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Baby-led weaning going nowhere(70 Posts)
It's still early days I know, but a week in and baby-led weaning isn't going particularly well for DD (6 months).
She can sit in her high chair and reach the tray where we put steamed batons of various vegetables. But her hand eye coordination isn't great, so the food doesn't really make it to her mouth. If we help her, she will give the food a lick and half-hearted gum, but not sure much goes in.
I know it doesn't matter, it's more about trying new flavours and textures but still relying on breast milk for nutrition, but am I doing something wrong? DD does seem very interested when we're eating, so I think she's ready... maybe just a matter of time?
We have tried a bit of traditional purée too but she doesn't love this either, and we're keen to give BLW a good go.
Anyone with experience or advice? Thank you.
It takes time, and as you said, there's no rush!
Just plonk some food in front of her every time you eat and she'll get there.
Like you said, it's still such early days! Keep giving lots of choice. Try whole meals too not just veg too so she can experience variety.
We literally gave DS whatever we were having (we just didn't cook with salt or honey etc) and let him eat with us so he could see what we were all doing.
Hand eye coordination isn't great for babies at this age but BLW is meant to help them develop this skill and so I'm sure she'll grasp the hang of it. It took DS a while before he successfully got food straight into his mouth but he got there.
It literally is a matter of time, keep going and remember to be casual about it all too.
Honestly, they're all a bit rubbish at eating to begin with.
Coordination will improve with practise and as she starts to gain strength in her hands and arms and with puree she'll start to enjoy familiar tastes and take more off the spoon each time.
My DS was terrible at first, hardly ate anything just chucked it and it was really frustrating and felt like a waste of food but gradually over time he's turned into a really good eater and will give anything a go now. He also takes food really nicely from a spoon and hardly makes any mess! Stick with it - they all go through it!
DD1 almost snatched food off our spoons at 5.5 months. Started at 6 months with DD2 and she was completely uninterested. Turned out she was teething and once they popped out a few weeks later she was keen. Don’t despair, they’ll eat when they’re ready!
That all sounds absolutely fine. It’s a marathon not a sprint. My first didn’t eat a single thing at all for the first 2 weeks and then still very little until 9/10 months. That’s fine. She’s 5 now and a very adventurous eater and not fussy and mealtimes are mostly a pleasure. 2nd one was eating straight away from day one, but still small amounts. I would say it was only from 7.5/8 months that he started to eat with more gusto. Give it 2-3 months and you’ll see a huge change but you have to be patient.
Thank you everyone. Do you reckon I should persevere with BLW and avoid purées, and just trust that one day she'll get it? It feels quite wasteful at the moment as we're going through vegetables like there's no tomorrow.
Do whatever suits you best.
We did BLW, never did purees. DS just had whatever we had. He gradually ate more food and had less milk, but it took about 9 months. I just let him find his own way there.
Both of mine have been different but neither of them really 'got' BLW for a while my second much prefers to feed the dog. Both have very different appetites too.
I was an absolute BLW advocate, prior to introducing food. It just seemed such common sense and we started at 6 months. At first it seemed textbook, lots of gumming and sucking florets and batons.
In addition to veg, we gave what we ate and mu son has seemed to enjoy tiny bits of all sorts. But at 9 months, there seemed no progress and I had a bit of a revelation that of course the poor bugger couldn't eat "everything we ate" because he only has two tiny front teeth.
It just didn't seem to work, in terms of actual eating, for us. Great for introducing variety, but you can do that with a spoon!
We are now combination spoon and finger food feeding and it's going so much better, the difference at the first spoon meal was astonishing! We are actually getting some food into his head, and, allowing him to play, explore and learn his limits with food. We didn't go back to puree, but big lumpy mush.
It did feel like failure and a step backwards, introducing a spoon at 9 months. But I'm so over that and meals are now much more of a pleasure.
For me/us, BLW was just too unrealistic. Good luck, each baby differs and you don't know how and when they'll take to 'eating'. Just thought I'd share my thoughts and say remain open to options
I personally would suggest take a 2 week break or make
A few purees if you feel weaning immediately is important for some reason.
Mine is 10 months and has only just got it. Up until a month ago she was eating mushy food but anything of texturewas spat out. Literally was like something clicked and she's now chewing away. We still go through periods if her refusing stuff she loves. Lots of kids don't get it until at least 9 months. Try not to worry, you're doing a great job even if it feels slow progress.
One thing that worked for us and the blw purists will hate is we'd give her a pouch which she'd love sucking, and I alwaysspoon feed her porridge etc. She loves to now try and feedherself so it's good.
Sounds normal. I did BLW and for a few months all DD was work on coordination, kick at stuff, squash it and throw it about. I did spoon feed her the odd yoghurt I think. If we had stewed Apple and custard for pudding I would give her that (Apple not custard) , but not really purée. After a few months she started to shovel it all in with her hands. Mash, pasta, chilli, spaghetti Bol, and she loved teething on raw cold carrot.
