Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

BLW Diary – the BBC’s Siobhan Courtney reports live from the home front.

Thank you so much, Siobhan, for agreeing to keep a diary of your baby led weaning experiences every week as you go along. This week, some trepidation is to be expected, you’re just getting started. And we DID tell you about the banana stains, oh yes we did...

“And so the BLW journey begins

I am excited. I am nervous. He and I haven’t got a bloody clue what will happen but I’ve been researching (well reading one book) The BLW Cookbook by Gill Rapley and of course, naturally scouring to find out what we should expect.

Alban – my six month old son and I are ready to start our baby led weaning journey and for the next eight weeks, dear readers I will be sharing all my experiences with you. Now as I’m a BLW virgin (does that sound sort of wrong?) as this is my first child, the next eight weeks should be a rather interesting journey….

So, this week I’ve been trying to get organised. I have purchased – in no particular order – a highchair (in case you’re really interested a white, plastic, easy wipe down one with some plastic cushioning), a couple of shower curtains to ’protect’ our carpets that you can’t really see because of so many toys/books/playmats/nappies/packets of wipes/changing mats covering them but I thought it would be easier to shake all the dropped food off them rather than hoovering all the time. Let’s face it, I hate hoovering and don’t have time anyway now I’m a mum – does that sound familiar? I’ve also bought five full length bibs with sleeves from a certain Swedish retailer that one of the lovely mums recommended on babyledweaning’s FB wall – THANKYOU. Other bits I’m filling the cupboards with are copious amounts of various assorted sizes of Tupperware as I’m planning to be organised and prepare as much food as I can (if you know me don’t you dare laugh), a Doidy open cup as I’m hoping to introduce water as part of mealtimes and of course lots of yummy, healthy FOOD.

Deciding to try BLW has made me finally decide to stop pushing a six month old around in a trolley, hoping he doesn’t wake up as I get more and more stressed buying food I think we but don’t actually need (as I keep forgetting to write a list to remind me that I need to write a list for the weekly shop!) Internet shopping you are now saving me time, money and hassle and I thank you for that.

I decided to wait until Alban turned six months old and was sitting up comfortably on his own before starting BLW. I felt a bit scared to start him before that, so I’ve only actually had one day of ‘doing BLW’.

The first morning wasn’t great. I waited a couple of hours after he had his feed but he wasn’t in a great mood, then his leg got caught as I put him in his highchair, so after he yelled for a bit and didn’t really want his bib to be put on, we were finally ready. I decided to go with banana as his first food, so cut it into finger sticks and placed it on his tray. I waited and waited and waited and he didn’t really do anything. I then got bored of waiting so skimmed through the BLW cookbook where it stated very clearly not to put any food in their mouths, so I just tapped the tray gently and that seemed to grab his attention. He lunged forward, grabbed a stick of the banana and shoved it in his mouth. His face, oh his face – it was hilarious. He pulled an expression that looked like he had just taken a bite out of the world’s most sourest lemon. I laughed my head off and then realised I should be encouraging and smiling at him, not shaking with tears in my eyes – naughty Mummy. Anyway, it couldn’t have been that bad because after half of the banana fell off into his lap, he lunged forward and grabbed another stick and sucked on that. It was a lovely, lovely feeling seeing him ‘eating’ and enjoying his banana. I wanted to shower him with cuddles and kisses but thought he did deserve to enjoy his breakfast first!

Breakfast was followed by a lunch of warm wholemeal pitta (cut into slim fingers) dipped in red pepper hummus – he ate it all, although did initially wince at the dip. We ended his first BLW day with a dinner of carrots and cheddar – again cut into those good old fingers. I should say though he didn’t actually eat the food, just sucked on it – I do hope this is normal? Oh, a little tip for this week (although I’m sure most of you know this) is put the bib on AFTER you’ve strapped your little prince/princess in. I only found this out the hard way as my highchair’s white pristine new straps are now a murky off yellow colour because of the banana stains!”

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16 Responses to “BLW Diary – the BBC’s Siobhan Courtney reports live from the home front.”

  1. Emma says:

    Aw bless, I’d forgotten about the face they make when something new goes into the mouth.

    Sounds like a great start. Relax and enjoy the journey.

  2. Aitch says:

    Love it, Siobhan! (and allow me a slight snort about the Doidy cup… :-D neither of mine liked it HOWEVER with the addition of a line drawn around it in black marker I can tell you that it may one day make an excellent cup measure for baking.) For those still interested in buying one, if you click on the photo it will take you STRAIGHT to Amazon where they are a lot less than I seem to remember paying for them.

  3. Beth says:

    Hi! This is great, my baby is 6 months old too and we have just started BLW so Im excited to read about your experiences and to laugh along the way. I have been force feeding my baby mush at allocated times with specified amounts of mush and he has hated it abd I’ve felt frustrated and like a failure! This, clearly, will be a better option!

