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Babyled Weaning: An interview with Katie Ferraro (How to start solids with your baby with BLW)

(c) Katie Ferraro and her first 5 children practicing baby led weaning
(c) Katie Ferraro and her first 5 children practicing baby led weaning

Welcome to the show! So, if you’ve been here for any length of time, you know that I do NOT interview people on my podcast...to be honest, I homeschool 5 children, have two businesses, and also like to do “mom things,” leaving very little time to coordinate scheduled conversations with other people, including calling my own mother!!! I am a typical mommie flake and solopreneur.

However.

Katie Ferraro interviewed me about elimination communication for her podcast, Baby-led Weaning Made Easy, a few weeks ago. It was SO Good that I felt compelled to share HER topic, babyled weaning or BLW, with y’all on my podcast!

EC and BLW play very nicely together and fall under that same parenting umbrella of: hey, respect my natural biology and rhythms and listen to me, mom!

Here is a link to her free workshop in case you want to check it out - Baby-led Weaning for Beginngers - https://babyledweaning.co/ - and definitely check out her podcast at blwpodcast.com and her Instagram @babyledweanteam - and now for the interview.

(c) Katie Ferraro and her whole family
(c) Katie Ferraro and her whole family

Andrea Olson:
Hey everybody, it's Andrea with the Go Diaper Free podcast, and I have a guest today. This is the first time I've had a guest since I interviewed Laurie Boucke in 2015. No joke, because I've been busy having babies and it's just easier to do it by myself, but I was interviewed by Katie Ferraro from the Baby Led Wean Team a couple weeks ago for her podcast. It's baby led weaning made easy. I was so interested in what she had to share and it's so relevant to EC because it's the other end of things. We cover the exit and she covers the entrance. I wanted to have her on my show so you guys could learn on this podcast as well. Please welcome Katie. Katie, welcome to the show.

Katie Ferraro:
Hi. Thank you so much for having me. I've also been really busy having babies, but I love doing interview podcasts because the other person does all the talking and I just get to listen and learn.

Andrea Olson:
You know what? Yeah. If my topic weren't so abstract and different, I think [crosstalk].

Katie Ferraro:
It's a little niche. I would say.

Andrea Olson:
It's a little niche, yeah. But I think yours is a little niche. We both argue about whose is weirder, baby led weaning or elimination communication. I think you voted that I won.

Katie Ferraro:
I wouldn't say you're weirder. I'd say you're less mainstream and people have never heard of what you're doing. The first time I heard about you were on the Amy Porterfield podcast. I was like, this chick does something slightly stranger than me. I have got to meet her because it's so, it's unbelievable. People, when they see babies feeding themselves, they're really shocked at first but they're like, well, I get that, babies eat. They're just eating differently, but babies don't go to the bathroom in the potty as young as you tell me that they can. That's why I was just fascinated by your world.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah, totally. Well, likewise. When I first had my first baby Kaiva, like 11 years ago, his birthday just passed. We did baby led weaning. I didn't really know a lot about it, but when I heard about it, I was like, okay, I'm on board. I'm doing EC, I'm co-sleeping, I'm baby wearing. I'm doing attachment parenting. I'm exclusively breastfeeding, and I'm going to do baby led weaning. I went for it, all cylinders.

Andrea Olson:
I'm excited to educate my audience about this today and see if they want to do something. I think lot of them are already turned on, but to this topic, but I also want them to be able to find you. So everybody, if you don't make it to the end of the interview, which won't be very long because my podcast is always pretty short and so is yours. You can find Katie at, @BabyLedWeanTeam on Instagram and that's where all the action is. Katie, tell me about your massive amount of children and their spacing.

Katie Ferraro:
You're one to talk, first of all.

Andrea Olson:
I have five for those of you who don't know me.

