Friday, April 6, 2012

Baby Led Weaning

Have you heard about the latest craze: Baby Led Weaning (BLW)? It's basically handing your baby "food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don’t they won’t...No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veg combos… just you and your child, eating food that you enjoy with you and your family." (source:

The first time I heard about BLW on some online mothers group, my reaction was "you have got to be kidding me" and "another rich, stay-at-home, gotta-be-perfect-mommy, woman thing". This reaction included eye rolling and heaving.

I seriously have. to. stop. doing. that. (This is a trend, has anyone else noticed??)

Because PJ, would call BLW something like: I-eat-what-you-eat-and-that-is-so-much-cooler-and-don't-try-those-mushy-things-or-I-will-shriek-without-end. Remember the shrieking without end picture?

So, BLW it is! The Steinbach Clan is Baby-Led Weaning. All Hail King PJ.

In some ways BLW is a pain in the ass. It is super messy. Little man has been learning all that coordination stuff, like picking things up, getting it towards his mouth, opening his mouth at the right time, holding the food still enough for long enough, then biting, chewing/mashing, and finally either spitting it out or swallowing. Watching him learn to eat on his own at such a young age has impressed upon me just how hard eating really is. Way to go us adults for figuring it all out and not having about half of it land on the floor.

There is also the whole salt issue. Babies can't deal with salt and PJ really can't deal with too much salt. His skin flushes with a rash quickly and he is generally uncomfortable. Since we live in Germany, the land of extra salt in everything (and then 90% of people still add more salt), we have to be somewhat careful giving him meats and the like when we are out, and we've learned to cook low-salt.

And, lastly, not everyone reacts well to watching a little baby eat real adult food. We've been accused of encouraging him to "play with his food", "making him grow up too fast", and "not caring if he chokes". Ouch.

But in most ways, BLW is awesome. With exclamation points: !!. Nah, three of 'em: !!!

BLW is awesome!!!

PJ has eaten so many types of food and he enjoys almost all of them. Bread? Sure! Fruit? Absolutely! Meat? More! Asian food? Yeah! Spicy foods? Totally! Cheese? Yummy! Yogurt? Yes! Sweet Food? Bring it on! I highly doubt we will be dealing with a restrictive eater in a few years (I pray!).

And also, meals are almost never a fight. There are no "lookey here - in comes the airplane!" moments. PJ takes what he wants from a small plate we prepare him. He eats until he is full and then we wash his hands.

No one is whipping up separate dinners for him. We have a fabulous vegetable steamer that my colleagues gave me that we use that for our vegetables these days and we are all eating low salt meals the majority of the time. So, everyone is eating healthier and we are all saving time.

If PJ gets hungry anywhere and we are out and about: no problem, no stress, no oh-shit-I-forgot-the-baby-snack-again. Just find something that he can hold in his hand (or that we can break into pieces small enough) and problem solved.

When we are at home or at a restaurant, both the Mr. and I get to eat our dinners when they are warm and tasty. Until you've eaten cold food for months, you have no idea just how precious this really is.

And, lastly, the pictures are awesome, of course. These are just three of way too many from our recent vacation to Italy.

Does this yogurt make me look adorable or what?

Hahahaha: I have the complete apple! The apple is mine!
You're saving more of that pizza for me, right?



Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife said...

I'm with you on the whole eye rolling of the BLW movement. It's not a new's just feeding your kid with a shiny, brand new name attached to it.

I think so many babies do so well on it because NO ONE wants to eat that crap that comes in a jar or a bland puree of peas.

MrsJ said...

Adorable!!! Yay =] I am excited to watch him "play with his food" and "make messes" soon! I'm excited to see how much development everyone in your family is continually achieving. Way to go for pushing past the eye roll and being open to something that could have been scary-nuts-o. I'm proud of you 3 kids <3

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