Please talk to me about your experiences of BLW and/or traditional weaning (title edited as thread moved from AIBU)

(178 Posts)
IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:27:24

Or can someone please tell me why they chose traditional weaning over BLW?

I have just read the BLW book, all seems good but am thinking I've only seen half the argument. I want to consider whether purée and finger foods might be the way to go...

Ps sorry this isn't really an AIBU but wanted your attention. I clearly d

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:27:58

Bah! Fat fingers.

I clearly don't think you're ridiculous.

DozyDuck Fri 11-Jan-13 10:28:19

To be honest I don't even know what BLW is. I just did what was easiest for me and what worked for DS

I dont think BLW existed when my dcs were small grin

Feminine Fri 11-Jan-13 10:30:01

I don't get your post? smile

I think it is a pile of rubbish, most Mother's have been doing something like it for it has a nice special name and loads of overpriced silly books

VacantExpression Fri 11-Jan-13 10:30:11

I BLW my two youngest DC and wouldn't do it any other way now- can't understand why friends spend so long mashing and pureeing and cooking so many seperate meals- but each to their own!

WorraLiberty Fri 11-Jan-13 10:31:34

BLW has to be one of the wankiest phrases I've learnt from MN grin

'Finger foods' have been around since the dawn of time...

AutumnMadness Fri 11-Jan-13 10:31:43

I don't give a hedgehog's poo. Who cares?

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:32:20

Feminine - I am looking for people to give me reasons why purée is good to get a more balanced view.

BLW means only finger food, no purée. smile

SpectresandSpooks Fri 11-Jan-13 10:32:58

there's no need to puree food if you wean your baby at 6 months which is why BLW is popular now. Some babies do like help with feeding though as they can get hungry and frustrated when trying to feed themselves. Others love it from the word go. Its also very messy so some mothers like to have the control of feeding their child as its cleaner. BLW is great fun though and it always gave me tremendous pride to see DD tucking into the same food as me. Thats the other bonus- no special prep of food, just give them what you're having and eat together, minus added salt (which you quicky get used to not having).

Meglet Fri 11-Jan-13 10:33:25

I sort of did both and ended up with bloody brilliant little eaters.

If main course was finger food then pudding would be spoon fed, and vice versa. It meant I wasn't constantly hovering around them with a spoon or leaving them to fiddle and play and get hungry.

I'm not relaxed enough to believe my babys would have eaten enough to grow or give them energy if they were left to their own devices and fully BLW.

MrsApplepants Fri 11-Jan-13 10:33:33

Why are you so concerned with what methods other people choose to use to wean their babies?

cory Fri 11-Jan-13 10:33:45

You don't have to go one way or another: you can just go with whatever works at any particular time.

Sometimes it was convenient to shovel food into dc (on long train journeys for instance or when they were hungry and overtired), at other times it was obvious that they wanted to explore and play with their food.

Puree to us was things like (unseasoned) mashed potatoes from my own plate. I eat that kind of thing as an adult from time to time so why should it be wrong for them? If you give them a whole banana one day there is no reason you should give them mashed banana the next if that happens to be more convenient.

With dd her hypotonia meant it was difficult for her to access food either through breastfeeding or (at first) through feeding herself. A mix worked very well.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:33:58

AutumnMadness umm me, I care. Not whether what you do is right/wrong whatever but on what I should do with my DC. Just looking for opinions.

Feminine Fri 11-Jan-13 10:34:22

No, I know what it means ice

I don't get your question I think

Like worra said, its been around forever. I feel sorry for the babies that never get to enjoy carrot puree grin AIBU ?

EmpressMaud Fri 11-Jan-13 10:34:42

I didn't know what baby led weaning was, until I looked it up a few years ago.

I discovered it was very similar to the way I had already weaned my dc naturally (without the fancy name of course), and I expect this will apply to many people too.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:34:44

We just called it 'feeding your baby' wink

MrsKeithRichards Fri 11-Jan-13 10:35:07

You just do what you do, the need to declare you're doing it the best way or any way at all really is a bit lame and smacks of having fuck all else to do.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:35:39

MrsApplepants to help me decide what I want to do?

I'm not looking to judge anyone else.

McNewPants2013 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:35:45

I purée as I was afraid of choking

cory Fri 11-Jan-13 10:36:20

I think what everybody is saying is there is absolutely no reason why you should make some kind of irrevocable decision. Most of us didn't. I have a lovely photo of baby ds exploring his first biscuit and another one, equally lovely, of him spoon feeding big sister.

Feminine Fri 11-Jan-13 10:36:46

I weaned at about 6 months for all of mine. They all used a spoon very well, and would stuff their mouths (with hands) when they felt like a change.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 10:36:47

Oh ffs! So you've found something that works for you. Woo hoo. Why you feel the need to call other mothers "ridiculous" is beyond me.

Most manage just fine using a combination of BLW and spoon feeding. In fact most mothers were practising BLW before it even had a name! It was just another way to feed your child. Now of course there is a huge lobby which advocates it and makes money from it like anything else baby related.

I used a spoon for mine for yoghurts and anything else slushy and I let them use their fingers for anything else. Largely because I did not want the mess of food in their hair, over their clothes, on the floor and anything else they were able to get their grubby little fingers on. So I chose a method that was easiest for ME.

My two have grown up to be fine and healthy. They have no food issues and can use a knife and fork perfectly well.

As with any method. If it works for you then fine, if it doesn't then try something else, or tailor it to your needs.

There really is no need to slag off any other mother. It makes you just look ridiculous then.

BertieBotts Fri 11-Jan-13 10:37:18

My mum hated BLW, she was so anxious about it! I think if you're the kind of person who likes to be in control then spoon feeding is likely to appeal more, being able to know how much they've had etc. I am a lazy slattern laid back so I preferred BLW.

Feminine Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:00

And...the choking thing is a valid point.

Not all food we feed ourselves are anyway suitable for 6 month babies to try and get a grip with!

DD was weaned early (on advice) and was a very hungry baby. She also got very frustrated and upset if she couldn't eat fast enough. She did learn to use her spoon very early, but again, if it was taking too long she'd get frustrated.

Puree is good for puting on a spoon and teaching your child the sign for 'more', as you can control the reward.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:21

meglet and cory - thank you, just the sort of advice I was after. Interesting idea to give finger foods for one course and purée for another, I like that.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:33

I think I did that, but it was just called weaning, it didn't have any poncy name.
Ds is 17 now though, and TBH I don't really remember what age he was or what he ate, it was such a tiny part of his life.

scarletforya Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:35

My baby won't take purees. I'm secretly glad because I'm a lazy article and would struggle to find the patience to spoon it in for months. So she sucks on finger foods for the moment while the ice cube trays of stuff languishes untouched in the freezer!

But if she would only take purees then that's what I'd do. Path of least resistance and all that. I do it because it's easier, not because it has a wanky label and I want to 'be seen to'. Nobody cares so YABU.

Sugarice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:39:28

BLW didn't exist as such when mine were babies.

Guidance was wean from 4 months, puree and work towards a lumpy texture by 9 months iirc.

BLW would terrify me! grin

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 10:39:33

You know, BLW or purées and finger food is all just feeding your baby.

Adults don't eat in exactly the same way every time they eat, I don't see why babies should either. A healthy varied diet is what is important, not the label you give to your method of doing that.

If you want to 'BLW' and that works for you and your baby, then great, but it's actually quite rude of you to insist that yours is the only sensible way of doing things. There are plenty of happy, healthy sensible adults who have a healthy diet and lifestyle who were weaned well before all this baby led shite came about.

Feminine Fri 11-Jan-13 10:39:48

I suspect you phased your op too fast ice you are not saying everyone should do it are you?