Katie Ferraro:
That's what I love about you, because you just get it. We can skip over a lot of the other stuff, but I'm the mom of seven small children. I had seven kids three and under at one point a few years ago and they're all now seven and under. I have a singleton who I really struggled spoonfeeding with. I'm a dietician. My mom is a dietician. I love food. When I went to do traditional spoon feeding with my oldest, I was like, this is terrible. She hates me. She hated eating. Meal times were a downright battleground. At the height of my feeding frustrations with her as a baby, I found out I was pregnant with quadruplets. My husband and I had been doing fertility. We knew the risk of multiples was there, but definitely not four. It was not planned that way. I remember the first thing, when I saw those four babies on the ultrasound, just thinking how am I going to feed four babies at one time when I can't even feed the one baby that I have at home right now?

Katie Ferraro:
Fast forward, I ended up going 34 weeks with quadruplets, which average gestation for quads is 28 weeks. I was preparing myself for there's a 50% chance of major handicap with quadruplets. I was preparing myself to shut down all of my in-person business. I was a private practice dietician at the time. I'm like I can't be working 60 hours a week. I'm going to have two, at least two severely disabled children and miracle upon miracle, they went 34 weeks. They were all born healthy, between two and three pounds, but they were in the NICU for a while. While they were in the NICU, I really was like, okay, before they come home, what's the thing stressing me out right now that I want to change in our family life, when these babies come home, if they're healthy and even come home, and it was feeding.

Katie Ferraro:
There has to be a better alternative than force feeding and pushing an arbitrary amount of pureed, disgusting food in your child's mouth and surprise, they don't like eating and then they become a picky toddler. I did a lot of research. I'm also a college nutrition professor at UC San Francisco and the University of San Diego, and kind of leaned on my colleagues in pediatrics and maternal and child health in looking for alternatives. I discovered baby led weaning, which is an alternative to traditional spoon feeding whereby babies start to feed themselves age appropriate foods at six months of age. I was like, so I don't have to do it? They can feed themselves?

Katie Ferraro:
When the quads were six months adjusted age, we started baby-led weaning the whole hog. They ate a hundred foods before they turned one. I was sharing a lot on Instagram to begin with, but it had been such a transformational experience for our family that I actually ended up switching the entire focus of my nutrition career to focus exclusively on baby led weaning. Then they were 18 months old and we had another set of twins, which I had wanted one more, but I'm one of six and I like even numbers. We had twins at the end, number six and seven, Gus and Hannah. We had at that point 7 kids three and under, but by then, because the quads were eating and they were independent eaters and they weren't picky, it was so much less stressful than you might have imagined.
Katie Ferraro:
I mean, it wasn't peaceful, but I ended up kind of refining this whole approach of helping families feed their babies a hundred foods before they turned one. With Gus and Hannah, I did the hundred first foods program and really tweaked it. Now I've helped tens of thousands of families introduce their babies to solid foods using the hundred first foods approach to baby led weaning that I teach, and I run the largest digital community that's dedicated to baby led weaning. That's all we do is starting solids safely with baby led weaning for six to 12 month old babies.

Andrea Olson:
Safety is the key. What about choking?

Katie Ferraro:
Okay. Parents are always got to ask parents like-

Andrea Olson:
First question, right?

Katie Ferraro:
Well, sounds cool, except my baby's going to choke and die. We actually have research. One of the things I really pride myself on in my podcast is I only interview credentialed experts. There's so much information about feeding out there on Instagram sites and blog posts and well-intentioned people who have no business giving advice on what infants should be eating, especially because the risk of choking is high if you do it wrong. However, I love having the researchers on my podcast because they bring out the research that says, listen, we know that actually babies who are at the highest risk of choking are those who have tried the least amount of textures. The more finger foods you offer, the least likely your baby is to choke. We also know that there's no higher rate of choking with baby led weaning compared to traditional spoonfeeding, provided that the parents are educated about reducing choking risks. So much of my education is about, parents will say are apples safe? Apples can be deadly and they can be a totally safe baby led weaning food. It's all in the preparation method.

Katie Ferraro:
We show parents how you prepare an apple safely for baby-led weaning. It's not cutting it up really small. That's what parents think. That actually increases choking risk. There's a little bit of a learning curve, but it's one of the reasons why, I mean, I love podcasts because I'm always doing two things at once, but I really love video, YouTube, Instagram, because we can show parents like, this is how you do it and here's the baby eating safely, and parents are like, oh, makes sense. I can do that. You don't have to be a gourmet cook to peel and core and poach an apple and offer it in the right shape and size to a baby out of the right type of bowl.

