If you had asked me 8 months ago how I felt time was passing I would have told you ‘at an absolutely glacial pace’. The days when my babies would nap for hours at a time, they weren’t at a stage where they were moving too much or interacting and everything was seemingly under control.
Then all of a sudden, at some point, time really sped up. It sped up to the point that I entirely lost track. I had just figured out bottle feeding twins which I felt accomplished enough about. Then I got them to where they were holding their own bottles and to say we patted ourselves on the back would be a wild understatement. If we had a large set of stairs in our vicinity we would have been running in slow-mo and doing victory dances at the top.
But by the time we got bottles figured out I already felt behind on getting them eating real human non-liquid food. The huge “trend” now is baby led weaning (BLW), which from my (very poor and low level) understanding is just giving your babies real food and letting them mash it in the general vicinity of their mouth and by doing that they will magically learn to eat properly and will never be picky eaters.
I’m just getting my feet under me now and I honestly have no idea what I’m really doing and I’m constantly googling what other moms are doing to make sure I’m not doing anything terribly wrong. I hoped that I could provide my experiences and hopefully someone can gain some insight from my experiences with starting BLW.
Right out of the gate I started with rice cereal because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. Both boys really hated it – they didn’t dig the texture or the blandness (my new mom self didn’t even consider the fact that babies want flavour in their food, duh). So I started on storebought purees, the idea of making my own seemed so daunting. Like everything else with being a new parent I was pretty convinced I would do something wrong so better leave it to the experts. Honestly comically soon after starting the purees the boys started demanding independence with their eating. They always wanted to hold the spoon and they started making chewing motions when they were eating as though they were craving having food to chew. Puree doesn’t satisfy that need, so I very slowly, cautiously, skeptically began giving them some solid food.
The NUMBER ONE thing I wish literally anyone had told me was that when you start giving babies solid food, they will gag. And that isn’t meant to be terrifying it’s just a baby learning to adapt to different textures and swallowing solid food. Eating is a learned skill (who knew). Nobody told me that and it really could have saved some undue panic!
Here are the things I started out with:
avocado (honestly I think this is the perfect starter food, it’s high calorie so they don’t have to eat a lot of it, healthy fats and it’s nice and soft)
egg (I’ve done scrambled and “omelettes” cut into small pieces)
toasted bread in long pieces sometimes with mashed avocado sometimes with grassfed butter (my babies literally eat better than we do)
pasta – I really overcooked it so it was slightly mushy – with a basic tomato sauce
spaghetti squash (this they LOVED)
Broccoli – cut from the stalks
Blueberries – I cut into 1/4s which maybe was overcautious but I was nervous about the shape and size
Be prepared for the mess. It’s a lot of added cleaning. A LOT. Get nice and comfortable with daily baths and washing the floor frequently.
Those are the things we’ve done so far. As a twin parent I have hardly any spare time to specially cook food for the babies and if I do I need it to be something easy I can basically put in the oven, steam or prepare quickly. I was nervous about BLW and still am sometimes (the baby gagging is a real adjustment to get around) but honestly the babies really love it. I can tell they enjoy having new tastes and flavours as well as liking to be a part of meal time with us.
It’s still a learning process and I feel like I’m doing things wrong all the time or not progressing fast enough and the constant fear in parenting is not knowing how things will play out in the future. Will the fact that I was slow to start BLW mean that I’ll have super picky kids that I’ll have to battle at every mealtime? Maybe. Hopefully not.
Cheers to all the other parents out here winging it and to the days where we feel like we’re hanging onto sanity by our fingernails!