You are trying to canvas opinions right? smile

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 10:40:05

I pureed too as I was also afraid of choking (my son once almost lost consciousness after getting one tiny milky star stuck in his airways). I also bought ready made from time to time when it was more convenient.

Here's a new thought: every mother should respect another's choices.

I wonder how popular that would be? wink

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 11-Jan-13 10:40:20

Purees are good because they can expose children to a greater variety of flavours earlier than they can if you go down the BLW / finger food only route. Some foods are essentially puree anyway (porridge, Weetabix, soup,mashed potato, yoghurt, apple crumble...) and need a spoon to eat them, and learning to use a spoon is a skill in itself.

Not "doing" BLW doesn't automatically mean that you have to cook completely separate food and spend your life with a food processor. DS had essentially what we had, but either whole as finger food (eg pasta) or mashed up with the back of a fork and fed on a spoon (eg fish pie).

Weaning is not as hard as some companies (eg those who want to sell you a stick blender and expensive little pots; or a special book) would have you believe

Allonsy Fri 11-Jan-13 10:40:27

I read up on BLW read a few forums etc for ds2, i liked the idea but some of it was way too ott, i just wanted to know that finger foods were safe. Ive done a more finger led approach with ds2, mainly because ds1 would only eat jars and still only ate puree past age 2 and i wanted to avoid the same problem with ds2. We started with finger foods first with ds2 at 6 months he took to it really well, runny foods like yougurt etc i fed him. He is a great eater now at 15 months and will try anything and can eat majority of his meals himself (lazy) only problem is im trying to get him to use a fork/spoon himself now and he wants to use his hands. Hands + yougurt = messy baby!

barleysugar Fri 11-Jan-13 10:40:58

With the best intentions to wean my baby the BLW way it did not work out for us. He wouldn't entertain the idea, and became every frustrated as he was hungry but couldn't work out what to do, he also had a very sensitive gag reflex and couldn't tolerate any lumps. It was disappointing for me initially but ho hum, he's a brilliant gnosher now, eats everything in sight. He still prefers to be fed rather than feed himself though - lazy blighter!

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:41:00

Ooh Starlight I like that too- what is the sign for reward?

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 10:41:10

CloudsandTrees I think I love you. grin

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 10:41:35

I dont think BLW existed when my dcs were small

or mine we just fed them bit of puree bit of lump bit of solid babies managed to chew and everything grin

OP not sure what your title is about doesn't make sense

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 10:42:40

I think people ovetrthink having babies these days

I had mine and fed them and looked after them. It wasn't rocket science. I didn't need some trendy new thing to practise on

LegoAcupuncture Fri 11-Jan-13 10:42:43

You're not judging anyone but you think anyone who doesn't BLW is ridiculous? Oooookay <backs out of pointless thread>

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 10:42:50

^BLW has to be one of the wankiest phrases I've learnt from MN

'Finger foods' have been around since the dawn of time...^

what worra said wink

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:44:52

What worra said.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 11-Jan-13 10:45:03

OwlLady - exactly

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:45:17

TheRhubarb thanks for your input, appreciated.

I am just canvassing opinions. Sorry if I offended anyone with the title - I hoped you would see from the comment that I actually don't think anyone is ridiculous at all! And I haven't found what works for me yet as we haven't started smile

I have started 'sensible' threads before and had no responses hence I thought I'd try to get your attention. Thank you do much to those who have given me their opinions. Sorry to anyone I've pissed off.

WilsonFrickett Fri 11-Jan-13 10:45:29

See I weaned before BLW was invented by a marketing person no doubt

Started with purees, progressed to lumps, then introduced finger foods. The point is that every baby learns to eat eventually. My DS (while the fussiest eater on the planet due to his ASD) isn't still eating purees, for example.

The other thing with BLW was DS was in nursery three days a week so meals had to be sent in with him which kinda makes the 'just give him what you're having' philosophy a bit tricky.

But honestly, looking back now (DS is 7) I can barely remember weaning! Don't sweat it..

Utterlylostandneedtogo Fri 11-Jan-13 10:46:37

I just fed the kids when they were hungry. Sometimes I spoon fed them other times I let them help themselves because I was too hungry myself.

Same with milk. Do what you do and who cares really!!

cory Fri 11-Jan-13 10:47:14

I put very little work into weaning. Basically, if there was anything in the family dinner that could conceivable feed the baby (boiled spuds, carrots whatever), then that's what they got, sometimes mashed with a fork, sometimes whole. I can't recollect ever cooking special little baby meals. Though I did use jars if we were travelling.

WillowFae Fri 11-Jan-13 10:47:43

DS (8) started on solids when he was 6 months. For solids read puree and baby rice.

DD (5) was different. She showed absolutely NO interest in food and we ended up not battling it. She was still breastfed and the health visitors said this meant she was getting all the nutrients she needed and not to force food. So we ended up going down the BLW route unintentionally. We sat her at the table with us and put some things in front of her. She started eating of her own accord when she was 9 months old.

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 10:48:28

BLW does't have any evidence that it is better than traditional weaning does it ? so tbh just feed your baby whatever you want and how you want,

Whatdoiknowanyway Fri 11-Jan-13 10:49:56

What an odd title to use if youre just looking for opinions.

Why would you define yourself by how you feed your baby? Why would you judge another parent for their quite valid weaning choices? Surely you can ask for opinions without denigrating other options? Poor choice of vocabulary OP.

This generation puzzles me.

I weaned mine, on advice, at 3 months 19 and 20 years ago respectively. Purees but nothing fancy. Basically used a stick blender to purée much of what we were eating anyway. We don't use salt in cooking. Only hiccup was when I freaked out the childminder after giving DD puréed beet root for her tea the night before. Nappies were interesting the next day.

I don't remember getting so worked up about weaning, it was just a stage which we dealt with and moved on. Agree 'finger food' has been around forever.

quoteunquote Fri 11-Jan-13 10:50:09

People buy books about this, grin seriously.

Talk about reinventing the wheel.

MrsMelons Fri 11-Jan-13 10:50:29

I did both and I think it is ridiculous to suggest there is ONLY one way to do anything.

DS1 was 4 months (on advice by HV) so he had pureed food until 6 months, then mainly finger food. He is the best eater I have ever seen, much better than most of his friends.

DS2 was 6 months and for some reason gagged on pureed stuff (if it wasn't completely smooth) so had finger food all the time as it suited him better. He is actually not as good a eater as DS1.

Sometimes just finger food is not the best way of getting a full meal into a baby as some of them mess around with it so much so I think you need to do what is best for your child.

My friend pureed her DSs food until he was 3, he hardly eats anything at all now (age 7) and can't hold cutlery properly as he was fed my his mum with a spoon all those years. I think it is all common sense!

SugarplumMary Fri 11-Jan-13 10:50:46

You can stick purée onto bread and then they can feed it themselves or on other solid finger foods. Plus you can stick a spoon there for them to expeiment with.

IME people purée as its the done thing as there is a whole industry promoting that idea, or they are weaning early or they don't like mess.

I liked letting them get on with it and govern how much they ate- but GP did try and 'feed' the DC when they were around - that was a real pain as MIL especially can't grasp that everything in bowl doesn't have to be eaten - I put my foot down when she actually made one of the DC sick ignoring the signs they weanted to feed themesleve and didn't want any more..

BabsAndTheRu Fri 11-Jan-13 10:51:06

My kids have always been good wee eaters but right gusslers, so any time I tried BLW they would really struggle and gag because they ate too quickly, so had to go with puréed food and introduce finger food slowly over time. Never did them any harm, great eaters now. You just have to go with what works for you and them.

ethelb Fri 11-Jan-13 10:51:19

I don't understand what you are considering traditional weaning?

Traditional weaning involved giving your children some food. Some of it finger foods. Some not.

