HVs 'interesting' advice on BLW......(24 Posts)
I have read the Gill Rapley book so think I know the answer but just wanted to check this out with others......
My DS is 4 months old. We went to a 'weaning workshop' yesterday run by the HVs at our local clinic. They talked a lot about purees and made some up for us to taste - all fine. They then showed a short DVD about BLW. It was quite clear they didn't approve of the BLW approach - saying stuff like 'we can't tell you not to do it', 'go ahead if you want to make life more difficult for yourselves' and 'it's a new fad'
They then said that obviously you can't do just BLW from 6 months and must give puree as well, as not enough food will go in with BLW so your baby will not get enough nourishment, - so if you do BLW you will be making your life v hard as you will still be pureeing anyway!
Myself and another mum did question this and both said this contradicted our understanding of BLW from reading the Gill Rapley book - to which the HV said she had just been on a training course run by the paediatric nutritionists at our local hospital and this was what the trainers had said - 'but go ahead and ignore the experts if you want as its your choice and you can choose to take the risk!'
We then asked if this was the official NHS line on BLW - that you must mixed feed with purée or else your child will be under nourished - and we were told yes, this is the official NHS viewpoint.
Now I've written this all out I'm starting to wonder if I should complain about this HV - but to start with, I am right aren't I? There is no need for me to make sure DS is topped up with purée....? The first stage is just about experiencing food and if some goes in that's a bonus, right?
So puréed veg is what it's all about?? Really? Ha ha! My ds never had anything puréed in his life but lots of food is smooth and easy to feed anyway, without spending hours with a blender! My ds loved pre loaded spoons of yoghurt, veges dipped in houmous, mashed potato that he'd eat with his hands as well as whatever we were eating. Ignore your HV on this, I did! But hey, what's a bit of anecdotal evidence when they've been on a course?!?! :-)
Oh and ds didn't eat a lot at all until 7.5mo but has made up for it since. Eats anything and everything now at 12mo. The early days are definitely about exploration
No puree needed at all! Also the official nhs birth to 5 book advocates BLW from 6 months but just doesn't call it that.
Baby's main source of nutrition until 1 year is breast milk or formula. The purpose of weaning is to experience tastes, textures, flavours and learning how to chew and swallow. Personally I can't see how adding a load of water to a bit of veg is beneficial.
Oh, and Nottingham uni did a huge research study last year on the benefits of BLW over puree weaning.
As long as you BF or FF as well it's fine. A HV told me that BLW lose weight because they are not getting enough. Which is nonsense. The idea of giving real food to six month old is shocking to some people because in the past people were told it was a choking risk. Which it isn't as long as they are upright and feed themselves. And it's not a new fad. It's how everyone used to feed their children until they wanted to feed them sooner and the only way to do that is to puree.
As far as I am concerned weaning is to get my child onto food and to my mind purees don't resemble food. I wouldn't give my DD anything I wouldn't eat myself. I don't bother discussing weaning with my HV. largely because I think she is a moron
Whatever happened to "til they are one food is for fun" ?
They eat what they want to eat however they want to eat it. Some get it quick, some take longer. No ones on purée or dropping all their carrots at four.
What's with the scare mongering?
I don't understand the fancy names I just did "weaning" but I can't say I've heard of babies getting ill because they didnt eat mush
Hmmmmmm. I did BLW right from the start and the HV I spoke to about it was nothing but supportive. As for them saying that your child would be under nourished I've always been told that food is for fun until their 1. And you're right - at the start if they actually consume anything it's a bonus. I would say it took until DS was 8 months before he was consistently getting a decent amount if food in him but that varies from child to child.
BLW definitely didn't make my life harder if anything it's easier than having to purée up food. Enjoy it - watching DS try different foods has been one of my favourite things.
Wtf. You should complain about that HV as she is totally uneducated on a subject I would expect her to know inside out!!
Our HV told us about both ways of weaning and said it was a personal choice.
In any case At 6mo a baby should be offered solids even if they don't digest much.
Food until one is just for fun. Ffs at 6mo they still get most of their nutrition from MILK!! At 1yo they may still be getting at least a third of their nutrition from milk.
Grrrr. Uneducated HCPs really p!$$ me off. Just imagine if you had not read the book? You would have been totally misled and have no idea.
Complain please to stop her.
Please complain. I don't have a lot of professional respect for HVs. This advice is ridiculous. I think that life is too short to puree everything so that children can experience food. As said further up the thread, yoghurt, houmous and mashed potato are perfect. As most of us are aware, most of the food goes in the hair or in the dog!!
