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Why we chose Baby Led Weaning (BLW)

Nov 17, 2015

On Sunday, to celebrate his 8th monthiversary, Oliver had a king’s lunch. He had tex-mex chicken wings, arrabbiata gluten-free pasta, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, and finished off with apple. It took an hour. Nothing was pureed, he sat in his high chair, picked up everything with his own hands and chose what to eat and in what order.

I was wondering when this was going to happen, because since we started solid foods two months ago (when he was six months old) he hadn’t shown much interest in food, except for some (very) sporadic events—and cucumber, that’s always a big hit!

I wasn’t too worried, though, as I had read that Baby Led Weaning is a long and gradual process: you just have to be patient, keep trying, and giving the baby as many opportunities to eat as possible and eventually it will just happen. I’m happy to report it just happened :-)

What’s Baby Led Weaning (BLW)?

It’s an English method to introduce solid foods into the baby’s diet, in which the baby is in control of the weaning process by feeding himself.

There are many books about BLW—I read this one and enjoyed it greatly—and I recommend you read at least one before starting. There are also lots of websites that you can explore and where to find recipes.

What you’ll find on my blog is our own experience and, today, the reasons why we chose BLW to begin with.

So why did we choose Baby Led Weaning?

For three reasons:

  • Mainly, because it feels right. Choosing what feels logical and natural to us seems to be a key principle in our life-style. We chose Paleo because it feels logical that eating natural products is better than eating artificial ones. We do Montessori because it feels natural to give Oliver independence since a young age—and let’s be honest, how convenient is the floor bed? ;-)Baby Led Weaning seemed to be the natural complement to Paleo (we eat well and so will Oliver) and Montessori (what’s more independent than not been spoon-fed?).
  • I’m not in a hurry to stop breastfeeding. With Baby Led Weaning it takes a bit longer to get babies off breast milk completely and—as I've seen with many friends with older babies—by the time they're one year old they'll have probably just reduced the daily milk intake. I’m not in a hurry, I love breast-feeding and my work and lifestyle allow me to do it for as long as I want.
  • I’m not the classical Italian mamma, I absolutely hate cooking! So when I heard that I wouldn’t have had to cook different meals and puree them for Oliver, it was a dealmaker for me! And the best part is, it’s exactly like that—except a few times when we had very spicy food and cooked some chicken without salsa for Oliver, so far we never had to cook for him. This, too, feels very natural and logical.

Oliver is now trying some food at every meal (this morning he had pork sausages for breakfast) and sometimes he even eats “a lot”, and asks for more when I think he’s done!

I’m happy to see this huge progress, but it hasn’t been (and won’t be) always easy. I did have my doubts before starting it and along the way, and there have been times when I questioned the whole method—especially when Oliver went days without wanting to even try any food. I’ll tell you more about that soon :-) Stay tuned!

If you're also doing BLW, tell me your experience in a comment :-)

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

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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.
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!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
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!

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
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Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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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.