The notion of giving every vaugly different aspect of parenting a name is a very recent thing.

ICBINEG Fri 11-Jan-13 10:51:28

dunno about sensible but it is certainly the lower effort method.

Why bother making purees if it offers no advantage?

I thought some study showed that BLW babies choked less on average than puree fed?

Nancy66 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:52:20

god, you really can sell any old shite to mothers can't you?

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 10:53:31

Only hiccup was when I freaked out the childminder after giving DD puréed beet root for her tea the night before. Nappies were interesting the next day.

DD2 (14) had been at the childminder and she gave her some puree fruit and her nappy was erm a bit ripe and bright pink I thought good god my baby has exploded grin

ICBINEG Fri 11-Jan-13 10:53:39

nancy do you mean books? Or maybe ice cube trays, blenders etc?

threesocksmorgan Fri 11-Jan-13 10:53:42

Nancy66 well said

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 10:54:53

I thought some study showed that BLW babies choked less on average than puree fed?

all babies choke and gag it is a reflex and i had to rescue a BLW baby at work from a carrot stick it got stuck it is swings and roundabouts really it is what the parent is comfy with.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:56:12

Arf at puréed beetroot nappies grin

wasabipeanut Fri 11-Jan-13 10:56:14

The OP's wording is very inflammatory. I am currently weaning DC3. The first 2 are great eaters. Number 1 was purée fed with finger foods introduced later - I clearly had more time on my hands in those days. DC2 had a bit of purée but was a bottomless pit and quickly graduated to fork mash of whatever we/her brother was having and finger food.

DC3 is having mainly finger food but some whizzed up bits of what we have where appropriate. I have done some veg and fruit purées to keep in the freezer to add in where I might want to add them to the chicken or fish we may be eating for example. I cooked these purées during other cooking. It really wasn't that difficult or time consuming.

I get really fucked off with this inference that purée feeding is sooooo time consuming. It probably is if it's all you do but a flexible approach creates very little extra work. It also allows you to respond to the needs of your child. BLW obsessives might refuse to help their baby even if it's having as lazy day and wants a hand with its yoghurt!

Most people just do a bit of this and a bit of that. So what?

bigkidsdidit Fri 11-Jan-13 10:57:29

I did fork mash (which i fed ) for the first bit of te meal with finger pods alongside. DS is a bi boy and his appetite far outstripped his ability to put food in his mouth. I fed him normal food, but mashed quickly, eg I'd feed him cottage pie and give him green beans to eat himself.

By 7-8 months he was feeding himself everything except soup and yogurt. At 2 he is still a superb eater and uses cutlery very well.

Being too dogmatic about things isn't baby led IMO - your baby might want some help!

SugarplumMary Fri 11-Jan-13 10:58:46

See my eldest is only 7 and remember weaning being made out to be this horribly complex process - a lot of mothers got very anxious about it and had very forthright views about it.

Once you've done it you realise it's no big deal. By my third - she basically weaned herself just before 6 months as the older DC, toddler and reception age, gave her what they were having when she obviously wanted it. Luckily nothing unsuitable.

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 10:59:25

and babies are weaned later now so at 6 months my babies were eating food in their hands by themselves so Blw is just the 2nd stage weaning that us oldies did it isn't revolutionary at all imo

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 10:59:30

Again, sorry to offend with the title - it was designed to grab attention and was perhaps foolish blush

However the tactic seems to have worked judging by the number of responses. Thank you so much.

I really don't think anyone is ridiculous - I don't care how you feed your kids in that sense. Up to you.

Blw is fine to start with, until the little blighters decide they don't want what you are having so you end up cooking twice anyway!

The more effort I put into making something, home made bread, chunky soup, cheese and lentil wedges, the stronger the refusal. In the end I went to spoon feeding because he wasn't eating anything I put in front of him at all. He is better now at 20 months and is now using his own spoon and fork.

I think you do what works for you and don't believe the hype in something just because its packaged up nicely.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 11:01:34

OK ice you admit the title was just to garter a response so here is what I think.

I think the term Baby Led Weaning has made some people a lot of money. What they did was essentially take finger foods, make it more extreme by discouraging purees and spoon-feeding, then market the phrase, bring out a shed load of books and enjoy the profits.

When my youngest was born the advice was to wean at 3 months. It then changed to 6 months. The advice was also to start with milky porridge then tr home purees, introducing your baby to different tastes. When they were around a year old you can start trying them out with more sour and bitter flavours.

They also suggested finger foods like carrots (half cooked at first and then raw), bread, cheese, fruit sticks and so on.

It all seemed very sensible and there was not a huge problem with it. Then BLW came along and suddenly we were doing it all wrong and MN was awash with threads from supporters and critics alike. I remember some supporters were really quite patronising and overly critical and that put me right off.

I now think it's just a huge money-making exercise. You should do what you think is right for your baby. They are all different. Like barleysugar said, her baby had a sensitive gag reflux. Other mums opted for the easiest option as they were going back to work. So you do what fits in with your circumstances and your baby.

My only concern is that, as I mentioned before, my ds nearly choked to death on a Milky Star. He was a toddler and was happily eating them from a packet. I then noticed that he just lay down. I tried to get him up but he just collapsed on the floor. I instinctively slapped him on the back, he coughed and spluttered and then slowly came back round. He was off for the rest of that day. The doctor told me that he most likely had a milky star stuck in his throat that was cutting off his oxygen supply. If I had not been there, he would have just lost unconsciousness.

I know a lot of BLW advocates pooh pooh the idea of babies choking, but it happens and I'd personally rather not risk it. Yes they do have to eat lumpy food but I'd rather that happened a little later when their gums are nice and hard (or when they have teeth) and they can mash food up properly. My dad has no teeth and he can't manage some lumps of food so how can a baby?

Those are just my thoughts though. I'm more than happy to leave other mums to raise their own children as they see fit smile

MrsBungleBear Fri 11-Jan-13 11:02:16

Yep another one who just does a bit of this and that.

I don't do ice cube trays of puree. I mash up.a bit.of what we are having or give finger foods or both. I spoon feed yoghurt and weetabix etc.

I really can't understand the big deal about it. You don't need books and a 'title' for feeding your baby food!

AutumnMadness Fri 11-Jan-13 11:04:31

Seriously, just do whatever works for you and your baby. Some mother could not be bothered to mush food, some love having multicoloured collections of frozen cubes of puree neatly stacked in the freezer. Some babies love mush, other hate it, yet other love eating mush with their own hands, styling their hair with it. The only thing that matters to me is that eating should be a pleasant experience for a child and not some kind of ideological battleground.

Incidentally, I sort of BLWed my DS. He is 2 now. He will not even look at veg and his favourite food is chips. The greasier and saltier the better. He loves chips from our local fish and chips shop. I get queasy just looking at them. But I am sure it's just a phase.

veryworried29 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:04:37

Oh I really really really do wish people wouldn't put up attention-seeking and wanky ops like this and just use the bloody Forum properly with some respect for their fellow posters.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 11:05:01

You do if it sells and makes some people very rich MrsBungleBear.

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 11:05:28

therhubarb that must have been terrifying shock

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:07:14

Thank you THERhubarb, yes what you're saying makes a lot of sense. I think part of it is that the guidelines seem to have changed so much over the years. It's hard to get a balanced take on it.

Sorry to hear about the milky star incident. That must have been terrifying.

WafflesandWhippedCream Fri 11-Jan-13 11:08:49

I never like the idea of "doing" something - following some sort of parenting philosophy to the letter. As far as I see it BLW isn't about no puree, it is about your child feeding themselves exclusively - they pick up food and put it in their hair and ears mouths all by themselves.

I read the BLW book because a friend lent it to me, took on board some of what it said, but just played thing by ear when feeding DD.

