Baby led weaning – Mogispie’s questions

As promised Moggie here are the answers to your questions.

Firstly- how on earth do you get them to eat without leaving a mess all over their faces, clothing, couch, everything?

Well… Firstly we have a lot of different feeding bibs as you can see in the pics. LOL! I use different bibs for different jobs. The fabric ones have pockets at the bottom which catches some dropped food (not all) and is waterproof to protect their clothes. Then we have the silicone bibs which are great for when Lion Cub if feeding himself anything dry like bread or biscuits as he still hasn’t figured out how to swallow lumps without gagging and still throws up a bit. The pouch at the bottom is great for holding the inevitable baby puke and you can just snap it off and wash it in the sink. Then for really messy food especially juicy fruits I use a bib with sleeves. They are great, (I’ll give them a free punt because I like them so much) I bought two Mum2mum wonder bibs at the baby expo. They protect the boys clothing and let them really play with their food. (see Lion Cub in the last pic modelling the wonder bib)

As for their faces…well I just wait for them to finish eating and then wipe them clean with a warm, wet face cloth. I have a huge pile of face cloths because we use them for everything including burp cloths and even letting the boys chew on a wet cloth that has been wet with fridge water to help with teething.

The couch, well mostly they eat in their high chairs which are in the middle of a tiled floor and that makes the collateral damage a bit less. Also our couches are scotchguarded and we have throws over them that are easy to take off and wash if they do accidentally get messed on.

Everything else…well mostly I just let them make a mess and then clean up afterwards. 😀

I think getting messy and playing with food is important for a healthy relationship with food. At this age playing with textures and flavours is more important than actually eating as they get most of their calories still from milk.

Another nifty gadget is the mesh feeder that the boys love. You can put any soft food in it from bananas and pawpaw to cheese or pasta. The boys then chew on the netting and they get the food squished through the netting which stops them from choking on anything. This is really handy when I’m busy in the kitchen and want to give them a snack but can’t give them my full attention while they are eating. Yes with BLW you have to be right there with them, watching them and helping when they need it, you can’t turn your back for a moment.

When you said ‘from the beginning’ what age did you mean?

The recommended age for BLW is from 6 months. This is when they have good enough co-ordination to be able to put things in their mouth themselves. The point of BLW is that the baby learns to chew before they learn to swallow, this means that they won’t actually be “eating” at first and anything that gets swallowed is more by accident. We started our boys on rice cereal at 4.5 months and then after that pureed vegetables. I would have started BLW from the beginning except that I didn’t really know about it then.

Bumble Bee absolutely loves finger foods and eating from my plate but we often have spicy foods for supper.. Do you make separate food for them?

For their dinner they still get pureed food because I am trying to get their protein intake up at night hoping that it will help with their sleeping. I cook for them every 2 weeks and freeze the meals in silicone ice cube trays which I bought at Chec.kers for about R50 each. They are great because they are soft and it is easy to get the food out when frozen. I use as much organic and free range vegetables and meat as I can get, and avoid extra sugar or salt in their food. I think the boys eat better than us. Next I’m going to try giving the boys a chop or some steak to see what they do with it. Hee hee hee!

For breakfast they get cereal. For lunch yogurt, avocado, banana, pawpaw, steamed apple or pear. Mostly I mash things with a fork. Lion cub still struggles with lumps a bit but it is getting better.

As you can see in the photos, steamed broccoli is one of the boys favourite snacks. I dip it in plain Greek yogurt and let them chew on it. They love it.

Monkey will eat anything you put in his hand. He was ready to eat earlier than Lion Cub. Each baby is different so I guess you just have to judge for yourself. There is a lot of info available on the net if you search for Baby Led Weaning.


Baby led weaning

Baby led weaning is a term used to describe letting your baby feed themselves from day 1. It includes giving your baby appropriately sized pieces of food so that they can learn to eat and chew without eating mush.

While I haven’t stuck strictly to the no mush policy I have been giving my boys finger foods from the beginning. They love to feed themselves! I have given them all sorts of fruit and veggies. Monkey is an eating machine, he loves new textures and flavours. Lion Cub is a bit more hesitant. He gags a lot more and isn’t as thrilled by having to chew, textures upset him and he would live on plain yogurt if I let him.

