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BLW and purees

(31 Posts)
Jammee Thu 18-Jul-13 11:58:34


My DD is 27 weeks and we have been giving her "solids" for the last week. She has Ella's Kitchen baby porridge with breast milk for breakfast, Ella's fruit/veg pouch for lunch and then we do a bit of BLW in the evening; broccoli (which she loves) avocado, humus, pear, carrot, banana and sweet potato tried so far. I have also been giving her a bit more of the Ella's Kitchen pouches at the end of her dinner as she doesn't eat much with BLW ATM (unless it's broccoli or avocado).

I am going on holiday next week and when I get back we are moving house, so for the next few weeks or so I'm not going to get the opportunity to make special homemade meals for her so my questions are:

Ella's pouches: how much should she be eating in a day at 27 weeks old? The first pouch lasted 48 hours, but I am on the second one now and she seems to be eating it a bit quicker. Can I overfeed? She has a big portion of porridge for breakfast and still has 6 breast milk feeds a day with a "solid" lunch and dinner. I had heard that bf babies won't overfeed with solids as they are used to demand feeding but my DD doesn't really demand feed with milk. If she is hungry I feed her but I have always fed her every 2-3 hours (even if not complaining for food) because she had issues with weight gain.

As I am doing a combo of puree/mashed and BLW can she have a Stage 2 Ella's pouch instead of the really watery stage one pouches? She is 3 weeks under the recommended age but surely with BLW she is encountering lumps already?

Dairy: When should I introduce this? My DD had a milk allergy so I have been on a vegan diet for the last 6 months (as I'm bfing and we are a vegetarian family anyway). Recently I have been eating dairy and DD is now completely fine with it in my breast milk, but not sure about giving her dairy directly? Advice greatly appreciated.

BLW: I did a baby first aid course last week as I am paranoid about choking but the technique they showed her for dealing with choking has only made me more nervous. I tried one of the mesh spoon things but it is now impossible to keep clean. Any tips on things with are less likely to be choking hazards? Also, DD is very keen to eat solids, and likes to hold her a bottle when I've expressed milk or a spoon when feeding porridge but when I put finger food in front of her she won't hold it if it is wet, sticky or slimy. She wants the food but refuses to hold it so I have to hold it to her mouth so she can eat it. Is this normal? How can I encourage her to try touching the food herself? The only thing she will willing touch and eat ATM is broccoli.

Sorry for all the Qs. DD is my 1st and I have no mummy friends with experience of weaning.


AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 18-Jul-13 12:08:51

hi there, BLW and purees are a bit different, really, so what you're doing it more like traditional weaning. No bother, of course, but knowing that might help you to find more information as people doing BLW can't really help so much on the puree questions. you'll find a loooonger and more thoughtful explanation here.

Jammee Thu 18-Jul-13 13:28:37

I am doing some BLW. She has a BLW meal for dinner; whole lumps of boiled broccoli, sweet potato wedges, slices of pear and sliced avocado or pitta bread soldiers but she won't hold anything wet or sticky unless it's broccoli. She will get frustrated because she wants to chew or suck on the food but doesn't want to hold it so I have to hold it for her. When I'm holding the food for her she will happily nibble at relatively firm pears, bits of cooked carrot, sweet potato, whole bananas etc, so I wondered if I can put her on stage 2 (7months plus) pouches even though she is only 27 weeks whilst we are in the process of moving house and on holiday as a lot of our cooking items etc. are packed away and as I haven't introduced dairy yet, a lot of our usual vegetarian family meals are not OK for her (they contain cheeses and whole beans etc, which Veg Soc say cannot be fed whole until 1 y/o due to their skins and risk of choking).

As a result, I am having to use pouches for lunch with a bit of whole fruit for her to nibble on and as a top up to dinners if she hasn't eaten any of the BLW food. I'm just not sure how much is too much, when I introduce dairy/wheats and glutens and how I can encourage her to hold her own food when doing BLW (as she is happy to eat the hard foods but not hold them if they make her hands sticky or wet).