I let her play with finger foods from the beginning, and I didn't cook separate meals for her, but I happily fed her with a spoon at other times.

I fed her family meals from the beginning, modifying them a bit at first (lots of mashed potato, couscous, sloppy stews and soups in the early days), but she generally had them from a spoon/my fingers rather than picking them up herself.

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 11:10:44

waffles i think that is sensible nothing wrong in looking for a bit of advice or info and then taking what you want/need from it

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:11:33

I think i know what you are saying veryworried29 - I should have posted in the proper topic.

So you came on to read this thinking you could read some juicy OP bashing and were annoyed it was actually someone who wanted people's genuine thoughts and experiences? Sorry to disappoint.

Spatsky Fri 11-Jan-13 11:11:52

With my son I did the slow introduction of purées approach and he is a terrible eater. With my daughter (purely for convenience) she got a little portion of whatever the rest of us were eating and she is a fabulous eater.

On the flip side, we had a terrifying choking incident with my daughter (on a piece of fruit) where she was blue and I was on the phone with the ambulance when thank god the fruit popped out so I would never be too blasé about choking risks, I still cut up grapes now such is the paranoia that incident has left me with.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:12:39

waffles thank you- that makes a lot of sense.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:13:30

I've got to go now as the baby is waking up.

Thanks again for all your help.

MrsBungleBear Fri 11-Jan-13 11:14:02

I fairness I do's hard for first time parents. With my first, I read loads of books looking for the 'correct answer'.

It's all much easier second time with the benefit of experience.

I learn just to trust yourself and get on with it and what suits you and your individual baby.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 11:14:13

ice is it precisely because guidelines always change that you need to go with some common sense. It's like eating and drinking for adults, look how often guidelines on what and how much you should eat and drink have changed.

Common sense is a very valuable tool. So try a few methods to see which one your baby prefers and which fits in with your lifestyle. Don't get too stressed about it and trust your own instinct.

The fact that you care so much in the first place is a good indication that your baby will turn out just fine smile

firawla Fri 11-Jan-13 11:14:56

OP yabu there is never only one sensible way for anything and to call others ridiculous is very rude. have you not considered some children physically not able to feed themselves at 6 months, and in some cases even much longer. some children not able to handle all these textures either. in some cases purees is what works, as long as the child is fed and not left hungry then why the big deal. Your op is what is more ridiculous - broaden your horizons a little bit

MrsBungleBear Fri 11-Jan-13 11:16:33

Spatsky - I still cut up grapes for my 4 year old, I worry about choking too.

Flobbadobs Fri 11-Jan-13 11:18:02

As a new inexperienced mother 12 years ago I did purees graduating to lumpy from 4 months onwards. It worked so well I did it with my second child too. Again, it worked well so am currently at the end of doing it again for the third and final time. All good eaters, no issues, no problem for anyone.
Do what looks right for you and your baby.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:18:24

Sorry to offend you firawla, but may I politely suggest you read the full post?

Badvoc Fri 11-Jan-13 11:18:47

BLW is called finger food op.
It's not new and isn't clever.
Do what's right for you and your child.

Flisspaps Fri 11-Jan-13 11:19:49


And I BLW both of mine. It's not the option everyone chooses, AFAIC it was the right choice for my two but it doesn't make it superior or inferior to traditional weaning.

Also, to clarify:

You cannot 'mix' BLW and spoonfeeding - THAT is traditional weaning.

BLW isn't just finger food. It's feeding your baby what you feed yourself, not mashed up, not spoon fed to them. BLW is exclusive self feeding. So if you have soup and bread (for example) you give the baby soup, but with the bread broken up into it so they have something to hold onto. Yoghurt is either eaten with hands, or you load the spoon and pass it to the baby to put in their own mouth.

Babies can still choke on puree or mush. It's not a guarantee of safety, and all parents would be wise to gen up on paediatric first aid.

Vagaceratops Fri 11-Jan-13 11:22:46

DD had finger foods - took to them really well, as did DS1

DS2 didnt have the co-ordination to get stuff in him mouth, and when he did he would choke. It was purée for him until about 13 months.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:23:16

Flisspaps that is a good point about pediatric first aid. What would you suggest- a course, book, YouTube?

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 11-Jan-13 11:23:25

MrsBungleBear - I guess some people feel happier reading a book and following directions because we have lost so much common sense and experience in how to bring up babies. "Back in the day" by the time we were weaning our own children, we would have had experience (directly or indirectly) of younger siblings, cousins, neighbours etc being weaned (and swaddled, and potty trained, and lots of other things that people fret about). As a society we are losing that traditional route of acquiring knowledge, so some people take a deep breath and follow their common sense, but lots of people don't have the confidence to do that so buy the books.

Sorry, bit off topic - and I'm one of the muddle along, do what I think best not what a book says, type mums, so not having a go at all! Just musing

ReallyTired Fri 11-Jan-13 11:23:44

My daughter refused to take food off a spoon and self feeding was the only way to get her to eat. I don't think it does a baby any harm to be fed by spoon. The baby quickly tells you if he/she is unhappy. My son has not been damaged by traditional weaning.

Learning about food should be fun. I favour starting weaning when the child can sit up and is attempting to put stuff in their mouths. I think that some people take weaning far to seriously and get too hung up on what their child eats or worse still what their friend's child is eating.

The great thing about starting weaning at around six months is that you don't need to worry about what you can feed your child. They can eat almost anything. The only thing I would avoid with a baby is dairy and whole nuts. Prehaps I would seek advice on nuts and peanut butter if there is a history of problems in the family.

I favour giving a baby range of colourful interesting foods to explore. Ideally weaning is an extension of play. Food like banana sticks, mango, melon or black berries are nice squashable foods. Many babies like potato, peas, carrots and veg in general. Breadsticks are a great way of getting a child to get a puree if they refuse to take a spoon.

Mince or chicken is easier to eat than steak. You need to be a bit careful with fish because of small bones.

People need to lighten up. It really makes little difference how you wean your child.

Lifeisontheup Fri 11-Jan-13 11:24:11

When I weaned first nearly 21 years ago the guidelines were to start at 4 months but I can't say I faffed around with separate meals for more than a couple of weeks, just whizzed up most of what we were having. They were happily feeding themselves by about 7 months and weren't fussy eaters.
I don't think I would have coped well with the gumming and gagging stage, I heave at the sound of someone gagging which would not have led to relaxed mealtimes.

I have difficulty understanding why there is so much angst attached to weaning now.

wasabipeanut Fri 11-Jan-13 11:24:11

Agree with Autumnmadness statement about what matters bring that meals are a pleasant experience for all concerned and not an ideological battleground.

I just want my children to enjoy food as much as I do and eat a good, balanced diet. How I get there is incidental.

HappyJoyful Fri 11-Jan-13 11:24:54

Reassuring to read this and know that I'm not the only one that can't stand this wanky phrases and stupid money making shite. Lots of the comments made me smile - just feed the baby, it's not rocket science.

This thread reflects all the variation of motherhood - some need and love the safety and comfort of having consulted a book or learnt a method to do something, I recall various friends saying 'I can't possibly do that until I've read the book' whilst other's parent's have strong loathing of this type of thing that as many state is just ultimately feeding a baby, but some have to have a name or a style to validate themselves.

All fuss and nonsense at end of day and I think just feed your baby in a way that you're happy with and more importantly works for them.

Chandon Fri 11-Jan-13 11:24:58

why be so dogmatic, op? I always think it is a bit silly to be dogmatic about The Only Right Way to that BLW, Attachment parenting, breastfeeding etc.

Some people become so overzealous and religious about these things.

Whereas anyone with more than one child knows that all kids are different. What works for baby one, may very well not work for baby two.

