Weaning a baby with visual impairments

(7 Posts)
mackerella Wed 25-May-11 23:12:13

Has anyone got any experience of weaning a baby with visual impairments? We've just found out that DS has extremely limited vision in both eyes, which may reduce to none at all, depending on the success of various treatments over the next few months. We had intended to do BLW, but I'm now not sure. OTOH, part of me wants to go ahead with BLW anyway, on the grounds that:

a) it will help DS develop his fine motor skills (which are not bad, actually)
b) it will help his independence (he's quite an independent chap already, and I'm keen not to 'baby' him)
c) he'll probably feel more comfortable directing feeds himself rather than having spoons full of food appearing from nowhere and being shoved into his mouth when he's not expecting it grin

We were thinking of starting now (24 wks), which is a tiny bit early, just so we don't have to start this in the middle of some very intensive medical interventions. DS is EBF, so I'm not worried about him getting enough food - I'd just like to give him something new to do (and take our kinds off his treatment!)

Are we mad to be considering this? grin We're totally new to this (both the weaning and the VI) so any tips or experiences you can share would be very welcome!

DimplesOHara Fri 27-May-11 22:24:38

hi smile no experience of weaning a baby with VI but am VI myself and in the middle of blw with DD.

I think your plan is fab, start slowly and tell your DS which food your giving him and talk to him everytime he has something new (ooh you having some carrot, mmm apple yummy), then just let him at it. TBH Im almost 24 and still eat most food with my hands (including shepherd pie, spagetti, stew!) , because thats how I learnt if food was too hot, too big, had butter on etc and the habits stayed with me.

P.S. I also take a lot of food apart ie sandwhiches, lasange, and eat it layer by layer to see whats in it. Used to drive my Mam and now my DH mad! Just a heads up wink

MamaChocoholic Fri 27-May-11 22:33:26

think blw sounds like a great plan. am not VI but used to babysit a boy who was who used, like DOH, to eat with his hands. am also thinking of when dp tries to pop a little bit of food in my mouth for a taste, I have to pull my head back and see the food first, which is what he'll be able to do if allowed to hold it. it will be messy though grin

mackerella Mon 30-May-11 23:53:01

Thanks for the info and support, Dimples and Mama. It's fascinating to hear the other side of it, from someone who is VI!

DS has got surprisingly good fine motor skills, so I hope he'll just want to get stuck in with his hands. I can live with the mess as long as he enjoys learning about food! We tried him with some steamed carrot, broccoli and sweet potato chunks a couple of days ago, but he wasn't interested at all - didn't even seem to recognise them as food. I guess he's a bit young still, and we'll try again in a week or two. How's the BLW going with your DD, Dimples?

wannaBe Mon 30-May-11 23:56:20

I have been totally blind since birth.

blw wasn't around in my day, but my mum tells of how she just used to surround me with paper and let me get on with it! so I would say you are doing the right thing.

If I can help in any way please feel free to pm me smile

mackerella Tue 31-May-11 09:55:46

Hi WannaBe, thanks for your input. I recognise your name from my lurking on AIBU and knew that you used a screen reader, so I was hoping that you might see this and contribute! (I may PM you when we know more about how much DS can see.) I'm feeling much more positive about the whole weaning thing now and may post an update once we get going with it (whatever form it takes - I think we'll just go with the flow without being too dogmatic about whether it is BLW or spoon-feeding or whatever). We're just trying to do the right thing, and support DS's development in the best way possible for him, but it seems to be quite hard to get information about babies with VI.

DS and I are heading into London in a bit so he can have an EUA (examination under anaesthetic), so I hope we'll have more information about his condition and prognosis after that. He's still the same gorgeous, cheerful, loving boy whatever happens smile

wannaBe Tue 31-May-11 14:48:17

oh good luck with the examination smile

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