ExBrightonBell Thu 18-Jul-13 13:41:53

As the PP has said, the BLW side of things doesn't really apply here, as you are doing basically traditional weaning (puree/mash with some finger foods). Maybe try posting again with a different title to get better advice than I can give!

I only have experience of BLW so can't help you much with how much to give in terms of the pouches (what guidance is on the packaging in terms of volume to give?).

However I did just want to say that in general there are no foods that are more or less likely to cause choking. The notable exceptions being whole nuts, and my personal opinion is that chunks of raw carrot or apple are too hard for babies without many teeth to deal with. I always steamed carrot and poached apple in the early months (or grated it).

When you give the finger foods, do you eat along side your dd? Often if you are busy eating your food (preferably the same as your dd's) then they will copy you.

I must say that I gave my ds pulses from 7 months or so, and I have never heard the advice that they were a choking hazard. The NHS doesn't mention this, only the whole nuts thing.

From 6 months you can give any food (apart from the whole nuts again), so gluten etc should not be a problem, unless you know that your dd has/is likely to have problems with it. I would just go for the stage 2 pouches as well, as you are right that if she is eating finger food well then the lumper texture should not be a problem.

The thing about a whole BLW approach is that the only way a baby can eat is if they pick up the food themselves, as they are not being spoonfed at all. As long as they are having enough milk (bm/ff) then there is no need to worry about nutrition. That gives babies the chance to play and experiment with food - some babies don't eat anything much for a good while before they get the hang of it!

SpooMoo Thu 18-Jul-13 13:45:38

At 27 weeks we were doing one or two meals a day. Not much food goes in for the first couple of months with BLW, food is for fun before one so just remember to keep up the milk feeds and don't worry about how much she's getting of solids.

SpooMoo Thu 18-Jul-13 13:48:32

Reading both your posts, personally I'd just give up the pouches/purees entirely and do pure BLW/finger foods (adapt your family meals if necessary). But then I would say that as we've never once spoon fed our DD.

ExBrightonBell Thu 18-Jul-13 14:02:40

When you're on holiday BLW is perfect as you can simply give the baby what you're having (as long as it's not too salty).

Jammee Thu 18-Jul-13 14:04:20

Thanks guys. So it isn't BLW if she won't hold the food herself? How do I get her to hold it? She touches it, feels that it is wet or sticky and won't touch it again. Then she leans her face down to the tray with her mouth open as if trying to reach the food without holding it and gets frustrated and starts to cry. I've tried leaving her to it for like 40mins or an hour or so but she just won't touch it. The moment I pick up a bit of food though, she wants to suck/chew on it, and she cries if I take it away. I know she doesn't need the food until she is 1 but feeding solids takes so long that I have had to cut out a milk feed so I don't want her to end up getting less now if she isn't getting some solids.

When you guys have done BLW have you found any foods that babies particularly like to hold? Or has anyone had experience of a baby that doesn't like to touch wet/sticky/slimy foods and what did you do about it?

It's just so frustrating because she clearly wants the hard foods but won't touch them with her hands and I can't eat at the same time if I am having to hold her food for her. I have tried eating bits in front of her to see if she will copy and instead of going to pick up the food, she just opens her mouth and pushes her head towards me as if expecting the food to just appear in her mouth. I find it so confusing because she will pick up a big lump of broccoli and eat it and if I do give her a pouch of pureed food she will try go grab the spoon or pouch and feed herself. The other mums I know are all FT mums and are just getting to grips with weaning themselves but their babies are either fine with holding their own food or will only eat purees. My DD cries for the food but will only eat it if I hold it and I can't find any info online about what to do in this situation.

ExBrightonBell Thu 18-Jul-13 14:10:59

I think it's useful to remember that she doesn't have to eat anything at the moment - as she is only just 6 months. Allow a reasonable amount of time for a meal, and then clear away, so you don't miss out any milk feeds. It really doesn't matter at all if she hasn't eaten anything.

How is she with messy play generally? Could you try doing lots of sensory play with her to encourage her to explore different textures and sensations. This website has some good ideas (excuse the naff name of the site).

SpooMoo Thu 18-Jul-13 14:24:12

Oh OP - you sound so stressed! Remember it's really early days and nothing is forever, babies take weeks and weeks to get to grips with solids (or learn any skill for that matter!).