Andrea Olson:
Right. What is your YouTube channel? Is it the same as your Instagram?

Katie Ferraro:
When is this coming out? Because the YouTube channel launches next month.

Andrea Olson:
We can totally put a little edit at the bottom. I'm going to link to wherever her YouTube channel is at the time of you guys listening to this podcast because you know, things are ...

Katie Ferraro:
I didn't want to do YouTube. I don't like YouTube. I think it's a waste of time. Sorry. Because you have to actually watch and listen at the same time, but everyone's like, you need to do TikTok. I'm like you guys, I'm 42 years old and I have five fabulous, younger women who work with me who make me do lots of things I don't want to do, but we all decided on YouTube because it is such a powerful platform, and because it's so easy for parents to find the information that they need. As much as I love Instagram, we spend so much time on content there. It's not really searchable in the way that parents need. If you're going to feed your baby liver right now, you don't have all day to be scrolling around the Instagram site.

Andrea Olson:
You need to be able to YouTube, yeah.

Katie Ferraro:
Part of the reason why we're doing it, yeah. Exactly.

Andrea Olson:
I have the same level of resistance. I'm the same age as you are.

Katie Ferraro:
Yep. Also, a lot of dads use YouTube and we have a big community of parents who are like, can you just convince my husband or my partner or my father-in-law or my dad that this is safe? I'm like, yeah, absolutely. We actually do a lot of content for dads and the dads get on board. When the babies start eating meat, we always do meat on day four, we introduce five new foods a week. That's 20 foods a month in five months, your baby's eating a hundred foods. We do meat on the fourth day of baby-led weaning. I usually do lamb or carnitas, or something just kind of out there that the dads are like, wait, what? My baby's eating meat? If the family eats meat, it's usually like, that's when the dad starts to get interested.

Andrea Olson:
Here's the other good thing, because dads will like this but also so will moms, that our goal is to raise toddlers who are not picky. By the time we get to toddlerhood, we're not just, oh, we have to make them macaroni and cheese. They won't eat anything else.

Katie Ferraro:
No. You know, you got five kids.

Andrea Olson:
My children eat [crosstallk].

Katie Ferraro:
You can't short order to cook.

Andrea Olson:
No, I refuse. If you don't like it, then you're going to be hungry during this meal. That's how I am because I have to have good boundaries with so many children. You know, we'll get overtaken. This prevents pickiness, what's the other good thing about baby led weaning?

Katie Ferraro:
It helps, I just want to clarify it because I always kind of cringe when people, not you, but other feeding professionals say it prevents picky eating. There's no way to prevent picky eating. There's some degree of food neophobia or picky eating that will set in in the second year of life. What I always tell parents is traditional spoon feeding by the age of 12 months, your baby's had about 10 or 15 foods. If you lose those 10 or 15 foods to picky eating, you are up a Creek.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah.

Katie Ferraro:
If your baby's had a hundred foods, by the time they turn one and you lose 10 or 15 of those foods to picky eating, guess what? No freaking big deal. You still got 85 or 90 foods the baby can eat. It helps reduce the severity of picky eating, but it greatly expands the number of flavors and tastes and textures and foods that babies are exposed to. That's what the research shows is it helps reduce picky eating. But back to what you're saying, it helps you raise an independent eater. Our goal here with your approach to toilet training and my approach to self feeding is that we're raising independent children who can do the things for themselves that they were anatomically and biologically designed to do as long as we're doing it safely and at the right developmental stage.

Andrea Olson:
Right. For my crowd, it's at birth. It’s safe and developmentally appropriate. You won't psychologically damage your child if you potty train from birth, but you can start anywhere from zero to 18 months. With baby led weaning, six months is what you recommend as starting. People think, oh, they're going to choke, but they're actually not. If you do it right. Then also the thing with EC is if you do it right, if you're not strapping your child to the toilet waiting for them to poop and putting a suppository in like they did in the early 20th century, then yeah, if you don't do that, you're good. You're not going to damage your child.

