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to think there isn't a difference between BLW and finger foods?

(154 Posts)
putthekettleon Fri 28-Jan-11 11:26:21

Ok I'm preparing to be flamed, and I have no problem with baby led weaning, but it's been bugging me for a while now...

When talking about weaning, so many people I know in real life/people I see on here say they are doing 'a combination of purees and BLW'. Or they say 'we're doing BLW... but I spoon-feed him if we're having yoghurt/mashed potato/soup etc..'. Surely that is just weaning?? Do they think that other people only ever give purees and never give lumpy or finger food? That if you give any kind of finger food it is BLW?

With both DC I started off on purees for a week or 2, quickly moved up to mashed food and introduced finger foods as well, like steamed carrots, rice cakes, broccoli, toast etc, when they seemed ready for it. DD2 is 7 months and eats all sorts. I just call it food.

Whenever I hear someone talking about BLW I have to fight the urge to say 'in my day (only 2 years ago!) we just called it finger food...'

Ok, as you were, just needed to get that off my chest!

Tee2072 Fri 28-Jan-11 11:31:34


So far as I can tell, it is BLW because you hand them a plate with food on it and they choose themselves what to eat.

Which to me is just, well, eating!

BTW, my 19 month old son eats mash and porridge and all sorts with his hands. Messy, but effective.

LaWeaselMys Fri 28-Jan-11 11:32:44

I didn't spoon anything ever. I would say I BLW.

But if you do a mix but mostly finger stuff I can see why you'd say you BLW, or if you started with finger foods, as moist pureebased stuff says they have to get the hang of the purees before you offer finger foods.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jan-11 11:33:13

Tee Is that what it is? I have ben wondering for ages - I thought I had deprived my son of something special wink

MollysChambers Fri 28-Jan-11 11:36:33

YANBU. My thoughts exactly.

And nobody just breastfeeds anymore. They exclusively breastfeed.

How can things have changed so much since "my" day. My youngest is 2!

Tee2072 Fri 28-Jan-11 11:42:40

Molly, they've changed since my day and he's less than 2!!!

putthekettleon Fri 28-Jan-11 11:53:14

phew glad it's not just me... when DD1 was a baby it was something I'd vaguely heard of, now since having DD2 it is definitely the in thing. But when you actually talk about what the kids eat there's very little difference!

mumbar Fri 28-Jan-11 11:55:05

YANBU. My DS was on purees from 4 months - hungrey baby but no teeth until 10 months. I felt I had deprived him of something as he was't BLW - as in I fed him. In fact he was - he wanted food he opened his mouth smile,

True about EBF too, but I think they mean no FF and think its also excludes expressing?? (could be wrong though)

PlanetLizard Fri 28-Jan-11 11:56:38


hobbgoblin Fri 28-Jan-11 11:58:41

I've done old skool nd BLW. With BLW there is a difference because it is about more than just what's on the plate. It's about development, motor skills, choice making, oral development, etc.

Puree style only gives consideration to age you start and progression through stages of lumpiness and also rules out some food items that BLW allows from the beginning, such as meat...

I do agree though that spooning food that is sloppy is a slightly watered down version of BLW but think that it's less about rejection of the overall ethos and more about stuff like the carpet and time availablt to scrub walls and sheep dip the baby.

Laquitar Fri 28-Jan-11 11:58:46


Pumpster Fri 28-Jan-11 12:03:32

My eldest is 14 and my youngest is 4 months. Things I don't get include 'ebf' - I mainly bf but dd3 has had oooh 3oz of formula since birth. So what?
The nodding wisely and 'oh that will be the 4 month sleep regression' what fucking regression- she didn't sleep anyway! 'in my day' that just meant time for weaning!
BLW-YANBU totally agree with the OP. They all eat in the end, what's the fuss.

Quenelle Fri 28-Jan-11 12:05:01

YANBU If you spoonfeed puree/mash and offer finger foods it's traditional weaning.

If you just offer the baby food that they can pick up and put into their mouths, if they want it, that's BLW.

grin at 'sheep dip the baby'.

mutznutz Fri 28-Jan-11 12:06:26

I'd never heard of BLW til I found MN...sounds no different at all to 'finger foods' and I don't get all the fuss surrounding it.

