We stumbled across BLW when our first was around three months. We went into a bookshop to get a weaning book. We were expecting purées and spoon feeding as that was what we’d seen other people do and what is portrayed as the way that babies wean and begin ‘solids’. We picked up the first book we saw which happened to be:
and our eyes were open to the joy of BLW.
Here are our reasons for going down this route and not spoon feeding our children.
1) It is empowering!
For both yourselves as parents and your child. It is amazing that giving a baby a whole floret of broccoli rather than it puréed on a spoon can make you feel so good but it really does. The child is independently choosing to take the food to their mouths, to eat it and taste it. It is their choice and you are empowering them to make that choice even at six months old.
2) It involves the child during family meal times
We eat every meal round the table and have made this an important part of our day. As parents we model the expected behaviour and it gives us a chance to be totally present with our children. The high chair we have doesn’t have a tray but goes right up to the table so the baby feels that he/she is part of this family event that happens three times a day. They also get to watch what we do, how we eat and drink.
3) It is more relaxed
Ok so if you’re an absolute clean freak then you’ll find the ‘mess’ of BLW hard. It is messy in that food goes on the floor and clothes and face and hands but if you’re prepared for this i.e have an appropriate bib and floor protection (in our house- a Labrador who comes in at the end to hoover up) then it is fine. Actually I’ve seen many spoon fed babies get in a mess too. Meal times can be more relaxed and not focused on the baby eating. I can imagine that having someone sitting in front of you giving you intense attention for the duration of the meal could be quite disconcerting. At the table discussions are happening, there is laughter, parents are eating their own food so the baby is free to eat at their own pace in a more relaxed manner.
4) It helps them learn
We found that our son and daughters’ motor skills were greatly improved with BLW. Of course there were other factors like the materials and activities we presented to them but allowing them to feed themselves improved their grip and coordination no end.
They also showed us when they were able to attempt new skills like using the glass or cutlery.
5) People think your child is amazing
When people have looked in amazement at our seven month old drinking from a glass they’d say “my child would never do that” but more accurately they should say “I have not given my child the opportunity to do that” because that is all it boils down to. If your child can physically lift a teething ring or toy to their mouth then they can do BLW.
Also, it is quite nice having people say how amazing your child is when they see them eating.
There is so much information out there about BLW and its many many benefits. We love it and are so excited to welcome Jude to the table!