Andrea Olson:
There are definitely in both of our areas of expertise, we've got some guidelines, but we're following nature's design, we're following babies' design the way they're created, and then we've got independent eaters on your end. We've got independent pottiers on our end. What you said about all seven of yours being easier to handle because they could all feed themselves. I had the exact same experience with all five of mine because they could potty themselves. It's so relieving. You can handle more children if they're independent.

Katie Ferraro:
I kind of agree with you. Again, big family people say that. I'm from a big family. I think other people are like, you're crazy. I mean, we have family friends certainly and I see this a lot in my community. They're like, oh my gosh, people come over and like to brag about my kid eating. I'm like, I never brag about my own kids because I think they're a lot and kind of annoying sometimes, but like I'm so proud of the way they eat. Some of that is on me. I have to provide the wholesome foods that they eat. It doesn't just magically show up on the table, and that's a lot of work, but if I'm cooking for one, I might as well be cooking for seven and then have a few friends over and then you gotta do it anyway.

Katie Ferraro:
I prefer just to do it for a crowd. The fact if I was making that food and they didn't eat it, no thank you. They eat the food and part of it's because they're hungry. We have this discussion too, because babies, we don't feed babies because of hunger, and they're learning how to recognize and respond to hunger and fullness cues. But for toddlers, we need them to feel some casual hunger. I have so many friends and colleagues who are scared to death of letting their kids feel hungry.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah. What do you think about snack time?

Katie Ferraro:
Well, how are they ever going to know to respond to their hunger cues?

Andrea Olson:
What do you think about snacks with toddlers?

Katie Ferraro:
Exactly.

Andrea Olson:
Do we snack? Do we do snacks?

Katie Ferraro:
I'll blow your mind? We're a snack free household. I don't approach that subject a lot with my baby led weaning audience because we all agree. If you're a feeding expert, you know, babies do not need snacks. When you see other Instagram accounts saying a baby needs to have a snack, no they don't. You want to know the best way to sabotage a toddler's diet is to train them how to eat snacks when they're a baby. We don't need snacks. I'm on a pretty tight schedule, so I understand the benefits of snacks. They're a bandaid or a stop cap if we fall off of the schedule, like if we're going to my mom's house, she puts out a huge bowl of snacks and it's like, I can't believe they don't eat dinner. I'm like, because you just put out a big box of crackers.

Andrea Olson:
I know, right?

Katie Ferraro:
At my own house, I know the time we're eating dinner and it's 5:30, and so you're not having anything for a snack so you're hungry at 5:30 so you can go to bed at seven so I can have some peace and quiet. It's all interrelated.

Andrea Olson:
I have the exact same schedule. We are like kindred spirits here. That's awesome. I mean, I think it's important to have really good boundaries, but that is even more than I'm doing. We definitely do snacks and I'm going to have to talk to you later about it.

Katie Ferraro:
My kids are getting bigger and bigger kids do need snacks for sure. But, guess what? One year olds do not need to be eating goldfish all day long.

Andrea Olson:
My two year old eats all day and she's like a tank. She's hardcore. It drives me nuts because I'm like, could you please just stop eating for five seconds? Okay. Tell me about poop. What happens to baby's poop when they do baby led weaning as versus doing processed solids? Is it the same? Is it different?

Katie Ferraro:
No one's ever asked me about poop. I love it.

Andrea Olson:
I'm the first.

Katie Ferraro:
Thank you. Well, parents always wonder about constipation. Constipation is a natural side effect of ... You're switching. Think about it. The babies only had breast milk formula in their system for six months as they should, but now you're starting to introduce these different compounds like fiber and different types of proteins and different plant foods and animal foods. There's a lot going on in the gut. The gut is a big muscle. It's learning, it's exercising and you know, you're a little sore when you start exercising a muscle you haven't used in a while. Just think about it that way. And yes, you will expect to see changes, especially in stool patterns. Parents will freak out. My baby used to poop two times a day, but guess what? Your baby used to sleep four times a day and as they get older, they don't do that either. Things will change and that's typical.

