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in being the only person who thinks that baby-led weaning is against WHO guidelines?

(43 Posts)
hiphopapotamus Fri 17-Jul-09 15:22:27

The HVs in our area actively promote BLW as how to wean your child. Our weaning talk consisted of a BLW video then a few dos and don'ts about what foods to give. Spoon feeding was actively discouraged due to "anecdotal evidence" (always the best kind) that some toddlers were rejecting lumpy foods.

Now, I have no issue with thinking it sensible to give babies different textures and finger foods from the start now weaning begins at 6 months. However, I asked at weaning talk when BLW fed babies actually started getting food down and the answer was "around 8 months onwards, but that's fine, they don't need anything but breastmilk until then".

Except they do. The World Health Organisation's publication on infant and young child feeding suggests "By the age of 6 months, a baby has usually at least doubled his or her birth weight, and is becoming more active. Exclusive breastfeeding is no longer sufficient to meet all energy and nutrient needs by itself, and complementary foods should be introduced to make up the difference."

So AIBU to expect the HVs to a) be aware of and b) encourage weaning methods that support the WHO recommendations?

Tamarto Fri 17-Jul-09 15:23:39


littleducks Fri 17-Jul-09 15:26:51

The World Health Organisation's publication on infant and young child feeding suggests "By the age of 6 months, a baby has usually at least doubled his or her birth weight, and is becoming more active. Exclusive breastfeeding is no longer sufficient to meet all energy and nutrient needs by itself, and complementary foods should be introduced to make up the difference."

thats what blw is
you introduce the food from 6 months not 8

ruddynorah Fri 17-Jul-09 15:27:59

um well they are being introduced from 6 months with blw. plus a whole lot of blw babies get chomping very quickly. don't really see your point tbh, other than to start a riot debate.

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Fri 17-Jul-09 15:32:06

BLW means you introduce food at 6m. A baby is then able to use it's instincts and body to self-regulate the amount of complementary food he eats vs. the amount of breastmilk he eats.

As he gets better at it, the proportion of his diet that is breastmilk gradually decreases. They are not very good at eating at first, unsurprisingly, so they don't actually ingest much until they're about 8m old - that's what your HVs are saying.

But it's fine - they don't need much more than breastmilk until 9m, and even then they don't need a lot of complementary foods. The WHO say that breastmilk should remain the vast majority of a baby's diet until they're 12m.

sarah293 Fri 17-Jul-09 15:34:05

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RemusLupinInAWizardsuit Fri 17-Jul-09 15:37:36

rofl at this. My kid is nearly 2 and would happily still live on a complete BM diet if I let him.

Fat as a buddha, and was BEFORE he started weaning.

bedlambeast Fri 17-Jul-09 15:58:53

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Laquitar Fri 17-Jul-09 15:59:07


thats what my mum says. She says she has done this and other 'new' parenting years ago. she just didn't have 'special' names and terminology.

BunnyLebowski Fri 17-Jul-09 16:07:35

Bang on Riven. We've given dd a plethora of foods from totally smooth purees to big chunks of stuff. Started at 6 months and now 9 months there is nothing she won't eat.

Why does it have to be BLW or purees?

chegirl Fri 17-Jul-09 16:23:58

Riven - this is the second thread that has made me feel a bit confused. Like 'self settling' I didnt have a clue what BLW was. I thought it was some new procedure that I had missed out on.

Turns out it means giving your baby something to eat and letting them get on with it.

Some of us laid back lazy arse mothers have been doing that for years grin.

I have had big gaps between kids. Two in born in the early 90s and then ADS came along in 03. Next birth child in Dec 07. Bloody hell everything has changed or has a different name. I found my pg with DS3 quite stressful because of it all. I felt deskilled (sorry but dont know a better way of putting it). By the time I had him it felt like he was my 1st not my 4th!

I dont reject new information or guidence BTW. I like to keep up with new research and recommendations. But I feel that all this stuff can put parents off and make them back away from HCPs bombarding them with advice.

Morloth Fri 17-Jul-09 16:28:30

I just waited until DS would try to wrestle the fork from my hand when I was eating dinner. I figured at that point he was ready for real food.

FaintlyMacabre Fri 17-Jul-09 16:44:44

It doesn't have to be BLW or puree. I would say that it has to be BLW or notBLW.

