I was adamant that when my daughter turned 6 months that we would do 100% baby led weaning. I read all of the books and completely bought into the philosophy.
The philosophy about baby led weaning is about giving your baby proper food that they can feed themselves from the beginning of their journey with food (not before 6 months according to NHS and WHO guidelines). The benefit of this is that you can have less fussy eaters and it is easier for the family to eat meals together. They also lean to chew much earlier than they do if you mash everything up for them.
To begin with this was great! We watched in amazement as our daughter gobbled up broccoli, avocado on toast, scrambled eggs on toast and lots of fruit and veg. I was never really sure how much she was getting though.
At 6 months this is ok, as she was still getting most of her nutrition from breastmilk as I was still feeding her about 6- 7 times in a 24 hour period! But as she dropped her milk, I was really worried she wasn’t getting enough. It is also extremely messy – which is ok, until I was cooking 3 or 4 meals per day and having clean the kitchen continuously – taking me away from precious play time.
My daughter also played with her food a lot, which is fine, and I know it is very important for her development, but there was definitely more playing that eating going on. So I did what I never said I’d do – I started feeding her pureed food. I did most of the cooking from scratch – batch cooking, but did buy lots of the @thelittlepiccolo ones as well – which are great! They taste like real food, and are not sweetened with fruit every time (this makes everything taste the same in my opinion!). Pouches are also so useful for when you are out and about.
We ended up with a combination or baby led and baby feeding in the end. This is much more manageable and I think my daughter got the best of both worlds by doing this. There is so much hype about baby led weaning but my issue is that some of the books I read implied that it should be 100% baby led or you shouldn’t bother – that was the impression I had anyway. It was definitely a lot harder to do 100% baby led weaning than I thought it would be.