  4. Pia says:

    sounds like fun , I’ve seen some of those sour lemon faces on my little one :-)

  5. Gemma says:

    Starting blw this weekend, feel a lot more confident after reading this info. Thanks :)

  6. Vicki k says:

    I’ve started weaning my 5 month old and he loves it! Your blog makes me smile :) thank you xxx

  7. Siobhan says:

    Thanks girls. I hate to roll out a Cameron line but love the fact ‘we’re all in this together.’
    I’ll refrain from banging on about the nauseating Big Society ethos though.
    Anyway, enough of politics…I’m really enjoying the BLW journey. The best bit is I’m no expert, it’s a brand new experience for Alban and I and I don’t have any previous experience of weaning as this is my first child, so I really am just another mum trying out something I believe is a great thing for my baby. And the best bit….I get to share it all with you guys.

  8. Ana says:

    Wow, you did well – I started with melon and we only did one ‘meal’ at a time (and the melon was a total success by the way).
    I find with banana that cutting it into fingers just makes it fall apart before it gets to my 8mo baby’s mouth (he has an iron grip!) so I just peel it, hold it in front of him, and he takes bites as he wants. Not proper BLW I know, but it works for us.

    Oh and one tip, when you get on to more sloppy or crumbly stuff those full length bibs are not enough, so I tuck a tea towel over his lap, under the bib and under the seat cushion of the highchair. It really helps stop under-bottom crumb collection.

  9. Siobhan says:

    Thanks so much Ana for these tips. I’m finding that if the banana is too ripe it does indeed fall apart. I’ve seen quite a few pics of babies holding the banana at the base with the skin peeled off and them munching down – this is a bit too advanced for us at the moment though!

    Great idea about the tea towel – the bibs aren’t as great as I hoped to be honest. There’s so much mess around his neck and chest (even with the bib on) and an ABUNDANCE of food falling onto his lap and legs. At the moment I’m just wiping his hands and face clean afterwards, taking the bib off, then taking him out of the highchair and watching all the remainder of food fall off his lap and legs straight onto the floor!

  10. Maz says:

    Hilarious! Looking forward to joining you on your journey. Always good to hear others experiences

  11. Sarah says:

    Love it!

    I’ve a 3yr old weaned with spoon feeds, tbh don’t remember the details!

    Interested to watch your journey, this is definitely the way to go with mt 2nd boy who is 4 months now, so we can watch you first and then get started.

    Btw I had scoopy bibs for DS1 very handy for the messy boys, would be tempted to put it on him still!!

  12. Fran says:

    Hi Siobhan, I’m just attempting BLW with my second. She’s only 4 and a half months but fascinated by us eating so thought I’d give it a go. Started trying to see what she’d do really. Put her in highchair which she liked as usually relegated to bouncy chair on floor at meals and put a cooked and cooled mini corn cob in front if her. First she just looked at it, then suddenly got hold of it and started chomping away! She carried on for a good five mins. Since then she’s given raw carrot a good chew and smooshed half a banana (I just helped her hold it, then she shoved it in). Will read how you get on with interest!

  13. Siobhan says:

    Hi Fran,

    Your little one sounds confident. Fantastic!

    There’s a thread on the forum about starting BLW before 6 months. Have a read – some are for it, some argue the digestive system is not developed enough to cope with solid foods until 6 months -

    You will obviously know best and there are loads of experienced BLW’ers on the forum (compared to moi!) so you’ll be able to get plenty of advice and support there.

    Hope you enjoy the journey and keep sharing your experiences – they’re lovely to hear.


  14. Saira says:

    I’ve still got a while as my LO is just under 10 weeks but I’m already researching different methods of weaning and am leaning towards BLW. I’ve seen it in action & seems to work really well plus being Asian & using loads of spices etc in our food I want my LO to start getting a taste for our food as mashing it up in my opinion loses the flavours. I’ll be following this closely as it’s good to find out how it goes for you! Good luck xxxx

  15. Faye says:

    Hi – I am laughing out loud at your blog and annoying my partner, but am loving it. I started researching weaning about 2 months ago and when I found out about BLW I thought it would be for us. My little man is 1.5 weeks away from being 6 months old, but we have been giving him bits and bobs every once in a while, and while he hasn’t ‘eaten’ anything, he has given most of it a good suck!! We have been trying to teach him to drink out of a cup with a straw too, with limited success so far, but I’m sure we’ll get there. It’s amazing that so many people poo poo this idea, before they’ve even looked into it, but it makes so much sense to me. I was also concerned the other day when someone mentioned that the baby wouldn’t get all the nutrients he needs, but this sight has put my mind at ease, thanks.

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