Makes me love my HV all the more. I'd never even heard of BLW, almost 7 years ago, as a thing, but mine said that, for an EBF baby, no one would raise an eyebrow if solids weren't taken by the baby until at least 9 months. By the time he started to accept solids (roughly ground christmas dinner!) at 8.5 months we gave him whatever didn't make him gag. He still had mostly milk until a year.
Most real food is less nutritious than breastmilk, anyhow and, at 6 months, most of a baby's nutrition is from milk, still. I wonder if the HV would consider one of those awful tins of chocolate pudding more nutritious than chewing on a piece of soft potato or carrot?
The idea is that you give them as much milk as you would before weaning so they get all their nutrition from that. Milk has more calories that most solid food so as long as you don't drop feeds when you first start the baby will be getting extra, not less.
My 10mo has now naturally dropped a few milk feeds during the day.
My HV told us that personally she'd go down the puree route but that the NHS guideline lean more towards BLW now.
I worked with a HV team until fairly recently. At that point the official DoH guidance was for puree'd
yack foods and gag baby rice. However as 2 of the team (myself included) had used baby led weaning we were able to offer a balanced view. Personally i loved blw. My dd thrived on it, continued to grow and ate all varieties of foods. Its only now she's 4 that she eats with her eyes!!!! .
I guess what im trying to say is that hv's do need to impart official doh advice, however in this occasion what was the point of them dressing it up as a blw session..... seems a bit bizzare to me .......
Thanks for all the replies - clearly a hot topc! Feel reassured that I was thinking along the right lines but I'm certain that those attendees who hadn't read up on BLW before the session will have been totally put off it. There was also such inconsistency in their advice - in one breath saying that initially it's just abut exploring and playing with food, but in the next saying that babies who BLW'ed will not have enough nourishment! Very bizarre!
I'm going to write to the HV team to give some feedback on the session. Thanks for all your replies - very much looking forward to starting BLW in a few weeks time!
I can't believe the advice you were given! 3 years ago my health visiter said that BLW was the way to go and was pleased I had already weaned my eldest children this way
I think that for the sake of the people going to the session in future you should definitely complain, as it sounds blatantly untrue!
I really take issue with the fact that so many HCPs, HVs often, have personal views they give as the official line. When I told the HV DD wasn't sleeping well I was told to 'push the weaning' even though she wasn't 6 months...
lol see this is why I give HV a wide miss! I would complain as its very incorrect.
What you were told by the HV doesn't even sound like the current Nhs weaning advice. It's very much finger foods and baby led these days.
I'll see if I can find a link...
I think that some of the advice is given just to drive blender sales.
I bought a top notch one, all the attachments etc, never used.
It does make supremely fluffy Angel Delight (butterscotch) though.
Here although it does seem to be trying to accommodate everyone...
I'm sure I've read something more finger food focused. I just can't think where.
Well, IIRC official government guidelines do say to combine puree with finger food from 6 months, but I bet your HVs aren't tackling all the puree-only parents and insisting they give finger food...
And no, you don't have to give purees if doing BLW, so long as your baby is taking plenty of milk.
Interesting.. my HV also seemed a bit anti BLW: indicating that it would never have happened back in the olden days as food is a precious commodity and couldn't be wasted, and that she, and a number of colleagues, are not at all convinced by this new fad: not enough goes in, and baby needs the nurturing aspects of being fed by a loving caregiver as much as the nourishment from the actual food.
Now, I took some of this on board. My baby is offered things she can 'do' like cooked pepper strips, chicken strips etc, then spoon fed a pudding (such as fromage frais or a fruity pouch puree). I make sure I am nearby and hand her stuff back as fast as she loses it and if she gets tired I might hold something such as a bit of banana for her to gnaw at without having to also coordinate its placement and keep a grip.
No idea if I am doing it right, but I hope I have all bases covered in terms of her doing most of it but me being a good nurturing mum and helping too (just in case there is any fact in this theory!).
She seems happy, won't know for a few months/years if this approach makes for a happy well balanced child - or a needy, fussy one!
Oh and I too bought a cute little blender especially for the baby - we have so far used it to make banana pancakes. They are nice, but not sure they warranted the purchase of a blender !
The purreeing and baby rice feels very 1950s/1960s to me when a lot of stuff mothers had been doing for centuries without any official advice was analysed and made marketable.
I don't really think it matters if you do purées or not. IMHO life is too short to make a purée but I can understand the need to see food going into your baby. That's quite primal.
If your child is eating bits of food off your plate (which is what often happens) then you aren't wasting more than you would in a puree - indeed, potentially less. And if you put down a plastic sheet then most things that gets dropped can be picked up again, which is more than can easily be done when your baby tips a pot of blueberry and sweet potato puree off the highchair.
At our weaning session, the HV told us that follow-on formula contains arsenic I took the rest of the session with a pinch of salt
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