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Can you start BLW before 6 months? Can you do BLW and purees?

(15 Posts)
kaymondo Mon 06-Dec-10 19:37:47

Just trying to get my head around what i'm going to do with DS. He's coming up 5 months and i'm starting to think about weaning as he's def getting more interested in food ie. watching me eating etc. I'm not going to rush him tho and am thinking about starting him in the new year when he'll be pretty much 6 months but i do decide to go early, can you offer finger food before 6 months and are there any things that you can't offer?
Also i'm pretty sure that i'm going to try blw, but does anyone do a combination of purees and blw? Keep getting cold feet and don't think the older generation in my family will be that understanding so doing a few purees might keep them off my back but is this just wimping out?!
Any other tips on starting would be greatly appreciated!

MummyElk Mon 06-Dec-10 19:41:58

yes and yes.
we did BLW with DD1 - but i started earlier than 6 months because she was hungry...she had purees for a bit, more or less told me to bugger off once she worked out her hand to mouth movement and promptly went onto finger food.
BUT - and this is only IME - there is a great deal of difference between a 5mo fine motor skills and a 6mo's. So you may find that purees etc are the only way really anyway for the first few weeks, and then go hell for leather on the old BLW after that.

And don't forget the "Food is for Fun Before They are One" thingy - it's sort of true. He won't actually get much down him anyway.
Just sit back and enjoy it, weaning is fun smile

RJandA Mon 06-Dec-10 20:51:47

Yes, and sort of.

Baby led weaning is an attitude. It means you are not going to get stressed out, you are going to let your baby take the lead, hence the name. So, if he seems ready for food before the golden 6 months, then yes, you can start before 6 months. But be careful you don't mistake his natural curiosity for being "ready". Babies are interested in everything. He probably watches while you brush your hair and put deoderant on, but that doesn't mean you'll be making him an appointment at Vidal Sassoon, and picking up a Lynx spray for him at the supermarket, so don't assume you need to give him food just because he watches you eat.

If however, he has doubled his birthweight, can sit up unaided, reaches for toys and puts them in his mouth, AND he's getting closeish to 6 months, then you might let him have a little play with some sticks of whatever.

Purees aren't banned, spoons aren't banned, but the key thing to remember is that you are letting your baby take the lead, which means he only eats if he wants to, and he stops when he wants. This is pretty hard to judge if you start by spoon feeding at first, and also sets up your expectations that he "needs" a certain amount of food - which may be hard for you to give up if you want to switch to BLW when he's 6 months.

So in short, my advice is to start when you think he's ready, but make sure you start with finger food so that he can truly take the lead. And read Gill Rapley's book, and have a look on this brilliant forum

Have fun! smile

BertieBottlesOfMulledWine Mon 06-Dec-10 21:10:09

I agree with RJandA - if you are going to start before 6 months then BLW is probably a better way to do it than spoonfeeding, because the baby is in control and you know he's ready for it. Most babies will accept food off a spoon happily even if they are much younger - after all people used to wean a lot earlier, and presumably they weren't force feeding their children. But we now know that babies who are weaned before they are ready can go on to have digestive problems later in life. So I would stick with the BLW theory that if he can sit up straight (with support if necessary, but not flopping over after 5 minutes, and never reclined) pick something up, get it to his mouth, chew AND swallow, then he's ready. BLW is truly baby led in that sense. You could put a banana in front of a 3 month old and there's no way they could do all that, let alone sit up straight in the first place.

It also takes the pressure off - he's (hopefully!) having fun exploring the food, even if he doesn't work out straight away that it's for eating or how to swallow it, so he feels included in mealtimes, and it's fun to watch him - so no need to hurry things up with purees really. Once I felt DS was eating substantial amounts of his own accord I felt better about spoonfeeding him the messy things like yoghurt or spaghetti bolognese. This coincided funnily enough with when he became to big to bathe in the kitchen sink!

As for what to avoid - it's probably best to stick to fruit and veg until six months, but after that he can have anything except for foods containing honey (and avoid too much salt)

SkiingGardeningTwinklyBauble Mon 06-Dec-10 21:13:11

We did exactly this. He had purees, rice cakes and baby porridge from 5 months to 6 months. I took the attitude of loading up the spoon and first holding it with him and then handing it to him to deal with, which he soon got the hang of. He also loved rice cakes which were easy to chew.

