I don't get it.

(36 Posts)
fairy1303 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:46:29

DS is only 17 weeks so my freak out is premature BUT he is interested in food, always hungry despite having 7oz bottles every 3 hours (none overnight) so I'm not sure he will make it to 6 months (or is that not even a thing? see? clueless.)

HV did a talk the other day about purees if starting before 6 months, after 6 months anything you want but blended. so then when do they have it NOT blended? and do you literally just blend up a whole meal?? like Roast soup?!

And THEN I've been reading about BLW and that just throws a spanner in the whole thing anyway...

Please can someone very slowly and clearly explain it to me as if I were a small child.

I'm terrified and clueless.

fairy1303 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:57:14

Should add that I'm not planning on weaning prior to 6 months - just want to have got my head around it before we get there.

DoubleFunMum Thu 17-Oct-13 20:59:30

I'm going through weaning myself at the moment with my two DSs (twins). The NHS recommend waiting until 6 months these days but advice seems to change with the seasons, I can sympathise with you being confused. Basically, as I understand it, you can start at 16 weeks at the earliest and you start with very smooth purees, then less smooth, then a little lumpy, then large chunks & finger food, as determined by how baby is coping with each stage. The later you start the quicker you can accelerate through the stages because the will be bigger & have better coordination. Baby led weaning misses out any purees being fed by spoon & goes straight to finger food so most babies would need to be nearer six months for this. I opted for this option because my twins were premature & I was advised to wait as long as possible to let their guts mature. They love feeding themselves but I initially thought they would take some food from the spoon too & they won't unless they're holding it. They just clamp mouths shut if I try so if I could go back I'd start slightly earlier & maybe they'd be more compliant. They seem to have developed some will power :D

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Thu 17-Oct-13 21:00:08

Can I also join the clueless brigade, Ds is only 3 months, but I like to know things in advance. I totally thought I would know what to do, but now in reality I don't know where to start.

My DS is 22 months so past it but I did BLW with him and it really is as simple as putting them in a high chair, put a bit of whatever you're eating in front of them and letting them get on with it.

Remember, food is fun until they're one anyway!

Oh, and I waited until he was 25 weeks old. He was sat on my lap, stoke some of my toast one breakfast and started eating it so I decided he was ready!

BikeRunSki Thu 17-Oct-13 21:04:49

I believe NHS advice is not to wean before 17 weeks, and as close to 26 as you can get. I might be wrong though, as dd is 2.

I did blw with both babies at 26 weeks. Ds rejected purées, and with dd I didn't try. At 6 moths babies can cope with proper solids, and most foods. Blw is fab, dead easy, although probably takes longer for the baby to drop milk feeds for solids .

mamalovebird Thu 17-Oct-13 21:05:15

I weaned ds at 18 weeks because he was guzzling 6 bottles of 9ozs in the day.

I puréed different fruits & veg to a smooth paste and mixed it with baby rice (made up with formula milk) to stay with. When he was 6-7 months, moved onto making actual meals (casserole/spagbol/fish pie etc) and mashed it so it was slightly more lumpy. Also started giving him finger foods to experiment with.

Blw is when you miss out the purée and oh straight to finger foods (usually not before 6 months)

Hope that helps!

mrsmartin1984 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:07:24

HVs shouldn't suggest weaning before 6 months. If they do they are no doing their job properly.

I do BLWing. You just put food in front of them and wait until they eat properly. Proper food,nothing mashed up or purreed. Try the Gill Rapley book.

Sindarella Thu 17-Oct-13 21:09:16

My youngest ds is 18 weeks, i started giving him a bit of baby rice at 16 weeks, he has it in the morning after an 8oz bottle, he still has 6 8oz bottles through the day and 1 in the night. He's my piglet grin
I have 3 dc an they all seemed to 'let me know' when they were ready.

I can really recommend Penelope Leach, Your Baby and Child. I bought this when DD1 ( now 13) was a baby. Lots of reassuring practical advice but also lots of info about your baby's relationship with food and how to keep it all balanced. You will offer food to help your baby join in a social society but you don't need to "make" your baby eat anything...milk is enough for months. It should be an adventure, not a trial of parenting. You need to relax. Interestingly with DD1, weaning was something I sort of initiated but DCS 2 and 3 practically did I themselves from family food!! This is now called baby led weaning but actually babies have done it from the beginning of time x

You will be able to get your thoughts straight for when older relatives chip in with outdated advice!


sittinginthesun Thu 17-Oct-13 21:13:13

My two were weaned just as advice was changing - DS1 was weaned at 4 months on advice of HV and DS2 was 6 months because he could clearly wait.

