BLW and signs of readiness?

(13 Posts)
Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 30-Oct-13 20:29:04

So, DS was weaned at 22 weeks a la Annabel Karmel, with finger foods from 26 weeks. DD is now 21+ weeks and I want to do BLW this time. I've been reading Gill Rapley's book today.

Thing is - the book says to wait until 26 weeks. But.... DD can sit up very steadily in her highchair (she joins us at the table for mealtimes), she's doing the chewing nothing thing, and yesterday got upset in her highchair so I put her on my lap - whereupon she grabbed a bit of cucumber from my plate, and gave it a bit of a suck before dropping it.

What do I do now - should I go with it and let her grab things from my plate, or should I really be waiting to 26 weeks, as I'd originally planned, and keep her away from my plate for a bit? Really feeling clueless TBH.

DontCallMeDaughter Wed 30-Oct-13 20:35:24

Isn't one of the signs that they can sit unaided? Not just in a high chair? I can't really remember... We started at 23 weeks because dd just started helping herself from my plate.

The official advice from the WHO is that you wait until 26 weeks for health reasons. But I know a lot of people start earlier.

Whatever you're comfortable with is probably fine!

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 30-Oct-13 20:55:38

Gah. If I was doing AK I'd just start - she can sit up nicely, can bring stuff to her mouth quite deftly, and judging from the Calpol I gave her a few days ago she's no longer pushing/ spitting things out automatically, like she did with the whole of her Rotarix vaccine. I tried to have a conversation with a HV about all this yesterday and she wouldn't discuss it with me as DD is under the guideline age. Helpful.

DD is EBF and I'm kind of feeling like I trust her to feed when she needs/ wants to, is she telling me she's ready to start playing with a bit of food now?

Maybe I should just keep plonking her on my lap at dinner and see how it goes....

DontCallMeDaughter Wed 30-Oct-13 21:05:39

I honestly would just let her get on with it... She won't actually eat much at first, she'll just suck it and mash it and play with it, but that's half the fun.

My dd did the same thing, I had her sat on my knee whilst eating a fruit salad, it had a bunch of mango in it and when I looked down stopped chatting she'd mashed most of it into her face. She never looked back, weaning was a breeze for us, I'd do it the same again!

CornishYarg Wed 30-Oct-13 21:07:27

Both the NHS and the BLW book state one of the signs as sitting upright with little or no support, rather than it being necessary for them to sit unsupported.

My understanding was that the guideline is to wait till the signs of readiness are present and these typically appear at 6 months, but can be a bit earlier or later. So rather than it being strictly 6 months, it's when they're ready. Essentially she's passed the NHS "banana test" ie she can sit upright, grab a piece of food and eat it. So I would go for it personally, but avoid things like gluten till 6 months.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 30-Oct-13 21:10:36

Thank you smile, just needed a bit of reassurance!

As I understand it, she won't actually eat until she's ready to anyway, but she'd just have a chance to play a bit and then start when she's ready. Does that sound about right?

Think she can stay within grabbing distance when she seems to want to, and we'll see what happens next.

lharris1985 Fri 01-Nov-13 11:00:37

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 01-Nov-13 22:16:43

Well, after all that DD has been within grabbing distance of my plate every dinnertime, and hasn't gone for anything since the cucumber - guess she's not ready after all....

gallicgirl Fri 01-Nov-13 22:24:47

I think a lot of babies appear to be ready around this time! No harm in waiting a few weeks until bsby and gut are m9re ready.
My DD had reflux so I was quite desperate to wean and she was ready from 24 weeks. I did however keep it simple and I think for the first week she had just sweet potato, carrots and parsnips and then I added apples (cooked) and pears (soft) in second week. I know I waited to 27 weeks to give wheat.

Brugmansia Sat 02-Nov-13 14:43:24

It's already been pointed out on another thread, but the link that Iharris1985 has posted should probably be approached with caution. The page is clearly sponsored by Heinz, who have a vested interest in parents weaning early. It also suggests that a whole host of things are signs of readiness which reliable sources (eg the nhs) cite as being nothing of the sort. For example, chewing on things and staring intently while their parents are eating are normal things for babies of 4-5 months to do. They're at a point when they're becoming more aware of their surroundings. Watching what is going on and mouthing objects are just ways they are learning about their environment and nothing to do with needing solid food. If you want to read about different signs of readiness I found the mumsnet weaning page very helpful. http://www.mumsnet.com/babies/weaning

However, with the BLW as I understand it if you do start before they are actually ready they just won't swallow anything, so there is less of a risk of them actually taking solids before their digestive system is ready. If it is far too soon though you may become disillusioned as it will seem you are getting nowhere.

FWIW, we have been doing blw started offering DS bits of solid food at 23 weeks. I figured he may be ready as he had been sitting completely unsupported since 4 months. It was a very half hearted start though and just a case of offering bits of fruit and veg every few days to play with, which gradually increased once he was 6 months.

The NHS guidelines use phrases like 'about 6 months' and 'around 26 weeks' in acknowledgment of the fact that some will be ready a little earlier, some a little later.

I looked out for the signs the dc were ready. Once they were sitting up well with minimal support, no tongue thrust reflex and able to pick things up accurately, put them in their mouth, chew and swallow, they were allowed to help themselves. They were with us at meal times anyway so made their readiness obvious. DD was 27/28 weeks and DS was about 23/24 weeks (but then stopped until 27 weeks as he developed pneumonia and wasn't interested).

It sounds like you're aware of the signs of readiness and not drawn in by false signs like watching you eat/mouthing stuff/waking in the night.

If she gummed the cucumber and dropped it and hasn't bothered since, it might just be that she wanted to explore it in the same way she would a toy and just isn't interested in actual food yet. I wouldn't actively keep her away from food. Let her join you at meal times and follow her lead.

Just looked at that Heinz sponsored link and it definitely has some misinformation on there. Waking up in the night, taking more milk, doubled birth weight, watching you eat etc are all listed as reasons to wean and they are NOT. It also says no older than 6 months which is misleading too, harks back to that 'weaning window' thing.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Sat 02-Nov-13 22:53:35

Thanks all - TBH I did smirk at the idea that you'd wean once they'd doubled their birthweight as if I did that both of mine would have been "ready" pre-17 weeks. (Both v. enthusiastic EBF feeders who bounded across centiles in the early weeks.)

She can sit with me at mealtimes and tell me when she's properly ready.

Thanks for helping me get this approach straight in my head.

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