Baby led weaning at 5 months

(16 Posts)
waitingforwombat Fri 03-Jan-14 19:44:16

I had completely intended to wait until 6 months and do BLW, but at 5 months DD appears to have taken things rather into her own hands by happily grabbing a carrot and gumming it to death over Christmas. Nappy suggests at least some of it went down! She is sitting independently, can definitely grab food, and didn't tongue thrust much of it out - so although "age wise" she isn't technically old enough, she definitely meets the "readiness criteria".

When we are eating she happily sits in the highchair and has really enjoyed playing with, sucking and gnawing on banana/steamed apple/steamed carrot for the past week. Today there was some definite swallowing going on after a bit of gagging, which I'm not worried about as she clearly dealt with it fine.

My question is - would you just continue with offering fruits and veg until she reaches the magical 6 months, or would you be happy to introduce other foods (I'm particularly concerned re dairy and gluten). I'm certainly not intended to shovel in large amounts of yoghurt/porridge etc - just wondering if she can gum some buttered toast!

Also, there appears to be lots of conflicting advice on loaded spoons - she had some swede and carrot mash on a spoon today (which mainly went in her eye!!) but she had a great time wiping it around her face and eventually dragging it into her mouth - but BLW purists seem to suggest this is a problem? Any advice?

Thanks so much!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 04-Jan-14 11:15:12

We started blw at 23 weeks, well when I say we I mean dd started by herself. Although the recommendation is to wait until 6 months we did just start offering all food straight away. I know its too early to tell if that's done her any harm though unfortunately.

I never did the loaded spoon thing, dd was more than happy feeding herself and I think she probably would have choked on purees.

Rhododendron Sat 04-Jan-14 14:12:55

Medical advice is that it really is worth not giving your baby gluten or dairy (among other foods) until 6 months -- see NHS page on weaning. So I really would stick to fruit and veg till then.

I think the point about BLW is that your baby is in control of putting food in their own mouth. So I see it as within the spirit to hand your baby a pre-loaded spoon for them to do what they want with -- that's what we did, anyway. (In DD's case it usually meant solemnly inspecting it from all angles while the food fell off, and then putting empty in her mouth!)

Reiltin Sat 04-Jan-14 14:20:40

You seem to have done the research so, if you're happy she's ticking the boxes, I'd go for it.

We give baby loaded spoons cos she hasn't the dexterity to load it herself. As long as she has the choice to take it or not, you're fine.

Spindelina Sat 04-Jan-14 15:14:51

We did loaded spoons too, but only put 'real food' (yoghurt, hummous, mashed potato etc) on them, not purée. For us, part of BLW was about DD eating the same as us, so when we ate stuff that was gloopy, that's when the loaded spoons came out.

Rhododendron Sat 04-Jan-14 22:53:44

ditto to Spindelina!

waitingforwombat Mon 06-Jan-14 19:35:51

Thanks guys! Any tips on "slimey" foods - DD struggles to grip banana/pear etc as it just sqooshes out of her hands...

TerrariaMum Mon 06-Jan-14 19:40:06

DD2 is nearly 9 months now and she was just like yours OP. I'm afraid the only key to bananas is time. she holds them fine now. I did offer them to her on a spoon though.

Apples were a good fruit to hold we found. Also cucumber and carrot sticks which are good for teething!

BertieBowtiesAreCool Mon 06-Jan-14 19:47:29

Bigger pieces of slippery foods. A great way to do banana is cut the whole, unpeeled thing in half and then cut off the skin at the end to expose the fruit - a little fiddly but helpful.

Be careful with apples, they tend to break easily into small chunks which can be a choking risk. Better to grate, slice paper thin or steam the apple first, or when she has teeth you can give the whole apple with a bite taken out so she can scrape bits off.

Splatt34 Tue 07-Jan-14 07:56:29

DD2 now just over 7 months grabbed my toast and ate it at 5 months 12 days (her sister did exactly the same but at 5months 10 days). I pretty rich gave her anything from the start.

I use loaded spoons for sloppy food (porridge, yogurt, cereal, she even had chilli last night). She grabs it and forces it to her mouth but I usually keep hold of the end to gently guide. Otherwise it flips over, & she gets VERY frustrated. I know this isn't pure BLW but it works here.

ReticulatingSplines Tue 07-Jan-14 08:02:35

We waited until 6mo to offer meat, dairy and wheat. Before then we gave DS fruit and veg.

Sounds like you're pretty clued up smile

AnythingNotEverything Tue 07-Jan-14 08:03:40

Are you still bf? I saw some research recently that said the risk of allergies due to weaning is vastly reduced if still bf.

And re: slippery foods, someone here suggested cutting food with a special knife that cuts them like pinking shears, so they have a wobbly edge. It's a bit early for a better description than that! Also, with bananas you can split them lengthways so you get sticks rather than slippery chunks. You can do this without a knife. I believe there's a video on YouTube to demonstrate.

anythingnoteverything do you have a link to that research please?

We bf to 15 months. We also did BLW and DD's first food was at 19 weeks when she grabbed a piece of garlic bread and munched it. So we did wheat/gluten/dairy - all the bad things. Luckily we have no allergies in the family, so we just let her get on with it, though we have always encouraged a wide range of food items, lots of fruit and vegetables.

I loved BLW (and bf) - it meant we never had to take anything out with us other than a couple of nappies and some wipes.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 07-Jan-14 08:42:52

Was just going to ask for a link too smile

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 07-Jan-14 10:59:40

I know there is a theory which is in the blw book (but unresearched) which says if their development is there on the outside then they are probably fine to process anything.

Analytical Armadillo did a blog post very recently about common BLW myths which covered "when to introduce different foods" and has links to research.

waitingforwombat Thu 09-Jan-14 15:43:21

Great, thanks everyone. "Crinkle Cutter" from Lakeland proving to be a real success.

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