IMO BLW is not just about finger-foods (I hate that term anyway) but about the way you introduce solids. The name is a bit ambiguous and seems to annoy people. I propose a new catchier title 'Baby initiated independent self-feeding'. Should clear any confusion up grin

sweetnitanitro Fri 17-Jul-09 17:01:41

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that wonders why everything has a name now. I've not read any parenting books but one of my mates reads everything and is always harping on about some new technique or other. I think it makes parents worry unnecessarily and ignore their natural instincts.

My DD has purees and bits of soft food like banana (and a hell of a lot of boob still grin ) and will eat anything I make her (apart from this bean concoction I made once which to be fair was absolutely minging)

bronze Fri 17-Jul-09 17:03:49

Riven I'm with you

Always saying ' Oh is there a term for that?'

HerHonesty Fri 17-Jul-09 17:33:05

its funny isnt it we are so bloody prescribed/ordered, marketed to that something that is pure instinct has to be given a label/become a "trend" before we are confident enough to actually follow our instinct.

big bug bear of mine, so much advice, so many books, websites etc, we are forgetting how to think.

MIAonline Fri 17-Jul-09 17:47:31

I am also in the why does it have to be either/or camp. I did both, worked really well for DS.

Back to the OP, It doesn't seem to go against the WHO guidelines,

So in answer to your question of 'AIBU to think it does go against who guidelines' then Yes YABU

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Fri 17-Jul-09 17:53:22

It has to have a name or the health care profession won't listen to any evidence supporting it!

Seriously, Gill Rapley (who I've met and who is lovely and who coined the phrase) bangs on and on about how this is nothing new at all and that all her research is doing is validating it so that health professionals will listen to it and stop insisting parents do purees from 4 months.

MIAonline Fri 17-Jul-09 18:01:16

You are right Flamingo and it is a very good point.

But, by the time it gets down to the parents these things lose their balanced approach and it is a life or death situation to do/not do whatever the current trend is grin

neenztwinz Fri 17-Jul-09 18:11:54

The problem with BLW is that it 'bans' any feeding with a spoon. The theory goes that if you let the baby choose what it wants to eat the baby will only eat what it is ready to eat ie if your baby throws all its potato on the floor, then it is obviously not meant to eat potato yet. My twins still throw potato on the floor so I spoonfeed it to them. But you are not telling me that my 14mo twins shouldn't eat potato yet? No, they just don't like the look of it. They have lots of other finger foods and have no problem with lumps. I loved the idea of blw but my DTs just didn't eat enough at first so were cluster feeding madly and I couldn't keep up on the BFing. They were much more settled after some sweet potato and lentils which I spoonfed to them smile.

I wouldn't say BLW is against WHO guidelines but then neither is spoon-feeding so what's the problem with a bit of both?

sarah293 Fri 17-Jul-09 18:37:14

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TrinityRhinoHasASillyStepson Fri 17-Jul-09 18:37:28

no it doesn't

give the baby a spoon

or even help them with somehting you can see they are struggling with

but its about not shovelling it down them with a spoon and only stopping when the bowl is empty rather that the child full

and anyway who needs a sppon

soup and bread dont need a spoon

sarah293 Fri 17-Jul-09 18:41:56

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spicemonster Fri 17-Jul-09 18:42:45

neenztwinz - BLW doesn't ban anything and that theory about chucking food on the floor isn't something I've ever read. Please do share your source

Sarraburd Fri 17-Jul-09 18:58:12

Agreed not against who and YABU - DS was definitely troughing solids as soon as introduced with BLW.

That said, agreed it doesn't have to be as black and white; I was more relaxed about it. (perhaps because did it with second child so was a) lazier easier for me to BLW as was cooking for DD anyway so just offered what I'd done b) more inclined to trust my instincts than get hung up on what I was reading). (I like Libbby Purves' analogy of parenting advice being like false teeth by post - however well-designed and well-intentioned, not all of it will fit you, you have to adapt).

So, I did BLW with occasional puree (eg if at mum's /SIL's and they'd made some) /yoghurt and gave DS spoon to play with (he was quite happy dipping fingers in and licking too) and occasionally would use a spoon myself too. Worked really well for us. By ten months he was feeding himself with the spoon. Went back to work and said to the nursery "he can feed himself" and after first day of settling they said "wow he can feed himself" and I was like "um yes I wasn't just trying to brag about how clever he is...!"

Anyway recommend giving it a go if you don't mind the unbelievable mess that is the inevitable byproduct...couple of my friends couldn't contemplate it because of that alone!

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