Katie Ferraro:
We do expect to see even little pieces of food in the poop. I was just feeding, working and doing a 10 day series, baby led weaning on a boat, with a family that lives on a boat and raising their family on a boat. Then mom was like the baby ate a lamb. She's like, I found lamb in the poop. And I was like, you know what? If you look closely at your own poop, you'd probably find lamb in there, too. We can expect that there are changes. Your baby may have a little bit of constipation. Generally, I might do a lot of teaching about what typical constipation is with the transition to solid foods versus problematic. You know, if you see blood in the stool. We do beets very early on in baby led weaning.

Andrea Olson:
That can freak out new parents.

Katie Ferraro:
And that will cause the stool to look bloody and parents will freak out. Like, no that's beets. That's not blood.

Andrea Olson:
Been there, done that, been like, oh my gosh, what is it.

Katie Ferraro:
Or the asparagus. They're like, oh my God, my child's dying. Nope, that's just an amino acid they can't break down.

Andrea Olson:
We get so much information from poop. That's why I wanted to know, is it different from doing baby food or the pouch thing versus doing real food.

Katie Ferraro:
When you don't have fibers in your diet and you don't have real plant foods, you're essentially feeding your gut. So probiotics, right? They're the food that fuels the probiotics, the healthy bacteria in your gut. We know that with processed and packaged food, which that's what commercial baby food is, that we're actually introducing the wrong type of bacteria. You can contribute to your baby's healthy gut biome by offering real wholesome foods. We have to prepare them safely so the baby can swallow them. But parents sometimes worry, gosh, my baby can't digest these foods. Actually your baby's anatomy is equipped to digest the entirety of foods that adults eat at three months of age. But we don't feed three month old babies real foods because they can't swallow them safely and also nutritionally they don't need them, but your baby can digest all of these foods. We just need to offer it to them safely. And we should expect to see some changes in the gut.

Katie Ferraro:
But certainly if you're on pouches all day long, which is just glorified apple sauce. My baby's eating kale as they're sucking it out of a pouch, that's not kale. That's green colored apple sauce. There's no developmental milestone that says babies need to learn how to suck out of a pouch. They can't see that. They can't touch that. That's not what the actual food is like. Plus you're wasting three or $4 per pouch, three or four times a day. I mean, it's an astronomical amount of money for something that's not even real food and happens to be fueling an unhealthy gut microbiome for your baby.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah, absolutely. The same thing with EC, we offer the potty even though the baby can't sit upright on their own or go walk over to the potty and sit down. But they're still developmentally able and communicating about wanting to go hygienically outside of the diaper.

Katie Ferraro:
You know what's so crazy? I was just thinking about you the other day because after college I was a Peace Corps volunteer and I lived in Nepal where they didn't have diapers. They didn't have cloth diapers. If you were fortunate enough to be on a Jeep ride and a baby was going to the bathroom, they just passed the baby and held them out the window and the baby went to the bathroom out the window. I never thought about it because I wasn't in the age of having kids then, but now when people say to me like baby led weaning is nothing new. This is a centuries old approach to letting children eat modified versions of the same foods the rest of the family eats. What do you think we did? What did cave mom feed her baby before the advent of commercial baby food and the crazy aisle at Target that's just a bunch of packaged and processed food that was made before your baby was even born. What you're teaching with EC is just a natural progression of what families have been doing for generations. It's just only recently did we decide to spend a lot of money and fill the landfills up with disposable diapers, right?

Andrea Olson:
It's almost the exact same issue, the same problem. It's all fueled by all this money that somebody's making off of, hey, you really need us. You can't raise your baby without us.

Katie Ferraro:
And scaring parents.

Andrea Olson:
You're going to choke.

