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Baby-led feeding - how to stop DP mum worrying?

(36 Posts)
Ridersofthestorm Wed 10-Jul-13 12:15:41

Hello everyone, I hope you all are having a lovely day smile apologies in advance this will be long

I'm just a bit stressed out about my DP mum constantly getting more critical about feeding my 13 mo ds proper food and how to handle it. She was always quite sceptical about baby-led weaning from the start, she being a mum of the 70's both her ds's were weaned on jars of puréed food. I've explained to her that times have changed since then and many of us new mummy's offer finger foods with purées to start off.
Fast forward to now, she minds my ds 3 days a week and all is going great. We don't really have many issues, she is trying her best to make sure my son is well cared for and is doing a great job. I think this is mainly because in the beginning she was very critical of me, and being a stressed new mummy had a go at her. I don't feel bad about it, it built up for far too long and I kept quiet out of politeness hoping she would take the hint.
I don't want to have to do this again, I hate confrontation and it was so awkward since my DP her ds took her side (as he always does).

Anyway, I make all my ds food for him and leave it out for her to give him that day. She always gives him what I leave, and lets me know how much he has eaten, any problems etc. however, she is the type of person who is over over protective and a big worrier over the slightest thing. I however am not, I am a bit more of a relaxed mummy. Please don't think that I don't watch my son because I really do, I am cautious and worry about him loads too. Her style just grates me a bit because I feel like I can't relax around her with my own ds in case she is watching and picking up on the slightest thing. 'Oh riders watch him with that, you need to be careful with this' - I know this all already and find it all a bit patronising tbh as she shouldn't need to worry about stuff to that extent whilst I am around.
So she has started making comments about how he chokes on breadsticks I leave for her to give him (he loves them). Now I know he doesn't , he shovels his food in and will gag a little but not once with me has he choked on these with me. I make sure I break up the food more for him, he's even started doing it himself, he's 13 mo. I just ignored the first time she mentioned it, I know my son and I never leave him alone to eat anything.
Since she's gotten more used to minding my son she is being more critical of things I do, and she's careful to make sure she's not telling me what to do, to her it's 'just a suggestion' - then why keep mentioning it? She is the type of person who if someone is doing she doesn't agree with will keep mentioning it until they give in and it's getting on my nerves.
So today, I am knackered and DP gets up and goes to work without helping with anything (again). His mum turns up and my ds is having a nap and I run through his food for the day etc. I say I've got chopped up apple in the fridge for him and straight away she says "oh I don't like to give him apple riders he chokes on it, I prefer when you leave soft fruits", so I tell her I gave him apple last night with his dinner and he ate it fine. She then goes into the whole breadstick thing again (god this sounds so petty I know). I told her yes he might gag now and again not all the time, because he shovels his food in so just break it up into smaller bits if she's worried. Then she says "I've had to pat his back a couple of times because I thought he might have been choking", I've funnily not had this problem, he gags but never choked, they are quite dry so I offer him water.
So I just ended the conversation by saying I'm not worried, he is absolutely fine with me on these food. In fact I'm pretty proud how well he can feed himself now after the nightmare I had in the beginning with weaning him. I know I probably sound like a loon and overacting as she is minding my child for free and is a wonderful granny to him, but it makes me feel like she thinks I don't care about my child or notice anything about him. I think I'm a good mum but all this gets me a bit down, there are other things she picks up on too so it's not just feeding.

I don't know how to handle this, I can't ask my DP as I can't criticise his dm AT ALL and I'm not exaggerating, she is always right.
I've got no family here and no one to really talk to about how all this makes me feel.

Right, so getting to my point, what can I say to her that is positive about baby-led weaning? I'm kind of stuck of what to say when she thinks I'm giving him foods she thinks he could choke on. I personally think baby-led weaning has worked great for me and my ds. I shouldn't even have to explain my decision to her as I am his mum, but I totally understand she is worried that something may happen to a child in her care, I know I would.
What would you say to her? Be nice though, I want to be as diplomatic as possible as things are going well at the moment.

Thanks if you have managed to survive this long winded thread

ceeveebee Wed 10-Jul-13 22:49:19

I agree with previous posters - if you want to give apple, give it whole or grated, not chopped up

But back to the main point, I rarely get help from family with our DTs as all live 250 miles away, but on the rare occasion when either DM or DMIL has looked after them for the day, I do everything I can to make it easier for them as I know they are doing me a massive favour by offering free childcare. So if they want to have puréed apple and things that dissolve i stead of breadsticks then why not? Surely just do whatever is easier for the carer? It's not a criticism of you, just her being extra cautious because if something went wrong then it would be her that had to live with the guilt. I know when I babysit other people's DCs I am ultra careful (moreso than with my own DCs!) as would hate if they came to any harm under my watch if that makes sense?

