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Confusing/conflicting advice re weaning

(12 Posts)
peedieworky Thu 20-Oct-11 16:44:15

Hi all. I''m a first time Mum and am amazed at how little information my HV has given me on weaning. I got one leaflet on BLW (sort of!) and that's been about it. Then, when I took DS to get weighed yesterday (he's 5 months old) the nurse taking the clinic started banging on about starting him on baby rice and then about giving him toast! Today I got an email from Boots with this which on slide 3 (I think) says the NHS tell you to give purees until 7 months (a later slide). I'm starting to feel very lost and anxious! I have the BLW book and an Annabel Karmel book and don't know where to start anymore when the time comes!

lilham Thu 20-Oct-11 17:24:48

Have got got the NHS birth to 5 book? The chapter on weaning is excellent.

ShowOfHands Thu 20-Oct-11 17:34:40

What would you like advice on? When to wean? How to wean?

When to wean's easy. If your little boy is sitting up (perhaps with some support), has lost the tongue thrust reflex (poking out his tongue to stop things from going in his mouth and using his tongue to push things out of his mouth) and he can pick up things well, put them in his mouth, chew and swallow then it's probably safe to say that he's ready. He'll do most of these things on the approach to 6 months.

In terms of how to wean, it's personal preference. Some people like purees, other like to get on with finger foods (blw) and if your baby's around 6 months then they're physiologically capable of moving straight to finger foods. In fact, you can kill two birds with one stone by putting a baton of cooked carrot or broccoli in front of him and seeing if he's one able and ready and two, whether blw suits you.

I took the attitude of dd being part of our family and wanting her to enjoy family meals. And as a 6 month old can eat what we do (no honey, no whole nuts and careful of salt/sugar content), I let her join us for meals from the beginning. Her first dinner was a roast. She quite happily picked up, sucked, gummed and chewed potatoes, veg and meat. From that day on she just ate what we ate. No fuss, no purees and no problems. But if you want to puree then there's no reason not to use something like the Karmel book. She's a bit sugar mad though iirc.

The Department of Health weaning guidelines are straightforward and easy to follow if you want something official.

peedieworky Thu 20-Oct-11 17:36:12

No - am NHS Scotland though so may get different publications?

JoinTheDots Thu 20-Oct-11 17:37:44

The NHS leaflet I got (something like Start 4 Life) said that there is "no rush to mush" and suggested that at 6 months when a baby is able to support themselves upright, no longer push food out of their mouths with their tongues, and can get something like a carrot from table, to hand to mouth, they are ready to be weaned.

At this time (it can be a little earlier or a lot later than 6 months) then you can offer them whatever you are eating, so long as there is not too much salt or sugar in it, and there is no honey (can't have that til they are a year) and no bits of nut (choking hazard) in it. They will find it easier if you start them on some veg batons or slices of fruit, a strip of meat, etc.

Some people prefer to wean using mushed and pureed foods, others go with BLW (see above - give them something from your plate) it is personal choice.

JoinTheDots Thu 20-Oct-11 17:43:53

x post with Show smile

Seona1973 Thu 20-Oct-11 18:41:13

In Scotland we get the Ready Steady Baby book. This is the weaning part of the book:

Weaning your baby

There is also a weaning leaflet (is a pdf file):


vj32 Thu 20-Oct-11 21:41:37

I have found it all really confusing too. We started weaning my son this week as he showed all the signs. But lots of things say start when they are ready, but then say from 6 months you can do this... with no advice if your child is ready before 6 months. The BLW book says you must not feed before 6 months, but then I don't want to spend months pureeing everything down either, and don't think there is a need, so we are going to try and find a middle ground.

Then there is the whole gluten thing - do you do what the NHS says and give nothing before 6 months (and then as much as you like), or do you do what they recommend in Europe and introduce gradually from 4-6 months. Both claim that their way reduces allergies.

peedieworky Fri 21-Oct-11 07:55:02

Hi everyone, thanks for the links. I suppose what I meant was I'm getting fed-up of hearing different things depending on who I see or what I read - especially when all the info is meant to come from the NHS. When the issue of weaning was first raised the HV made it very clear - wait till 6 months then no need to mash or puree. Then nurse at clinic speaks about baby rice and breast milk - as does the section of the Ready Steady Baby Book. Though it mentions finger food too - but focuses on mashed food... I like to think am pretty well informed but it does seem like the NHS is contradicting itself slightly with the messages it is sending. Rant over!

<removes huffy pants>

lilham Fri 21-Oct-11 08:11:10

Um I thought the message is pretty clear. It is recommended to wait till 6mo. You can give mashed or finger foods (ie lumpy foods). And have most things except whole nuts, honey and excess salt/sugar).

ZephirineDrouhin Fri 21-Oct-11 12:44:10

I'm in the same boat op. Was fully intending to wait until 6 months but slightly freaked by reports earlier this year suggesting there was a risk of iron deficiency, and ended up gradually starting ds at 5 months a couple of weeks ago. Went to clinic to get him weighed yesterday half-expecting to be told off for weaning early, but the HV said "no, no the advice has changed again -my paediatrician told me that 6 months is too late - should be between 4 and 6 months". She's clearly not right that the official advice has changed, but having spent far too much time googling the various reports on this over the last few weeks, I wouldn't be remotely surprised if it does change back to 4-6 before too long.

Anyway, as everyone else has said, I think you've just got to judge what your own baby is ready for. Mine intercepted my banana, put it in his mouth and cried when I took it off him, so I took that as a sign that it would be a good time to start.

Jamesmumhasgotitgoinon Fri 21-Oct-11 22:46:13

I was getting myself in a tiz over this too as I had read up on BLW and was keen to do it but have ended up giving baby rice and tiny bits of mashed up banana/carrot/broccoli etc which not quite 5 month old DS loves. The main thing about BLW is baby is controlling the feeding, well DS has told me in no uncertain terms he wants more than milk so until he is able to sit unaided I will continue the spoon feeding. Every baby is different so you have to interpret these things and do what suits you - then beat yourself up for not going by the book!

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