Katie Ferraro:
That's the cool thing about baby led. It is one of the few things baby led weaning that appeals to a second time parent, right? First time, mom, I'm going to put everything on the registry. I'm going to need this thing that gives me an alarm if the baby rolls over, and this thing that I suck food through a mesh pouch, cause I'm scared to give my baby real food. By the second baby, you realize all a baby needs is to sleep and eat and go to the bathroom and you don't need any of that stuff, and you kind of go back to basics. A lot of my parents are struggling with a picky eating toddler because they did traditional spoon feeding and they don't want to replicate that, and so they're looking for an alternative just like I was myself. That's when they stumble upon baby led weaning and they're like, oh, this makes a lot more sense. You need a lot less stuff. Easy.

Andrea Olson:
The same thing happens with EC. They've potty trained at three, their first one. They're like, I am never doing that again. That was terrible. EC, a lot of people say, oh, it takes too much time. How can we possibly do that? Baby led weaning sounds like it takes a lot of time, too, but what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing you say is it takes time up front. You're learning, the parents learning, you're introducing a hundred foods over six months. You are having to think, having to stop, having to actually be present with your child, which is great by the way. I think most of my listeners already do that anyway, but this is another part of it that means a lot, because it's an investment. Then later on you reap the benefits of this independence, and having a child who's just, I think, generally healthier or has the opportunity to be healthier than someone who isn't.

Katie Ferraro:
I always tell parents, you have to feed this child for the next 17 and a half years of his life. You can struggle three meals a day, plus all the snacks time 17 and a half years, or you can do the work up front to build the healthy foundation so that your child does have a wholesome relationship with food. Baby led weaning speaks to a lot of larger issues, especially among women and female who are, men are important, but women are primarily the primary feeders in most households, and they will readily admit that most of them do not have healthy relationships with food. They'll say things like, I don't want to see my food issues replicated in my child. They say, listen, this whole hundred first foods approach is actually a way for you to expand your comfort with trying new foods.

Katie Ferraro:
Lots of parents are in eating disorder recovery and say this was the first time I felt comfortable around food. Not that it cured their eating disorder, but the point is, our children are blank slates. They are not the ones who drive themselves through the drive through at McDonald's. It's us who do it and we can also do the opposite, which is to help babies establish a healthful relationship with food.

Katie Ferraro:
I have families all the time. I know my own husband. His weight is not what you would want as a dietician sometimes, but he's like, listen, I love when you do baby led weaning because I always lose weight because we're never allowed to eat out because at the beginning you do have to make your own food and we're eating real foods, and we're eating at meal times because that's what's important for the baby and the whole family to do. That's what I love about baby led weaning is it does incorporate the whole family at mealtime. Even if you don't fancy yourself a fantastic chef, you can learn to eat more whole grains and eat a variety of foods and try as many vegetables as you do fruit so your kid doesn't just end up wanting pouches all the time.

Andrea Olson:
Baby led weaning brings families together. EC does, too. It's a totally connective process. I love that. You guys listening, please, please, please go and learn from Katie and her team. I wanted to ask you what is the best, fastest way for all of my listeners to learn baby led weaning from you.

Katie Ferraro:
Well, I teach a free online workshop each week called Baby Led Weaning for Beginners. It's all about how to get your baby to eat 100 foods without you having to spoon feed purees or buy pouches. I give everyone on that free workshop a copy of my hundred first foods list, so you can start knocking out those foods with your baby, and you can sign up for this week's workshop times if you go to https://babyledweaning.co/

Andrea Olson:
Awesome.

Katie Ferraro:
Just double check that.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah, we're going to double check that.

Katie Ferraro:
Hang on. You're going to edit this, right?

Andrea Olson:
You know, sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. I like to keep it raw.

Katie Ferraro:
I love you. You're real life. I love it.

Andrea Olson:
I'm a real life mom kind of girl. Yeah. While you're looking that up, we have the annual go diaper free week every April after earth day. Katie also has an annual event and I wanted to know when that is? I already know, but I want you to tell my listeners when your event is.

Katie Ferraro:
Well, can I tell them first why I have National Baby Led Weaning day? Because again, I heard you on the Amy Porterfield podcast and you were like, I made Go Diaper Free Day and I made it the day before or after earth day. I can't remember.

Andrea Olson:
It's Go Diaper Free Week and I made it the week after Earth day.

