Elodie’s first meal was a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, avocado and toasted whole wheat toast. I knew that I wanted Remy to start out with the same meal, not only for consistency but also for comparison’s sake. What I didn’t know was how much of a disaster his first meal would end up being.
Let me tell you how not to start baby led weaning. Do not:
Place an overtired, hangry baby in a high chair
Put foreign Food objects in front of them
Instead, please follow these well researched & documented guidelines:
Feed baby milk/formula before offering new foods
Do not offer new foods too close to nap time
A little background: on a typical weekday, our family eats an early lunch (more like a brunch) around 11AM. This works well with Remy’s nap schedule (I only produce children that get stuck in quick 30 minute nap ruts) as well as with my nursing beast of an appetite at all times of the day. Elodie is also willing to eat anytime, anywhere.
So here’s how the story goes. Saturday morning began lazily until we finally decided to head to a playground at around 11AM. Already, I sensed my original BLW extravaganza Saturday was in jeopardy but I didn’t want to push my schedule on the other family members who have also been stuck inside all week, all month, all year, doing the same routine day after day. Remy had recently nursed and I thought he might fall asleep in the carrier while we were out.
Well, he didn’t fall asleep. By the time we got back, we were all pretty hungry and I could tell Remy was quite tired, but hanging on. This is where I thought (stubbornly), “hey, I’m just going to keep pushing it and take back control that 2020 has so often taken away”. Bad idea.
Almost as soon as I put the food down in front of Remy after preparing all of our lunches, Remy lost it. Zero interest, just anger. All of the food went to the floor. I was sad. Bummed. But I should have known better. I vowed to try again the next day – this time on his schedule.
And so the perfect time came on Sunday morning. Our weekly movie time ended around 10:30AM, just as Remy was finishing nursing after his morning nap. Elodie was ready for her second breakfast and wanted to help prepare food for her little brother. So we scrambled some eggs, sliced avocado, and toasted some more wheat bread.
This time around Remy was alert, attentive, and very interested in his meal! He was able to grab the wheat toast easily, although he seemed very off-put by the taste. The avocado was a big hit until it became harder and harder to hold on to. I’ve heard that coating the slices in chia seeds can help with grip, so I may try that next time around. He was not able to hold onto the egg long enough to bring it to his mouth quite yet, but he did seem to enjoy squishing it in his hands. All in all, I was happy and satisfied and he seemed to be too.
I was completely humbled by my mistakes on Saturday. I had honestly forgotten how tough the process of BLW can be. It may be months before Remy actually swallows anything (Elodie was continuing to chew and spit out a lot of her food well past one year). There will be days where he has zero interest in food. There will be incredible messes and surprising likes & dislikes. There may be choking scares, gagging scares, allergy scares, etc. But I do trust this process. As long as I am able to nourish Remy with my milk on the other end, he can take all the time he needs with food.
And finally, the comparison of Elodie & Remy will stop here. They are their own unique individuals and if they like the same foods, great! If not, no worries. As I always tell Elodie, one person’s yummy can be another’s yuck!