My oldest DS had terrible reflux, was nderweight, he could never drinkpowdered milk, but thrived on breastmilk and purees. Weaned him at 5-6 months. Due to the reflux and vomiting a lot he has always struggled with textures and lumps. So for him, exclusively breastfeeding and pureed food were the way to go. Breastfed him until he was 1.5

My second baby was large and greedy and breastmilk did not sate his hunger at 4 months, so introduced solids earlier, and added bottles too. He never liked purees much, but as a foody he started feeding himself at a very young age. He was on normal food very young. He lost interest in the boob around 8 months.

10 years later, they are both fine, neither has food related problems, neither is too fat or too thin, they eat pretty much the same.

There is more than one road leading to Rome, and keeping an open mind about your own baby, and how others parent their babies, is the way to stay sane, imo.

I am always surprised how judgy and dogmatic people are about their parenting choices.

PaellaUmbrella Fri 11-Jan-13 11:25:18

I chose to go down the route of traditional weaning, ie purees from 6 months and then introduced finger foods from 7 months. I decided against pure BLW because:

1. I was terrifed of her choking
2. I wanted to be able to see how much she was actually eating
3. I wanted to be part of the process, ie. by spoonfeeding her
4. I thought that BLW was a big money making fad and it irritated me, as did its proponents.

By about 12 months she no longer wanted to be spoonfed, so we moved over entirely to self feeding. I have to admit, if I have another baby, I'll be more open to take a baby led approach from the beginning.

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 11:27:57

Oh and another thing I always worry when parents follow a type of parenting babies are little people and they dont read the books or are interested in all the stats every child is different and will have different reactions to food pureed or not, and in the end we are all able to eat and chew etc

HappyJoyful Fri 11-Jan-13 11:29:07

familieShareGerms.. I think we must have been musing on similar thoughts!
I'm with you with the muddling along, and relaxing - that's what I always find so amazing, so many people seem unable to just think 'relax' not as if a child isn't going to ever learn to eat a variety of stuff however they are weaned.

Scheherezade Fri 11-Jan-13 11:29:17

You can mix them. Don't be daft.

I had to do pureed as I was sectioned in a mother and baby psychiatric ward. Mums were fed hospital food, no allowance was made for babies. The ward had a kitchenette with fridge, microwave and toaster- so how was I supposed to cook meals?! DP would cook batches of stews and purees, which could be frozen at home, every day when he visited he brought enough to last the day. I gave him bread, fruit, cheese to hold. Cut broccoli with a bread knife and cooked it in the microwave. He had sandwiches for lunch.

ChilliJo Fri 11-Jan-13 11:30:14

Both DCs weaned at 6 months. DC1 wanted full control and ate finger foods. DC2 wanted the food but couldn't be bothered to do it herself so I spoon fed her lumpy purees.

DC1 was a totally fussy eater, DC2 ate anything and everything. DC2 used cutlery way before DC1. I just added those to dispell some of the BLW myths flying around out there.

CheungFun Fri 11-Jan-13 11:31:22

Have to say I don't like the title of the thread as apparently I'm 'ridiculous' hmm

Ice try BLW or do purées & finger foods - I honestly don't believe it matters what way you wean your child onto solids. Do what works for you and your child and please don't judge others, everyone is doing their best.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:33:29

Cheungfun you ate clearly not ridiculous. Sorry. Bad choice of title in an attempt to get responses. Worked though.

Lifeisontheup Fri 11-Jan-13 11:33:32

I do think parenting has become big business too and there is a lot of money to be made out of it so it is prudent to be wary of any particular way that is prescriptive.
I believe that it leads us to not trust our instincts and that is something I see more and more now.
Parents are frightened of saying 'well this works for us' if it isn't backed up with some research baring in mind that not all research is good research. It needs to be evaluated with a very critical and sometimes a cynical eye.

tiggytape Fri 11-Jan-13 11:35:05

No such thing as BLW when mine were small (eldest child is 12) but they did have finger foods.
All babies started of with purees because that's what the midwife recommended it. You have to consider though the official age to start weaning was 16 weeks so I'm not sure finger foods would have worked anyway - not all babies can sit very well at the age we used to be told to wean them.

If I had a baby now I'd probably wean a bit later in line with today's guidelines and introduce finger foods then. But I still wouldn't be letting them smear yoghurt through their hair. I'd still feed them some things. I just don't see any benefit to having a baby, chair and room smeared in food every meal time.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 11:36:13

Now I remember, this is what got my back up the most, the BLW supporters stating quite clearly that you CANNOT mix BLW, it has to be either all or nothing.

That is just so bloody rigid and inflexible and designed to make mothers feel naff. (not getting at you Fissplaps, just stating what the BLW advocates say)

Most mothers are happy to do a bit of both but oh no, along they come like bleeding authority figures to say that it HAS to be exclusively BLW or it simply doesn't count and it's "just" traditional weaning. Which is apparently very bad for baby.

Scheherezade Fri 11-Jan-13 11:36:31

FWIW part of the reason I had a complete breakdown and was forced to the ward was because of all the pressure- such as your post OP. I got so terrified of constantly doing the wrong thing I became very very poorly.

CheungFun Fri 11-Jan-13 11:36:58

Thank Ice I know I'm not ridiculous really! Honestly though, try out BLW weaning first and if it's not working, try purées and just relax, babies aren't always interested in food at 6 months. I really think people (myself included) are conned into thinking weaning is a major thing, it's not it's a natural progression and mealtimes should be fun not stressful with the parent worrying how much their child has eaten and what they've eaten etc.

Fairylea Fri 11-Jan-13 11:37:29

I puree until about 8/9 months as dd now aged 9 nearly died of choking doing blw with soft potato at about 7 months old. Anyone that has witnessed a baby nearly die of choking would puree too - not necessarily for the baby but for your own anxiety. I couldn't cope otherwise.

Does it really matter??

Ds won't be eating puree when he is 18 years old. And I let him have the spoon and feed himself.

Maryz Fri 11-Jan-13 11:37:37

I did BLW with ds1 18 years ago.

Only it wasn't called BLW.

It was called "give him a variety of food, and let him eat what he wants. Don't bother with spoons".

I must say, ds's refusal to use a spoon, and his ability to eat everything (including weetabix and yoghurt) with his hands made it a very easy choice.

I wish I had given it a name and written a book. I would have made a fortune hmm.

RobinSparkles Fri 11-Jan-13 11:41:20

Only read first page - CBA to read 5 pages of people getting uppity about the way they feed their babies.

Pretty much let DD1 feed herself completely from the off because she preferred to. It must be quite off putting having someone staring in your face shovelling food into your gob, tbh. She refused to be spoon fed.

I spoon fed DD2 basically because at 6 months her hand-eye co-ordination was shit and she was lazy. It was either feed her or let her not eat or sit her at the table forever. Eventually, at about 10 months she refused to be spoon fed and has fed herself since.

Tbh, if I was to have another I would be inclined to repeat what I did with DD2. She eats fabulously, in fact they both do, but DD1's table habits are shocking despite being screamed at repeatedly told how to eat. DD1 is five and DD2 is 2. The table is usually spotless from DD2 but DD1 still drops spaghetti on the floor! angry

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:42:50

Scheherezade I'm so sorry you had to go through that. And my OP was not intended to make anyone feel that way sad

It was an inflammatory title to draw people's attention to my question which most people would probably think is boring: 'what are the advantages of purée/mixed feeding over BLW'.

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 11:43:44

Just curious and I really can't be bothered to google but what is supposed to be so bad about purees ?

and ice report your thread and get the title changed it is a bit daft

mrsjay Fri 11-Jan-13 11:45:17

maryz dd1 used to chew yoghurt how can you chew yoghurt it would go round and round for ages and she used her hands

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:45:33

mrsjay I will report it. Sorry all.

