I honestly feel so lucky that I have a fellow mummy friend in my best friend Eve. We’ve known each other since we were 13. We’ve grown up together and now we’ve raised babies together. When I found out that I was pregnant, Eve was 3 months away from having her second baby and I couldn’t wait to tell her. I told her over brunch and she cried hysterically, and caused a scene. Ever since, our bond has just continued to grow as we’ve embarked on pregnancy and now motherhood together. She’s the first person I turn to for advice, someone that inspires me daily and is the most supportive best friend a girl can ask for.

Luckily for me, she’s also the mummy behind Essie Eats, an Instagram account that she started when she began baby-led weaning for her first baby Esther. Her account is full of recipes, tips and gorgeous photos of her children Esther and Angus. Now that I’ve started weaning Jacob and have started documenting my own journey on Instagram, I wanted to sit down with her and ask her some of the questions that I wanted to know the answers to, and I hope you find it helpful too!

Hi Eve! How did you decide that baby-led weaning was the best thing for Esther and Angus?
Baby-led weaning appealed to me as soon as I heard about it because I loved the family dinner time element with everyone sitting around the table eating the same food. The more I researched it, the more I knew it was for me. It was also about easiness for me, and being able to give my children exactly what I was eating rather than having to boil and blend purees it just seemed like a better option! Also, as a teacher I know how important gross and find motor skills are and baby led weaning seemed like an excellent way to develop these from an early age.

What was your motivation for starting the Essie Eats Instagram page?

I came across a baby led weaning page right before we started on Esther’s baby led weaning journey and it was called Parker the hungry fox. I loved this account and it gave me so much help and confidence for embarking on our own journey. I thought it would also be nice to document Esther’s development and hopefully help others like this account had done for me.

How did you manage your time between posting every day and juggling motherhood?

I have to come to realise that in hindsight, Esther was an easy baby. This allowed me the time to post daily as she loved sleeping on me. So I would enjoy cuddles and compose the posts as she slept. However, we went quiet on the account for a while after Angus was born. He was a different baby entirely and I didn’t have the time or the inclination to post every day. My goal at this point was just to survive motherhood and keep my two babies alive and keep my sanity. So at times like that, posting every day just has to go on hold and that’s okay.

Where did you find your inspiration for the recipes on your page? Any resources that you can share?

Other Instagram accounts were brilliant help for ideas, I also downloaded the Baby led weaning cookbook App, it came as a set with the Slow-cooker baby led weaning App too. It was a couple of pounds but so worth it, it has some brilliant ideas and it was really useful.

What would you recommend that mums who want to try BLW start with? Any recommendations for equipment etc?

I would recommend reading Gill Raply’s Baby led weaning book. This gave me lots of information about baby led weaning before we made our decision. I would also recommend doing a First aid course before starting. I was really worried about the babies choking but doing a First aid course really gave me more confidence to know what to do in a choking episode. I’ve had to do back slaps once for Esther and twice so far for Gus and I feel confident that I know what to do.
We also love the Ikea Antilop highchair as it’s cheap and perfect for BLW. Yes it doesn’t look as pretty as some of the more expensive ones, but BLW is so messy and it’s so easy to clean. The more expensive ones have all sorts of places were food can get stuck so aren’t as practical.
Also, the Bamboo Bamboo plates and bowls as they’re the best for sticking to the tray.

What’s your favourite thing about being a mum of 2?

My favourite thing is definitely seeing my two children together and the relationship they have. Giving Esther a sibling was the greatest gift. She adores Angus and watching them together makes my heart want to burst. They have such a beautiful relationship and I know that they’re going to be the best of friends.

              How did you find the transition from 1 baby to 2?

This question makes me quite emotional. I thought I did a pretty good job of motherhood when I had just one baby. I knew having a second would be harder but I did not anticipate how hard it was going to be! Angus was a really difficult baby and cried all of the time, had terrible wind, hated the car, hated the pram, didn’t (and still doesn’t) sleep and being a mother of two just wasn’t what I imagined in my head. I’d imagined a day joy us snuggled on the couch with a sleeping Angus on my chest reading books to Esther. It just wasn’t possible, Angus wouldn’t sleep and needed someone to permanently pace around with him in an attempt to settle him.
In all honesty, I felt like I was failing. I felt stupid for thinking that I’d be able to cope brilliantly with two. But as Angus has gotten older, it has gotten easier. I’ve started to enjoy being a mum of two just like I imagined. We read those stories on the couch together and things are a little calmer. So the transition was harder than I could have ever imagined, but we got through it. I think that it has honestly made me a better person, and I have two beautiful children who adore each other so all of the hard times were 100% worth it.

            How have you found BLW 2 babies?

Baby led weaning 2 babies has been brilliant. Second time around has been much easier as I’m more confident. It’s so lovely watching them share snacks and enjoy a meal together! I’ve found it fascinating how different their journeys have been. Esther didn’t properly start eating until about 9 months. She played with her good and pulled lots of funny faces at flavours and textures. However from the get go Gus has eaten and eaten and eaten! I was shocked on day 3 when he produced a proper man poo! It’s just proof that every baby is different. Both very different weaning journeys but both so fun. I can’t recommend baby led weaning enough!

Follow Eve at @Essieeats on Instagram.

Links to resources mentioned