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Our very first day of baby-led weaning (and the first fright!)

Jun 23, 2016

Today I want to tell you about our very first day of baby-led weaning, because one thing is to read it in books and another is to actually start it with your six months old. It’s a bit scary, but it’s exciting at the same time to think that from an early age Oliver will learn to recognise food in its real shape, not just pureed.

We decided to do everything by the book—this amazing book that we had read before starting—so we started the day that Oliver turned six months and with simple foods; until that day Oliver ate only breast milk.

On our first day the menu offered cooked and raw carrots, broccoli, zucchini and chicken. We soon became much more adventurous, but the first few days we decided to take it easy and see how Oliver would react to this new experience.

Well, let me tell you, it wasn’t as dreamy as we had hoped for. Oliver didn’t want to sit on his chair for long, he didn’t like almost anything, he’d take the food to his mouth, pull the most disgusted faces and throw it on the floor. Basically, almost everything went on the floor (Colbie was over the moon)!

Except for a piece of broccoli that, maybe because it was softer and the consistency more interesting, he decided to… almost choke on! Yes, on the very first day! And we even have it on video, until the moment when we decided to stop recording and be ready in case he needed our help. It turned out he was OK, we didn’t even touch him and he solved the problem by himself.

I’m sharing this with you because I know very well that the first instinct is to help your child, but you have to give him the opportunity to solve the problem by himself.

Even when they do the reflux gesture, they’re probably not choking: the reflux reflex in babies is very much to the front of their tongue, so it’s likely that they’ll start showing signs of choking when the food is still on the tip of their tongue. It’s very important you give them enough time to solve the problem on their own: sit on your hands if you have to, put a smile on your face and try to let them fix the situation by themselves. That’s how they learn, and they do so very quickly!

One last thing: if you’re about to start this new adventure with your baby, I highly recommend a first-aid course. It was extremely useful for me and, among other many interesting things, I learned something that I didn’t know: when your baby seems to be choking, don’t pat him on his back; instead, lift him up and hold him parallel to the floor, with his mouth facing downwards. It happened only twice to us, but that manoeuvre was enough to fix the problem without any further assistance.

Baby-led weaning is a beautiful way to introduce solids into the baby’s diet and it’s amazing how fast they learn to eat and appreciate any kind of food. And even when they take a bit longer before getting into a proper eating habit (Oliver took a good few months during which he was relying on breast milk more than foods), it does happen, they will sit on their chair for longer and longer, and they will enjoy (and let you enjoy) a meal. So stick with it if you can and I’m sure you’ll be very happy!

Today Oliver (15 months) is a very good eater, and he’s just started to use the fork with easy foods like vegetables and pasta. I’ll leave you with a picture from this morning of Oliver sitting at the table like a big boy and eating scrambled eggs with a fork :-)

Scroll down for more baby-led weaning articles. Hope you enjoy them!

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Nov 6, 2020 • 16m
La rabbia, le urla dei genitori e una storia tibetana
In questo episodio sono stata ispirata da una storia tibetana a parlare di rabbia e del perché urliamo quando siamo arrabbiati. Riconoscere i perché e analizzare le mie reazioni quando urlo è stato per me il primo passo per imparare a gestire la rabbia. Nell'episodio menziono questo articolo: Spiegare come funziona il cervello aiuta i bambini a controllare le loro emozioni. Mi trovi anche su www.lateladicarlotta.com e su Facebook e Instagram come @lateladicarlottablog.
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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.