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To baby led wean or not??(9 Posts)
My DS is coming up to 6 months (in a week) and I'd like some advice/experiences of weaning. I've done bits and bobs of reading and an NCT solids workshop and my instinct is baby led, but I've always been slightly neurotically worried about my baby's weight as he struggled to gain in the first few weeks and is 9th centile. Traditional spoon feeding seems like it will be easier to know how much he's having? Can you do a combination of baby led and spoon feeding - the 'baby led weaning' book I read said not as they'll get confused... He's exclusively breast fed at the moment, feeding about 5 times a day and gaining weight fine now.
Any advice much appreciated!
I think more traditional weaning was to do a mixture.... Lots of my friends have done this and doesnt seem to have been an issue.
My son refused to be spoon fed though so we did BLW more because there wasn't a choice. It's worked well and although he didn't eat three solid meals a day until he was one he has stayed a healthy weight as milk is still their main nutrition until then.
Remember before starting solids your baby should be able to sit up without being held, should have lost their tongue reflex and should be able to put something to their mouth using their hands. Those are the three main things our paediatrician told us to look for.
Yes you can do a mix of puree and finger foods - that's what traditional weaning is. Finger foods should be offered from 6 months anyway even if giving puree.
I’m exclusively doing BLW. The first months they don’t need to eat any, my baby is but it wouldn’t matter if she wasn’t. She’s still having as much milk as before weaning (EBF), it’ll be ages before she drops any milk feeds (7 months now) and that’s what has the calories. BLW has been brilliant, my DD tries everything and it’s so much fun. I can’t see any appeal from purées, she has just had what we have from day 1 and she’s so confident.
Oh and she is a 0.4 centile baby so tiny!
We just done a bit of both, never really labelled it. Things that need a spoon like yogurt was spoon fed, things like cucumber we just handed to dd. She’s almost 2, she adores food and eats fantastically with cutlery as I’ve always given it to her during meals.
DD(6) was mostly spoon fed as she wouldn't eat otherwise! She's still extremely fussy but not because of how we weaned her, it's just her. With spoon feeding we at least got a bit of food in her. Now she still has a limited diet but and she's fed herself since she was about 1.5yrs.
A friend of mine said her DD(9) absolutely refused to be spoon fed. She wanted to do it all by herself! She eats most things and always has.
And then my DS(1) didn't and doesn't care, whatever gets it in his mouth the fastest! I think we started with a spoon and then put a few bits on his tray, and sort of went with it. He's 22mo now and can use a spoon by himself (mostly), picks some food up, and lets you feed him if you offer. He is very food oriented and eats EVERYTHING.
It all feels like such a big thing when you first start, but I promise you it does get easier. They're all different and some like BLW, some don't. Personally, I'd do a bit of both. Not necessarily purees, but some with a spoon and some finger food on the tray.
The important thing to remember is that regardless of which method you go with, milk is the most important thing they need until the age of 1. When you start weaning, it's just tastes so your baby will keep drinking the same amount of milk. As the months go on, baby will start to eat more and more and naturally drop milk feeds.
I did puree with my first for the same reasons you are thinking, at least you know how much he's eaten. When number 2 came along, he absolutely refused to spoon feed. I remember calling the hv in tears as blw scared me and he just seemed to play with the food and not eat it. Her words to me were "food before 1 is just for fun". And she was right. Slowly, he started to eat more and more. He's now a healthy big 2 and half year old.
I did blw with number 3. She started slow but she's 10 months old now, eats like a horse and still has 3 small bottles a day.
I wanted to go fully BLW, but it wasn't really working, he wouldn't even try anything. So I went more traditional, spoon fed purees so he could try different tastes and textures, and also offered a finger food at every meal. I then decreased the amount of puree and increased the range of finger foods at each meal until he was just on actual solids. Follow your baby, and what you are comfortable with would be my recommendation. Try whichever way you like first, and if it's not working you can always try something else. He seemed to pick up eating the finger foods quite quickly once into the swing of it, so not sure if it hinders or not. Food before 1 isn't just for fun, main calories should be from milk still, but their iron reserves start depleting from around 6 months.
This is all really helpful, thanks so much everyone. You're right, it seems like such a big deal now but I'm sure in a few months I won't know why I was worrying!
It's really reassuring to hear about milk still being the main source of nutrition, makes me feel better about his weight.
I think I'll ease into it then after this advice, and offer a bit of everything once I think he's ready and not stress too much about how much is actually being eaten at first! Hes still pretty wobbly sitting on his own so I'm not sure he's quite there yet anyway.
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