He's now 6 months and going all guns! As long as he can sit up unaided so he can gag stuff out just go with the flow! It's great fun!

HelenLG Mon 06-Dec-10 23:05:35

I had wonder this as I have started weaning DS slowly.

He will take a spoon but he much prefers to dip his fingers in the food and lick it off or use the spoon himself.

He will be 5 months next weekend and wondered if maybe he should just have soft cooked veg sticks, but I worry about him choking...

MrsBonkers Fri 10-Dec-10 03:16:34

I've been wondering the same.
My DD is 5 months and will eat baby rice and mashed up banana from a spoon, but I only give her this every few days. Think I'm just a bit scared to give her anything but formula! [blush)

What are good finger foods to start with?
How cooked does veg need to be?
When can you introduce toast and breakfast cereals?

What books are worth flicking through? (Member of library.)

tinselistooaddictive Fri 10-Dec-10 04:16:28

I started a big early with both of mine bug the golden rule with
Bow is they must do it for themselves. If they can pick it u, get it in their mouth, break bits off and swallow it then they are ready! You must not put it in their hand for them or inventor mouth as this could cause choking. At first they eat very little bit gradually they swallow more and more. You will see it coming out the other end! They don't need purred as well. They really don't. You can't expect a baby to experiment and be self determing what they want, and be happy with spoons being put in their mouth.
As to what to start with, fruit and veg. Chip shaped pieces as part of it is a handle and part to go inventor mouth. Toast with stuff on such as banana or yogurt etc. Bigbpieces of meat they will chew until grey and then spit out. Once they have a pincer grip it becomes easier and they can have what you have as long as you cook without salt. So much easier! Look atvthe amazing bow forum by aitch.

tinselistooaddictive Fri 10-Dec-10 04:19:49

Experiment with softness of cooked vegetables untilntou discover what works! Too hard is difficult to eat and too soft will just disintegrate before it gets to the mouth. dd2 used to devour plums before she had teeth. I gave her a quarter and she would scrape off the flesh and hand me back the skin! Banana is difficult at first as ibis too squashy!

snownelly Sat 18-Dec-10 16:29:52

I am doing a mixture of spoon & BLW with my DS. He finds things like toast (soldiers), breadsticks etc quite easy but fruit & veg is a bit slippery to keep hold of so I tend to puree that. If whatever were eating is suitable - I give him some, otherwise he has either puree or finger food.
With DS1 (now 5) I did just spoon feeding & he was a nightmare to get him to eat lumpier foods so hopefully DS2 will be easier as he is used to the lumps earlier!

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Sat 25-Dec-10 22:51:59

What RJandA and Bertie said.

The NHS guidelines are to exclusively breastfeed until 6 months unless your baby shows the signs of readiness - which are sitting unsupported, able to pick up and taste finger food. If they are able to do these before 6 months, then the guidelines recommend you should encourage them to eat finger food (ie do BLW).

Veg will need to be cooked a bit more than how most adults were eating them (at first). Roast is good. We started with broccoli & carrot, then sweet potato, then toast and then pretty much everything else. But we started at 6 months so didn't have to worry about allergies.

The Baby Led Weaning book by Gill Rapley is worth a read if you're unsure - I got it from the library.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Sat 25-Dec-10 23:00:36

DS is 6 months and we have been weaning for about 3 weeks now. I started because he weaned himself on a milky way hmm (he stole it) so he was showing he was able to reach for and actually eat something.

I do use some purees but only once or twice a week and give him finger foods every day.
He has cooked veg sticks, has had toast recently, rice cakes bit of banana.
I pretty much give him anything that I can give him in a good size to pick up and hold himself.
Today at Christmas dinner he was chewing on veg (carrots and Brocolli) and he helped himself to a yourshire pudding he swiped of ds1's plate. (notice a patter froming here?)

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Sun 26-Dec-10 08:41:47

Oops, I meant to post the link to tehhe NHS guidelines - here.

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Sun 26-Dec-10 08:42:09

the blush

jandmmum Sun 26-Dec-10 10:27:21

If you start before 6 months there are
lots to avoid such as gluten, dairy etc best to stick to fruit and veg.
Doubling birth weight has nothing to do with weaning. Some babies do this before 4 months my DS was almost 8 months when he doubled his birth weight. If they grab the food of your plate, take it to their mouth, chew and swallow then they are ready.

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