to feel like I have failed because I want to give up on baby led weaning?(161 Posts)
Ds is 7 months old and he is doing reaply well with his eating. We waited till 6 months before we offered him food and we have been following blw. He has been eating the same food as us and actually managing to chew strips of chicken and trying lots of vegetables, he hardly ever gaggs and he seems to really enjoy food.
The only problem we have is the mess, I am not the greatest cleaner I have been spending 15-20 minutes aftereeach meal cleaning the highchair, floor, walls, baby, me. Ds can crawl and has just started pulling himself up and cruising around the furniture so I can't just leave him sat on the floor with a toy whilst I clean up anymore.
We are staying at my mums and last night we got back from a day out really late. I bought a pouch of baby food and gave it to ds on a spoon, he ate it with no problem andthe clean up took about 20 seconds.
I feel like I am letting ds down if we give up on blw as he is doing so well, but I don't want to waste quality time with him cleaning up avoidable mess. I like the idea of ds having control of what and how much he eats, I really want to help him develop a healthy relationship with food as its something I have struggled with.
Do it your way. When you have time go for it with the BLW thing and when things are a rush, use a spoon.
He's still going to learn. I'd be very surprised if he gets to 7 and still can't manage to hit his mouth with food.
Why don't you just do a bit of both methods? I wouldn't bother with pouches, just give a bit of what you're eating, either finger food or mushed up.
You are not letting him down, you are giving him meals. Either way is fine. Could you not just give him less messy stuff to eat himself and spoon feed the rest? It is not all or nothing, people have always given bits of finger food.
Also eating outside is good for dealing with mess, if that is possible for you.
I did BLW with dd and my SIL and BIL looked on with total horror at the mess . It is not for everyone. BUT they do get less messy.
I do a bit of both, I know some people think the two methods should be mutually exclusive ( I'm not sure why) whatever works for you and DS
Let that guilt go, it's unnecessary! You're not starving the poor child, you're feeing him and you'll always hand him the odd thing to eat anyway. Mine loved cream cheese finger sandwiches at that age.
Don't sweat it op. As long as your baby gets fed does it really matter what way it happens? All 5 of my dc are great eaters, not at all fussy. You don't lead to baby led wean to get your children to be good eaters. For some meals I might have let them feed themselves, but most of the time I would not have had the time to faff about waiting for a baby to feed itself. You definitely have not let your baby down or harmed him in any way at all!
With DS I spoonfed him and then gradually introduced finger foods. With DD I did both at the same time.
Why don't you try combining the two? Spoon feed breakfast, finger food lunch etc.
Do what feel right for you. As long as he gets good healthy food he will be fine.
I think it should be Mother Led Weaning instead anyway.
I do both! When we have the time we get messy, if its a rush or out and about then he gets the spoon.
Mind you, as he's now 1, he wants to use the spoon too
i did a bit of both with all 3 of my kids. ds1 is 12, so nobody did "BLW" then, they just gave their babies a mixture of ready made food and home cooked food and finger foods and non finger foods. it was way easier before you had to label it and make a decision one way or the other. just do it however it suits you, it'll turn out fine.
I would wager that most people, in reality, do a bit of both
Personally, I tended to make one proper meal a day based on finger foods and the other meals / snacks as purées or yoghurts etc, perhaps with something to hold as well, so a slice of bread or carrot or whatever.
No way would I have had time to do a full on food smushing meal 3 times a day!
It doesn't matter you know.
It just doesn't matter.
I have always had a pet around for cleaning up baby food mess.
Sounds like you're doing a great job OP, don't beat yourself up. When I gave my DD the pouches, I'd give them to her to suck rather than use a spoon (though at 7 months could get messy!). That may be worth practicing?
You're doing fine, he is eating and happy, please don't worry.
We went with a mix of BLW and spoon feeding, depending on the situation. If you haven't already, get yourself either a cheap shower curtain or plastic table cloth. I think I got a white shower curtain from Asda for under £2! I put it under the high chair and it made cleaning a lot easier, just shook it out and hosed it off in the garden! it's summer, so you can probably strip him off for the really messy meals. I used to wet a cloth and leave it on the really mucky bits to make it easier to wipe off later. Enjoy it, and get loads of pictures!
Thanks for all the advice doing a mixture is a great idea, dinner is the easiest messy meal as my dp is home so one if us cleans the mess and the other baths ds.
The other issue is that we go out everyday ( ds is an angle when we are out but he hates sitting at home) so often for lunch we are in a cafe or a friends living room or a baby group. I live in a country where they don't do blw so I find it quite stressful feeding ds in public.
I found it really hard to beat myself up about baby led weaning. I gave tonnes of finger food vegetables, fruit, pasta etc but in the early days I spoon fed porridge and spaghetti bolengse until he got the hang of it. I had done something similar with his older sister but with a lot more spoon feeds. What I did not do was all there strategies that my mothers generation had to encourage the child to eat when if clearly was not bothered any more distraction and aeroplane etc and that worked for us.
I meant leave the cloth on the high chair, not the child!
If you're out and about, go for the least messy option.
If you want to keep doing BLW, then make it easier on yourself. Easy to clean high chair (ikea Antilop- can go straight into the dishwasher), shower curtain under the high chair which can be put straight into the washing machine at the end of the day (I just pick off the big bits during the day), strip baby down to nappy, wear an apron - although I mostly stand clear til they have finished most of their eating. I also find a muslin and a bowl of water cleans the baby better than endless baby wipes - it has a bigger surface area so can hit more mush faster!
That said, if it's not for you and is getting you down, then switch to a mixed method which is cleaner for you. It's your life after all!
Nothing wrong with doing both, I did only BLW with my daughter , then had a very hungry son whose appetite outstripped his ability to feed himself so he had a bit of both. In the end they'll all learn to eat! Don't beat yourself up.
Your not failing, just realizing that there are other things that are important - like quality time with baby not cleaning. Maybe try a mix of spoon fed and baby led. Sure that is what most people do anyway. Sometimes baby feeding themselves is good so you can do otherstuff or eat yourself. Sometimes getting some food in quickly and relatively pain free will work better. Just don't stress yourself over it. Your doing a good job!
shower curtain under the high chair
yy definitely this - it makes it so much easier to tidy up afterwards.
If blw is making you stressed when you're out then just use another method. If you're stressed then your dc might pick up on that so just go for what works for you both,and try to enjoy it . I loved watching ds try lots of different foods and textures.
I did purely BLW with my first and a mixture with my second. I felt exactly the same as you about the mess (in fact I think I posted about it at the time!).
Do not feel you have failed at all. Just having the chance to have finger foods along side being spoon fed will likely give the same advantages. I think my second was better fed in a way, because he ended up having whatever we were having and not specially made food just for him.
I think most mothers do a bit of both- and always have done. Footage from remote tribes show mothers putting food into their children's mouths and children exploring food with their own hands. I seemed to have seen the same in nature films about primates. A mixture decided by the mother.
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