How to Do Baby Led Weaning at Daycare (When You’re A Working Mom)
Baby led weaning can seem like a breeze, but what about when it comes to baby led weaning at daycare?
As a new, working mom I was so worried we wouldn’t be able to do baby led weaning successfully since we sent our baby to daycare.
Suddenly, you don’t have total control of your baby’s mealtimes and this can be stressful.
However, I’m excited to tell you that you CAN successfully do baby led weaning while your baby is at daycare, you just want to be sure you do it the RIGHT way.
Here’s some things you’ll want to make sure you cover when thinking of baby led weaning at daycare:
- Is your baby safe while eating
- Does your provider understand baby led weaning
- Is your provider okay with it
- Who will provide/cut up the foods baby will be having
Know The Facts and Be Comfortable
First things first. You’re going to need to have a conversation about baby led weaning with your provider – but before you can do that, you better know what you’re talking about.
Some people are hesitant about baby led weaning, because they’ve never heard of it or seen it in action.
They’re so used to babies only getting to eat baby food that anything except that seems wrong and unsafe to them.
This could be your provider, your mom, your grandma, your cousin, your coworker, your in-laws, your husband, or maybe even you.
Before committing to baby led weaning, just be sure you are comfortable with it. We’ve loved every second of it, but we could also watch my sister’s children all succeed with it before we tried it for our kids.
I also highly recommend you prep yourself before starting baby led weaning. For instance, get a great book, like this one and keep it handy for any quick questions you might have.
If you’re not totally comfortable with the idea of BLW – you can always do a combination. Some purees and some real foods.
Overall, try to just be comfortable in the method you choose for feeding your baby! If you’re a mess and stressed – it’s probably not right for you.
But if you’re sold on the idea, it’s okay to share your knowledge!
Explain to your family the amazing benefits of baby led weaning or loan them your book. Let people get used to the idea, like I mentioned, for some people it’s totally new, but once they hear about all the benefits of baby led weaning, they love it too!
How to Start Baby Led Weaning at Daycare
So when it comes to baby led weaning at daycare, there are a few important steps you need to follow.
Have an open conversation about how you want your baby to eat solids/purees
Ideally, before your baby even starts childcare, you should talk to your provider about how you’d like to introduce your baby to solids.
Tell your provider your plans to use baby led weaning at daycare and ask them if they’re comfortable implementing it for your child during the day.
Listen and Follow Up on the Feedback
After talking with your provider, you likely got one of these answers:
1. I love it and many babies have done it before!
Woohoo! Is there anything else to say?
Your provider knows BLW and has had success with it in the past. This is great news!
Make sure you talk things over to make sure your BLW plan is the same as your providers. Some people are more or less strict with helping a baby with certain foods.
2. I’ve never done it, but I’m open to trying it!
Another great response! Your provider is open to the idea and willing to learn about BLW.
Make sure you know your stuff and what you want your provider to do and why. Explain the science behind the benefits of BLW and how it works.
If you feel it would help to give your provider a book, do it!
3. I’ve done it before and things didn’t work out.
Talk with your provider about your view on BLW and why things didn’t work out the first time.
Be calm and understanding. There’s a reason your provider allowed it once and is now concerned.
Be sure to hear them out and understand their concerns and worries.
There’s a chance the previous experience was a more/less strict version of BLW. Your provider may be open to some modifications of BLW.
4. I’ve never done it before and I’m not comfortable trying it.
If your provider is against baby led weaning, it’s okay. He/she likely has a reason they’re not comfortable with BLW.
However, just because your provider says no to BLW at daycare, doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Here’s a few alternatives you can try:
- Do a combination. Let your baby do BLW at home for breakfast and supper. For lunch, allow your baby to receive baby food. Your baby will still get practice at home with learning new foods and fine motor skills. And your provider will be comfortable.
- Offer to provide the foods for lunch. Some providers are okay with baby led weaning at daycare if parents provide the food already pre-cut and ready to go. This means in the exact sizes that are okay for your baby. This relieves some of the pressure on the provider and they know that the food is being prepared correctly.
DON’T try to force your provider to do this for all children.
You may love BLW so much that you believe it’s the best method for all babies.
But remember – you got to make the choice for your baby, let others make the choice for theirs. If someone is uncomfortable with BLW it’s not going to be the best choice for their family.
Baby Led Weaning Benefits
Those amazing fine motor skills, I tell you!
Our son is almost 1 year old, and we’re still talking about all the skills he’s demonstrating as a result of being a baby led weaning child. Your child will likely pick up fine motor skills earlier and faster, learn how to control his or her portions and say when he is full, and will hopefully be a less picky eater!
Have fun and embrace all the adventures of baby led weaning!
Baby Led Weaning Book
If you’re looking for a Baby Lead Weaning Quick Guide, check out this super affordable one to help you through the first few months! It’s a great supplement to other BLW resources.
Related: Why You’ll Love Baby Led Weaning
Related: Baby Led Weaning Must- Haves List
Baby Led Weaning Choking
Medical tip: Be sure that you, your provider, and anyone else who will be watching your baby knows how to perform CPR and how to help a choking baby.
Baby led weaning choking can be one of the scariest parts of baby led weaning if you don’t know the difference between choking and gagging – and how to help if your baby is really choking. This video provides a great free refresher.