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Baby Led Weaning

Baby led weaning…..lets talk about this for a moment. This is a new concept for me. All my children were fed straight from a bowl, to their mouths, on a spoon (or sometimes direct from a pouch) by me. When Charlie was younger he choked on everything.  Sometimes he brought it up himself, sometimes he needed a firm pat on the backand, and on one occasion our good friends, (who happen to be a doctor and nurse) had to hang him upside down to help bring up the offending food. That period of parenting left me mentally scared. After that, Mike and I chopped up his food into the tiniest pieces until he was about seven!!! I had to logically tell myself that if he copes ok at school then I should leave him to get on with it himself at home, but even then I struggled. I carried this paranoia with me during Libby and Georges early years. Even now my heart stops when i see a toddler eating a banana, sausage or a whole grape. And now it is time to wean Arthur and I dont know what to do. Arthur is quite independent and likes to grab the food/spoon himself which can make feeding him a little frustrsting. Lets be honest, with an independent baby, a toddler and four older children, BLW is probably the more convenient and obvious option. I can’t tell you I agree or am doing it to avoid having fussy children or children prone to allergies. All of my five who were weaned ‘traditionally’ are far from fussy.  They eat anything from roast diner (even the brussels) to jamaican hot curries to oysters, cockles, olives and even liver! Food is a big part of our family. We socialise around food, We enjoy eating out, cooking and trying lots of different cuisines and I think that has had a bigger impact on their food choices than how they were weaned (but i am open to suggestion). We have a rule in our house… can not say you do not like something or do not want something unless you try it first. Back to BLW, From what I understand, you put a selection of food in front of them and let them feed themselves. I love the concept and it fits in with our family values of encouraging independence and choices. The Problem is my anxiety levels go through the roof at just the thought of it. So recently I compromised and I did let Arthur feed himself… rice and pureed food. I popped Arthur in his highchair and let him loose with the rice and a spoon. Well, i put the spoon in his hand but that was swiftly given to the dog who was waiting patiently by his highchair, then he dived in hands first. The food was in his hair, over the highchair and even inbetween the plastic strap clickers (you know what I mean if you have ever had to clear the aftermath up!) After a mammoth cleaning session and a bath in the kitchen sink I decided to re think my strategy. I am going to try a mummy led dinner again tonight and see how that goes. But I would really like to try more BLW. Does anyone have any tips on what foods are good for babies to eat on their own wihout risking heart failure (mine that is). I feel like after having six babies you are expected to have all the answers, but things change so much and each baby is so different. HELP! I’ll update you with our progress over the next week. Wish me luck!

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