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To worry about baby led weaning

(90 Posts)
MoominsAreScary Thu 04-Aug-11 22:08:43

oldest two were weaned on liquidized food years ago, any tips on first finger foods and anyone's experiences especially regarding prem babies and baby led weaning ?

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 04-Aug-11 22:14:48

TBH, I just put whatever we were eating on dd's plate/tray for her to play with/suck, lick, mush, throw on the floor. I rarely thought about it. I didn't dictate what her first foods were, she did, when we were at a Toby Carvery.

She played and sucked from around 6 to 8 months, but milk was still her main food so I wasn't worried.

The trick is to keep all the pieces fairly big. Too small and hard and there is a risk of chocking because they can't control the size. If it is big then they can just nibble or bite a mouth-sized bit off themselve and in the VERY unlikely even to goes where it shouldn't it is easy to get out if it is bigger.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Aug-11 22:16:32

If you were happy with the way your other two children were raised, then do it that way.. dont feel you have to do it a certain way because other people say you should.

K999 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:18:13

I gave dd2 big and small pieces but tbh she just ate whatever we were eating. The only thing I avoided at 6 months + was apple. Too slippery. smile but by 18 months she was fine with it.

mum0ftw0 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:18:53

I think it's a good idea,baby ledweaning, as opposed to shuvelling a load of gunk down their throats periodically from 4 months odd like they did back in the day.
You can safely led the baby eat finger foods as and when they want to, at 7 months old if they only have a few peices of apple on one day, that's okay.
They can live on milk until 8 months or so.

ilovemountains Thu 04-Aug-11 22:20:07

YANBU, from wikipedia:

"Very little scientific research has been done regarding baby-led weaning. However, a new study headed by child health specialist Charlotte M. Wright from the University of Glasgow, Scotland found that while BLW works for most babies, it could lead to nutritional problems for children who develop more slowly than others. Wright concluded "that it is more realistic to encourage infants to self-feed with solid finger food during family meals, but also give them spoon fed purees.""

The reference is:

mum0ftw0 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:20:22

You don't need to force feed them to fatten them up too early, that probably causes obesity later in life.

fivegomadindorset Thu 04-Aug-11 22:22:19

I did BLW without realising with DD now 5.5, she mostly had finger food with a bit of puree, DS was pretty much 90% BLW.

Anything to gum on, french toast, humus, cucumber sticks, pasta etc

ilovemountains Thu 04-Aug-11 22:22:50

And I don't understand the "shuvelling a load of gunk down their throats" comment, I just spoon feed my daughter when she opens her mouth. It is normally the same food as we eat, and I don't feed my family gunk!

K999 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:23:03

I did BLW from 6 months but mainly at that age I gave milk! Tbh dd2 didn't really eat that much. She mainly sucked on a load of stuff!

mum0ftw0 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:23:06

french toast is brilliant

ilovemountains Thu 04-Aug-11 22:23:42

.... and I certainly don't understand "force feed". How ridiculous.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 04-Aug-11 22:23:55

With my 1st I BLW all the way. I just gave him whatever we were having (providing it was healthy) in a chip shape and let him get on with it. I felt that happy that he was getting all his nutrients and was filling up on breastmilk as he was demand fed. He also hated being fed and hated purees. I did worry about choking but it never happened, he gagged a few times and it was scary but it's completely normal.

It's funny but with my 2nd (she is 6mths now) I have started her on pureed jars (stone me) as she seems to really love them and I just give her some of what we are eating after she has had her jar. So it's a bit of a mix. The reason I am doing this is because I have to put her in a nursery as my situation has changed. I had DS home with me all of the time. I wanted to get her onto something that I feel the nursery could cope with.

So whichever way you do it, try and not stress as they are likely to grow up fit and healthy anyway and being BLW has not made my son any less fussy and it doesn't seem to be making my daughter any more discerning by bringing her up mostly on pureed mush!

WRT prem babies I would wait for them to reach 26 weeks plus however many weeks prem they are before introducing BLW or when they can sit up unsupported and have lost the gag reflex.

mum0ftw0 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:24:10

I just recall my younger siblings being fed nasty looking gunk until they physically wouldnt take anymore, from 3 months old, lol

Meglet Thu 04-Aug-11 22:25:16

I never had the balls to do full BLW. I just made sure one 'course' was spoon fed and the other was finger food. Eg; pureed cottage pie for firsts then I'd let them mush on a banana for pudding or give them bread / cheese for firsts then yoghurt for pudding. Stopped me getting anxious about them not eating enough <<feeder>>.

