Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Eating together

Now I know that the absolute ideal is for the whole family to eat together every day, and if you have other children then baby led weaning must be perfect as the bubs should fit right into your existing schedule, but I do find it a bit tricky to organise in our rigidly disorganised household. Plus, as yet neither my husband nor I has any desire to eat our evening meal at 5pm.

So the point I was wanting to make is that despite this, I do make quite an effort to eat when she is eating, even if it is only some peach slices and a bit of cheese. And I have noticed, to my delight, that if I put quite a few different bits on her highchair tray, draw up  my own chair and we both make a grab for the things we fancy then she eats more and for longer. So, not quite as sociable as a big 'insieme' Italian family meal but if you're not Italian and not that sociable then it does work, I promise.

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7 Responses to “Eating together”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad you've addressed this Aitch , as I regularly beat myself up about the fact we don't sit down to eat as a family as often as I'd llike. Wonder hubster is often not home till 9ish which by that time baby Boomer is getting some shut eye. Anyway, I do try and eat when she is eating , as it really seems to help her intrest in what she is eating. Several times she has been given something to eat before we sit down but she doesn't actually start eating till we start – I have no idea where these manners came from!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have 3 older kids so unfortunately we do eat tea at 5! We have to, to beat the clubs n activities rush that starts about 6pm. Dp tends to come home from work ravenous because he's one of those men who doesn't eat anything all day. Consequently this means he (we) often have a little 'adult' supper later on as well and probably explains why I'm getting so fat! I do highly recommend eating together, my LO eats loads and I'm sure it's down to family eating, he copies his siblings and watches avidly what they are eating/drinking and tries to copy. If it's just the two of us I always try to eat with him and if I'm eating he will pause and make exaggerated munching mouth movements as if to say 'chew, Mummy, chew!'. Remember, if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for you! Someone else's food always tastes nicer, doesn't it? Also, almost all our social life seems to revolve around eating/having a coffee out, so I think he has realised that it is the thing to do.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi – I am trying to work out this one! I have a 6 month old who is getting onto BLW and a 2 year old, and although we do eat together sometimes it is dificult with timing. Especially since my 2 year old eats his lunch in about 5 minutes and a baby just beginning isn't the speediest! I wanted also to ask: we have a stokke trip trapp chair for our son which has always meant he could eat at table with us, but presumably for my daughter I should be buying some other kind of chair with a tray, as that seems to be a prerequisite for BLW? I can't really feed her on my lap as she just grabs all my food and smears it all over me, and although she sits up straight in her baby seat it isn't really safe. Plus it has no tray. What do you recommend? She can almost sit but would need a bit of propping with pillows I think.
    Also, I know one is technically bf on demand, but actually we had got into a schedule of about 7.30, 11.30, 2.30 and 6: that is about when she wants it anyway – how does one structure the milk feeds with the solids? I gave her one boob at lunch before her solids and then the other later, which worked well (except for rampaging toddler) – is this ok? I can't find much advice on how to structure it so that eventually the amount of milk reduces and the solids increase. She drinks milk surprisingly efficiently from a cup too.
    ANy advice VERY welcome!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Welcome Hatty,
    if you have a look at the pics of the lovely Miss Lea you'll see that she is sitting in a Tripp-Trapp while painting the dining table with blueberries, so if you like that model then of course you can get it again.
    Personally I would have Babybear sitting up with us at the table more often (she loves it when we are out) but we are too neutrally soft furnished to risk it… maybe one day when we get a separate living room and dining room. But to answer your question, I really don't think that a tray is essential for baby led weaning, so long as you are prepared for the mess. (And presumably with a 2-year-old you are).
    Your breastfeeding 'schedule-ish' sounds fine to me, but I definitely wouldn't stress too much about structure right now if she's only 6 months old. In fact, I wouldn't even stress yet if she's not eaten a thing.
    My baby is 8 months now and she is probably dropping a feed in the afternoon because she is eating more during the day, but it took a while and even now if she isn't in the mood for food she'll take more milk.
    Hopefully a more expert breastfeeder will be along soon (I only managed to mix feed for 17 weeks) but in the meantime I would advise trying to go with the flow and trust your instincts, I'm sure they've served you well so far.

  5. Anonymous says:

    HI Hatty, I breastfeed and give Boomer bits to eat. What I generally try to do is seperate the two things, she is nearly 7 1/2 mths and gets 4-5 feeds a day ( i really don't see this changing any time soon ). She wakes usually abont 6-7 and I feed her, we amaybe have a sleep and then breakfast togther. Boomer will normally have a nap sometime in the morning and I tend to feed her myself when she wakes – this is often 12- 12.30, then followed by lunch but this can be a lot later i.e. almost 2.00. Boomer may have 1-2 feeds before tea time and then a feed before bed. Basically I'm really just feeding her as she wants and assuming that the solid/milk ratio will gradually balance out. Initally I was bamboozeled by different charts and feeding times etc but now I'm trying to just calm down and take it as it comes – I think that the main thing is not to expect it to happen over night . I have been doing this since Boomer was a bit before 6 mths and I see a gradual progession, but I don't see any change in milk habits yet. From what I've read it may be 10 1/2 – 11 mths untill there is. Sorry about the rambling – I'll repost when I think of more.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Glad to hear that a trip trapp is possible, although I am not immune to mess stress as you say we have a fair amount of that already, what with my son flicking yoghurt round the room and insisting he can eat his cereal with a knife and fork.
    I can't alas be quite as relaxed about timings with my daughter as you are, as my son needs his food and his sleep at the right times or he turns into a monster. But obviously I do it pretty much when she wants it, it just can't take up the whole day. At the moment it seems to be going quite well, but as we haven't got our high chair yet it's still me handing her bits and her hurling them round, which doesn't quite work! Still, she now looks at me if I give her something runny on a spoon, and tries to bite it, and is obviously saying 'I want LUMPS to BITE on', which is funny. I'm not too worried about the solid/milk ratio, I just want to feel that I know vaguely in what direction I am going. I think I will continue to bf first in the morning, gradually do it afterwards at lunch, then just bf mid afternoon, and move dinner to a bit earlier for both children and give a bedtime bf. Unfortunately life does have to revolve around older children, it is a bit unfair but there we are!

  7. Anonymous says:

    HI Hatty, although I sounds relaxed is has taken a while to get there ! In fact the reason I liked the baby led weaning appraoch was I was just so confused by all the different advice and this way allows me and my daughter just to go off and learn togther.
    Anyway there is a sort of pattern to our day and by the sounds of the times you have put for your feeding it is very similar to where you are now. Your idea of bf morning, after lunch, mid afternoon early tea and then bed sounds absolutly fine and very similar to how my days are (although I tend to feed Boomer before lunch – but I don't think there is any difference). You will know yourself when she is too tired / milk hungry to be bothered with the food and I'm sure the both of you will start to work out a routine.

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