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Doing BLW, HV says give purees as well - confused

(32 Posts)
marushka82 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:13:36

Hi everyone, I hope you can help!
My DD us 6.5 months, sitting up, has shown interest on our plates for over a month now. We decided to do BLW (I have read a few threads about it, plus the blw website, have yet to read Gill Rapley's book) and started a few days ago. DD is ebf, has one tooth coming through and weighs 9 kgs which puts her on 91st centile. So far she's only had cucumber and carrot and seems to enjoy the experience. She hasn't yet eaten anything, but gummed through the cucumbers and got some juice and flesh from them. Carrots she just spat outsmile
I spoke to hv today - wanted to ask about how and when to introduce dairy as DD seems sensitive to it (I've been off it for a few months now). HV asked how I'm doing weaning and after I explained she said the following:
1) I need to introduce some purees otherwise DD won't get nutrients and vitamins (as she's still at the stage where she plays with her food)
2) I'm to gradually decrease the number of breastfeeds (to my
'How do I do it if at night she's only settled by boob' HV said I'm the boss and have to introduce a routine. From what I know about blw, babies will drop breadtfeeds themselves when ready?)
3) no water needed (again, I thought you can give a bit of water when doing blw)
4) I can introduce baby rice to help DD sleep better (this I pretty much know is not going to help and again is not very blw as blw is not about baby food)

Confused and thinking that HV's got some outdated info especially since she said from now on my breastmilk's nutritional value will decrease - err, what?

I'm keen to read your thoughts! Am I to follow Hv's advice and spoon some puree into DD or keep doing what I'm doing?
Also if anyone has experience with introducing dairy to a baby who might be sensitive, please please share!

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Tue 18-Feb-14 15:17:13

Outdated surely.

We did a whole range of foods from 6 months but boob on demand and water with meals or if requested.

no purees and no baby rice (real rice is fine)

BulletForMySandwich Tue 18-Feb-14 15:18:31

Very old school! We're doing blw at the moment and a week before 7 months, she's dropped half a bottle feed a day - that's just how it is! But I recommend offering lots of water!

petmyunicorn Tue 18-Feb-14 15:20:06

She's talking crap.

Food before one is just for fun. Milk is where your baby is getting the most calories and nutrients. I definitely recommend reading the Rapley book as soon as you can, as hopefully it will arm you with useful information and bolster your confidence.

I never did any purée with my twins. My health visitor banged on about purees and mixing formula with rice. Took no notice of her!

Helpyourself Tue 18-Feb-14 15:20:08

She sounds very old fashioned. I'd find a source of advice that you trust and go with that.

Pinter Tue 18-Feb-14 15:20:56

"Food is fun until they're one".

She will be nourished by bm, by doing blw, she's getting the skills she needs for feeding & speech

I reckon your HV is a little out of date.

petmyunicorn Tue 18-Feb-14 15:21:04

Ah, and a side note, don't know that HVs are the best for food allergy sort of information. One of my children has lots of severe allergies, and she never seemed to understand any of the implications! I may have just had a spectacularly bad HV, though, I admit.

TheScience Tue 18-Feb-14 15:24:11

Outdated, and all her personal opinions rather than based in fact. Breastmilk should meet the majority of your baby's nutritional needs until 12 months, and actually the fat content of your milk increases as your baby gets older. Weaning foods are supposed to be "complementary".

Keep doing whatever you feel comfortable with!

bangersmashandbeans Tue 18-Feb-14 15:27:39

I agree with most of these replies but I thought iron was the one thing they needed after 6 months that breast milk can't give them enough of? May very well be wrong but I thought that was one of the things they needed food for?

MediumOrchid Tue 18-Feb-14 15:30:51

1) You don't need to introduce purees, your dd is getting all the nutrients she needs through your breastmilk. When she's ready she'll eat some food.

2) You can breastfeed as often as you, and she, want. Why should you have to decrease feeds? You don't have to introduce a routine - what nonsense. When your dd is eating food properly she will naturally decrease how much milk she takes.

3) You can give sips of water with meals. I don't know if there's a need to, but no harm and when she starts eating the food she'll probably want a drink as well.

4) Why would she need baby rice? It's completely at odds with the blw principes, as I'm sure you know, and has very little nutritional value.

So basically, yes, your hv has very outdated knowledge and I would question the value of seeing her again if this is the sort of advice you are going to get!

worldgonecrazy Tue 18-Feb-14 15:36:25

The iron thing is a bit of a confuzzle promoted by manufacturers of toddler/follow on milk. Breast milk contains less iron after 6 months but it is more readily absorbed than other sources of iron. What did we do before follow on milk was invented?

OP - your HV is misinformed. Your child's main source of nutrition will still be breastmilk, and you will find that gradually, your child will decrease the number of breastfeeds without interference from HVs, as food intake increases naturally.

Baby rice has no nutritional benefit at all, and was introduced as a weaning food because harldy anyone has allergic issues with it so it is regarded as "safe".

You really need to speak to an expert on dairy sensitivity - there are several forms, some people can tolerate non-cow milk, some can do no lactose, some can eat yoghurt but not drink milk. Some people get upset tums, some get eczma.

marushka82 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:37:36

Thanks all for such a quick reply! I had a feeling it was a lot of crock but just sat there nodding my head ;)
Will keep doing what I'm doing and let DD decide when she's ready to eatsmile
After this experience I will probably ask gp for advice on dairy...
Ordering the blw book nowsmile

worldgonecrazy Tue 18-Feb-14 15:39:58

Here's some evidence based stuff on iron iron supplementation

ReadyToPopAndFresh Tue 18-Feb-14 15:39:58

purees and soup aren't against BLw, as long as your dd is using her own spoon! But you don't need to spoon them in to her no

petmyunicorn Tue 18-Feb-14 15:40:30

Hope you like the book. GP is probably better for allergies. Likely to tell you to introduce in very small quantities and watch for a reaction.