They will eat anything and use knives and forks, it's the only part of parenting I haven't screwed up.

Flisspaps Thu 04-Aug-11 22:26:01

Gill Rapley's response to the study you note:

"The study used data from the Gateshead Millenium Study, and the lead author is Charlotte Wright - all excellent credentials. In a nutshell, the authors found that, based on when babies began to reach out for food and feed themselves, BLW is "probably feasible for a majority of infants". There is a caveat that it could lead to nutritional problems for infants who are relatively developmentally delayed - but then again, no-one has ever claimed otherwise.

The GMS data show when the babies began reaching out for food and feeding themselves, and how many finger foods they were having (type and frequency) at six and eight months. The authors acknowledge that these babies were born (June 1999-May 2000) before either the six months recommendation or BLW had come into being, and that the parents' reports may therefore represent low parental expectations of their infants' self-feeding capacity, rather than genuine lack of ability. In other words, if they'd given them the opportunity earlier, who knows? So the fact that, on the basis of the data they do have, they are able to conclude that BLW is "probably feasible" for the majority is just great!"

OP - if you feel more comfortable with weaning your baby traditionally then do, but if you really want to have a bash at BLW I'd just start when your child is showing signs of being ready, prem or not smile

K999 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:26:59

I second French toast/eggy bread. Dd2 loved this. And asparagus!

TimeWasting Thu 04-Aug-11 22:28:17

That seems an over cautious conclusion in that study ilove. 6 % of babies may develop deficiencies, which they didn't have any evidence for, so all babies should have some spoon-feeding done. hmm

sherbertdipdab Thu 04-Aug-11 22:29:17

I did BLW (self feeding as I prefer to call it) with my DS now 2.2

If you are going to do it 'properly' get the book or use the website

I enjoyed it (and not doing the puree thing)

I also went on a first aid course to make sure I knew how to handle it if he did choke (he never did) it was great to have the extra confidence it gave me to let him explore the food on his own.

Go for it, or not, do whatever you feel comfortable with smile

MoominsAreScary Thu 04-Aug-11 22:32:17

With him being prem I like the idea of him being able to pick the food up and have a suck / chew rather than me feeding , I think maybe this way he would take less food in the beginning, I know if I spoon feed him he would probably want to eat loads where as with baby lead weaning I'm hoping he will just pick at things and it will be a more gradual process!

Could be wrong though?

K999 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:32:42

Lazy parenting as I prefer to call it wink

ilovemountains Thu 04-Aug-11 22:34:43

Thanks Flisspaps.

I think we do need to bear in mind that the GMS data showed that 6% of children may not be suitable for (exclusive) BLW. 6% doesn't sound a great deal, but actually is not insignificant.

The benefits of BLW are nowhere near as clear-cut as breastfeeding, for example, and there are some babies for who it may not be applicable.

ilovemountains Thu 04-Aug-11 22:36:11

Sorry, appropriate rather than applicable!

StrikeUpTheBand Thu 04-Aug-11 22:36:37

A crinkle cutter for slippery things such as potato, peach, courgette, aubergine etc smile makes it less slippery.

Babybel are very nice and hand-shaped, but expensive if your child has a tendency to drop things on the floor.

DS was premature and I started with purees because I didn't think he'd have the coordination in time but at around 7 months he did so then we went down the sort of BLW route and he seemed much happier. On the other hand, DD grabbed my banana and lunged head first into it at about 24 weeks and we have been fully BLW with her, but she was full term.

The BLW book (the Gill Rapley one) is very useful in explaining the reasoning why, and I think it mentions premature babies. I got it free in a magazine (ironically one that was full of a 10-page Annabel Karmel puree recipes section).

It is great fun and much more relaxed. The idea is to feed (milk) on demand until they are eating more food. This does take longer than with purees, but then there is this great moment at around 9 months when it all takes off much more and meanwhile your puree feeding mum friends are having all the problems that introducing lumps will give and meanwhile your baby is sitting there while you eat and just getting on with it smile. It is quite easy to get disheartened before that point and especially if friends/family are unsupportive so arm yourself with the facts if you can and just trust in your decision. Of course, if you change your mind you have not lost anything.

TimeWasting Thu 04-Aug-11 22:37:35

Further research needed I guess.

Has there been any research into the pros and cons of puree/spoon feeding?

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