post on her blog which looks at how breastfeeding and Baby Led Weaning fit together – a topic I want to visit myself at some point.
This way of introducing solids doesn’t have to an all-or-nothing deal. Chloe from ChloeWitters had her fair share of back-and-forth. In fact, Emily from Mummy Limited even wonders if it really matters whether we spoon feed or baby led wean (she didn’t offer this specific post but did mention she’d written a lot about BLW so I hope she doesn’t mind I’ve included this).
I know that talking up Baby Led Weaning this way risks idealising and overcomplicating it so, thankfully, Jenny from Don’t Wake the Baby reminded me that this really is the perfect way for lazy mums to introduce solids. She even offered a second post in which she casually lets her one-year-old indulge in some Yo-Sushi!
Ever ready to tell it like it is, though, Jane from Northern Mum poo-poos on the idea of it being for the lazy mum, warning that doing things this way is messy, redeemed by the fact that her daughter BB loved it. You and I need Tasha’s dog, Jane.
But since it really is such a relaxed approach, I’m really hoping that we’ll continue like this into toddlerhood. Perhaps our outcome will be similar to the one Lisa from Mama.ie describes as she talks about Baby Led Weaning two years on.
To finish off, here’s some foodie inspiration. The idea for this carnival emerged from my feeling at a loss as to what to feed Talitha so she’s not eating toast at every meal every day.
Kate of Adventures in Baby Led Weaning reminded me that I can just let her dig into porridge with her hands (her interest in spoons is irregular at best). Hannah from Muddling Along Mummy offered a step-by-step for pasta and courgettes which starts in her veggie patch and ends in the bath! And, to finish off, three (!) pancake recipes from mamacook. Pancakes are possibly my favourite breakfast and these baby-friendly wonders are definitely being added to our repertoire: pancakes, potato pancakes and dairy-free pancakes.
That wraps up the first Baby Led Weaning Carnival. The next one will be held on June 4th. I know I said bi-weekly but I’ve realised that it makes more sense not to put unnecessary pressure on my time. I’m sure any parents of small children reading this understand why. Please send any BLW posts (or if you’re a non-blogger: photos and thoughts) to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1st. The carnival will actually be on time next month! (I hope)
PS: If I forgot to include your post, I am so sorry. Please email me the link or leave it in the comments here and I will either work it into this carnival or the next. x