The Six Month Dilemma – Baby Led Weaning or Pots, Pouches and Purees?

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Baby of mine, you’re six months old.  I’m not sure how that happened, how the hands of the clock turned so fast and transformed you from a helpless baby to a little person, ready to explore…and what you want to explore most of all, is food.

I was really caught this time.  Instead of being desperate to reach that milestone, like I was with your brothers, I’ve been dreading it.  It’s a huge decision to make for you.  Your biggest brother was essentially our trial run on feeding.  Your little big brother was our baby-led weaning trial, and now there’s you.

You’re so ready.  You sit brilliantly and are very stable.  You put things into your mouth and chew, and now you’re reaching for our food.  Technically when you stole the Chocolate Orange whilst playing with your brothers on Christmas Eve, you had your first food [and confirmed to everyone that you are indeed my son, no doubt about it].  A little bit different for a first food choice to your brother, who chose lettuce.

In truth I want to feed you purees. I want to make pretty purees and put them in little bowls and use cute spoons to feed you with.  I know that’s not what I’ll do though, because BLW makes so much sense to me as you’re breastfed.  So it will be up to you.

With your little big brother we handed him foods that we thought he should try individually, like peppers and bread, and watermelon.  It was so much fun seeing his reaction to each new food.  However, I really want you to be integrated into our normal family meals and eat what we are – because then you’ll help us too.  We’ll be healthier because we’ll cut out the salt and anything else you shouldn’t be eating. We’ll eat good fats and raw, live foods and everyone will benefit.

It still nags at me that you’re my last baby, and my last chance to live my 16 year old daydream of the pretty pots and purees, and I wonder whether we’re doing the right thing with BLW.  I’m going to have to up my game in the kitchen instead.

I’d love to hear – which method did you decide on and why?  Has it worked in retrospect for your little one? Are there things you regret about your choices?

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  1. My son is breastfed and at 5 months he was picking up my afternoon fruit and tasting it. So I decided that BLW was for us. I start him on soft foods like Banana, pasta, porridge. As the weeks went on he had more of what we were eating for dinner. He choked a few times, but I didn't panic and let him clear his throat by himself. At 12 months he is not fussy and enjoys three meals a day as well as a few feeds from me. I certainly chose the right path for us.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! I always think that when they grab the food and put it into their mouth, they're ready! My boys never gave up breastfeeding until 17 and 21 months, either. I think of food as fun until they're one 🙂

  2. We went straight to BLW when indiana turned 6 months. We started on 3 meals a day from the beginning (not just finger food) and she loved it. She's now such a good eater at 13 months. Emily and xx

  3. We went from formula to the classic rice. After that, we just started feeding the boys whatever they wanted to try that was soft. It worked for us.

  4. We did BLW, but also used pouches and purees. When we first started, we had a mesh feeder that she could use herself, but that quickly became more work than it was worth. I say go with your gut and just watch close to see what works best.

  5. I hadn't heard of BLW until baby number 3 – which is what we sort of did. We ended up spoon feeding him messy stuff and trying to give him healthy stuff. Baby 4 we BLW properly – we were more confident and just gave him what we were having. I was more happy in my knowledge that he didn't need food until at least 12 months old so wasn't as worried about how much he consumed. I much preferred it and it made so much sense. I breastfed the youngest 2 until they were 4 years old so was comfortable about the goodness they got from my milk. Good luck.

    1. I think of food for fun until they're one too. You made it to four years with your children? I'm so impressed! I only made it to 17 and 21 months with my boys, I wonder how long I'll make it this time!

  6. My son, wanted food from just about day 1.. once he was able to reach and sit up, he was asking for it.. We waited until the Dr. said its ok, but with my daughter, when she wanted it we gave it.

  7. Your suggestion of integrating your babies meals with your family meals is a great idea as long as you cut out some of the salts and sugars etc. This way you are not having to cook lots of different meals and the baby gets used to your meals. I love the way you wrote this Post. it will a great diary for your baby to read when he grows up.