You shouldnt cut out any milk feeds yet, and milk sates hunger for now (not food). So if she seems angry, she might be hungry (so give her milk) or tired. She doesn't need to eat large or regular meals yet, so take a step back and try to keep it fun for you both, relax.

Jammee Thu 18-Jul-13 14:52:15

I take her to Baby Sensory classes and have a load of their sensory toys which I use with her every day, but I have never seen any 'messy play' for a baby that can't even sit up. Is she not too young?

I haven't deliberately cut out any milk feeds; she sleeps for about 9 or 10 hours at night and then is awake for the rest of the day without any naps whatsoever. During this time she feeds roughly every 2 hours (7 times) and feeds can take up to one hour (she was born with a tongue tie and high pallet and couldn't latch properly. As a result I have to use nipple shields or she can't feed and they mean she doesn't feed very efficiently so her feeds are long). As a result I can sometimes only have 1 hour between feeds so fitting weaning in is hard. When she was born she was 75th percentile and dropped to 9th in 2 weeks because she wouldn't feed properly. I had to impose a hideous feeding regime and she took ages to get back up to birth weight. Now she is comfortably on 15th percentile but I have struggled to stop worrying about making sure she gets at least 7 feeds a day. Because I am struggling to fit the 7th feed in with the weaning I really want to make sure she is eating something solid. I know I shouldn't worry and should just try to keep up the 7 milk feeds but its easier said that done!

TBH, it really annoys me that hubby doesn't have to take responsibility for any of this feeding malarkey! The one time I have left her (to go to a baby first aid course) he text me to ask me if he should give her some expressed milk and because I didn't reply (as I was in a class and didn't have my phone to hand) he didn't bother to feed her and just left her. Now, when he says to not worry if she misses a feed or doesn't eat much I feel like I can't trust his judgement as he can't even bottle feed her without asking me what to do. Therefore I'm on here, asking you wise people for help.

Sounds like I should cut out pouches; that I can give bread and dairy; that all foods are equal choking risks and that it doesn't matter if she doesn't eat as long as I can fit in her usual 7 feeds. I will try to give this a go smile

ZolaBuddleia Thu 18-Jul-13 15:17:38

Things that DD liked to pick up were:

fingers of carrot, parsnip, potato (all cooked)
broccoli, cauliflower
sticks of toast, pitta
sticks of apple
broken up fillets of mackerel
torn chicken and beef

We did spoon in yoghurt and weetabix so weren't BLW purists, but we didn't do any purees, jars or pouches. We also kind of let her take the yoghurt/weetabix off the spoon with her mouth, rather than pushing it in, IYSWIM.

From a choking perspective, we never once 'posted' solid foods into her mouth, and that gave us more confidence, the idea that she was choosing how much to put in.

If she'll pick up broccoli and eat it how about giving her more dry things from the list above?

DD hates messy play and is the tidiest eater of an ice cream ever! grin

ExBrightonBell Thu 18-Jul-13 16:36:31

I don't think 6 months is too young for messy play. At the class I went to we did things like letting the babies put their feet in things like jelly, cooked spaghetti etc. The babies didn't need to be able to sit up for it.

I know exactly what you mean about your DH not having to worry about it all. My DP works long hours and is never present for breakfasts or dinner on week days. I have to do all the planning and thinking, which is a bit irritating!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 18-Jul-13 23:53:14

all foods are not equal choking risks, not at all... bread is a particular one unless crust or toasted. likewise, uncut grapes and baby toms, raw apple etc. there are no hard and fast rules, of course, but be sure to have a think about what you might find challenging yourself, then apply it ot the baby.

Andcake Fri 19-Jul-13 18:38:22

Try not to stress. I just did blw and it took ds a month to really eat anything. I would just sit him up te table and put finger foods in front of him. First real bites were things like mango and avacodo.
Just let her play with the food and leave her to get the idea from watching you. The mantra is 'food is for fun until one' but by 9 months ds was dropping feeds.

