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BLW at 5 months??

(18 Posts)
TheBluthCompany Mon 11-Jul-11 15:22:25

I'm planning to go with a BLW approach and wanted to wait till nearer 6 months to begin. DS is nearly 5 months (21 weeks) and seems to be really desperate to put our food in his mouth. He's sitting up pretty well with a bit of help and is EBF.

So should I just try and distract him with toys? This hasn't been going well so far!

Or should I give him some food to play with/suck on? If so what?


Pootles2010 Mon 11-Jul-11 15:24:38

Is him being desperate to put food in his mouth the only thing making you want to start early?

If so i'd try and distract him. Perhaps try to eat when he's having his nap?

I think you're meant to wait because of safety reasons, also the longer you bf the bettter. Good on you for lasting this long though!

TheBluthCompany Mon 11-Jul-11 15:35:40

Thanks for replying. Yes I'd rather wait as this seems to be what the evidence points to as best at the moment. It is just that he looks so desperate to join in!! The BLW book seems to just say that when he can reach the food and put it in his mouth then let him. Well that would be now.

Is there something I could give that he wouldn't actually eat, but just play with and taste, like a carrot maybe? Has anyone done this?

KnitterNotTwitter Mon 11-Jul-11 15:38:11

I'd say go for it... if he has the skills to BLW then he's ready.

Start with something stick shaped and see what happens - cooked carrot is good although we started with kiwi. I wouldn't expect your DC to actually consume anything - they'll be playing with tastes for a while before they get the idea that they could swallow any of it!

naturalbaby Mon 11-Jul-11 15:43:39

my baby is 5 months, 3 weeks and has been chomping on a few bits for a week but not sitting up steady enough to start blw properly. i started his big brother at 5 1/2months when he grabbed a big rice cake off me and ate the whole thing and had no idea that he was that ready to start on food until then. this baby is desperate and starving! he's feeding every 2hrs or less so i've made him wait a week and am going to start a few purees today because he really is very hungry and complaining all day. he did have bit of a proper choke on a chunk of pear last week and can't sit up in a booster chair properly for long but he did quite well earlier on pear - eating most of a piece and spitting out the skin (which i should have cut off first but anyway...). i had him on my knee leaning forward a bit after the choking incident last week.

he's had rice cake, apple, pear, cucumber and got very very cross when i took the sloppy tiny pieces away at the end. i have a toddler and pre-schooler so there's usually something suitable for him to hold and suck/chomp on at each meal so he gets something at lunch and/or dinner to keep him busy.

KnitterNotTwitter Mon 11-Jul-11 15:45:13

Should have said that we started BLW with DS at 5.5mo

MovingAndScared Mon 11-Jul-11 16:10:23

my DS2 was like this - we managed to distract him with spoons etc for a couple of weeks. Personally I would wait until he is sitting with out support - we got to about 5 month and 2 weeks that way

WoTmania Mon 11-Jul-11 16:14:14

Gill Rapley says you can start BLW at 2 weeks if you want. the point is you don't put anything into your baby's mouth and when they are ready they do. To begin with it tends to just be put in, chewed/sucked a little and then pushed out of mouth. After a while some starts to get sallowed and digested.
It's very interesting, a couple of my friends have been taking part in her latest research

RitaMorgan Mon 11-Jul-11 16:15:05

My ds would have been over 7 months if I'd waited til he could sit without support grin We started BLW at 22 weeks.

TheBluthCompany Mon 11-Jul-11 16:20:24

Thanks for your replies everyone - a mix of opinions! woTmania that's what I thought, but kellymom has lots of info on why waiting until 6 months is best. Just because he wants to shove everything in his mouth doesn't mean his gut is ready right? Do you know what Rapley's latest research is about?

tortilla Mon 11-Jul-11 16:22:09

My DD was 2 weeks overdue - some babies with the same due date as her could have been 4 or 5 weeks older. So on that basis, I always treated the 26 weeks guidance as a rough guide rather than a definite, and based my decision on the signs of readiness more than age (not that nonsense about waking at night which leads so many people to weaning early, but the proper physiological stuff). So when she was sitting unaided, and was picking food off our plates if in reach and trying to shove it in her mouth at 22 weeks, and had clearly lost the tongue thrust reflex, I decided to go for it. My view on BLW is that if you are going to trust your baby to feed themselves then you should trust them to let you know when they are ready rather than distracting them until some arbitrary date in the calendar (there is a 5 week window where a baby is considered full term, so why is 26 weeks to the day the exact time to wean?). Baby-led means letting the baby lead rather than going off a calendar, right? So one day I plonked a bit of broccoli in front of her, and she managed to pick it up and suck it. She enjoyed it so we did a bit every day. She could break food off and move it round her mouth and swallow easily, and by 24 weeks she was eating quite a lot of food. There still seems no sense to me in us having waited until 26 weeks, and I feel very comfortable with that decision. If you feel she is ready, then give it a go and see what she does.

