Baby led weaning - your experiences


Sorry I don't post much, but do find your responses on various subjects very useful.

My little one is almost six months and I think I'm going to go down the baby led weaning route.

i just wondered what others experiences are, and whether you had any particular hints or tips?

Thanks in advance.



  • Yes we did. Isaac took to it like a duck to water and was eating loads straight away, Lucas had little tiny bits just for a few months then picked up by 10 months

    So we used to just open out a bin bag and put under the high chair

    Did veg al dente so it didnt go to mush in their hands

    I used to strip them off to eat at the beggining lol

  • I post the same reply every time!  But I started off strictly blw but found it didn't totally suit our lifestyle as we don't eat a lot of food that lends itself to finger food and I was struggling to stick to meat and 2 veg type dinners. So after a while i relaxed and if we were having curry or casserole or lasagne,  for example,  I spoon fed a slightly mashed portion.  That worked well for us and will do same with no 2. Never intend to puree!

  • We did blw.

    We started at 6 months but really we could've waited for another month or maybe even longer as she wasn't really interested. She started eating bigger amounts from around 10-12 months old.

    My top tips would be a highchair that's easy to clean (we have the ikea antilop), be prepared for them to not 'get' it for a while (food before one is just for fun), babies like surprisingly strong flavours (E's favourite meal is curry), a baby first aid course is great for building u
  • Up your confidence and telling the difference between gagging and choking.

    I found blw a lovely fun experience and it took all the stress out of weaning for me.
  • We've been doing blw for about a month now and its going well, but only because i think we're quite relaxed about it. We don't worry about how much she's eating, how much mess or waste she makes, we just give her bits of food and let her at it. We're still just doing sticks of fruit and veg really with the odd bit of meat and rice cakes/biscottis for snacks, but i'm sure once she gets the hang of it a bit more we'll give her more 'difficult' things to try.

    So i suppose my advice is to be relaxed about baby's progress (or lack of), and definately educate yourself on gagging/choking. My little one gags every now and then but has never choked

  • I loved BLW. We started at 25 weeks & Isobelle got it from the 1st meal & was trying some food at each meal. We started offering her food at all meals she was awake for which meant she had 3 meals from the word go. The tips that worked for us were that we bought a pair of tesco value shower curtains that we put under her highchair which can then be thrown in the washing machine. We also have the ikea antilop & it's fab as it's so easy to wipe clean or put in the dishwasher. We also gave a milk feed around half to an hour before each meal so that she wasn't fully hungry before each meal.

    I love the fact that you only have to cook 1 meal for the whole family & can eat your meals whilst they are hot as you let them feed everything to themselves. Relax & enjoy it & yes I'd agree with looking into the difference between gagging & choking & what to do about choking. With gagging, which is completely usual in the early stages, you have to try to let them deal with it themselves.

  • L refuses to be spoon fed so we've pretty much given her what we've been eating (obviously taking out her portion before adding salt). It does go everywhere, to the benefit of the dogs, but she really enjoys herself when eating. I started off with lunch with banana chopped into chips so she could grasp it.  I also have the Ikea Antilop highchair which is great for cleaning up - it will go in the dishwasher for the particularly messy meals. I'd get some wipeable plastic fabric to put under the highchair to catch most of the food that drops and buy some cheapy flannels for cleaning their hands, faces and wherever the food went!

  • We do BLW and love it.

    Agree with striping them off to eat,  and having a easy clean highchair. We got a plastic mat for underneath from pound land.

    My E pretty much has whatever we have. Initially we started just giving a slice of toast or a finger of fruit but quickly started just giving her whatever we had abdu so far,  4 months in,  there is nothing she's not been able to handle.

    It's so very easy for us as little or no extra effort required.  It does mean having to read labels to check for salt or sugar but these days we tend to just follow our instinct and if she's something we know is salty then she has a non salty tea or whatever it may be.

    It definitely is messy, so I think a big part of it us being ready for that as you need to be comfortable.  Also we find it very important to eat with E. She eats much better if she does this.

    Also figure how you are going to clean up before you put into highchair.  If we're having something especially messy we run a bath first then eat! Carrying her up in a black tea towel.  We're very cautious about banana as it reakk stains so that gets wiped off in the highchair.

    Otherwise knowing the difference between gagging and choking is important and also what to do if they did choke.

    We find it really easy to eat out wit E but as she's lactose intolerant often take her lunch box too but it's fab as we all get to eat together instead of one of us feeding the baby.

    Other advantages over found is,  at 9 months they put everything in their mouth.  I'm constantly being told at groups ah she's got x/y/z but because we blw she won't swallow if she can't chew so it has benefits there too. The only disadvantage is,  I find it very difficult to now spoon feed because she wants to do it herself so have to plan for that. Only times its been an issue yet were when she were poorly. If she's were spoon fed I could probably have fed her porridge to perk up but she wouldn't cooperate and also when trying to feed on the beach.

  • I  haven't read all the replies, but what I can say is that our experience of weaning was totally stress free and lovely.  I hear people talking about it being the worst thing etc but for us it was just so easy.   We stripped down to just a nappy for meals when possible, if out and about then a bib that has long sleeves is very useful, and strip down to vest.  I didn't do specific finger foods, she had whatever we were eating whether that be curry, rice, pasta, whatever.  It's amazing how much of a shepherds pie you can eat with your fingers ;-)

    If you haven't read the Gill Rapley BLW book then I would recommend reading that but other than that, just relax and go with it.  We lived by the mantra "food is for fun until they are one".  Don't worry if LO isn't eating loads, it's about learning to try new tastes, textures etc.

    Oh, and we introduced bath time straight after dinner !

  • I have just started to look into weaning and am another one that is keen on BLW, especially after reading the replies above. Sorry to jump on  your thred PP, but has anyone done a mixture of BLW and purees and if so, how did this work out?

  • Also, JB, genius idea about striping off for meal times! E loves being naked at the best of times!

  • Well technicallyy you can't do a mixture of purees and baby led weaning because as soon as you introduce purees you are no longer baby led unless you are letting them feed themselves.  However, lots of people do a mixture of puree and finger foods with great success.

  • Ferbs: As Jelly baby said you can't mix the 2 methods but a lot of people get on well with introducing finger food alongside purees which is traditional weaning.

  • We do puree as snack foods on blw. She feeds herself a pouch of fruit puree as and when required.  Usually when I'm out and she's still hungry after her proper dinner. This horrifies people more than letting her eat blw for some reason!  

    As I say above though actually trying to spoon feed Ella is tbh impossible,  she grabs the spoon or, if you do manage to get it near her mouth,  spits it into her hands and feeds herself which really isn't cool. We do preloaded spoons too,  with porridge which I guess you could do with puree if you wanted.  Basically either hand or place down on a tray spoons with food already on (we practise this lots outside in the summer as she used the spoon as a sling shot!

    Generally though if you are thinking you'd prefer to puree (lots of people say "I'll start on puree) then you are probably more suited to puree style weaning. 

  • Thanks ladies. I think I am more swayed by BLW than purées but tbh don't know enough about it yet. Have the book to read on holiday so will hopefully be more informed when we get back. My mum said that she never puréed anything for me and my sister

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