Van Eats.

I can brag about Hooper’s sleeping habits until you feel like punching me in my face, but rest assured he makes up for it with his ridiculous antics at the table. Broken record here: Feeding him is terrible. We still have days where feeding him makes me want to stick him out on the curb with a sign around his neck that says “free”. Lucky for me, I can regroup while he naps.
I’ve quoted Maya Angelou before, but once again her words ring true: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better I do better”.
I refuse to allow Van to become the same nuisance of an eater. And by using the word “allow”, I am indeed owning my part in molding Hooper into the horrible eater he is today. This time around, I’m turning to baby led weaning (BLW); something I don’t even remember hearing about when Hooper was a baby. Even if I had, I’m pretty sure I would have shrugged it off as some ridiculous theory to achieve something all babies surely do: EAT.
But now I know the truth: not all babies/toddlers eat without persuasion or threats or ultimatums or distractions or long drawn out sessions of sitting at the table while the hands on the clock advance one painful tick at a time.
I’m not one to jump on parenting bandwagons but I am one to jump on the easy train; careful, of course, not to mistaken ease with easy-way-out. But when something is easier and better for your child, it’s worth taking a moment and smacking a 4×4 over your head to pound the question and resounding regret of why you didn’t do this the first time around into your head.
So yes, we’re Van-Led-Weaning over here. Removing myself from the equation and letting Van lead the way is incredibly freeing. Truthfully, he’s the one that made the decision. I started with the purees and he was more interested in grabbing the spoon than swallowing the food. Then he’d grab my plate with his death grip and move my plate toward him. It become obvious that he was more than interested in food, but not interested in being spoon fed. So I put a few peas in front of him and next thing I knew he was entertained and we were having a peaceful meal. The peas disappeared, Sarah ate the ones that fell on the floor, and we all ate in peace.
I’ll keep ya’ll updated on our BLW brigade. So far, the only con I can attest to is the mess. Some meals require a bath afterward and all meals remind me that having a dog is completely necessary when having children. But I’ll bathe my child and allow my dog to eat off the floor all day everyday if it means a different outcome at the table.
Have you tried BLW? What’s your experience been like? 

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17 Responses

  • I, obviously, am probably a little more interested than most to see how this turns out! Good luck mama…remember, food before one is just for fun. Or so they say at least!
    S x

  • we started our girl on solids by doing BLW! it seriously does make so much sense when you think about it. it took her awhile before she was actually getting the food into her mouth, but she enjoyed the whole process of learning about it so much, and it was all at her pace. we started with big chunks of sweet potato, then avocado, and sure it’s a crazy mess, but like you said, totally worth the outcome. this girl LOVES food! good luck and have fun. it’s really enjoyable to watch them figure it all out!

  • So glad to hear that Van is a good eater– I had a suspicion he would be. And bravo to you for not taking the easy way out and giving your kids junk to eat when they refuse to eat the good stuff. Stay strong Mama!

  • We did BLW with my daughter, who is 2. She was never really into purees at all and we would just let her nibble on different things as she figured out textures etc. Today she is one of the best eaters of any kid I know. She will try absolutely anything (like, demands to try it) and even though she doesn’t like everything she is open to it.

  • We basically did BLW with our second. I just found it much easier. I always fed her what we were eating and that made it easier on me. I agree, the mess is a major downfall, but I figure a kid’s gotta learn to eat at some point. Heck, I’ve given her cups without lids at the table for a few months now. I figure I may as well teach her this stuff now.

    • Everything’s easier the second go-around, right? I feed Van what we’re eating too, so he’s tried a ton of different things and I’m hoping it makes for good habits later on. And yes, it’s a mess, but it’s gonna be messy no matter when they’re learning.

  • I am actually not aware that dogs can be so helpful when having kids, I’ve just realized it now. I love that part and I am glad you mentioned about that. Do you think, all kids gets the mess after they eat?


  • duuuuude it’s looking great over here! when did you redesign?? and your series of photos of your hubby is really great—a nice twist on the photo series people do of themselves or their children. Your photos are always amazing!

    • Oh stooooooop. The redesign is brand spankin’ new. Glad you like the hubby series and thanks for the photo compliment. Hope you and your fam are good 🙂

  • We started BLW about a week ago, and Lane is NOT into it. Everything he touches that’s sticky or slimy, he just picks his hands up and shakes them around. Guess I have a breast feeder for life on my hands….

    • I would try again in a few weeks. It took Van a while to get going. For a while, I didn’t think he was really into solids. It took some practice, but he’s much better now and LOVES feeding himself. He likes his boob milk too though, that’s for sure. I’m still feeding him every 2ish hours.

  • yep we did BLW. We knew we were going to try it as soon as the topic of weaning came up, and I’m oh so very glad we did. Not to say it was easy, because it wasn’t. He spent a good part of the fist few months gagging and throwing up…but not to be mistaken with choking. He’s never choked on food. Theo was always a sicky baby, and when following BLW they learn to deal with their gag reflex’s a lot earlier by trying ‘solid’ food straight away. Also because of the fact that they are putting food in their mouths themselves rather than a spoon placing the food at the back of the mouth…etc but I’m sure you’ve read up on these things!

    We started at about 5 and a half – 6 months, but I’d say he probably didn’t start eating properly until he was over one, BLW for us was certainly about playing the long game, and there were many times I worried about how much he was eating and whether he was getting enough nutrients. But since I was still breastfeeding him, and getting he weighed regularly, and through his energetic behaviour I knew he was ok.

    But now, and since he turned one, he’s been a pretty good eater. We all always sit down together and eat our meals, he has a plate of food put infront of him and will eat it all (well not all, all of the time, but he knows when he’s had enough and we don’t force him to eat any more than he wants to) himself. He started to use cutlery at about 18 months of his own accord and is more than happy to feed himself with them, in fact he hates me interfering. He’s also pretty good at trying new food too and he pretty much 95% of the time will eat what we eat.

    All the advice I would give is don’t give up! Some babies take to BLW straight away, some don’t like Theo. But it’s worth it in the end!

    Good luck! xx

    • No gagging or throwing up thus far… Van’s taken to BLW wonderfully. He loves him some ‘real’ food. He still isn’t eating ‘properly’… but not sure what’s exactly ‘proper’… It’s a work in progress, but I’m so glad we’ve gone this route and I feel really strong about our decision. Glad to hear it’s worked for Theo.


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