What’s baby led weaning really like?

Well you might think it’s a load of shambles and your baby really requires food from 4 months but it’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done. I’d always planned that I’d do baby led weaning but truthfully I listened to others and gave Archie puree foods when he was just 4 and a half months old but lasted about a week. I knew something wasn’t right and I wasn’t happy. Archie started to suffer terrible with bellyache. He wasn’t ready for food, he was just showing signs of teething.

One day I just thought no, I’m not forcing puree down him anymore and within a few days all stomach issues were back to normal.

I told those close to Archie he is only being given human food from 6 months and he’s not to be given any baby food. My mum was the hardest person to convince as she had never really got why I was doing it and as she had fed me and my sister’s puree, she just presumed that was the norm.

A few days before Archie turned 6 months I gave him some cucumber as his teeth were playing up. To my surprise he had actually eaten parts of it. I’ve never seen a baby without teeth eat like he was. I was convinced I was doing the right thing. When he was around family in the early stages they were puzzled as to what was meant to be happening as he wasn’t eating the full meal as a lot went on the floor (completely normal, my dog saves a lot of tidying up).

Within a few months he was eating like a king and I’ve never seen my mum so shocked. She loves watching him eat as he has always been the funniest little eater.

We’ve had a few hurdles to overcome as food before one is just for fun, and then you have when your little one is poorly and off their food but they still want to eat.

From 6 months nothing I have ever given Archie has been mashed or in a net and he now understands how to chew perfectly. The downfall I seem to have is he won’t eat anything that is mushy, i.e. mash, overcooked veg, or rice pudding.

Sweetcorn was a tricky one as I’d seen on a Facebook group people were giving their babies corn on the cob but I didn’t quite have the confidence. I spoke to my mum who explained corn doesn’t digest properly so to be careful and to offer baby corn. Archie loved these so much one day I braved a corn on the cob. He now eats it until there is minimal corn left and hands me the cob and says ‘done’.

“Does he not choke?”

No, no he doesn’t. Purely as I learnt the difference between choking and gagging very early on. Babies gag reflex is far more forward than ours so it is totally normal for them to gag. The baby will then use their tongue and move the food back to the front of their mouth to re-chew or spit it out.

“Jess, Jess, he’s choking. Quick”

In actual fact I only take one look at him and know he’s working it out for himself. It can be worrying out in public because what if he really does choke? But then I remind myself anybody can choke and remember the 3 back slaps and I relax again.

He loves food to say the least and gives everything ago and it’s even better if it’s off someone else’s plate i.e. Nannys. I’ve never known a child to trade food on the sly like Archie does.

He started off with a high chair with an insert which soon got swapped for the IKEA antilop highchair which has been a god send as it’s so easy to clean! I’ve known mum’s to take them apart and put the seat in the dishwasher. Amazing right?

He has treats in moderation as he loves choc choc (chocolate) or cake. But in all honestly he runs round and never sits still he could probably get away with eating more treats but then he does enjoy fruit, yoghurt and other healthy treats (I just have to eat the chocolate with my head in the fridge hoping he won’t notice).

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