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Baby Led Weaning - pros and cons?(13 Posts)
Just starting some research ahead of weaning my DS. Just wondered what people's thoughts were on BLW? Also what age did you start?
Started at 6 months was easy peasy. Baby sat down for meals with us and was offered food to try and they ate it.
Pros: little effort involved, baby gets on with it, food keeps them entertained giving you freedom to eat/drink at the same time, easy to feed in restaurants & cafes. I also found that by reading up on BLW and people's experiences, I felt much more confident in DS' ability not to choke, not to worry about precisely how much he ate etc.
Cons: some places are not easy to BLW in (eg carpeted places outside of home that aren't usually for eating in!), and a BLW baby may not be too keen if you try to spoon-feed in those circumstances.
The con I state probably doesn't come up for most people, but it's a regular factor for us so I have to try and pack the least messy handheld foods and very smooth spoon food (eg yoghurt). DS will try to eat practically anything self-fed, but if a spoon appears it must be smooth and he must be in the mood for it. If not, he'll pull the food out to examine it and then feed it to himself
and his face and his hair and his clothes...
We started BLW 2 weeks before 6mo, just with veg. FWIW we're not strictly BLW now, at 7mo we introduced porridge whilst exploring breakfast options - DS loves toast but wasn't keen on any of the other BLW breakfast ideas I tried. He loves porridge with fruit in the morning now, which is spoon-fed. Snacks are all self-fed, meals are largely self-fed although at the moment I do often offer a couple of spoons of something to see if he feels like it.
With third child I did a combination of self feeding and spoon feeding. Having spent years teaching my other children not to waste food a think the amount of BLW spillage is wrong. She now eats a huge variety of foods and will self feed or is happy being spoon fed.
I agree with the philosophy behind it- your baby should explore food themselves at their own pace, should eat family food with the family and shouldn't be expected to enjoy mush for months on end.
The main draw back for me is mess and wastage. If you are tight for cash at all the amount of food you will chuck at first will blow your mind. But for me neither of those drawbacks would ever tempt me to start with purees!
I feed her what we eat. Friends who Annabel Karmel say it costs a fortune as all the fruit muses away yo yin amounts and have you seen the price of those pouches!! I share mine, since therefore less calories for me, double bonus!!
Started DD2 this week and have been amazed (didn't think she'd pick it up so quickly although her sister did too). She devoured a piece of melon yesterday and sucked (very mild) chilli sauce off several fingers of pitta with a high grin on her face. She's just been.wailing as I tried to have toast without sharing!
Personally I love BLWing. Yes it's messy but my daughter has always been apart of meal times and eats whatever we are eating. She bloody loves her food. I can't understand why anyone would spoon feed mush
Plus my daughter's coordination is amazing, she developed the pincer grip by 7 months and feeds herself very well. Meal times have never been a battle ground
Another for BLW. Both DDs started a couple of weeks before 6 months.
Pros, they ate what we ate, so no messing around with purees, freezing food etc. So cooking was a lot easier. Never really worried about chocking as eating is lead by them. They really went from eating sticks of food to feeding with a spoon quite quickly. And the more practice they have the less messy it gets!
As above posters have said, con is that it is messy and eating out/friends houses (those without children especially) can be challenging. But try to bring "clean" foods such as cucumber sticks, pitta slices with hummus, sticks of fruit.
Pros: Don't need to cook a separate meal for baby. And I found this made me more relaxed about whether DS ate or not, as it wasn't like I'd made it specially so I figured it just meant more for me if he didn't want it! Could get on with my meal rather than having to spoonfeed. Having been obsessed by the amount of milk DS was drinking, it was refreshing not to really know or care how much he was eating and just trust him. No problems moving from smooth puree to lumps as he started with lumps!
Cons: Mess and waste in the early weeks. Food throwing around a year but that's probably not a BLW-only problem! Also I avoided soup for ages cos I didn't know how he'd eat it and, at age 2, he won't eat it which is really annoying as I love it. I should have given it much earlier with bits of bread dipped in.
Tried BLW with first for 4/5 months and all I can remember are the cons: food wasted, couldn't give my food often (we eat a lot of roasts and gravy meals) so had to prepare extra, food wastage, and still took time as sat there watching baby, baby didn't get enough food and weight plateaued for a long while.
With my second I do my own food squashed with a fork (gravies with coucous/rice/pasta/potatoes stirred in) and spoon in, plus lots of finger food. Works for us.
Le bfg. Just curious why you couldn't share roasts / gravy? Other than salt why couldn't unit dc have that? My ds loves sucking in meat and even bones! A drumstick was one of the first things he visibly loved eating!
Well, they don't actually eat the meat do they. I don't like wasting an expensive resource like meat. Gravy is a big part and can't be eaten with the fingers. Also some veg aren't great, fine if you've carrots but peas were a nightmare and cabbage likewise. If you mash the meal with a fork though, it is all easily eaten. Other difficult meals: lasagne, spag bol (yes, I've seen the photos of happy babies apparently clearing plates of the stuff, but it never happened for us), soup as someone mentioned, couscous, stews. All common meals in my house.
Which reminds me of another con: messy as hell. My sister swears by BLW (will tell you it's all pros and no cons) but I distinctly remember her 3yo sat at the table demolishing mashed potato with fingers. Pretty grim actually.
We are doing some blw some spoon feeding. DDI is 6.5 months and i have found most restaurants have wooden high chairs designed to pull up to table. She is too small to do this, and no tray means i may as well throw the food on the floor myself and cut out the middleman. So that is a bit of a pain.
Generally though it is all good, she always looks very proud of herself if she gets some food in, mushed and swallowed!
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