Introducing the Baby Led Weaning Carnival

The health visitor came for a routine visit. I agonised beforehand about certain choices we’d made that we’re bound to be contentious, especially bed sharing and baby led weaning.

Maybe she’d surprise me but I made up my mind to be suitably vague. I just didn’t want to get into it, you know?

I keep thinking now that I should have.

HV: How many times a day does she feed?
Me: Oh, it varies.
HV: She should be eating more solids by now and demanding less of you.
Me: Mmhmm.

Really, though, why didn’t I say what I was thinking – that actually it’s perfectly fine that Talitha still breastfeeds at least six times a day?

That’s her main source of nutrition for the first year. It’s more nutrient and calorie dense than any other food I can give her. When she’s ready to eat enough to displace milk feeds, she will.

This is yet another reason I love baby led weaning. It ensures that she does what she’s going to do on her own unique schedule.

That said, she really does eat. Even now, it’s exciting seeing her do it. Her dexterity has improved massively and she usually will eat all sorts of things from cereal to squid.

I seriously lack inspiration as to what to feed her, though. Left on my own, I’d eat toast all day long but I want her diet to have more variety than that.

So that’s part of why I’ve decided to hold a bi-weekly Baby Led Weaning carnival*, to gather inspiration. The other is to gather real-life stories of BLW families. Hopefully this will be both an ongoing resource and celebration.

If you blog, send me links to your Baby Led Weaning posts, old and new. Even if you didn’t do BLW but you’ve got recipes that would suit, frisbee those over. My address is Alternatively you can leave your link in the comments.

If you’re not a blogger but would like to share photos of your babies feeding themselves or thoughts on/experiences with Baby Led Weaning, you can email me those too and I’ll include what I can.

This will be a regular feature. Whatever I can’t include this time round I’ll use in a future week. The first carnival will go live on May 7th. Please send me your links, etc by May 4th.

Hopefully this will just be a good bit of fun and useful, especially for anyone taking this approach to introducing solids.

* Baby Led Weaning involves allowing babies to feed themselves from the start and to have control over both how much (or little) they’re going to eat and what they’ll eat. It’s often seen as a natural extension of breastfeeding but formula fed babies can do it too.
** A carnival is a post featuring other posts, usually themed in some way.


  1. April 24, 2012 / 8:06 am

    One of the great things about having bewildered the NHS with homebirths and going back to work relatively early is that we only saw the health visitors a couple of times and so never got into this (that and me fixing her with a steely look when she asked if I was STILL breastfeeding and informing her of the WHO code….!) but I did spend a lot of time saying ‘food is just for fun until they’re 1’ when people suggested we nurse less rather than be led by what she wanted

    I loved babyled weaning – mostly I loved the fact it meant I got to enjoy my meal at the same time rather than spooning food into them but I loved watching them enjoy eating and the tastes and textures

    Here’s one with a suitably BLW photo for the carnival

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:54 pm

      The HV was surprised that I was still breastfeeding but in a good way. She was very encouraging about continuing, just thought I should be doing less of it, unfortunately. Yes to getting to eat at the same time! Thanks for sharing the post.

  2. April 24, 2012 / 9:32 am

    Now that my Little Man is two and a half, BLW is becoming a distant memory for us, but in many ways it paved the way to our eating habits today. I’ve written lots of posts about it – recipes, food that worked, and didn’t work. But perhaps for your first carnival, the one I should submit is my summary of our baby-led weaning experience:

    (Also, if you are looking for really inspiring baby-led weaning posts, I suggest you check out

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks! I’ll also take a look at your other posts. Have you thought of including the titles of your posts in your URLs rather than the number ID? I’m just thinking it might be good for SEO…if you’re bothered about that sort of geekery. Thanks also for pointing me in the properfud direction!

      • Lisa |
        April 25, 2012 / 9:19 pm

        I have thought about switching the URLs many times. I prefer word-based rather than post ID-based URLs but they didn’t seem to work with my theme. By the time
        I switched themes, I’d already linked to lots and lots of my posts both within my blog and elsewhere online. I haven’t tried changing the URLs since because I’m worried about breaking all those links.

      • May 6, 2012 / 9:56 pm

         Thanks for the prompt to switch to title-based URLs rather than post numbers. Your comment got me wondering what exactly was causing the issue with my site and the title-based permalinks. So I did a little test and what do ya know – no issue at all with it. Just asked my husband why it’s working now when it wasn’t before, and he said “Oh yeah – sure that was an issue with the legacy hosting on your previous hosting package. Shame I didn’t realise that, since it’s at least six months since I switched hosts.

        Anyway – all switched now. So thanks! If you hadn’t asked me about it, I’d probably never have thought to look into it again! 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    April 24, 2012 / 10:23 am

    Great idea for a carnival. I did BLW with my son but was not blogging back then!  Now expecting my 2nd and will be doing it again so looking forward to reading all the posts.

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:44 pm

      Brilliant! It will be a good match for @mamadotie:disqus ‘s post on BLW 2 years on.

  4. Kate Stansfield
    April 25, 2012 / 12:14 pm

    Really looking forward to the first carnival.  I have recently started a new blog to record our Baby Led Weaning adventure, it would great if it could be included.  The address is

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:41 pm

      Fab. Looks like there’s some good stuff there! Anything in particular you want to include first time round or shall I take my pick?

  5. Emily Mummylimited
    April 25, 2012 / 6:05 pm

    I have loads for you as did a series of posts on finger food when we blw the first time. 

    I’ve been thinking about this weaning thing a lot recently and feel I now have proof as to how brilliant breast milk is (obv my sample is only 2 babies but that’s almost as scientific as some studies that we see!)

    Both my boys were the same weight at birth and have followed the 9th centile all the way. My first hardly ate a thing and didn’t drop any milk feeds for ages, still waking many times at night too. No 2 only feeds 4 times in 24 hours and some of those are quick snacks, but he eats a massive variety of foods. It’s just made me realise that No1 was fine with lots of breast milk, just as No2 is with less and more solids. 

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:39 pm

      I laughed at your comment about some of the studies! I inwardly wince when I hear mothers of little babies say that they’re going to have to introduce solids early because they don’t think their babies will “last” on their milk alone. But then, I was originally planning to start purees at four months. Funny what research and actual parenting experience will do to you. Thanks for sharing. But, hey, what post do you want to frisbee me for the first carnie?

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:36 pm

      I haven’t but I will! I’ve just got a Kindle and I think I’ll be setting Wuthering Heights on hold for a bit. A shame it won’t let you comment. I don’t know why that is… And thanks for the post. You’re so clever to have a dog. Useless cats.

  6. April 26, 2012 / 5:28 am

    We loved BLW and are now onto TLW (toddler led weaning). I still get frustrated now when people ask “How much does she eat?”. The best thing – for us – about BLW was that it helped us totally trust that SHE knows when she’s full and when she’s hungry. So I don’t stress if some days she doesn’t eat much, because I know she makes up for it on others. I’ve written so many articles about this I’m not sure I’ve blogged about it much. I wrote a piece for The Green Parent Magazine about how BLW really compliments breastfeeding too. Maybe you should point your health visitor in it’s direction?! Will email you a link or two now. x

    • April 26, 2012 / 7:09 am

      It really does support breastfeeding (though ff babies can do it too). I realised yesterday that I need to get active and start speaking with the hv’s at my centre not as a mum but as a breastfeeding peer supporter. They’re the route to getting women to come to our support group and they also really need updated info.

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