Jammee Fri 19-Jul-13 20:57:08

Thanks for the responses. Just had a day of trying to take people's advice. She will happily feed herself lumps of broccoli (and throw it everywhere; I've never seen so much mess, which is hard for me as I have a dirt and contamination OCD issue) buy still won't hold anything wet or juicy so had to spoon feed or hold slices of pear to her mouth but I think today was an improvement as she did touch all of the other foods (carrots, pear, avocado) and poked about a bit before deciding she didn't want to hold them.

Going on holiday next week anyway so hubby will have to do his share. Hopefully I will find it easier yo relax when he's around to help out and will return with a baby that not only wants to eat but wants to hold food, too!

Love the idea of playing with cooked spaghetti on her feet, ExBrightonBell. I will be trying that one!

Splatt34 Sat 20-Jul-13 05:21:03

If she isn't sitting up you shouldn't be thinking of BLW. They need to be sat uo to combat the checking risk. If she's not picking yo the food it sounds like sge's just not ready

Andcake Sat 20-Jul-13 08:29:10

Agree if she is not sitting up by herself don't blw - any little choke can be v scary. We had both done a first aid course and it only happened a few times at first but if your stressy dealing with it calmly may not be easy.
If you can't cope with mess don't do blw its v messy!
I couldn't cope with the thought of giving baby rice or paying into the coffers of baby food companies who immorally still put from 4+ months on packets!

ZolaBuddleia Sat 20-Jul-13 08:44:21

Oh, just noticed that she can't sit up properly, definitely postpone BLW OP, she needs to be able to sit unaided and guide food to her own mouth.

There's really no rush, honestly. When she's ready it will be much less stressful.

Jammee Sat 20-Jul-13 09:22:15

Oh my! I didn't realise sitting up was an issue. She can sit in her high chair as she is strapped in and it has a high back (one of the bloom ones which is curved like an egg and suitable from birth). But she can't just sit on the floor; she doesn't use her arms for support and has a large, heavy head so just topples forward. Does this mean she shouldn't be doing BLW or is she OK to try it if she can sit up OK when in her high chair? I want to give her real food where she can taste individual flavours and try different textures so BLW appeals but if you think she is still a bit young and it poses a choking risk obviously I need to stop! Seems like I really am clueless :-/

Splatt34 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:36:17

I BLW but DD 1 sat unaided at 5 months and was grabbing my food and putting it in her mouth shortly after. Gill Rapley is very clear in her book that they should be able to sit unsupported, i think so they can responded better to gagging in order to prevent checking. Baby's gag reflex is much further forward in the mouth than ours to reduce chocking.

I suggest you read her book to understand BLW, but tbh if you have a real aversion to mess & are very stressed about how much she is consuming it may not be for you.

CornishYarg Sat 20-Jul-13 09:44:26

Sitting completely unaided isn't essential for BLW. She just needs to be able to sit upright with the support of her chair if necessary. As long as she isn't flopping over in her chair, then she'll be fine. Both the NHS advice and the BLW book state that sitting upright with support is the key thing, rather than sitting completely unaided.

Some babies don't sit unaided till 9 months or more which is pretty late to start weaning.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 20-Jul-13 09:52:44

Not clueless at all! It's a bit of a minefield, isn't it? I also thought they had to sit unaided but Cornish has evidence that they don't.

For me I'd feel the choking risk was less if she was completely upright, when you talk about your high chair being shaped like an egg and being suitable from birth, do you mean it's a bit like a car seat? I'd have thought anything that has any element of reclining isn't good.

DD used to sit on the kitchen counter in a bumbo while DP was cooking, gumming on carrot sticks etc, would that be an option if your seat is a bit recline-y?

I'd really recommend the BLW Cookbook. Cheaper than the BLW book, but still covers the essential info, plus it gives loads of ideas for what LO can eat. We got ours secondhand online I think for a couple of quid.

Splatt34 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:57:19

Definitely no recline, that would allow gravity to potentially cause food to slip toward the windpipe. I used to cringe even when I saw people spooning puree into babies in bouncy chairs

ZolaBuddleia Sat 20-Jul-13 11:26:07

Absolutely, I get the heebyjeebies when I see people break off bits of food and post them into a baby's mouth in a car seat.

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