26 Aug Baby Led Weaning Week by Week – Week 4
Baby Led Weaning has pretty much ground to a halt this week.
I can honestly say that I can see why some people are tempted to spoon feed their babies to make sure that they have actually had something to eat. I haven’t done so, as I’m confident that Charlie isn’t actually going hungry, despite his lack of solid food. I breastfeed on demand and he’s having plenty of wet and dirty nappies, he’s happy in himself, he’s gaining weight well and he’s reaching lots of new milestones. But, I can totally empathise with people who worry their baby just isn’t that into food or that they aren’t getting ‘enough’. At his age Oliver (now 3) was a weaning pro. If I’d been documenting his journey it would have been a completely different story. I remember going for lunch with my girlfriends and them being amazed at how much this tiny 6 month old baby had eaten. He literally had something from everyone’s plate, some king prawn linguine, some steak and sweet potato fries, a mussel and some bread dipped in the sauce, some sausage and mash. I remember the day so clearly as it was the first time they’d ever seen him eat, people on the table next to us were amazed, even the waitresses were amazed. But Charlie has been a different kettle of fish, especially this week!
This week has been busy; it’s been hard to fit weaning in.
We had a lovely day in London with friends, visited Buckingham Palace, walked past lots of landmarks and went to a few shops including Hamleys. I knew it would be a lot of walking, Oliver would’ve hated the palace, he wouldn’t have been able to touch anything; he’d have been so restless and bored so I left him with Granny and Pops. I hadn’t packed any food for Charlie for our day out, as I usually just share my food with him. We stopped at Leicester Square for lunch, and the vote was cast for McDonald’s (my vote was for Pizza Hut lunch buffet, I thought the salad bar would’ve been great for Charlie). I didn’t particularly want him sharing my Big Mac and fries so I ordered him some melon. When it arrived it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was in chunks not fingers. There weren’t any high chairs available so he sat on my lap, and although I tried to help him eat the melon he just couldn’t manage the chunks. He needs something to hold and gnaw and gum, the chunks weren’t really big enough for him to hold himself but they were too big for him to put in his mouth and chew. I did try biting them into smaller pieces but they just kept falling out of his mouth. It was such a long day and by the time we got home it was too late for dinner so I put him straight to bed.
The following day we went camping for two nights. I’d taken Charlie’s little seat with a tray with us so that he could join in with mealtimes without us having to take his high chair. What I hadn’t banked on dining al fresco was the wasps. For his first meal camping I gave him some melon sticks, a stick of cheese, a small piece of ham and a breadstick but because he’s still very much in the ‘smear it all over’ phase of weaning, it meant his highchair tray and his hair and face were sticky immediately, and he had about 6 wasps keep landing on him and the tray. I got a bit worried when even more started buzzing around him so I quickly cleaned him up and he spent the remainder of camping mealtimes on my lap with something very plain so wasps weren’t attracted to him. Because we were camping and doing all our food on a BBQ or on an open fire pit, our meals were at unusual times, we had lunch at about 3pm and dinner at about 9pm so he was mainly asleep during mealtimes anyway.
Problems sleeping – is this down to Baby Led Weaning?
I don’t know if it’s because he’s teething, going through a leap, or because he has had some food and it’s given him gas or something but his sleep has got worse this week. He usually wakes 2-3 times a night on average to nurse, but this week he has been waking up a lot more, 4-5 times on average and then waking up for the day full of beans at 5am. This then means that when we’ve been having breakfast, usually about 7.30am, he’s been asleep having his first nap so has missed it.
Although he hasn’t been that into food this week I’ve still been offering him food every time we eat and he’s awake. So although he hasn’t actually eaten very much at all he’s been offered cheese on toast, plain pasta with grated cheese, donut peach (which he did actually enjoy very much), melon fingers, pitta bread and hummus, a Babybel cheese, broccoli, cauliflower, swede, chicken, hard boiled egg and Organix pea puffs. It hasn’t been a complete disaster, he has picked it up and licked it and gummed it a tiny bit, but just hasn’t seemed that interested in eating very much, which is a little bit disappointing after he’d made such good progress last week.
Moving forward with weaning.
Over the next week I’m going to try and make sure that he’s awake when we eat, so that he gets more opportunity to join in with mealtimes. We are pretty much baby led in our whole approach to parenting; he nurses on demand, he’s allowed to sleep when he gets tired rather than having a strict routine and I allow him to sleep until he wakes up naturally. I’m going to try and put him down for naps at roughly the same time every day and then wake him up after a certain time, to try and get him into a slightly more strict routine and see if that helps.
How are you getting on with weaning, have you hit any obstacles along the way? If you’ve got any tips for getting into a bit more of a routine I’d love you to share them with me below.