I just used the Annabel Karmel book. Have a look in the library, they usually have a copy.

I started with purées, and ds1 was on mashed food by 6 months. DS2 was far more interested in finger food.

I wouldn't over think it, tbh. Both my two eat well and we have never had any problems.

fieldfare Thu 17-Oct-13 21:14:44

Annabel Karmel has always done really good books on weaning with recipes etc.
You basically start with fruit and veg puréed smooth and then gradually make it blended, then lumpy, then chunks and then just cut up small.

Don't forget not to cook with salt, be careful about gravy or bought sauces, don't be afraid to try things a bit different with them, batch cook and use ice cube trays to freeze into blocks. If you do a few different ones then you can just grab out 1 block of mash, 1 block of broccoli and 1 block of cauli cheese for instance and you've got their dinner.

fairy1303 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:16:44


So - if I do for example, a delightful bit of pureed carrot, should i mix with formula? or can he just have the pureed carrot?
AND if I should mix in formula, how do you do it? literally make an oz and add it??

i like the idea of BLW... BUT do you really not mash it at all? dont they choke??

Never mixed in milk, except baby cereals...let them taste the food!

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 17-Oct-13 21:20:00

Dons flak jacket before even starting. But mine is nearly 19 and 6'2" and doesn't seem to have happened. He was a few weeks prem and bloody starving. At 3 to 4 weeks he gained 17 oz in 9 days on breast milk. At about 10 weeks he was downing 11oz at a time. At 12 weeks I gave up and introduced a little bit of baby rice. At 12 weeks +1 I gave him a spoon of pear puree, by 12+4 he was on a whole jar a day and by 13 weeks 3 jars a day. DD was not quite as starved but by 16 weeks she could wolf a ski yoghurt. She's quite dainty though and at 15 is 5'3" and 8 stone.

Mine were hungry - in those days the guidelines were 16 weeks unless your baby is particularly hungry. Mine were starvelings and still love their food. They are also healthy, bright and thoroughly rounded.

I'd just go with your instincts.

hettienne Thu 17-Oct-13 21:20:50

Around 6 months is safest, but never before 17 weeks.

I started with DS at about 5 months as he could sit well, pick up food and get it into his mouth. We gave him finger food from the start - roasted veg sticks, slices of soft pear, rice cakes. Also just mashed up what we were eating or spoonfed things like porridge.

I stuck to fruit, veg and rice until nearer 6 months but after that gave everything except whole nuts and honey. I never pureed anything, just mashed with a fork if necessary.

fairy1303 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:21:41

one more thing - he will be going to nursery at 9months, they provide food, will he eat normal food by then?

Sorry,I'm very slightly neurotic about this stuff - you should have seen me when I had to start trying to work out formula!

scissy Thu 17-Oct-13 21:21:47

DD is 8 months and we do BLW, mainly because I find it easier to cook 1 meal for all of us and we can eat together. We used to put her in a high chair at dinner time with a piece of veg in front of her, one day she was ready and just started to eat it smile

If you're interested in this approach, I'd recommend the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook by Gill Rapley rather than the original, the first half is a concise summary of her original book, and the second half has lots of recipes in it - I've managed to greatly expand my cooking repetoire!

ToddleWaddle Thu 17-Oct-13 21:24:17

Around here the children's centres do weaning talks. Might be worthwhile seeing if there is one in your area.

fairy1303 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:24:31

Hettienne -I like that, sounds a good mix between the elements of BLW I like and the more traditional way.

sittinginthesun Thu 17-Oct-13 21:25:58

Ask nursery - ours used to purée or mash the main meals. Otherwise you had to bring your own food, which was a real faff. Mine were on blended lasagne by 9 months.

Honestly, get hold of a copy of an Annabel Karmel baby book. It will answer all your questions. grin

LifeOfPee Thu 17-Oct-13 21:27:18
scissy Thu 17-Oct-13 21:28:20

fairy it's fairly common for them to gag, but extremely rare for them to choke. Gagging is noisy and normal, choking is silent. Tbh if you go the traditional route, you'll still find them gagging once they start having lumps. My friend who did traditional weaning actually found gagging worse than I did because she wasn't expecting it. Of course, if you give your baby whole nuts or whole cherry tomatoes they are more likely to choke, but that's why it's advised not to give whole nuts to under 5s and to cut cherry tomatoes and grapes in half until some ridiculous age (5?7?)

