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Concern over MIL and BLW

(38 Posts)
babrow13 Mon 10-Feb-14 23:48:38

Sorry for long post.

I am due to return to work next month 2 days per week and MIL will be looking after DS who will be 11 months. I am concerned that she will be trying to spoon feed DS behind my back as she does not agree with BLW for a variety of reasons.

Me and DH have both made it clear that DS is not spoon fed and MIL had previously seemed to respect our decision. However, the other day I was feeding DS mash, loading the spoon up for him and passing it to him to to feed himself which he does very well. After about 5 spoonfuls he didn't want any more and started to whinge. MIL decided to take over and tried to put the spoon in his mouth in front of me. DS just whacked it away from his face and over the floor it went.

MIL is great with DS and he adores her. I am happy in all other aspects of her care of him but I now have this doubt in my head that our weaning methods are being undermined and she will care for him as she pleases behind my back. Also he has made so much progress with the BLW that I want to continue.

Am I reading too much into it? Has anyone else experienced anything similar and what did you do? Or should I just let her get on with it?

She has seen DS eating whole foods and knows his capabilities but I think she believes he needs some extra help with eating or needs more food. I gave her the Gill Rapley book to read in October and she hasn't read it yet, told DH she wouldn't read that rubbish and it is all just money making. I truly don't mind if she disagrees with it but I want her to read the book so she knows what to do as this method is so alien to her.

Another big concern is that DH is overweight and does not know when he is full up. He eats excessively. DS is a big boy, 98 centile for weight and height from birth to 10 months. I believe DS may have the potential to become overweight as an adult so am keen to install healthy eating habits now. MIL also told me that when DH was a baby she ignored the midwives who told her DS was overweight for his age and claimed they didn't know what they were talking about and that she know what was best for her child!

ah dilemma, all opinions welcome.

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 23:53:37

If you are going to use family for childcare, I think you do have to just trust them to get on with it.

Are you paying her?

PurplePidjin Tue 11-Feb-14 00:15:28

is it really so important that a spoon never passes his lips? if he doesn't want it, he won't open his mouth. if you want total control, pay someone hmm

LittleBearPad Tue 11-Feb-14 00:16:27

You can ask her to do as you wish but she probably won't. Equally though she's looking after him so you have to let her do it her way.

It is only 2 days and it won't hurt if he is spoon fed a few times. Blw isn't the be all and end all (and I largely did it too). It's ok for children to be fed. Sounds like DS knows when he's full anyway.

FannyFifer Tue 11-Feb-14 00:23:52

For two days a week it really doesn't matter, it's a spoon to feed him.

babrow13 Tue 11-Feb-14 00:50:31

Hi thanks for replies and advice

No not paying her she wouldn't accept payment. She is doing this as a kind gesture for us and to spend time with her grandson which suits us all.

I don't believe i need total control, I am happy for her to get on and do things in a way that suits her. I have just given her a copy of his routine and asked he to stick to it as best as she can and let her get on with it. In fact one of the reasons I was attracted to BLW was the handing the control over to the baby!

If it were anyone else I probably wouldn't mind. I think this has stemmed from my concern over the family's eating habits and attitudes and not wanting them to pass onto DS. For example MIL's belief that bigger babies are more healthy. She also told me that babies should have their food mashed until they have a full set of teeth, so I don't really know how long this might go on for!

But as said this is only 2 days pw so I am probably worrying too much.

Nancery Tue 11-Feb-14 01:00:21

My mum found the idea of BLW weird, kept talking about choking. We never had / have to use her for child care though.
If I were you I'd just go with it. It's not like he is with her all week and she, like my mum, possibly just finds it such a ridiculous concept that she can't get her head around it (personally I think it's great! Though have spooned things like fruit pots too as I don't find mixing a big deal, although 80% was probably him feeding himself at first.)

natwebb79 Tue 11-Feb-14 08:16:30

I take it your DH has survived just fine? And your MIL was the woman who brought him up? Thing is that for many years now people have been feeding babies perfectly well using a variety of methods without writing elaborate books about it and giving the 'methods' daft names. And those babies have often grown up with a very healthy attitude to food and a varied healthy diet. So it's no wonder really that people of your MIL's generation look at all the fuss and get a bit confused. I agree with the above posters that if you're lucky enough to be getting free child care then you should trust her to care for your child as she wishes in that time. For the record my 2 year old was weaned on a mixture of purees and finger foods and now eats pretty much anything. The evil spoon didn't do him any harm. grin

Lucylouby Tue 11-Feb-14 08:37:41

I don't think being spoon fed for two days a week will make your son overweight. As you say if your baby doesn't want it he will push the food away, he already does this. My mil generation do believe that bigger babies were healthier, maybe it comes form the days of rationing when food was scarce, if you carried a bit of extra you could survive that bit longer if food was even rarer for a while, I don't know why the thought has lingered for all these years. Just one of those things I guess.
I do think if you don't feel you can trust her to look after your baby you need to tell her you are finding someone else to look after your dc. That will come with a financial price tag, but if you can afford it and this is that important to you it might be the best way to go.
My third dc was completly blw and is the fussiest eater ever, so I don't think it is something I would do again btw. My best eater is the one that was part blw and part spoon fed.

