Baby Led Weaning Week by Week – Week 4

Cheese on toast, broccoli and cauliflower

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!

Baby eating mussels

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.

London Landmark
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.

Baby in a high chair infront of a tent

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.

Picnic food

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.

Kate Hitchens
  • Hayley
    Posted at 22:02h, 26 August Reply

    Ah you have had hardly any sleep and those weeks are always tough! I’m weaning baby 2 now. The first was a mix of purée and self feeding as I was pretty nervous. I was with Ruby too but tbh she won’t have things any other way than blw! I think she is going to be like Oliver – time will tell! She is a little older than Charlie and we have just started to see a sleep routine developing. It’s so much harder with the second as you don’t always have time to spot their sleep cues or to act on them when you do. No tips beyond what you are already doing just to say I hope next week is easier for you all. I followed you when we weaned first time round and it’s just as helpful now x

    • Kate Hitchens
      Posted at 20:39h, 27 August Reply

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I agree it’s so much more difficult with the second to fit it all in, as you have the eldest’s commitments too! So many times poor Charlie has just fallen asleep and then I drag him out to a class for Oliver or to pick him up from nursery. Today has already been a bit more of a success so I hope the rest of the week continues well. I’m so glad to hear you’re finding my stuff useful again, it really makes me happy 🙂

  • Becci
    Posted at 14:11h, 28 August Reply

    I found I had the exact same issue until i started putting her down for her naps at the same time each day. She has around, 2 1 hour naps a day and 3 hours between each one, i dont let her nap past 4pm as bedtime is 7 and she picked up eating so much better. She has been brilliant for around 2 months now, and will eat anything. Just remember to keep relaxed and its not much of a big deal if he doesnt eat as he is getting everything he needs from you. You’re doing brilliantly.

    • Kate Hitchens
      Posted at 20:08h, 28 August Reply

      Thanks very much, it’s so different this time round. I know he’s getting everything he needs from me so I’m not too worried, but it’s still a little disheartening, especially when he made such good progress last week. Yesterday was actually a lot better, he had 3 meals and seemed to enjoy them all and swallow a lot, but then we had two night time poops as a result! I’m sure it will all settle down but it’s all a learning curve and just shows that no two babies are the same, even from the same family!

  • Jillian
    Posted at 06:06h, 29 August Reply

    Thanks for this blog… it’s reassuring when you hear it’s not just us who wakes for feeds & feed on demand still etc. ❤️

    • Kate Hitchens
      Posted at 11:56h, 29 August Reply

      Thanks for your comment – it makes me really happy to know I’m making other people feel normal! I fed Oliver until he was 2 and he self weaned, a really proud achievement of mine as it wasn’t without problems!

  • Vicky
    Posted at 06:38h, 06 September Reply

    Hi Kate
    Just finished reading the news article on how you had to breast feed standing up!!!! Crazy and I’m sorry you had to go through that. People never cease to amaze me!!! On the plus side that led me to read your weaning blog and I just wanted to say it’s great to read that someone is going through and doing what we are doing with 6.5 month old Archie! I still get those “ is it only me?” Feelings and as A first time mum I’m determined for him to not be a fussy eater etc and your blog is helping loads so thank you and keep up the good work. There is really no manual for this is there ?

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