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How important is mess when weaning?

(25 Posts)
Moulesfrites Wed 08-Jun-11 09:54:59

I ask because ds is 20 weeks, haven't started weaning yet but looking into blw etc. Bil and sil's dd is 13 months and only eats purees from jars. At pils at the weekend fil made her home made fish fingers, potato wedges and mushy peas but she had none of it. I suggested letting her pick it up herself and playing with it a bit but sil glared at me absolutely horrified, saying that she would get messy.

Now I know I haven't started yet and will have a lot to learn but isn't getting messy part of the learning process? They ended up giving her a jar, and it seemed such a shame that pils lovely meal had gone to waste. i really want to avoid the same thing happening with my ds - is blw the answer here? Surely some purees are ok?

CMOTdibbler Wed 08-Jun-11 09:59:29

Mess is important - at some point children need to be holding food and experiencing it.

IMO, at 13 months they should not be having any puree at all, just normal food. Does she not get to feed herself anything ?

Moulesfrites Wed 08-Jun-11 10:01:44

I have seen her feed herself crisps, but that is all I think. Everything else is jars.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 08-Jun-11 10:06:57

Your SIL has seriously warped priorities. Yesterday my daughter grabbed some bread crust from me and then she had a nectarine (all first time so very exciting) and it look as if she slaughtered a horse (sorry for the comparison but it kind of looked like that!). Yes, it was everywhere but not impossible to get it out. Now she's eating my laptop. Yucky but educational grin.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 08-Jun-11 10:10:18

Plus CMOTdibbler is spot on - I've never seen any 13 month old babies having purees. Your SIL seems to be very lazy and does not to make any work for herself. Sorry to be harsh, but it doesn't seem she does what is best for her DD but what is best for herself. That works only in a short run though.

GoldenGreen Wed 08-Jun-11 10:11:05

They would have a fit if they could see my 12 month old wiping baked beans through her hair. I think babies need lots of practise with finger food and it inevitably gets messy - shame to restrict their choices because of a bit of mess.

JarethTheGoblinKing Wed 08-Jun-11 10:14:49

Very. I was like your SIL with my DS and just couldn't deal with mess. DS has problems with the texture of some foods now and is as picky as they come.

Octaviapink Wed 08-Jun-11 13:29:24

Your SIL is really setting herself up for long term problems! Mess is essential - children have to experience food in lots of different ways and self-feeding is inevitably a learning process. Your 13-mo niece shouldn't just be eating normal food by now (7 months onwards) but should mostly be feeding herself.

Roo83 Wed 08-Jun-11 13:48:16

Not only is getting messy an important part of weaning, it also makes life easier. My dd (9 months) will often sit in her high chair feeding herself banana, strawberries, rice cakes etc. While I make something with ds, have a cup of tea, chat to a friend etc. Yes I have to clear the mess up, but at least she's happy and experimenting with different tastes and textures. At meal times she often eats what we are, I make one meal for us all and use unsalted butter so it saves cooking separate meals all the time.

GetThePartyStarted Wed 08-Jun-11 14:02:29

It's only anecdotal I know, but all the people I know who did BLW and chilled out about mess have great eaters who self feed and find food interesting and all the people who wouldn't let their DCs touch food or get messy or try adult food have fussy eaters who don't like mealtimes or trying new food.

Of course there are plenty of babies who were weaned on purees + finger food who like food too, I think it's more the attitude towards food that's important.

gourd Wed 08-Jun-11 16:02:19

I think it's important that babies get to feel textures and see whole foods like whole fruits, not just slices, so they understand what they are eating and can easily recognise foods - not just stuff that comes out of a jar or packet - you want to set them up as early as possible to eat well for life. It is a bit messy but not bad if you're well prepared - for example, use a full bib with arms, and maybe an old towel over your baby's knees to catch water spills and any food bits, and put an old towel or plastic sheet on the floor under the highchair that can be shaken into the bin afterwards. This makes for a lot less tidying up afterwards.

JarethTheGoblinKing Wed 08-Jun-11 16:27:45

Has your sister got a massive padded highchair that's impossible to clean by any chance? Part of the reason I avoided messy stuff was because it took all day to clean the sodding high chair..

RitaMorgan Wed 08-Jun-11 16:32:16

If children aren't able to touch, smell, explore food before it is put in their mouth then they don't develop the confidence to try new things.

Sparklyboots Wed 08-Jun-11 17:02:50

Oo, does anyone else recall Tanya Bryon curing fuss eating toddlers by doing messy play with them? In the House of Tiny Tots? Mess aversion leads to eating disorder is the massively simplistic moral of that programme...

Tigresswoods Wed 08-Jun-11 20:48:07

Wow, I want to post a picture of my DS 15 months covered in food from this weekend. He is learning to use a spoon but also picks things up a lot, we just let him get on with it. He's been at this stage since about 12 months and is getting very good now. He ate rice kripsies with a teaspoon almost perfectly this morning.

We have gone through A LOT of mess to get here.

IME purees (bought or home made) and lots of chances at finger food is a great way to go.