As for nursery I'd ask them. Round here BLW is fairly common, so the nurseries are used to it and will feed your DC that way if it's what they're used to.

ReluctantCamper Thu 17-Oct-13 21:31:42

I read quite a few books, but the one I found most useful was 'Stress Free Weaning'. I got it from the library, and it's really worth a read.


I started around 5 months with purees, but from 6 months-ish gave DS things like pieces of avocado to gum a bit as well. I couldn't deal with exclusive BLW as I was obsessed with feeding DS up and didn't believe he'd get enough food if I wasn't spooning it in. I expect either way works out fine in the end though.

good luck!

If you want to introduce spoonfed rice/purees a couple of tips from my day (both DD 7 and DS 5 were before blw came into existence)

1) Pointless trying to spoon anything until they hve lost the push reflex (ie their tongue automatically pushes stuff away if anything put on mouth)
2) When you start try and keep some foods "pure" in flavour. Ie try brocolli puree on its own, carrot puree on its own. If you mix the or only do pureed spag bol etc then they will not get used to the (sometimes odd if you think about it) flavours that are around.
3) If you have frozen a load of stuff and a few weeks later you want to use it but are on a "lumpier" stage then a handful of rice crispies are a great way to add texture to something you have already blitzed to perfect smoothness.

Mine are now brilliant eaters and pretty much always have been.

mrsmartin1984 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:39:23

Babies are just as likely to choke on purreed food as on solids. The thing to do to make it safer is ensure that they are sat upright and that they feed themselves (that what they know what the food feels like before they eat it). Never feed my child or mushed up her food


JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 18-Oct-13 15:23:12

We weaned dc1 early at it was awful, took ages to feed him a little bit of puréed veg or fruit and ages to prepare. Bottles every 3 hours is normal and not at all excessive at this age and taking an interest in food is normal too. It would be more of a worry if Lo wasn't interested in what you were doing.

I'd wean when your baby displays the signs of readiness. If that's before 26 weeks you should only give them fruit and veg, but they should be able to pick it up and feed themselves. If its after 26 weeks you can give them virtually anything. The few things to avoid are listed here.

Agree that baby's are just as likely to choke on purees as finger foods too. There's also a huge difference between gagging and choking. If you are worried, see if there are any baby first aid courses in your area.

And yes, if you wait till 6 months, you really can give them a roast dinner, no need to mash or purée. Have a search on youtube for "baby led weaning 6 months chicken" smile

lem31 Fri 18-Oct-13 19:32:16

So glad you posted this. We've just started weaning and I feel the same. All very useful!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 19-Oct-13 11:27:31

lem did you search for the youtube video? Sorry I can't do the link. smile

Chunderella Sat 19-Oct-13 14:11:52

The 'food is for fun before one' maxim is debatable to say the least. Something to bear in mind, and I say that as someone with a DD who took to weaning at a glacial pace.

OP 6 months is the recommendation. The most current research shows that the system isn't ready until between 17 and 26 weeks and it's risky to offer solids before that. Hence 26 weeks catches everyone, whereas at say 23 weeks there's a X percent risk that the child being given solids will be one of those who isn't yet ready. There are certainly many people who have been weaned earlier than that, often with no identifiable ill effects, but that doesn't negate current research.

You don't necessarily have to blend stuff, no- many people do, many don't. Some babies refuse anything that isn't pureed. Others, like my DD, are the opposite and just don't like puree stuff at all. Most aren't so fussy, and I believe a significant minority will hoover up anything they're offered! As regards how they actually get the food, again it depends on the individual baby. Some are really keen to feed themselves, in which case blw may be a good option and indeed might be your only choice! Others, again like my DD, show no real interest in doing that for a long time, so you'll end up feeding them. There isn't a correlation between when a child is ready for solids and when they're able to feed themselves, but for some babies they happen around the same time. If your DS is really interested in food, I wouldn't be surprised if his first solids ends up being something he nicks off your plate.

Artandco Sat 19-Oct-13 14:30:57

In the meantime, if baby seems extra hungry whilst they have a growth spurt just increase milk from every 3 hours to every 2- 2.1/2

Chunderella Sat 19-Oct-13 15:04:42

And thinking about it, if OPs baby is just about 4 months, he's probably growth spurting. It can be a tough time OP and a lot of people do mistake it for needing solids.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 19-Oct-13 20:54:52

And there is usually a sleep regression around 4 months which some people interpret as hunger, it isn't and as others have said, if you think your baby is hungry just offer feeds more frequently.

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