February 14, 2018

Baby led weaning – Our Journey

I only really understood about baby led weaning third time round – I know where had I been?!  But what I didn’t realise was that both my first and second were being baby led, I just didn’t know there was an official name for it.

All three of my children were weaned around the 5/6 month mark.  All were showing signs they were ready – staring at food when we ate, reaching for food of our plates, opening and closing their mouths and sitting up unaided.  Whilst I did feed all three purees on some occasion, especially more so around the 5/6 month mark, I also gave them finger foods.

With baby K, he had finger foods from the get go – he was a hungry boy!  As always, I would be super nervous when he ate finger foods and I would be TERRIFIED he would choke. I would sit right by him and watch and watch, having my hand ready to pull out whatever food he was eating/sucking on.


Enjoying some yummy finger foods

As well as eating some puree foods, I offered K a variety of finger foods that I felt he could manage at that time.  Some first finger foods included:

Finger shaped foods

I avoided any hard foods that could easily snap or be bitten which couldn’t be squished by little fingers.  I found cutting food into stripes made it easier for him to hold and either suck or chew one end whilst holding the other.

Whilst I did find it difficult at times with the Mama nerves (!), I did love watching all three of them eat finger foods – it is almost rewarding watching them grasping the different types of food on their tray and trying new foods for the first time – proud moments!


My son B enjoying some broccoli finger food

One tip that I did find and what I think helped with grasping onto food was to offer a plastic spoon for them to hold when sitting in their high chair.  This way, I found they got used to holding something in a similar shape to how I was going to cut up their finger food and allowed them to get used to holding something similar.


W chewing on a spoon getting to ‘grips’

Despite my worries of choking, I felt the best way to be prepared is to know what to do if any of my children did choke.  Whilst I have pediatric first aid training because of my job, I also decided to downloaded the St Johns Ambulance app on my phone too so I could remind myself (and others) of what the correct procedure is when a child is under the age of 12 months and over the age of 12 months as they do differ.

I have become more confident over the years and do find that whatever B and W are having for dinner, baby K gets it too!  The other day he enjoyed chicken tikka masala! That was fun!


Crisps and biscuits for baby weaning

My advice to anyone that’s about to start baby led weaning or is in the process, is to relax first of all.  Be advised of what to do if your child does choke by downloading the app or do a pediatric first aid course.  Remember to cut food into a shape that your little one can hold and it be soft to mush in their hands and not hard so it will snap  .And have fun experimenting with new foods and flavours!

I am by no means an expert but sharing advice and ideas from my experiences to help others.  If you are considering pouches and different baby food, read Life As Mrs D review on Mamia.

What are everyone else experiences of finger foods for their little ones?


17 comments so far.

17 responses to “Baby led weaning – Our Journey”

  1. Baby led weaning definitely worked better for us, we still struggle to get anything on a spoon down him x

  2. Ah he looks like he loves his food! I was always a bit nervous of babyled weaning but your ideas are great and much more sensible than the raw carrot choking child scenario I picture with BLW!! Thanks for sharing! x

  3. Great post! We didn’t choose the BLW route, it chose us! Well, my daughter did when she decided she would no longer take a spoon after several weeks of purees, despite my best efforts! However, it’s worked out for the best. She eats like a gannet now and will try anything. Yes, it can get messy…but aside from that, it’s so much easier than sitting and spoon feeding when you could be eating your own meal! She’s had tikka masala too..and sag paneer haha. Why not, hey? X

  4. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops says:

    We had such fun (and made such a lot of mess) with Baby Led Weaning with my daughter. It does get a bit worrying at times, but i felt like it was the best way for her to explore food with all it’s tastes and textures.

  5. I really wish there had been so much knowledge around baby led weaning when I weaned my first son, I literally had no clue. I wouldn’t have ever thought of some of these options, especially like the tuna flakes etc, but they seem amazing.

  6. I tried baby led weaning with Oscar (my youngest) but with little success. I couldn’t deal with the gagging – it was terrifying! I think both my boys have had a terrible gag reflex so it just put me off! I think it’s great though when it works 🙂

  7. Kirsty McManus says:

    We didn’t go down the baby led weaning route, purées just seemed to be the easier option, now that I read more and more about it I’d love to try it with my second! xx

  8. I strongly recommend all parents know how to deal with choking, it is such a vital skill with children, but I agree knowing what to do if it happens helps make things more relaxed when BLW. My daughters didn’t do purees at all (until they were old enough to suck them out of pouches) and one thing that doing BLW did was really give me confidence in children’s ability to feed themselves. Even if a chunk broke off or something got stuck they were able to gag and shift it themselves without intervention (obviously on these occasions I was standing right next to them ready to pounce if they couldn’t).

  9. Always good to share real parenting experiences. I remember feeling really guilty when mine had weaned when a few months/years later everyone was talking about baby-led weaning and I did not know what it was (but the children survived all the same!) #AnythingGoes

  10. When I first did this I found it confusing with the mixed messages out there. I learnt to do my own thing that worked for me and baby. I did a mixture of baby lead and the other one X #anythinggoes

  11. I loved doing baby led weaning. I was lucky in that a good friend had weaned her child a year before and I had been around a lot at the start. Watching the process really helped me feel confident. My daughter ate brilliantly and we all had so much fun trying new foods together.

  12. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... says:

    I offered purees at lunchtimes and toast/finger food at tea so that they developed an awareness of different flavours and textures. Food allergies also limited our choices as all fruit has to be cooked. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

  13. Sarah says:

    I did more baby led weaning with Evie and she loved it! I was too nervous with Amelie but this time I knew the foods and made sure I was watching her.great advice here. Thanks for linking this to #thursdayteam

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Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.

I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.

I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.

Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you




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