And thanks again for all your input.

PeazlyPops Fri 11-Jan-13 11:46:56

YABVU. I don't care how others wean their babies, and find it odd that anyone would.

RobinSparkles Fri 11-Jan-13 11:47:21

OP, you should have posted in the food topic and asked "what are the pros/cons?" I know it probably wouldn't get as many responses but I think that this way people will be too fuming from the title to read your OP properly and won't get that you don't really think that they are ridiculous.

Maryz Fri 11-Jan-13 11:47:57

I think the main difference is that with BLW (or whatever you want to call it), you offer food, they can eat or not as they like. You have to accept mess and waste and not force any food at all.

With pureeing, you have more choice over what they eat - as they eat what you offer, no choice

There has been some interesting research into the fact that given a choice, babies will choose a good diet over time - so they might eat all pasta this week, but will eat more veg next week for example.

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 11:50:13

Ooh Maryz that is interesting. Don't suppose you remember where you heard/read that?

Yes RobinSparkles I think you're right. I've reported myself.

Themobstersknife Fri 11-Jan-13 12:01:25

Interesting debate.
I don't think BLW is a money making method. Unlike purees! You can find everything you need to know on t'internet. BLW is NOT just finger foods. In fact I think people are doing that and maybe coming a cropper later on. It is letting your baby feed themself, exactly what you are eating, with the only exceptions of nuts and honey. Of course that includes finger foods, but it is not exclusively finger foods. It is just a good way to start. Those saying it has been around forever. It has! Rapley coined the phrase particularly when she observed second or third children, where parents found it easier to feed everyone together, with the same thing, and had no choice but to leave the smallest ones to get one with it themselves, because of having to deal with the other kids. Those saying it is new - it isn't. The advice that you can introduce lumps from 6 months has been the case for a while. The difference is that there is now a debate about feeding before 6 months. Babies younger than around 6 months can't handle lumps as well generally, with exceptions, so the new thing really is whether there is a need to do purees. Those who think BLW carries a risk of choking - all weaning does. BLW actually can help protect against it. Those doing 'BLW' and just giving their kids bread sticks and cucumber. This is not BLW. Please stop doing this!
I really couldn't care how people wean, but I think it is a shame that people are slagging off BLW without having read anything about it.
Right best get back to the baby chucking banana and sandwiches all around the kitchen...

MrsBungleBear Fri 11-Jan-13 12:06:39

families I understand all that. My first dc is only 3. I lost my mum when pregnant and had no one to ask about baby raising. I bought the books.

What I meant was its a lot easier with your second and with experience. You realise your own way to do things and are more confident.

I didn't explain that properly in my first post.

Themobstersknife Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:08

And what Maryz said. It is interesting research. I think there is a lot to be said about moving away from a culture where you are encourage to clear your plate.

Labradorlover Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:37

Pureeing and mashing are the modern forms of chewing the food for your baby IMO.

Scheherezade Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:47

Ok, so if a baby has spoon fed porridge whilst self feeding toast and banana, sandwiches for lunch and whatever mum and dad are eating (including soup mopped up in bread) that's not BLW and is a terrible abomination??

Molehillmountain Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:16

My two younger children didn't eat til later and wouldn't be spoon fed. So they fed themselves. Didn't need a book about it but was strangely grateful for the "permission" to do it. But conversely, dd1 loved being fed and went happily through different the textures of purées. I'd hate to think that I would now be frowned on for that. Although like most things, i bet it wouldn't be the original authors/proponents of it that got sniffy about it. Why do good, sensible ideas have to be hailed as the only way, this throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater?

RyleDup Fri 11-Jan-13 12:10:12

I did both. Dc1 had purée and dc2 had finger foods. Makes no difference, they now eat well and independently. Do whatever you want, it's no big deal either way.

Fairylea Fri 11-Jan-13 12:10:17

I think there's so much snobbery about weaning from pouches and jars too. I use jars and pouches quite often as its easier and I've read the ingredients and honestly most of them have better things in them than if I'd slaved away in the kitchen for hours.... and it's easier to give a wider variety of flavours when you can just grab a pouch.

I really don't think weaning has much to do with how fussy children become... my dd loved spinach and pea pasta when she was a baby. Now you would have to bribe her with the entire contents of an Apple store to even have a pea within close proximity on her plate.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 12:10:28

Themobstersknife BLW IS a money making exercise just like any aspect of parenting. You can find all the information you need about anything on the internet, including how to do your own purees (and I got an NHS booklet on this with my 1st).

The amount of websites, recipes, how-to books, cookbooks, etc on BLW shows there is a market and someone is making money out of it.

What evidence is there that baby led weaning can prevent choking and is it independent evidence?

No-one is slagging it off either. We are advocating that people use their own common sense. If you read the thread you would see that.

Themobstersknife Fri 11-Jan-13 12:13:49

Schehezerade, I think that is BLW, or at least my definition of it. I would tend towards giving them a loaded spoon and letting them get on with it, but that is more laziness than anything!

Fairylea Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:13

I'm also not convinced the choking risk is lower with blw. If it was then the finger food (which mostly dissolves to mush anyway) in the baby aisle wouldn't be mainly from 7-9 months - they have to cover their backs and so wouldn't put from 6 months on them if there was an increased risk - and they don't, so that tells me something. And it can't be about making money otherwise they'd want more and more people to buy them at a younger age.

neontetra Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:24

OP, to answer your initial question, I mainly feed purees, partly because of fear of choking (my mom was horrified when I suggested blw for this reason, and her fears got to me). Also because dd has always been tiny, and I saw it as a better way of getting calories in her. And indeed, she does now track 9th percentile not 2nd. But that may have happened with blw, too.

Lifeisontheup Fri 11-Jan-13 12:17:34

BLW is money making, I've just googled it and the first three sites I looked at have books about how to do it, DVD's showing you how to do it and cook books. Yes you don't need to buy them but I bet they sell a lot. Very few people put stuff on the internet from a purely altruistic point, even most (not all) blogs carry advertising.

I do both.

I feed him from a spoon (although, we're moving more into him holding the spoon, while I guide it in, he finds this very very funny), while he holds something like fruit, veg or toast and feeds himself using that.

TBH, I don't see how BLW is lazier. You have a lot more tidying up to do! With spoon-feeding, you just mash what you're having (or use a jar!) and feed it.

Themobstersknife Fri 11-Jan-13 12:20:46

I think people have been slagging it off on this and other threads, but maybe
I have misread. To my knowledge, there are two Baby Led Weaning books associated with Gill Rapley, both very cheap to buy. If there are others I apologise. I haven't looked for a while. The other resources are free as far as I am aware, unless other people are now cashing in. I haven't seem shelves in the supermarkets stacked with 'BLW' foods and endless books associated with BLW.
Anyway, apologies for my rant, but it is frustrating when people haven't really looked into it, but formed conclusions about it and rubbish it.
Can't remember where I read about the gagging / choking effect. Prob in the BLW book. In my logical head, it makes sense to introduce children to the textures of foods as soon as they are able to handle them, as it teaches them to deal with them.

dashoflime Fri 11-Jan-13 12:23:30

We've just started weaning.

I offer mushy food on a spoon. DS generally grabs the food and sucks it off his fist. What would you call that? grin

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 12:25:51

So the BLW book says that BLWed babies are less prone to gagging? That is a dangerous statement to make and I hope they have independent evidence to back that theory up.

One poster has already stated how her baby had a sensitive reflux gag and so BLW was not possible for her.

In fact this also annoys me. There are many mothers who are hospitalised or who have to rely on nurseries and they don't have a choice about what kind of weaning to do. Why make them feel bad by labelling yet another "method" of parenting and announcing it's the ONLY way to feed baby?