Yerazig Tue 11-Feb-14 09:02:40

I understand your concerns but your child is only with her two days out of seven so it really shouldn't make much of a difference as your child it was with you the most of the time. Yes she should 100% listen to you and follow everything you say. But to be honest as she is doing you a favour and saving you money there's only so much you can. So you either have to suck it up or employ a childcare professional.

BonaDea Tue 11-Feb-14 09:07:06

The other option - perhaps more work for you tho - would be for you to prep the meals in advance, making it stuff that really can't be mushed.

So make him up some porridge slices for brekkie, sandwich fingers and fruit slices for lunch and then you give him dinner? You could dress it up as helping MiL out?

grabaspoon Tue 11-Feb-14 09:08:24

Spoon feeding 4 meals a week will not make your child struggle with Blw the other 17 meals and it will not make them fat hmm

Also the idea of introducing healthy eating at 11 months is just that an introduction don't worry if for 20 hours a week your child is spoon fed it won't make him suddenly over weight/hate vegetables etc

OrangeFizz99 Tue 11-Feb-14 09:08:28

That book is just money making to be fair to her.

If you're not happy with her care then get the a professional and pay the bill...

minderjinx Tue 11-Feb-14 09:40:14

I agree with most of the other replies. MIL is doing you a huge favour. It could easily seem ungrateful to try to force your own ideas on her. I think most mothers of her generation would find someone of yours trying to get them to read any sort of book on childraising a bit daft. If you want that level of control, hire a nanny.

BonaDea Tue 11-Feb-14 09:42:53

I think some people are being unfair to OP.

Yes, ideas change, but that doesn't mean that the new ideas are wrong or that older relatives can do as they please. Of course the mil is doing her a favour but this is op's child and she can ask that things are done her way without being rude about it!

walterwhiteswife Tue 11-Feb-14 09:49:53

I dont understand what this blw is? do you only want ds to feed himself? with a spoon?

walterwhiteswife Tue 11-Feb-14 09:49:55

I dont understand what this blw is? do you only want ds to feed himself? with a spoon?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 11-Feb-14 09:53:49

Why have you posted this in the childcare section?

If you want someone looking after your child who you can dictate to then you need to find an Ofsted registered nanny or CM or nursery and pay them.

So - is it so important to you that you want to pay?

We did BLW with ours btw, and the odd spoonful to help them along when they're tired or whiny doesn't hurt at all.

walterwhiteswife Tue 11-Feb-14 09:57:14

ah ok your following a book that tells you what to do!!! gina ford all over againwinkwink

OrangeMochaFrappucino Tue 11-Feb-14 10:00:31

It's not the spoon feeding that is the problem, it's the over-feeding imo. My parents also wanted to do childcare for us and we got it down to one afternoon a week (they wanted three days which for various reasons did not suit us). They weren't very comfortable with BLW in practice though they did like the theory. I didn't want them to worry or stress over mealtimes so I said it was fine for them to spoonfeed him if they wanted. They did a mixture and it really didn't matter.

Overfeeding him though really did become an issue. I wasn't bothered if they wanted to spend money on Ella's pouches for him once a week but I wasn't happy with them taking him to a cafe for a mid-afternoon 'snack' of an adult-sized portion of cake plus biscuits at home whenever he asked, apple crumble with ice cream for dessert at dinnertime, never putting veg on his plate because 'he won't eat it', sugary yoghurt no matter how many times I explained he likes plain Greek yoghurt...

It's not as simple as 'use paid childcare' when that would hurt grandparents so much. Mine will not listen when it comes to 'treats'. However, we are now moving to them doing their afternoon at our house so I can have control over what food is here. I know they will bring cakes etc with them though!

So, I wouldn't stress about spoon feeding so much as the attitude towards encouraging over-eating. I haven't found a solution to that!

givemeaclue Tue 11-Feb-14 10:01:05

If you aren't happy with mil doing it has way them you need to make alternative arrangements. Otherwise it will create a lot of tension with you wanting her to do it your way and her thinking her way is best. This could ultimately destroy your relationship. So if you can let her get on with it, great. If you can't you need to re think.

babrow13 Tue 11-Feb-14 13:27:00

Natweb79 - no DH isn't doing just fine. He suffers with his weight, controlling how much he eats and not knowing when he is full up. As stated earlier he was overweight as a baby as MIL informed me. DH fully supports BLW for this reason as well as advice from HV as this being a good method for our DS.