There are online groups that can offer a lot of information as well. Allergy parents tend to be well versed! Feel free to PM me if you need info. And enjoy the messy food days!

worldgonecrazy Tue 18-Feb-14 15:43:59

OP - there is also something on Kelly Mom about allergies, specifically dairy problems hope it helps

LostMySocks Tue 18-Feb-14 15:48:22

interestingly different areas have different guidelines for weening. My health trust says purees, the HV says also offer finger food at each meal and to move onto cows milk in food at 6 months. My cousin has been told to do BLW.

Kittymalinky Tue 18-Feb-14 15:51:58

Your HV is talking bollocks and obviously knows nothing about blw!

We did it with out DD. At 6mo we just gave her steamed veg sticks, some soft fruit and whatever off our plate was suitable (not processed or full of salt) I didn't decrease my bf at all. She naturally dropped a couple around 7/8 months, dropped most day feeds in favour of (now a wide range of meals) solid food. Around 11mo I replaced her snack feeds with solids and she naturally dropped her night feeds around 12/13mo. I still do one bf to sleep (she's now 17mo) but I plan on dropping this over the Easter hols (hopefully)

You should try to bf an hour or so before you give solids so they're not starving bit not so full they're not interested at all. Obviously if shes not been fed or just been fed but is interested in something you're eating then give her a bit.

My experiences are that HV in my area aren't closed up on blw, but then they also think that if you don't do controlled crying babies will never sleep through!

Oh and try not to panic at the gagging, it's natural smile

tiktok Tue 18-Feb-14 15:55:19

Different areas shouldn't have different guidelines for weaning - the evidence and guidance they should all be sharing is pretty clear. Neither BLW or purees or a mix is 'better' for the baby, as long as you follow your baby's lead, and you can go with you and your baby's preferences.

The fact she has suggested rice to help your baby 'sleep better' is a good sign she is in need of some updating sad

Spotsondots Tue 18-Feb-14 19:01:33


We are just about to start BLW too, and I also have an out of date HV who said that I should give baby rice and puréed pear when my huge 91st centile DS was 20 weeks because his weight had dropped half a centile...hmm

Anyway, just wanted to say, as I think someone has already, that the Gill Rapley book is great for boosting your confidence and arming you with some facts to counter the raised eyebrows and murmurings about nutrients and not eating enough. It helped me with the HV and she didn't really have a valid counter argument to my points!

Secondly, with dairy sensitivity, I would begin cautiously, perhaps adding dairy to cooked foods first then adding a small amount at a time if the cooked dairy is tolerated. Your GP should be able to give you information on this, and refer you to a dietician for further support if necessary.

Happy weaning!

TamerB Tue 18-Feb-14 19:10:40

Give your baby the same as you. Soup is purée - so is yoghurt. If it is baby led see if your baby wants it!

marushka82 Tue 18-Feb-14 22:26:47

Hi everyone, thanks once again for all the tips and input.
To be honest, I was quite shocked as it looked like HV had a young HV in training by her side. Not a good sign!
She was saying DD would potentially not get enough nutrients if I don't start purees immediately; all the while looking at DD who is pretty big and looks anything but malnourished, heheh grin
Re: dairy sensitivity, looking at kellymom website (thanks for the link!) it looks like it's the sensitivity to cow's milk protein, rather than lactose. I went the whole way and eliminated all dairy, even 'processed' in a way (so for example, milk powder in biscuits, etc) as well as soy. Like I said before, DD hasn't had any tests done to confirm that allergy. All I know is she used to be very fussy on the breast, pulling off and screaming and had green poos all the time. All these improved once I went dairy free. I will definitely speak to the GP about it and about reintroducing dairy (Kellymom mentions that in some babies the sensitivity subsides around 6-18 months).

On the BLW front, DD played with some carrots at lunchtime and we gave her some pasta in the evening (I think she may have eaten some but not sure!). She was quite fussy when we were eating dinner so we decided to pop her in the highchair and give her some food to play with to distract her and it worked a treat! I think at the early stages of BLW you're supposed to do it only once a day, but I guess it won't hurt to have DD 'eat' dinner with us? :D

Going over to a general board now to start a thread called 'the biggest nonsense you were advised by HV' smile

TamerB Tue 18-Feb-14 22:29:54

You have to take what they say with a pinch of salt! I have had some very odd advice. It really doesn't matter at that age if they eat much or not and the odd purée is fine- whatever you are comfortable with.

AndWhat Tue 18-Feb-14 22:48:33

I ff so can't offer bf advice but I attended 2 weaning sessions with 2 different HV areas and they were soooo different.
session 1 - listed all the foods you can use, the different ways you can offer food, different recipes, giving water in a beaker etc

session 2 - told me I should stop giving my ds banana (which I had done for 2 days and he seemed to enjoy) as he would get a sweet tooth hmm and give 3 spoons of baby rice for 5 days between 9 and 10am then move onto another veg for a week pureed.

Needless to say I listened to session 1 and MN and we've been at it for 3 weeks and he's like a duck to water already eating a breakfast of weetabix and fruit and this week we've added a dinner of mixed mashed veg and he has already significantly reduced his milk intake around the time I have given meals.

girliefriend Tue 18-Feb-14 22:56:49

I think BLW generally is a bit too extreme in terms of not putting anything into your babies mouth confused have never really got why its an issue.

You sounds sensible and your baby is clearly thriving so am sure what you are going is fine grin personally I enjoyed making up various purees and seeing my dds reaction to various new tastes and textures along with letting her have lots of different finger foods to try. Fwiw she is now 8yo and a fantastic eater.

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