Baby A turns 1 year in 4 days! And what a year it’s been. I have totally enjoyed being with him learning and re-learning with him, communicating with him and basically I’ve loved being a second time mom. I still have goose bumps thinking about the day he came into this world and the way we communicate and relate is something else altogether. Sure I have my share of ohmygodwhathaveidone moments specially those that relate to his older brother and the realization that it all goes down hill past this 1st year but that’s another story.
Baby led weaning (BLW) is going well for us. The best part is that I can simply trust my baby to eat as much of what he wants as long as I am offering a variety of foods to him. There is no pressure for him to finish his food or to get him to eat anything and I can have a nice meal with both kids and even take them to restaurants on my own knowing they will get busy with their meals.
Knowing A it would have been a HUGE task to get him to eat the conventional way, by distracting him and shoving a spoon full of food in his mouth. In many ways he is far more challenging than big brother N to raise, as this little precocious almost one year old cannot be distracted. He will scream at the top of his lungs if he doesn’t want to do something RELENTLESSLY.
Similarly I am sure there are some babies who just don’t take to baby led weaning and self feeding solids as well as A has and you may have to do a combination or succumb to spoon feeding. But as long as you still follow their lead, stop when they’re full, nurse on demand then it’s still awesome.
I last wrote about BLW when A was 7 months basically one month in and now we’re nearly 6 months in. Here’s what his meals look like on a Good day:
Wakes up around 8 am and nurses.
Breakfast: we’ve finally started offering eggs (early on I detected an allergy but it seems to have gone away) and he’ll sometimes eat and sometimes not. A bit of fruit here and there but breakfast is still nearly only milk.
10 am nurses to nap.
11:30 wakes and if I am around nurses if not drinks some water and goes to his grandmother’s by 12ish.
1 pm: comes home nurses or not depending of he has managed to munch on a snack at dadi’s.
Lunch: whatever we are eating that is either chicken with veggies and daal / rice, paneer, cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes / broccoli, dahi, soup, water. While these items vary he normally has a fairly good lunch and eats quite a bit on his own and once he is full nothing or no one can make him continue sitting on his high chair.
2:30 pm nurses to sleep and at times wakes up 1 hour into his nap, nurses and falls asleep again, and sometimes sleeps straight till 4:30.
5 pm: snack time. Some coconut water, coconut flesh, a fruit, cheese and/or anything else I may have around. Dosa or toast butter is a very special extremely loved treat for both boys. watch :
5:30 off to the park. Sometimes the nanny carries some grapes or a banana for a snack if I feel they haven’t eaten much.
7:30 pm back home and a little bit of nursing just as a filler.
8 pm: dinner. If there’s chicken, A will devour an entire leg piece and suck the bones. If there’s fish then I am sorted, as both kids will pounce on it with an appetite like adults. Veggies (cooked indian style), rice, daal, soup, dahi, salad is offered and he will eat a little of everything.
9 pm: nurse and bed. Night wakings to nurse: at least 2-3 times but normally not from 12 to 6am.
He eats what the family eats with salt. I tried the no salt food but gave up when he was around 8-9 months as giving instructions to remove his food without adding salt was too much for me. Anyway we eat very little salt so it’s harmless I feel. If we’re out I normally order a fish dish for both kids to share as I know it will be wiped out.
He absolutely loves spicy food. My husband is Mangalorean and he leaps at the spicy prawn and fish curries cooked in coconut. He has a chatpatta palate as opposed to N who has a massive sweet tooth and it is indeed a pleasure to watch him enjoy food, mess and all.
With regards to breastfeeding, I still nurse 7- 8 times completely on demand (even when big brother slams right into him on purpose for example and there are huge tears) and so yes I believe baby led weaning is very dependent on nursing on demand as you’re quite sure that he is eating food but also getting enough through milk. He barely has bad days that he hardly eats so far he has been quite consistent.
My life still revolves around him as I need to be pretty much available to him to nurse and luckily since I work from home I can. I can leave him now at 3 to 4 hours at a stretch maximum especially in the evenings and mornings if I have any lactation consults lined up. This is my particular situation and it works for me as I enjoy it right now but for those who want to leave baby for much longer by this stage will easily be able to do even while following baby led weaning by ensuring that there is milk on hand with the caregiver too.
Thanks for reading! I am so glad to be doing BLW this time thanks to the joy and freedom it gives.