Katie Ferraro:
Of course you would have a week, sorry.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah.

Katie Ferraro:
I'm going to have a week next week. Next year. Hang on.

Andrea Olson:
Yeah. Do a whole week.

Katie Ferraro:
Okay. Wait. But the reason-

Andrea Olson:
So you heard about it on Amy's podcast and then you made your own.

Katie Ferraro:
I made my own because I was like, okay, having a day or a week is like, whatever, so passé. Everyone does that. She has a reason why her day or her week was the right reason. Our team sat down. I'm like I've got to have a baby-led weaning day. A girl on our team, the most junior girl who never speaks up, because she's like our creative genius was like, it should be July 1st because all you ever do is tell parents to wait six months until your baby is ready to start solid foods. Don't start at four months. Don't start at five months. So the six month mark into the year, if January 1st is the first day of the year, is July 1st. So, we made July 1st National Baby Led Weaning Day.

Katie Ferraro:
We got Gill Rapley, who is the founding godmother of baby led weaning. She's the co-author of the original baby led weaning book. She's like Mrs. Baby led weaning, and she got on board with baby led weaning day. We did a ton of celebration around it, really celebrating this transition to solid foods. Because we celebrate like some really dumb things in a baby's life and you know, other food cultures celebrate for example, when I lived in Nepal, right? Hindu food culture, they would do a rice feeding ceremony to celebrate the baby eating their first rice. Why are we not celebrating our babies making this important transition instead of just being so scared of it? That's the whole point behind baby led weaning day, which is July 1st. And I just want to thank you because it wouldn't be a thing if it weren't for your inspiration with your movement in your week.

Andrea Olson:
Oh, thanks. We should both thank Amy for are having me on her show at all.

Katie Ferraro:
I know.

Andrea Olson:
If you guys want to hear about my business journey and how I got here. Definitely listen here.

Katie Ferraro:
If you want to come to my workshop. It's babyledweaning.co

Katie Ferraro:
Or we're on Instagram at @babyledweanteam. Come join the movement, get your baby to eat a hundred foods. You can do this. Again, you got to do it for 17 and a half years. You might as well have fun doing it and help your baby build a solid foundation with foods with baby led weaning.

Andrea Olson:
Absolutely, and I'm not done. I'm probably not going to beat you because I'm 42. I'm divorced as everybody listening knows and I ...

Katie Ferraro:
Best email subject line ever, I'm getting a divorce.

Andrea Olson:
I know.

Katie Ferraro:
It was such a good email.

Andrea Olson:
She's like, I already know because I read your email and it was awesome, and I thought that was pretty cool. If you didn't get that email, write us and I'll send you that email because it was a pretty fun email.

Katie Ferraro:
You're not getting her emails. Well, you're clearly not on her email list because she sends you like one a day, which is amazing. Your prolific email output is really, really mind boggling.

Andrea Olson:
Well, you know I have 20 arms after all because I have so many children. But if I do have, and I do want to have another one or two, and I haven't done my boyfriend announcement podcast yet. Oh wait, wait. It might come out. No, I think this is going to come out first. So you guys, sneak preview that I have met somebody who does want children. Who's always wanted five to eight children. So guess what? Next time I have a baby, I'm going to do baby led weaning right. After listening to you Katie, I think I probably-

Katie Ferraro:
I will fly to you and do your baby's first 10 days. It's one of my favorite things to do. I am definitely done, but I do want to say, okay. People always say to me, oh I wish I knew about baby led weaning when I had a baby. I have all these awesome grandmas that follow me. I don't even have grandkids. I just love watching babies eat.

Andrea Olson:
Totally. I have those, too.

Katie Ferraro:
But I really mean it. My youngest are twins, they're three and I am like, some things are important to me like food and work and us playing outside, but some things I'm still lazy on like brushing teeth and learning how to use the bathroom. I never even thought about getting a kid out of diapers until three, and you totally changed my mind. I knew you could maybe do it earlier. I just thought I was being lazy. If I had more babies, I would do EC. I tell parents about it all the time. I'm like, if you think baby led weaning is cool, you should check out EC and you should definitely do it with your next baby.