Just feed them how you want (shrugs shoulders)

Longtalljosie Fri 28-Jan-11 12:06:50

I think it's all about how they start. If you start with purees you are leading the weaning. If you put a floret of broccoli in front of them to see if they have the motor skills to pick it up, chew and swallow, the baby is leading the weaning.

QueenOfFlamingEverything Fri 28-Jan-11 12:07:24

BLW is a description of an approach to weaning though, not just the type of food given.

I mean you could BLW with purees, by putting the bowl in front of the baby and letting them eat it themselves.

BLW doesn't only mean 'weaning onto finger food' but refers to the way the baby leads the process by showing readiness, choosing whether to eat the food or not, self-feeding, etc.

I do agree that its kinda daft to say 'combination of BLW and purees' but that is said because people don't really get what BLW is about. Its about the experience as much as the food and it involves allowing your baby more control than a lot of parents are comfortable with over their eating and food intake.

LadySanders Fri 28-Jan-11 12:09:59

it involves a lot more MESS than a lot of parents are comfortable with smile

Pumpster Fri 28-Jan-11 12:12:30

Well dd3 was eyeing up my star bar yesterday..
agree with mutznutz. I shall be doing my normal approach I think!

QueenOfFlamingEverything Fri 28-Jan-11 12:12:42

God yes.

The dog comes in well handy atm grin

wigglesrock Fri 28-Jan-11 12:14:03

But is it still blw if you put a few chips down in front of the baby and see if they'll try them or does it have to be broccoli grin

crapbarry Fri 28-Jan-11 12:14:47

well, I'm not sure - to me, BLW is about letting the child pick up their food, and play with it, and they lead the process of weaning by 'deciding' what to eat. Plus they learn to chew from the outset. DS refused to touch sloppy foods like yoghurt with his hands, or dippers, but happily took a loaded spoon from us and fed himself, so we did occasionally spoon feed him when we go impatient - and still do when he's tired but hungry for his yoghurt.

however, it was very different from the way my friends weaned, pureeing different vegs and fruit, and not introducing any finger foods until about 8 months - and they are still mashing or pureeing food for their DC at 16 months. I'm just far too lazy to do this, so DS gets what we're eating, sometimes cut into smaller pieces (as he has suddenly decided not to take bites out of things hmm I'm blaming teething, but think he's just as lazy as his mother!). He feeds himself yoghurt, but we help with the bottom of the pot. Most other things he feeds himself, especially now he's mastered the fork.

It's worth a read of the BLW book by Gill Rapely to see what the differences are between the puree and BLW styles.

The best bit for me was that I could eat my meal whilst it was still hot, and in peace, and DS was kept busy exploring his carrot or lump of chicken or whatever which is less easy with purees!

I don't know if yabu or not, in conclusion

QueenOfFlamingEverything Fri 28-Jan-11 12:16:43

wigglesrock - we are doing BLW with DS and the second day of it he had oven chips and broccoli and --a-- paper --hat--

QueenOfFlamingEverything Fri 28-Jan-11 12:17:36

Oh ffs why are strikeouts not working? I did it right and everything angry

purpleandpink Fri 28-Jan-11 12:19:17

Yab a bit u imo.

As a pp said, to me BLW is when you embrace the whole idea of self feeding from the off. So I agree that a "mixture" of the parent feeding and the child self feeding is not really blw at all.

I did blw with my 2 youngest, which means self feeding from the outset with everything - I didn't spoonfeed them at all. Yes, it is (very) messy at times but I love the idea of it as they are fantastoc eaters and they seemed to be able to regulate their own appetite from day 1. It was great to see.

I actually find it quite amusing when people see my 1 year old "struggling" with the spoon and try to help him - he goes nuts, batting them away furiously and making a funny growling sound. It might look awkward to other people but he wants to be in control and is not afraid to make that known! grin

I didn't do blw with my older ones and I feel there is definitely a difference, however I do agree with you that many people seem to be jumping on the badwagon without being willing to commit to it fully because it's messy/takes them a while to eat or whatever.....

Pumpster Fri 28-Jan-11 12:20:28

But you are still choosing what your baby eats aren't you? I mean he/she's not going to be ordering themselves a pizza! so while I sort of get the basic principle it seems to more about picking things up with fingers.

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