I think mixing it up is fine. You could spoon feed some porridge for breakfast and then put some toast soldiers or a cooked boiled egg in quarters on the tray for him to experiment with while you eat yours...
BLW proper means giving them what you're having (modified if salty). So taking that approach would avoid wasting masses of veg (unless that is what you're eating, but I'm guessing not)! Honestly I worried like this a week in, a month in, several months in - did BLW, puree, finger foods, back to BLW, a mixture. DD just didn't eat till she was about ten months. You don't need to worry after a week! (She says, confidently, with the benefit of hindsight.)
Just keep giving bits and pieces of whatever suits and try not to worry. She'll get it whichever 'method' you pick. Honestly.
What RoomeWithALoon said, but also give much smaller amounts.
One baton of each kind of veg would be fine. Don't worry about teeth. Neither of mine had teeth for ages but those hard little gums are remarkably efficient. Just treat it as sensory play and don't get too stressed about it. The whole point of BLW is that it's a natural follow on from bf so trust your instincts and follow baby's lead - if she's not ready to eat it's because she's not ready to eat.
'Food is for fun until they are one'
Why not do a mix? Because when she is eating ‘properly’ she will be eating with a spoon/form? So why not mash a banana and spoon it? Or avocado? And then slowly encourage her to use the spoon? Alongside finger food. I used a three step process. First course was finger food. Second course was mashed (whatever we were eating- rice/veggies/pasta/fish) and I spooned it (and then eventually he got the hang of it). Then some extra veggies as finger food. Dessert was always plain Greek yoghurt with fruit which I fed till he was old enough to feed himself. We didn’t waste much, he was nicely filled and both of mine breastfed for a year.
A mix is a good idea. I like the idea of spooning yoghurt and the sloppier fare, whilst sticking with veg batons as finger food. I don't give her loads, but find I do have to have at least say 5-10 batons as she throws most on the floor and I can't reuse them! Some wastage is probably inevitable.
Thank you everyone for your replies. It's all really useful.
Then "food is fun, before one" mantra seems very faddy to me. The World Health Organisation doesn't endorse it. And what happens after 1, is food immediately not fun? What if eating is still poor at 1 year and 2 weeks? I think the spirit of the phrase has been lost and it's being used dismissively and unhelpfully.
And as ever, not every HCP buys into it. One HV will trill it with conviction, another will say it as she hasn't the time or inclination to deal with yet another parent worrying about eating, a third will sensibly advise things to try to improve eating (all of the nuances) before the implied cliff edge of age 1...
Great response @KoshaMangsho. Who knows if it will work for us, but that is a simple, practical process to try. Thanks for sharing.
Regarding waste, we had a shower curtain on the floor, so anything that ended up going over the side just came back up onto the tray. We did it just for ease of cleaning up, but it would reduce your waste too.
Shower curtain periodically went in the washing machine.
Have you tried fruit? Banana, pear?
My DS didn't really eat anything until 8 or 9 months, then was eating curry, bolognese and so on. He didn't like the vegetables though, they were thrown over the side.
I did spoon feed Greek yogurt. He didn't figure out how to use a spoon until 15 months.
I’m weaning my 5.5month on purées at the moment and then introducing finger foods in a couple of weeks. There’s still an element of waste with purée too, as he loses interest and then always wants the breast milk straight after eating, but just going with his moods as to how much he eats, every day is different. And the dogs are getting some interesting new flavours in their dinner!
We did 50% finger food, 50% purées/porridge. It worked fine, but between 6 and 9 months she ate very small quantities. The key was just to give her tiny amounts. She suddenly started eating properly the week she started falling asleep alone and sleeping through.
I agree with BELLAARA and Koshamangsho here
If I use my own logic the phrase food before one is just for fun doesn’t make sense. What if baby has been throwing food on the floor until one and doesn’t actually get it until then,he/she won’t suddenly start eating at one when suddenly he needs all the extra nutrients!
My baby was/is very slow with his food, and I decided I wanted him to have some practice eating etc so I decided to start with purees, I have always offered finger food a few times a week, but never had much success at first. I slowly moved on to lumpier food- baby rejected any lumps for a while and now on to a mix of mashed or minced up mains (whatever we eat) porridge in morning, and then some sort of finger food- banana, dippy eggs with toast, sandwiches and those veggie corn snacks you can buy. I end up feeding him quite a bit of his toast, but I always makes sure he feeds himself some.
I do think he’ll be better when he has teeth, he’ll be able to bite bits off his toast and make it easier to feed himself! He’s got two bottom at the moment.
It’s a slow process for us, but he’s eating and poohing and experimenting with finger food too. He can feed himself, he prefers me to do it though- think he’s a bit lazy 🤣If I sat and waited for him to feed himself, I’d be waiting until next week.
At 9 1/2 months I feel like we’re making progress
I think there’s a lot of pressure to do blw- a hv suggested I put food on his table and just let him get on, well I could if I wanted him to eat nothing or as someone else said -feed the dog (which he loves doing).
Well I was fed the traditional way which was mixed and I ate most stuff as a kid and eat everything as an adult
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