Also there are countless websites on BLW and most have banners and other advertising methods. There are books sold on the methods, there are recipe books and cookbooks and DVDs and lots of other marketed products.

If left alone, most mothers would discover BLW naturally, would mix with what they normally do and all would be well. I fail to see what has been achieved by the marketing of BLW.

PoppyWearer Fri 11-Jan-13 12:25:53

My DC1 was born back in the mists of such thing as BLW back then, as far as I was aware anyway (and I read up about weaning extensively before taking the plunge, was also on Ye Olde Mumsnet at the time).

With now-16mo DC2 I was fully up-to-speed with new-fangled ways and we did a mix of purée/mash and finger foods BLW.

I think plenty of posters on here have said that a mix of both worked fine for them, you don't have to choose between one and the other. Do what works for your child. I don't think my DC1 was keen on finger food BLW anyway, she hated having messy hands. Still a bit precious about that now.

Tis the Emperor's New Clothes, surely?

IceNoSlice Fri 11-Jan-13 12:26:48

dashoflime I think you'd call that: typical, natural, messy, endearing or funny? Bet my LO would do the same grin

littlewhitebag Fri 11-Jan-13 12:28:02

Blimey - i am glad my DD are both grown up (15 & 20). In my day we ... just fed our babies. I recall a mixture of puree type food (soup comes to mind with bread to dip in) and finger foods. I never ever read a book about feeding - i just did it. Both girls are great eaters.

BLW has to be one of the wankiest phrases I've learnt from MN

I give you child led parenting

LalyRawr Fri 11-Jan-13 12:28:30

dash my daughter does the same. Any food, be it from a spoon or her hand, has to be put in her mouth, chewed for a bit, spat back out into her hand, examined, then back in her mouth again to be eaten.

dashoflime Fri 11-Jan-13 12:28:51


Fairylea Fri 11-Jan-13 12:34:34

I'm doing baby led parenting.

Led into extreme sleep deprivation and shower reminiscing...... when I could have one without worrying about hearing ds cry in the middle of it before the school run !

YesWeWill Fri 11-Jan-13 12:40:16

Well there has just been a thread on here about a mum who now regrets BLW because she thinks this is the reason why her 2 dcs are extremely fussy as they didn't get to try that many tastes when they were little. She is planning to use purées food with her dc3 in a bid to avoid fussiness.

YesWeWill Fri 11-Jan-13 12:45:41

BTW, I used purees to start with and then gave them a spoon as soon as I could.
And they had 'finger food' too as well, one of which was cucumber and is still to this day one of their preferred foods!

imo, the best mix of all:
they got eat on their own quickly, they got to taste different textures but also got to try different foods and I knew they were eating a bit of everything (veg, meat, cereals, yogurts...)

Zipitydooda Fri 11-Jan-13 12:47:35

I think you worded your OP very rudely if you wanted a balanced option. I really don't like being insulted.

I did not use BLW for my 3 but it only existed as a 'thing' after I'd already had the second. I don't think it would have worked for my children or me as they were very late in getting teeth (18 months old they all still only had between 2 and 4 teeth) and this does hamper eating things like cooked chicken and other proteins that I cook. I know the books say it doesn't but in my experience it does. It's difficult and not enjoyable experience for them eating.

I used a combination of puréed food and finger food. This meant I was reassured that they were getting balanced nutrition including fruit, veg and protein and a multitude of different tastes and they were also learning to feed themselves and experience textures. At around 12-15 months they did not want me to spoon feed them but by this point, were capable of spoon feeding themselves and used a combination of fingers and cutlery.

I did not find purée ing a bother at all and never used jars of food. Most of the BLW mums I know spent much more time worrying about whether their baby was getting balanced nutrition (as most food ended up in the bin) than I spent purée ing meals. The amount of time that food needs to be smooth(ish) is only a max of 3 months then you can chop or mash with a fork.

NaturalBaby Fri 11-Jan-13 12:48:01

I think Maryz' point was made in the book - I read the book and have it in my head that given a well balanced selection of food, a child will naturally select what it's body needs. My 23 month old is very good at this and will have days of eating mainly fruit and vegetables and other days mainly eating carbs. My older children (3 and 5) have been corrupted and only request chips, sausage and chocolate!

2 things stand out from your OP - you haven't actually started weaning yet have you? and you either haven't been on MN long or haven't read a very wide range of threads to know that blw on AIBU requires a flameproof suit.

amyboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:55:24

YABU. I just weaned DS. I didn't give it a name. Didn't really puree, just whizzed salt free versions of mine/DH's dinner in the blender. Interspersed it with some toast, bit of vaguely squished fruit, cut up pasta and the odd biscuit et voilà. DS (age 2.10) is one of the best eating toddlers out of kids I know his age - eats all his veg, fish, most meats as long as they're not too tough, brown bread (crustier the better), all dairy stuff and pasta/rice.

Feeding mushed food as opposed to "finger food" has nothing to do with control - DS learnt to use the spoon himself (albeit messily) by the time he was 1, and now uses a knife (not always how it should be) and fork as he wants to eat like Mummy and Daddy.

I think most people's problem with weaning is that they over think it. Just do what seems right to you and go with it.

I think the best thing you can do with weaning is to get your kids eating the same food as you (albeit mushed or salt/spice free or whatever) as quickly as possible. The fussiest eaters I know are those who have persistently been fed either at different times or different foods to their parents.

Themobstersknife Fri 11-Jan-13 12:56:20

YesWeWill - that is part of my point. There should be no reason why BLW means less tastes. It is people misinterpreting and just giving finger foods that causes that.
TheRhubarb - haven't got time to look it up and I don't want a fight, but I think the theory is that most babies have a sensitive gag reflex until about 6 months, but sometimes when they are older. It is the gag reflex that helps protect babies from choking. If you try and feed before this gag reflex is fully developed, then this can cause choking. From memory, it is used as part of the argument to wait until around six months, and part of the reason to let babies have a bit more control over what goes in their mouth. It is a theory and I don't believe it is being used to market anything.
Finger food in the supermarket I believe has little to do with Baby Led Weaning to my mind.

PickledInAPearTree Fri 11-Jan-13 13:01:43

The website us hilarious. Its full of photos of parents trying to outdo each other with the huge hunks of meat being ravaged by their toddlers.

I did a bit of both as I suspect most people do.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 13:09:32

Obv when you wean that gag reflux is more pronounced whilst they get used to it. But the real danger is implying to mums that signs of actual choking is just down to gag reflux. In some cases it is not and it's important to note that.

Babies can and will put things into their mouths which cause choking. Giving them control over what goes in their mouths will not help this. If given the choice, a baby will put pretty much anything in their mouths.

THERhubarb Fri 11-Jan-13 13:13:11

PickledInAPearTree many of those babies belong to Mumsnetters.

Maryz Fri 11-Jan-13 13:14:10

IceNoSlice, I read that (about children self-regulating) in a Lancet article in 1994, believe it or not.

I will try to find it.

natwebb79 Fri 11-Jan-13 13:23:04

I weaned my DS on a mixture of purees and finger foods. At 14 months he now eats the same meals as us and it amazes me how much he eats. Not much he doesn't eat (yet!). I get confused as to why BLW advocates tell me that they don't know why I 'spent hours cooking and mashing things'. It took me about 10 seconds to pop some of our veg in the blender for him and about 2 seconds to wipe his mouth after I'd fed it to him (as opposed to the finger food meal where the end mess would almost have me in tears!) :-D

Maryz Fri 11-Jan-13 13:23:52

In fact, I read it in 1994, but I think it was actually this article, but I can't find it online without paying.

Does anyone have a subsciption to ScienceDirect?