I do also give the boys mush which is against the strict premise of BLW but it works for us. I started the boys on solids at about 4.5 months. They started with rice cereal and then moved on to vegetable purees. Now I cook them meals which are mostly like what we would eat but minus any extra salt or sugar and using organic or free range produce. My latest batch of food is;
Lamb and lentil stew (their favourite)
Chicken, quinoa and vegetables
Spagetti bolognaise
Mixed veg

Between meals, before, after, whenever the fancy takes me I give the boys finger foods. Finger foods are more about exploration than nutrition. Their favourites include cucumber (Monkey especially), puff chips, rice cakes, organic baby biscuits, naartjie (they both LOVE naartjie, I buy seedless clementines and just bite a hole in one end and they demolish them one segment after another), slices of orange on the rind, banana, tomato, papaya, dried mango strips (another firm favourite), dried apple rings, avocado (Lion Cub is not a fan).

At first they gagged a bit. I noticed that if they bite off a piece of anything too big and it gets stuck they gag to move it and worst case senario they throw up if they can’t dislodge it. Of course I am standing there while this is going on ready to perform the baby heimlich in case they really start choking. You very quickly learn to assess what is going on and if it is gagging or choking. I suppose that is one of the tricks of parenthood, allowing your child to explore and learn while only stepping in when there is an actual need for you to do so. It can be a terrifying experience leaving your little one to figure it out.

Other things they enjoy are Woolies double thick Greek yogurt (Lion Cub), Hipp organic creamy porridge and banana porridge, the occasional cheese puff when mommy is feeling naughty. Lion Cub loves bread and sucking butter off of bread.

When we are eating we offer little bits of whatever is on our plate to the boys. This got is surprised looks and concerned comments at church when LC happily demolished a slice of banana bread.

Who’s reading your blog?

I follow a lot of blots. Some of real life friends, some of my forum sisters and a few random strangers. Blogging is fun and a great way to connect with other like minded people. I love following the stories of people from vastly different walks of life. There is a lesbian comedian in the states, a woman who has twins via surrogacy in India, mommies of twins, ladies trying to conceive, a friend trying to lose weight, mommy bloggers, adoption blogs, all sorts really. I enjoy the sense on community that comes with blogging.

The other day something happened that made me angry. Well maybe uncomfortable is a better word. A real life friend went on a rant on a subject that directly included me. What she said hurt me and made me feel unsafe with her as a friend. All of this happened on her blog.

I wonder if her rant was intended to be a private thought that should have been journalled rather than blogged. Did she not realise that there was the potential that one of the people she ranted about would read her words? It is an odd situation to be in as it made me re-evaluate whether our friendship should continue.

When I write I assume that everyone will read what I write at some point. The same way that I am cautious of what I post on Facebook status updates and anything else that I put in the public domain such as forums.

Why do people type and hit send before they think things through? Tweeting when angry, Facebooking when drunk, bitchy blog posts have all become the faux pas of the digital age.

Do you think about who your audience is before you post? Would you write things differently if you knew that your friends and family were reading your posts?

Who’s reading your blog?

The boys exploring in the garden

Monkey and Lion Cub got to spend some time in the garden at my brother-in-law’s place yesterday.

It was so cute watching them explore. They played with leaves and touched the grass. They ate some dried mango and tried to eat grass, leaves and sand.

It got me thinking that our garden is very small for two boys. I wish we had a bigger garden with more place for them to play. Our house is definitely more of a first time home owners/prekids kind of place. As much as we love it I think we are rapidly out growing it. Thankfully there are some beautiful parks in our area so we will go exploring in summer to find fun play areas for the boys.

The boys are officially 7 months old. I can’t believe it. As you can see in the pictures they are both sitting beautifully. They are also eating well. Monkey will eat anything you give him while Lion Cub is fussy. LC likes cereal and yogurt but will refuse other food. He squeezes him mouth tightly closed and shakes his head as if to say “no, no, no.” it is both cute and frustrating.

I cook for my boys instead of giving the store bought baby food. I spent a couple hours cooking yesterday. I get an enormous amount of joy making sure that my babies are getting healthy food.

Time is flying! The boys are at a very fun stage now. It is amazing to watch them absorb new things and watch how they are constantly learning and understanding things. M has figured out how to put his dummy back in the right way around. LC is figuring out how to go up on all fours and I think he’ll be crawling soon.

There aren’t any teeth yet but I’m expecting them any time now.

Things change so quickly now. I feel like if I blink I might miss something. I really am enjoying my babies so much.