Go with your instincts.

skybluepearl Wed 08-Jun-11 23:28:54

I did baby led weaning with my second and it was fab. i agree letting them explore the food is essential and a bit of mess is just normal. i did homemade purees with my first and that was fine but needed much more prep. also meant i had to spoon feed him and he didn't really feed himself for years.

i fed mine mostly savory foods and only what we were eating ourselves. now they eat everything - even very grown up food. I never offered alternatives if they turned their nose up. They rarely truely dislike anything and i ddin't have time to cook multiple meals at tea time.

Graciescotland Wed 08-Jun-11 23:38:07

I didn't do blw but I did at least one meal a day that was purely finger food (mess be damned). DS has great pincer control and eats pretty much what we do (he's now nearly ten months) I think you just have to get used to cleaning the floor/ highchair/ baby after every meal grin

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 09-Jun-11 06:34:31

Did blw with ds who is now 15m and eats virtually owt. Still give him things he "doesn't like" as he randomly eats some of them out of the blue.

I wouldn't want to put an unknown substance in my mouth without giving it a good prod first.

Get the ikea high chair. Wipe clean, removable tray, life saver. That and newspaper/shower curtain/ dog on floor.

Do cleanish things for lunch, straight in to the bath after tea.

Watching their skills develo with blw is fascinating. And you build up a good stash of photos to show the lo's future partners. grin

Oh and the blw book by gill rapely is worth a read if you need reassurance /ammo for the mad sil.

Tee2072 Thu 09-Jun-11 06:38:33

Mess is the best part! My son fed himself soup for the first time this week, he's 2 on Saturday. Did any get into his mouth? Not much! Did he have fun? Oh yes. And learned that bread dipped in onion soup is da bomb!

skorpion Thu 09-Jun-11 11:24:49

Got kids, have mess IMO. Anybody who thinks otherwise will be hugely disappointed at some point - if not food it will be play later on.

Mess is fun (to make and to watch). And if you're mentally prepared for it you'll be OK.

My 18 month old is just mastering the use of a fork, but still frequently ends up with food in her hair.

Would second the recommendation of the blw book - brilliant stuff!

thesurgeonsmate Thu 09-Jun-11 11:36:57

I think its nice to have lots of skills - I got started with finger foods, with pre-loaded spoons and with bowls of thick porridge for rustling about in, but as we went along, I spooned in a fair bit. It's useful when you're out and about to be able to do the spooning for them, although I imagine there are always going to be phases where a tiny mind is made up about how they want to eat today.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 09-Jun-11 11:50:34

I don't think mess per se is important, but no, a baby shouldn't be fed mainly on jars at 13 months. I have a feeling (although it was a loooooong time ago) that ds might have had the odd one in an emergency as an alternative to salty ready meals - stuff that would have been pretty squishy anyway even had it been "real" food.

I took a very similar approach to thesurgeonsmate - bit of spooning as required, plenty of finger foods. Worked a treat.

matana Thu 09-Jun-11 12:14:16

Not sure how important it is but we have a 'mummy's way' and 'daddy's way' in our house because DH can't stand mess and i think a bit of mess is ok and good for them. I think it's important for them to to feel the spoon and put it in their mouth if they show an interest. I always let DS do that but have a spare spoon on standby because he tends to put his spoon in his mouth and leave it there. He won't let me wrestle it away from him so i need a spare one so i can keep swapping spoons with him, using distraction (he's 7 mo)!

I think it's more important to get them onto lumpier textures as soon as the smoother first tastes have been established (if not doing BLW) and then moving on to trying them on a bit of food from your plate. That way they learn that eating is fun and sociable and they're more likely to try new things. We did this mixture approach and it worked a treat - but DS does love his food and is a little eating machine.

BlueberryPancake Thu 09-Jun-11 13:02:49

What I say is don't judge before you've done it yourself. It's easy to say 'this is what I will be doing' and you'll realise in a few months time that jars can be useful when out and about, or if you are short of time. I did baby led weaning with DS1 because I had time on my hands but DS2 had many jars, and now they are both equally fussy - not very fussy, but you will be surprised how many meals you will lovingly prepare that will end up in the bin.

For example, DS1 absolutely loved macaroni and cheese for about one month, and then that was it he refused it afterwards. Same with peas. One week it was his favorite, then he didn't eat it for months. Same with broccoli. Same with fish pie, which he loved when he was little and then completely went off it and still doesn't like it. DS2 absolutely refused from weaning anything that had a doughy texture, like bread. He always (always) spat it out. He only started eating bread after he was three years old and I must have offered him bread 200 times but he always spat it out.

doodleduck Thu 09-Jun-11 13:46:15

Personally I don't like the phrase 'Baby led weaning'. All weaning is to a certain extent baby-led anyway if only because they'll let you know soon enough what they don't want!!
My daughter had pureed foods to start with but I wasn't shoving down her mouth - she could play with it or her spoon.

Here we're talking about someone not liking the mess. There's always a certain amount of mess with food whether you use jars/homemade purees/bits of food to suck or chew. It's part of the process. Apart from a couple of occasions, it wasn't never as near as messy as I expected it to be. I guess maybe I've got low standards!!

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