Regarding free childcare - yes I am very lucky to have a lovely MIL who wants to look after DS for free. We could afford nursery but very important to DH for DS to have a good relationship with his parents and I support and understand this, I believe in the importance of grandparents in children's lives, especially his own time with them without us taking over. If I didn't feel comfortable with them looking after him I would give up work all together. I don't think this would make me want to end the arrangement all together, MIL would be very upset. However if something is quite important to us am I wrong to want this to be respected, no matter who is caring for DS?

BonaDea - Great thanks for that suggestion. Maybe this is the solution at least until all his teeth come through and MIL is more comfortable with him eating food.

Orangefizz99 - I don't quite understand the money making concept. I have only ever seen 1 book and the only other thing you need to buy is food. Puree on the other hand, lots of books, blending machines, pouch machines, ready made food, the list is endless.

Minderjinx - I only asked her to read the book as she was asking a lot of questions about it but wasn't convinced on my answers. I have found that people (especially of the older generation) find my advocation of this method as an insult of the method they have chosen so I usually keep my mouth shut. I am not a doctor and I sometimes feel as I only have the one child that I am not taken seriously. Hearing comments such as 'young people have no common sense these days'. Btw my mother also in disagreement. I have nothing against pureeing, DS was spoon fed before switching to BLW. I am very open minded and believe there is more than 1 way to cook an egg.

Walterwhiteswife - it is basically letting the baby lead their eating. Offering a variety of textures and flavours and letting them explore the food. By 12 months coming off the milk they should have gained the skills to feed themselves and recognise when they are full. You can use a spoon for soft things like yoghurt but let the baby use the spoon themselves just like you eventually would with puréed food.

I am open minded and read a lot. I also listen to health professionals, parents, friends and now it seems you guys on mumsnet and pick the bits that are useful to my own circumstances. However, I do not follow these sources and do exactly as they say, for example DS has sweet treats which I think is fine in moderation. rapley says to keep them away. I think this is the problem with both sets of parents as I think they believe I should listen to them only. I am 30 btw so capable of making up my own mind! Nothing against Gina but not for me I'm afraid. DS breastfeeding on demand, sleeps in our bed and has only just got himself into his own routine at 11 months. Parents very opinionated about these things too. But suits me and DH just fine and have never complained about DS once so their options going straight over our heads!

Alibabaandthe40nappies - new to mumsnet and couldn't find the section on weaning. But relevant to childminding also.

Jellyandcake - I totally understand. MIL has told me that she won't be able to say 'no' to DS, that they will have sneaky treats when mummy and daddy aren't around. But to be honest I am not worrying too much about this as I know grandparents like to spoils GC. The amount of toys is another story I need to rent out a garage to keep up. She too offered 5 days free childcare But 2 Days is def the max for my comfort especially as they often spend all weekend with us as well. I think my main issue is having our opinions respected especially with the amount of time they spend with him. I am quite easy going but I don't want this to be taken advantage of. Sometimes if you don't nip things in the bud they can escalate, and then it will be 'oh you should have said something to begin with!'.

babrow13 Tue 11-Feb-14 13:29:15

Jellyandcake - no exaggeration, 10 mins after eating a huge dinner MIL comes out with 4 different puddings in one bowl. She is definitely a feeder. Then later in the evening cakes and biscuits. This is not Xmas day I'm talking about!

givemeaclue Tue 11-Feb-14 13:32:37

So what do you plan to do op?

vulgarwretch Tue 11-Feb-14 13:53:38

Don't worry about the blw thing. I am broadly a proponent of blw but my dd was spoon fed and always stops eating when she's full (she is 9 now), my ds was blw and stuffs so much food into his mouth that he can't even chew it. He will also stop when he's full but his food regulation is definitely less good.

Can your dh have a chat to her about the overfeeding issue? It will be hard, because there's some implicit criticism of her parenting, but if he can say, 'Mum, it's really important to us that ds doesn't eat too much sweet stuff and learns to stop eating when he's full. I am very unhappy with my weight problems and I don't want him to struggle with the same issues. This is how you can help...', I think that would be hard for her to brush aside.

Your MIL wants to find ways to make your ds happy. Food is a quick and easy way to do that with kids, I think many of us find ourselves falling into this trap. Too many toys is another example of the same thing but it's not really damaging so not a battle worth fighting for you at the moment, probably. But maybe you could help her to find a really fun activity for her to take your ds to on the days she is looking after him so that she can have something special that she does with him that isn't related to food.

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