KatyN Thu 11-Jul-13 08:42:03

I've not read all the comments so sorry if I'm repeating someone, but my M and MIL really freaked about my son 'choking' when eating - he LOVED breadsticks too!

We had some meals together and I could see them start up whenever he coughed or tried to move some food around his mouth. It was NOT choking. I stayed really calm and my son obv moved the food and finished eating it.

I'm not sure how, but maybe you could explain to her that a cough is just how he'll move food about, a choke is very different sounding.

She might also feel more comfortable if she knows how to do the hymlick manouver. (yes I could check spell check but not now!)


purplewithred Thu 11-Jul-13 08:49:21

She looks after DS for three days a week? For nothing? Blimey. Make it easy for her. And send her on a paediatric first aid course too.

TobyLerone Thu 11-Jul-13 08:54:05

It's terrifying when you're looking after someone else's child and they choke/gag on food, especially if it's been a while since you had your own children. It might not be a worry for you because he's your child and you know he's fine.

Give her a bit of a break. At least she's doing most of what you'd like her to do.

Ridersofthestorm Thu 11-Jul-13 15:31:07

I'm going to stop leaving food out for him that she gets worried about him eating. If I want him to have apple with her then ill just purée it so she doesn't worry.
I think the main thing I needed to know was how to explain to her that this blw thing is actually a good thing, but I just don't know how to put it into words. If she doesn't feel comfortable with some things then that's fine, we can work round it.

Sparklysilversequins Thu 11-Jul-13 15:39:50

To be honest I have twice seen children choke on apple and I never gave them to my children when young. I had a GP friend who said they are a difficult food for small babies and she avoided them for her own dc until older.

I think you should leave food she is comfortable giving him, if this is the only issue you have with her then it seems silly to snarl it up over an apple which I actually agree with her about

TobyLerone Thu 11-Jul-13 15:42:08

Maybe don't explain it to her as some sort of new idea, because it isn't! It's just called 'giving the child some food when it's hungry'.

Just tell her that you never give her anything he doesn't eat at home, and leave it at that. And don't make her give him apples!

Floralnomad Thu 11-Jul-13 15:51:05

Its your child so you can obviously feed him whatever you want but I think if you're getting free child care you should let your MIL feed him whatever she is happy with . In your position I'd be less concerned about BLW and more concerned about the fact that your partner doesn't back you up with your Inlaws ,that is more likely to cause you issues in the future than your son having puréed dinners 3X a week .

blueberryupsidedown Thu 11-Jul-13 17:31:09

Pears are much softer than apples for little ones and they tend to like them.

I am a childminder and babies, either blw or not, can be at very different dev stage with food even at the same age, I give them the same meals but prepared / cut differently. Babies can choke and gag when new foods are given (think starchy mash potatoes!) and it can be stressful. I had forgotten how much babies can gag on new foods, even small bits. It is worrying if you don't know what to do. You should try to send her to a first aid course as mentioned above. I have had one child who was BLW and didn't see much of a difference between her and the other children from the age of about 1 year old.

Featherbag Fri 12-Jul-13 15:53:57

Sounds like the EXACT same situation I had with my mum when DS was at the same stage! In the end I had to just let her get on with it - my reasoning was that really, what actual harm would letting her feed him the way she wanted cause, just for a couple of days a week? I decided to relax and let her get on with it her way when she had him, and do things my way the rest of the time. She also couldn't differentiate between choking and gagging, and I gave up in the end because to her gagging = choking and nothing I could say was going to lessen her anxiety. I wanted her to enjoy her time with DS as a baby and this was obviously such a huge problem for her I decided to 'pick my battles'.

CailinDana Fri 12-Jul-13 16:27:35

Your poor mil, she spunds lovely and generous and is just being honest about a legitimate fear she has of her beloved gs choking.
Pouches are fine if you ds will eat them.
Your real problem is your useless partner not your hardworking super-involved mil.

Fwiw i did blw with ds but avoided apple for a long time. Even so he did start choking on apple at the age of 2 and my heart nearly stopped. I don't think i would ever give apple to someone else's baby.

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