Your little ones are ready to make that huge step from milk only, to solids as well. This transition can be scary, difficult, and down right messy. I have a few hacks for BLW that can make the transition easier on your little one’s and for mom!
In this post you will learn about milestones, learn exactly what blw is and the different ways to transition, and of course learn hacks to make it as smooth as possible.
I remember all too well my journey of solids with my twins. I began with purees, but you learn quickly enough that spoon feeding twins, especially when they become more active, is a huge challenge.
Once I switched to finger foods things became a little bit easier. Not to mention, little ones feel so much older when they feed theirselves.
They love discovering how to do new things on their own because they watch mom and dad and want to do what you do.
When it comes to blw I had a lot of questions, I’m hoping this post will answer all of those and send you on the way to BLW success.
*This post may contain affiliate links. Which means at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission any link you use through me.
First thing first, let’s talk about milestones. The introduction of solids is a very big milestone for babies.
You have to remember, like with any other milestone, that it is a guideline. Every baby is different and hit milestones whenever he/she becomes ready.
It is recommended to begin solids at 6 months old. It’s extremely common, especially with your first baby to want to rush to do things with your baby.
Even if mom is ready, baby may not be. Patience is key! Some mom’s will try to begin as early as 4 months, because technically you can.
If you can’t wait until 6 months and want to begin solids, I would not reccomend BLW. You should start with baby cereal, move to purees, and start finger foods at 6 months.
It is reccomeded to start solids at 6 months because that’s when babies stomach is fully mature enough to handle it.
At 4 months your baby body can process solids, but this is the beginning stage of your baby maturing stomach.
What is BLW?
All this talk about BLW, what exactly is it? Well, BLW stands for Baby Led Weaning, which means the proccess of switching to solids by ONLY allowing your baby to feed him/her self.
A lot of moms are misguided into thinking that finger foods mean BLW.
BLW is not just finger foods or switching to finger foods. You can allow your baby to feed him/her self with a spoon and it’s still BLW because baby is in charge of feeding. Get it, it’s all about baby leading.
If you begin with purees you are feeding baby and switch to finger foods you are not BLW, you are simply just switching to finger foods.
Because I started the twins with purees I did not BLW. Since my youngest will begin with feeding himself, he will be BLW.
Foods to Begin BLW with
Now that you know when to start baby led weaning, and what it is, you might be wondering what foods will your little one be able to eat without teeth and without choking.
You want to start with soft foods that can easily be broken down.
Peas and beans
You basically want to go for soft foods or foods that can easily be dissolved. You want to cut foods into finger like pieces for your baby to avoid choking and to make them a great size for baby holding.
Hacks for BLW
1. Prepare foods ahead of time
I’m not going to lie to you, I absolutely hated washing, cutting, steaming, every single time I fed my twins. When you have hungry babies, they are not happy about waiting.
Prep finger foods your little ones so that all you have to do is grab and heat if needed. I have a guide in this post about prepping finger foods.
The post is for 9-12 month olds however, I used the same process for every month just changing the foods prepped. It saves me a lot of time, something mom’s don’t have enough of!
2. Always feed in highchairs
I was the type of mom that will hand my babies a piece (slice at a time) while in their bouncies or sit n plays, or sitting on the bed instead of using their highchairs. I thought it was “easier”.
Definitely was not!! 🙅
I found myself washing their seat covers daily, picking up food, and scrubbing the carpet constantly.
Use your highchairs! There are great space saver highchairs that don’t take up a lot of room and let’s them feel more apart of meals.
If you aren’t a first time mom, you already know how messy mealtimes can be, even with foods you would be surprised that can leave babies messy at all.
A bib can save you a clothing change after every feeding. I really like the bin below. It catches all of the food that falls into baby seat and potentially the floor, making clean up so much easier.
4. Shower curtain
Yes! You read right! Placing a shower curtain under highchairs can eliminate food hitting the floor.
You can get them for a dollar at dollar tree, and when baby is done eating just remove the showet curtain and dump all of the food.
Easiest clean up ever. You’re welcome.
5. Baby proof plates
So there are plates that stick to highchairs. Whhaa???! These plates can keep their food in place, unless baby picks them out and toss them on the highchair, which can totally happen.
Either way cleaning highchair trays is easier and it’s great for letting little one try using spoons for the first time without flying plates and bowls.
6. Frozen is still fresh
I will say it again, frozen is still fresh! Babies eat really small portions. You’ll find that some of fruits and veggies will go bad before you use them. Buy them already frozen, or freeze them to keep your fruit and veggies fresh for up to 6 months.
7. When in doubt steam
“Can I give this to my baby? It’s not a mushy food.”
Steam can soften fruits and vegetables so that they can be broken apart with baby’s gums. Always let them completely cool off before giving them to your baby. I literally steam just about everything!
8. Keep trying
There will be times where your little ones will refuse certain foods or solids all together at first. Don’t give up.
Sometimes you just have to reintroduce them to your baby a few weeks later, something baby didn’t like or understand could turn into being baby’s favorite snack!
9. One new food at a time
Your baby is brand new and you don’t know what baby is allergic to yet. Pediatricians advise to only try one new food at a time for 3 days.
Once baby doesn’t show any signs of an allergic reaction, it’s okay to mix different foods together.
If you found this post useful please share it to help others! Tell me about your BLW journey and your hacks in the comments below or become a member of my website for free under the members tab and tell me your thoughts in our forums.