Andrea Olson:
They're both game changers. You guys, they are game changers for your parenting experience. You will have a way different experience. I now have discovered that I only did baby led weaning half ass. So, I'm going to do it even better when I get and if, hopefully, God willing, I get another chance to do it, and I'm going to follow it. I'm going to do both and I'll do EC that one so you can live vicariously through me and you don't have to have an eighth child. You'd probably end up with [crosstalk].

Katie Ferraro:
Everything is done with having more babies.

Andrea Olson:
We're good.

Katie Ferraro:
You know, it's funny because I get to feed everyone one else's babies and we have so many amazing babies around us all the time that I don't, like after my quads, people'd be like, I can't believe you went out and had twins after quads. I was like, I didn't feel done. I don't know how to describe it.

Andrea Olson:
I know what you mean. I don't feel done.

Katie Ferraro:
My husband was like, if you don't feel done, then I don't feel done cause I don't really feel either way. I was like, okay, great. Then after the twins, not because it was so hard, but they were wonderful, and also twins are half as hard as quadruplets. I was loving it with the twins, I really felt done. I think you know when you're done and I am so in love with the fact that you don't feel done yet.

Andrea Olson:
I do not feel done. I actually dreamt about a baby last fall and I was still, I was like this couldn't possibly be ... Whose baby is this? I don't even know. I have seen the light and I hope that I get a chance to implement this. Meanwhile, all of you who are listening who are pregnant and have little babies and maybe they're six months, maybe they're even after six months. I don't think you can, you can't go wrong by starting after six months.

Katie Ferraro:
Nope.

Andrea Olson:
Right? So anytime.

Katie Ferraro:
Yeah.

Andrea Olson:
Please go and visit Katie at @babyledweanteam and go take that workshop at babyledweaning.co. You guys put comments below if you have any questions about anything. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Katie Ferraro:
Thank you for having me. I'm so honored to be a guest. I hope I met the bar. You, you don't have a lot of guests so this is pretty cool.

Andrea Olson:
I have no bar for it, but you just blew me away. I know all of you guys listening, aren't you excited? We're all doing like silent claps because babies are sleeping. We really appreciate it and we look forward to following you and everybody hop on board the baby led weaning train. It is so important just like EC as an exposure technique for your baby. So let's do this. Katie, I hope to talk to you soon.

Katie Ferraro:
Thank you. It was great talking with you.

Wow, big thanks, again, to Katie for this awesome and informative interview.

Please comment over at the show notes at godiaperfree.com/163 right now:

Have you tried Baby-led Weaning (or will you now that you know about it)? How has it gone?

I look forward to reading your questions, comments, and stories! Til next time...

xx Andrea

PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my husband and 5 children (newborn to 8 years old) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Julia on October 13, 2021 at 12:48 am

    Pretty awesome!

    I did a homegrown version of BLW with my first, jumping off my mom’s advice to expose my kiddo to loads of foods early to prevent pickiness. some moms know, eh? And processed foods were never something I wanted to do. You ever try baby food? It’s disgusting.

    I treated feeding very much like EC. You don’t like a food? Cool, onto the next one. We can try it again later, or not. I learned to discern mood preferences from visceral disgust and I respected both. Sometimes we grups are not in the mood for a food, right? Well, why torture the little one by forcing empty plates and battles over one more bite? Broccoli makes you gag? Well, you’ve never tried it before so I don’t ascribe malice where none exists. I hate onions, my buddy. Always did. So, no, you don’t have to have that broccoli if you hate it that much.

    Now my kiddo is three and tries foods with zero fear, trusting that mama won’t force the issue if it is not liked. I can open the fridge and throw a meal together last minute (which is helpful because I now have a 5 month old also!) and it will be mostly eaten. I continue to respond to preferences and taste-bud changes, but food gets eaten at 4 set meal times and that’s it.

    My one mistake I’d say is not letting baby feed themselves sooner. But that’s easily remedied.

    I’m excited to start the journey again with number two!

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