It has now been over a year since I decided to go the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) route with our younger child, and boy have I come to some great conclusions on the subject. If you read my original article last year, Baby Led “What”-ing?, we were about six months into the process of skipping pureed baby food all together, and feeding our second baby the same foods we were eating.
It all began when our first child became “that” picky eater. You know, the one you swore you’d never have. The one who could turn a 30 minute dinner into a 2 hour long ordeal. The one that could drive you to the edge of insanity trying to figure out how to streamline meal time.
I let it get to me, and we tried everything. Everything you’re “supposed” to do, as well as everything you’re “not supposed” to do. We tried it all with no success. So when our second was on his way, I was determined to do things differently.
It started out great. The kid loved food and would eat practically anything we put in front of him, whenever we put it in front of him. It was really hard for me not to say to the oldest “see… SEE… even your brother is eating”. But I didn’t (well, it slipped out once but I immediately regretted saying it). It was all so much easier, if not a little messier and a little more expensive. (Well, no, probably not more expensive than all those organic pouches our daughter ate.) The one benefit of a child that doesn’t eat is that you don’t really have to buy extra food.
When I say the kid would eat anything, I mean anything… Curry, seafood, steak, strong flavors, unique flavors, things I didn’t expect my older one to eat until she went to college. And then around 18 months he decided he wasn’t always a fan of eating. It’s not that he was picky about what he was eating, it just had to be under his conditions.
Yet for some reason, I didn’t worry. I didn’t push. I didn’t fret. Maybe it’s because the battle is different. Maybe it’s because he’s the second child. But I think ultimately it’s because I know he’ll eat when he’s hungry. I truly wasn’t sure if his sister would ever eat if we didn’t make her.
Funny thing is, the older now asks to eat. That’s right, while my good little eating boy is running around like a mad man at dinner time, she’s scarfing down pretty much whatever we put in front of her. The one that not too long ago would burst into tears if the noodles weren’t placed exactly right on her plate.
You may be wondering, would I go the Baby Led Weaning route again? In a heartbeat, without question. Our struggle now is around disciplining a 23 month old to sit at the table. It’s not about convincing him to eat. In fact his favorite thing to do these days is refuse to eat very much of his own dinner, but he’ll come over to my plate later on and eat half of my dinner. But it’s not ruling our lives.
More importantly, the moral of the story is you can’t control everything. While I would absolutely do BLW if we were going to have any more kids, it’s not perfect. And I had thought that making my daughter’s baby food from scratch using organic farmer’s market veggies was going to be the only way to go (aren’t we so idealistic on the first one), that ended up back firing. Yet I have two extremely happy, extremely healthy, extremely amazing kids. And that’s really what counts.
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