  8. I have 6 Babies. With my first three I did purees mostly homemade but babies 4,5 and 6 I did BLW. From 8 months up and it was incredible I wish I had done it with all 6.

  9. We did puree with our eldest and BLW with our now middlest. Without a doubt, when Ben is weaning age (he is only 6 weeks at the moment!!) we will do BLW. We found it much less time consuming, less stressful and Alex is the better eater (and least messiest!) out of the two of them. Good luck with hichever method you chose! #weekendbloghop

  10. my eldest was a really hungry baby and I made purees from 4 months, the other two went straight to BLW at 6 months… not sure how this little man will go- 2 weeks in and he hasn't stopped eating so think he'll be ready for food as soon as he can!

  11. We did purees with my first and baby led weaning with my second. Both were good in different ways but I do think it was quicker to get my daughter to eat proper meals with us using baby led weaning and I shall more than likely do that again with my third. Good luck with whatever you choose!

  12. I would try a bit of everything and see which one Baby Hero takes to the most, or maybe he will like all and you can do a combination!

    My first was baby jars and my second…. well that's a story I will save for another day!

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop. Lovely to see that you have joined up!

    Laura x x x

  13. I was so not ready for this milestone with my second!! It snuck up on me too quickly. I wanted to do BLW with my first, but since I was still working he was given purees. This time, I was determined to BLW and have succeeded. I do the pouches too (actually, they seem to be the only thing keeping my baby regular since we started solids). I'll admit, I'm lazy which is why I chose pouches. I hold the and he just sucks out what he wants. But most food has been actual solids. Nothing says you can't do both 🙂

    Hi from the Weekend Blog Hop!

  14. The last one is always so so hard! They seem to grow up and hit miestones faster when we just want to hold on as long as we can. Which ever choice is a great choice!

  15. With my daughter is made our own purees as I was a Nanny and it's what I'd done with the kids in looked after. I worked well but and she ate everything until recently and now she is very fussy (almost 5 years).
    My son was BLW ate everything and currently still does he is 2

  16. We had a tough time with feeding with my son because he had a lot of trouble with breast, bottle and even solids. We found out months later that he had autism and with that comes feeding problems.

  17. This is such a hard decision to make. Especially with your last baby. I give you all the support in the world, because whatever you decide is the best decision. Because you are mom, and mom always knows best.

  18. Every child is different and "Mommy knows best" you may hear a million different things, at the end of the day go with your guts, you are watching the baby and can see what is working best. We get very overwhelmed with so many options, keep i mind that sometimes the simplest things are the ones that work best. And who said you have to choose only one option.

    1. Thanks Bradley – my oldest never liked them but my middle son loved them until about three months ago and he decided they were not for him! I hope he likes them again soon, because I love them 😉

    1. Kiwi, I've breastfed all of my babies to 17 months, 21 months and I'll feed Hero as long as he wants to continue, but when he wants to eat solids I will let him. Of course you can do both 🙂

  19. I think each and ever parent and child is different. What works best for one might not work best for another. You could always try it and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, wait a little while longer.

  20. I laughed at your description of handing over new foods to try. I saw my granddaughter try watermelon, broccoli, and a lemon!! She loved them all and it was hilarious good fun!

  21. I used a mixture of both actually. I began my boy on the purees and then introduced him to finger foods and things we were eating, he was a fab eater, until now!

  22. we used purees but Erin also had a bit off our plates if she wanted. she is a brilliant eater at five and happily eats whatever is in front of her.

  23. My son is already 11-years-old. It's hard for me to remember the details but I think I've never tried giving him purees. We have this famous baby food back home called Cerelac and that's what I remember giving him at that age.

  24. I went with a mix. It was and still is mostly baby led, but on the days we are in a hurry I have the chunky food pouches or make something like vegetable mash or fruit mash. I have done that with all three of my little ladies and happily it has worked for us. I probably wouldn't change it either, it allows for exploration of textures and I can be sure that she still gets a top up from breastmilk. Maybe a few pretty pots later on and the joy of BLW for now? Ah, whatever makes you all happy in the end! xx

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