Any time we are with other people while Theo eats I always see the same, wide-eyed, mouth-agape stares while he picks up whatever is on his tray. People laugh incredulously at how he grabs bite after bite, hungry for more. He is a terrific eater. He has no fear when it comes to food. He often eats the same thing Emmett does at restaurants and typically eats more of it.
I wrote about our beginning phase of BLW about 5 months ago. After that post, we entered a very messy, exploratory phase with things like casseroles, spaghetti and yogurt that get everywhere no matter how good of an eater you may have. I used to clean up tons of food off the floor. I'd have to wipe down his entire high chair and cleaning his face and hands was no easy task. There were days when I thought what I wouldn't give just to sit him in his chair and put a couple Cheerios in front of him and call it a day. Yes, the mess does get to be annoying/never-ending. But in the end, that messy part doesn't last too long, maybe 3 or 4 months.
|Noodle casserole (8 months old)|
|Spaghetti (8.5 months old)|
|Curry with rice (8.5 months old)|
|Momsie's spaghetti (9 months old)|
|Tacos, deconstructed (9 months old)|
Now, at 11 months old, we've entered a new phase of BLW that is less messy and more fun. Theo has favorite foods and stuff that he doesn't like. He's tried every single thing that I've ever put on his tray! I know a lot of parents can't say that about their kids. I certainly can't say it about my firstborn. ;) I really think that the BLW approach gave Theo all the control with his food. I wasn't shoving a spoon in his mouth, telling him what to eat and when to stop. He could pick foods up, feel them, squeeze them, rub them on his tray, his face, whatever. It was HIS choice and I think that makes all the difference. He loves to eat (and it shows)!
|Mango hair styling gel (10.5 months old)|
|Yogurt bite beauty mark (10.5 months old)|
For posterity's sake, here's a list of Theo's favorite foods and foods that he just doesn't go for.
Anything in pasta sauce (rotinis are an easy grab)
Macaroni and cheese
Bean and cheese burritos
Big pieces of meat (he'll eat shredded meat mixed in with things)
For those wondering, Theo was completely weaned at 11 months. At 9 months he dropped the mid-night feeding. At 10 months he dropped the lunch feeding. At 10.5 months he dropped the dinner feeding and then two weeks later he dropped the morning feeding. I basically just skipped a feeding session and replaced it with food and I never met any resistance. It was very easy, especially near the 10 month mark when he was essentially only nursing from one side for about 5 minutes at each feeding.
Long story short, I highly recommend trying baby led weaning! I've already passed my book along to Kari who is going to start with Connor in just a few weeks. Hopefully this post will shed some light on the method and our success with it. Happy eating!