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Nicola’s baby led weaning story

Nicola's baby led weaning story | Annabel Karmel

Nicola the mum behind the amazing blog Mummy To Dex, gives her run down on how she has found weaning her little one so far.

We started our baby led weaning journey at six months. I could lie and say it wasn’t the scariest period of my life, but aside from those first few days of Dexter’s existence, it really was.

Choking was a big fear, but it’s uncommon

We began by trying banana pancakes for lunch one Thursday afternoon. It was important to me to start with something that was soft; I really didn’t want to dive in with a full roast dinner or something equally as complex to begin with. My husband works full time and I was very much alone in starting this journey. Aside from the vast amount of online research I had done and joining a few baby led weaning Facebook groups, I had virtually no support. My biggest fear as I am sure you will identify with was choking.

I can assure you now, four months in, Dexter has never had a choking incident; indeed they are very rarely mentioned on the support groups which have tens of thousands of members. Choking is uncommon. The important thing is that you gain the skills required to know what to do if a choking incident were to occur. Knowledge is power, as they say.

Spices in Baby Led Weaning

The first few weeks we tried a vast range of foods: various fruits and vegetables, pancakes, muffins, pasta dishes and curries. It is essential that I impart my love for food onto Dexter. My husband and I are avid travellers who love sampling food from all over the world. We wish to continue our travels with Dexter as our mini companion, and want him to enjoy food from Italy to Thailand to Morocco. For this reason, I gave Dexter a wide range of herbs and spices from day one. Offering some piri piri hummus alongside a piece of baguette two weeks in was probably a bit bold; he went bright red in the face and began to cry; but I learnt from that. I slowly introduced spice week by week until he built up a tolerance. Mums shouldn’t be afraid of a little spice; it is eaten and enjoyed by babies all over the world.

Going out to eat is straightforward

Baby led weaning has been the most incredible journey we have undertaken. At ten months he eats all of our meals and tackles them with enthusiasm and determination. Going out to eat is straightforward because he either has a child’s meal or little bits from my plate. I often take a packed lunch out with us which includes items you would expect to find in a schoolboy’s lunch box, not that of a ten month old baby.

He will try anything and loves to eat. We eat three meals a day alongside two snacks, plus three small milk feeds. He understands the concept of chewing, pushing food towards the back of his mouth where his molars haven’t yet formed and grinding. We recently introduced cutlery which is another exciting development in our journey to him being fully weaned.

For baby led weaning start with the soft foods and gradually build up

If you are thinking about baby led weaning, my advice is to go for it. There’s nothing to stop you doing it at your own pace; start with soft foods and build up gradually if that makes you feel happier. Remember that the weaning process is a journey and you have a good six months to get things right. I don’t believe that ‘food before one is just for fun’ because babies do get a lot of their nutrition including iron from the food you offer, however I do believe it should be a fun process with lots of different tastes and textures and lots of encouragement and support.

Nicola is new mum to Dexter James, blogging from Liverpool about her parenting experience at MummyToDex.com.

Annabel’s new Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book gives you the tools and inspiration to incorporate baby-led weaning into your baby’s routine. This book can be used on its own for exclusive baby-led weaning. Or it can be used as a companion cookbook to Annabel’s original feeding guide, the New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, which is filled with her popular puree recipes.

As well as being packed with useful advice and top tips, the book is filled with 120 recipes which the whole family can enjoy together – from breakfast and snacks, to vegetables, poultry, fish, meat and more.

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