introducing solids the third time around

how we do baby led weaning | the love designed life

A while back, I mentioned on my Instagram that we were going to try Baby Led Weaning this time around. If you have never heard of Baby Led Weaning, it is actually super simple. It just means that you let baby feed him or herself, right from the start, with soft or softened food in hand-held sized pieces. Seems pretty intuitive right?

[Above picture is current, below was taken at six months old when we first started solids!]

baby's first banana | six months | the love designed life

With my first, I was by-the-book [at the time] which included mostly homemade and organic pureés, suction bowls that didn’t stay suctioned, and hours of messy spoon feeding and spitting back out. It also came with a pretty strict graduated list that avoided potential food allergens until he reached certain milestones. For example, we were told no peanuts until after 3! Two years later when my daughter was born, those food allergy rules had been tossed out the window. At that time, I had heard of Baby Led Weaning, but it was considered a bit more of an outlying theory here in the US, even though it has been used and studied in Great Britain for many years prior.

So now here we are, five months into our Baby Led Weaning journey with baby number three, and for the most part, I love it! I have to say, when we first started, it was a bit nerve-wracking because I really didn’t feel like he was getting any additional caloric intake from the foods through this method. It was a lot more just sucking and biting foods and spitting them back out, and I was worried he should be ‘getting’ more. But as it turns out, that is all part of the learning process and supports the overall theory that babies will learn how to feed themselves as they need it!

chopping sweet potatoes and kale for homemade babyfood | the love designed life before the baby self feeding mess ensues | the love designed life

Through this three-child-journey of introducing solids, I never got a baby food maker. I’ll be honest, I felt like my husband and I already had so many small kitchen appliances and we were living in a small apartment back then, so I figured we could just make it work with what we had, which we did. But honestly guys, now that I’ve tried this BEABA BabyCook, I am really kicking myself for not just getting one sooner! It eliminates so many dishes [I HATE dishes], it super simple [like really simple], and it’s compact, so it’s really not a burden on our storage space at all.

adding veggies into the beaba babycook for homemade babyfood | the love designed life
homemade babyfood in the babycook | the love designed life simple one touch on/off for homemade babyfood maker | the love designed life after steaming, simply pour into base and pureé | the love designed life

You might be thinking, why do you need a baby food maker if you are doing Baby Led Weaning? It is true that hard-core BLW followers will tell you ‘no pureés,’ but I tend to disagree. Sometimes you need a pureé for on-the-go or traveling. Also, this brilliant machine will allow you to do a chunkier consistency and of course, you can always just steam without using the pureé function at all, which I do a lot. Also, as many foods still needed to be cooked to soften them up, this was another paranoid mom concern of mine. I often turned to the microwave to get something ready in a pinch, but of course this can rob fruits and vegetables of vital nutrition and is also just inconsistent in the evenness of cooking, so some parts of a carrot, for example, would still end up too hard, and others way too hot, and I would worry about choking. The BEABA BabyCook steams everything perfectly evenly and the steaming method minimizes loss of nutrients. If you do pureé, you can even use the steam water to blend with your cooked food to maximize nutritional value!

In these photos I just steamed some sweet potatoes and kale and then chopped them up a bit with the pureé function. This little thing has been such a lifesaver while we are staying with my parents this month too, because I can just literally grab whatever the bigger kids are eating and steam it a bit for the baby. Yesterday I steamed some baby carrots for him during snack time [which you can still see on my Snapchat if you hop over there today: @lovedesigned] and it was again a big hit!

sweet potato and kale mash is served as finger food for baby led weaning | the love designed life

And speaking of on-the-go, we love these formula containers that double as snack containers! We are still breastfeeding so we don’t need them for formula, but they are the perfect portion size for baby snacks. I packed this combo when we were going out to dinner the other night and it did the trick to keep Diego happy and full with nutritious food I felt good about giving him for our entire meal.

formula / snack containers are perfect for on the go with baby led weaning | the love designed life healthy baby snacks on-the-go in beaba containers | the love designed life

We also have these spoons at home [not pictured] from our first born and we do still use them when spoon feeding is necessary. If you do decide to do partial or all purees, we also love these silicone freezer portion trays too.

Ok so if you’re convinced you now need to get some BEABA goodies of your own, head over to my Instagram today for a fun [and always simple!] little giveaway! Or if you’re ready to try the Babycook or anything else from BEABA, you can use my code, THELDL5 at checkout to receive 5% off your entire order! And just for good measure, here’s a couple more messy eating baby picture.

happy baby, happy healthy homemade babyfood | the love designed life

super easy homemade baby food [give them what you're eating!] | the love designed life

I just love their brothery love | the love designed life

This post is in collaboration with BEABA to bring you both the giveaway and the discount code above! By using the discount code on your next order, I will receive a small commision. I was sent product from BEABA in exchange for my honest review in this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own! Thanks as always for supporting this little blog of mine!

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