IgnoringTheChildren Mon 11-Jul-11 16:24:06

I'm sure that lots of people won't agree with me about this...

I think people are too hung up on the 6 months thing - some babies are ready for solids before this and some aren't ready until the are older than 6 months. The problem is that lots of people think that their babies are ready for weaning before they actually are for various reasons (peer group/family pressure; want them to sleep through the night; think that because they watch you while they eat they are ready...) so health professionals have drawn up guidelines using an average age (and also probably hope that the 6 month advice will prevent some of the really early weaning).

To me it seems silly to restrict a child's development if they really are ready for weaning just because they aren't yet a certain age - you wouldn't try to stop a baby walking just because they were trying to do it before 12 months right? However knowing if they actually really are ready is the tricky bit!

As far as I can see the only way to really know this is to give them some food to try, in a baby led weaning way. If they can sit up (with or without support), have good head control, can pick up a bit of food, get it in their mouth and suck/chew it then they're ready!

I'm doing BLW with my DS2 and he actually started at 17 weeks gnawing on a bit of cucumber (I clearly wasn't planning to start him then as cucumber is not an ideal first food!) He then tried some of whatever we were having at mealtimes (so long as it was suitable and he was awake!) He was definitely swallowing from 17 weeks (nappy contents don't lie!) but didn't reliably eat at every mealtime until about 5.5 months. HOWEVER every child is different!

Hope that you enjoy BLW when you/your DS does decide to start! grin

IgnoringTheChildren Mon 11-Jul-11 16:25:36

x-posted with lots of people due to DS2 demanding to be fed! grin

japhrimel Mon 11-Jul-11 19:25:53

We started BLW at a bit over 5 months as DD grabbed some salad and shoved it in her mouth! We didn't have regular meals for her until she was nearly 6 months and we didn't give her dairy or gluten at first. I think it actually helped that she had a few weeks of just practising with one bit of courgette or cucumber per "meal" before trying anything more complicated.

They need to be able to sit up well in a high chair or Bumbo or on your lap as they need to be able to keep their airway clear and stay upright so they can deal with anything they gag on. They don't need to be able to sit independently on the floor with no support at all.

suzym1984 Mon 11-Jul-11 21:36:47

I am interested in this as DS is now 22 weeks and I am wanting to start weaning him, he is showing all the signs! Would you start them on 3 meals a day straight away, or just one? <sorry for highjack!>

RitaMorgan Mon 11-Jul-11 21:49:00

I just gave ds a bit of what we were eating if he was awake and cheerful at the right time.

TheBluthCompany Tue 12-Jul-11 08:27:17

Thanks everyone - very helpful. Last night DS sat in his highchair and I gave him toys to play with. When he got tired of that I put a chunk of banana in front of him but he just ignored it. I think he just wants to join in and copy what we're doing. He wants to shove his hands in our food to play with it (which by this point was a yummy creamy dessert so not exactly appropriate!). I'm not sure he is really ready to pick up food and purposefully put it in his mouth yet.

Might keep going with distractions and try again soon. Would be interested to hear what others in the same boat are doing. Let us know how you go suzym1984. I think you can give them appropriate food whenever you are eating and they show an interest. Not necessarily 3 times a day - it's just about play and not getting food in the gob.

WoTmania Tue 12-Jul-11 11:09:47

OP - you could always sit him int he highchair and just put a couple of bits from your plate in front of him. Then he can squish and squash to his heart's content.

suzym - I think I just used to offer a little at ever meal. Breakfast hte older DC would give the weanling their crusts if it was toast and lunch and tea were just bits from my plate that either got thrown on the floor or eaten. DS2 and DD were both very uninterested in food until 13-14 months.

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