I have it filed away somewhere, in 20 years of "interesting articles about the kids" hmm.

hazeyjane Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:01

Some babies take to baby led weaning, some take to purees -

dd1 was like a little bird, she would sit with her mouth open waiting to be fed, she was traditionally weaned ie puree, then mashed with finger foods etc. She was also weaned early because of reflux, so probably wouldn't have really coped with blw.

dd2, was blw, ate everything, with hands, learnt to use a spoon, ate wahat we ate etc.

Ds has low muscle tone, poor oro motor skills, and problems with his swallow, so has purees, bite and dissolve foods and some mashed food (he is 2.6).

It seems daft to be as evangelical about a weaning method, as some seem to be,when it just doesn't suit some babies.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 11-Jan-13 13:42:25

I tried blw and found the wetter and mushier the food I gave him the more he liked it- so I tried purees and he much preferred them, at least till 9 months... Then I reintroduced bits and bobs from family meals. Purees were really useful for us. Some babies like them some don't. If you are really baby led, then you just see what your baby prefers smile

OP perhaps whilst you're asking HQ to amend your title you could also get it moved to Weaning which is where it belongs.

I see you haven't started weaning your baby yet. Be very careful about being smug & judgy about others choices - you may well find your baby hasn't read your BLW books and you end up giving purees. Which is fine. It really doesn't matter, it's up to the individual.

MummytoMog Fri 11-Jan-13 13:49:52

I used jar food and dehydrated baby food because I really really couldn't be arsed with cooking and BLW. This did not preclude me giving them bits off my plate. Both now eat anything at 3 and nearly 2. apart from sardines on toast which my MiL tries to give them regularly because she is an idiot

TheCatIsEatingIt Fri 11-Jan-13 15:56:06

Just wanted to offer the OP some support here - the title is a bit inflammatory, but the OP explains why and apologises. You don't need to keep apologising to people who can't be arsed to read it, duck.

AThingInYourLife Fri 11-Jan-13 16:06:11

I'm weaning my 3rd baby and have recently come to the opposite conclusion.

I think the rejection of the spoon implicit in hardcore BLW is ridiculous.

Prejudice makes me think it makes more sense to allow babies to feed themselves, but experience tells me that they often prefer to be fed.

BreconBeBuggered Fri 11-Jan-13 16:11:30

I don't read weaning threads so I was always a bit vague about what BLW meant. DS2's first encounter with solid food was at a party when he was 4 months old and crammed his mouth full of jam tart and cheese. He loved it, but it wasn't the carefully prepared vegetable puree I'd been planning.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Jan-13 17:46:31

Afternoon. The OP's asked us to move this thread to the Weaning topic, so we're going to oblige.

To answer your original question, I weanedy Dts on purees because they were 2 months prem and could not sit, hold anything, or meet any of the other requirements for BLW (but were otherwise ready for food).
I know your OP was deliberately inflammatory, and you otherwise seem pretty rational grin but just a gentle reminder that lots of mn posters dont have perfectly average babies!

I honestly don't think BLW makes for less fussy eaters. I really do not believe fussiness works like that.

I BLW but only because it makes most sense for us and suits our family best. DH and I were both incredibly fussy whereas our younger siblings were not, and yet all of us were weaned in the same way according to our mums (which is to say purées from 4 months). If anything I think it's about control. I was always in trouble for not eating [insert food here]. Some of those foods I like nowadays; some of them make me physically sick.

I just think anyone who says to themselves "I shall BLW so my child will be a 'good eater'" is setting themselves up for a fall. I fully expect DD to hit 2 or so and start rejecting foods she used to love.

Nellycats Sun 20-Jan-13 02:16:31

Avoiding purees is great, getting babies interested in food rather than passively accepting spoonfuls of slush is good for them.


Please stop the "I like it because I'm lazy", it's a bit disingenuous as BLW creates so much mess that surely whatever time you save spoonfeeding you spend in scrapping stuff of the floor?

Also, not all babies do well with self feeding, my first was brilliant at it, my second not so and I had to step in with spoonfeeding at 15 months because she was still practically mainly breastfed!

Fork mashing can be a great way to feed your baby, introduce texture, include real food and avoid the spinach purée cliche.

I'm currently letting my toddler eat on her own while offering spoonfuls of whatever we're having such as stews, yoghurt, mash, fork mashed pasta etc. Because when I leave it to her to self feed with spaghetti she will have around four pieces, chuck the rest to the floor and then breastfeed all night.

Sadly, mine is not the kind that scoffs an entire leg of lamb and then washes the dishes (and probably hunted down the lamb in the first place with a tiny bow and arrows)

Nellycats Sun 20-Jan-13 02:20:04

Also, my son who pretty much chose to feed himself from around 9 months and was a brilliant non fussy eater remained very adventurous till 2. Then he discovered what all the other children at nursery knew: that he liked sausages and hated tomatoes and all of a sudden we got a much fussier eater. Now he won't even have ham. Plain pasta is all the rage apparently angry

gail734 Mon 21-Jan-13 09:45:31

I do mostly spoon-feeding of mush because I want to actually get some food into dd who is just 6.5mo. I don't want it on the floor, walls or her clothes and she doesn't have the motor control or the chewing ability to do it herself. Later I give her a banana, rusk or bit of toast to entertain her. She doesn't really eat it, but it doesn't matter. She sucks it into little bits and then I pick it up and eat it put it in the bin. Waste of food has always bothered me, but I'm trying to get over it!

AThingInYourLife Mon 21-Jan-13 13:34:47

"getting babies interested in food rather than passively accepting spoonfuls of slush is good for them."

I don't accept this dichotomy.

My eldest had almost no interest in food despite all the "playing" I encouraged her to do with various bits and pieces.

DD3 is mad about food but obviously prefers mush to things she can pick up and play with.

There is nothing passive about the way she gets excited in anticipation and takes part in her feeding - she quite clearly savours each new taste.

BLW appeals to all of my prejudices and my utter loathing of puréed food.

But I've done less of it with each baby and weaning has gone better with each one.

DD1 was very co-ordinated by 6 months and could hold and eat an apple and pick up peas and eat them, but even she didn't seem to really enjoy BLW.

My other two physically struggled to eat the food they were given. When I give DD3 finger food instead of mush on spoon, I don't think she even gets that it is food.

Feeding mush (finally) feels more natural to me and if I didn't have a blender and spoons I would give my babies chewed up food until they had teeth and could easily eat more adult food.

BLW seems to work brilliantly for some.

But it's just one useful approach. It's not the path of weaning righteousness.

Nellycats Thu 24-Jan-13 23:35:24

AThingInYourLife, I do agree with you about BLW not working in many cases, my dd included! But I have also seen babies that are old enough to at least have a go at finger foods still spoon-fed puree, and they seemed almost zoned out. Like food was something happening to them rather than a social, pleasurable experience.

Nellycats Thu 24-Jan-13 23:41:02

Actually I think that BLW is promoted very much on the dichotomy of spoonfeeding mush VS eating adult food.

What my post was about is that there is a middle way, that of fork mashing rather than super processed purée that is actually not entirely necessary for a baby of 6 months as they can chew and swallow rather than suck which is what tiny babies of three used to get with purees.

I tried BLW and it didn't work, and part of me thinks there's a bit of competitive parenting involved, in a "look how advanced my baby is, she eats steak".

But just by saying that I will offend a mum whose baby eats steak, just like I managed to offend mums that spoonfeed! Please read my post, I actually believe in a bit of both wink

Nellycats Thu 24-Jan-13 23:43:25

"pur&eacut;ee" is my idiotic phone's idea of "purée". Why, why, why?!

Nellycats Thu 24-Jan-13 23:44:26

I give up




AThingInYourLife Fri 25-Jan-13 19:24:06

Nelly, I did read your post and I wasn't offended smile

I agree with you.

It's just that active/passive thing bugs me.

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