Confused about BLW - do they ever actually eat anything? and can it be combined with spoon-feeding?(14 Posts)
I've been weaning DS (6m) now for a week or so - want to go down the BLW route because I like the idea of it. But so far he hasn't really eaten anything but just thrown it on the floor or spread it over the table. I know it's likely to take some time, and that we should just be encouraging him to enjoy food for now, but I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever be able to feed my baby out in cafes or at other people's houses like I've seen other (spoon-feeding) mums do.
Is it possible to spoon feed as well while continuing to let them feed themselves? It sounds selfish, but I don't want to be trapped in the house all day long watching a baby throw broccoli around!
would be interested to hear other people's experiences of this type of weanig and how it eventually fitted into their days
Hi I weaned my dd at six months (she's now one) and tried spoonfeeding (which she refused) so had no choice but to go with BLW and give her finger foods. For the first six weeks or so she barely ate anything and was having loads of milk still (over 30oz a day) but gradually she got better at it and at around 8 months, when I was putting yogurt on a spoon and passing it to her, she wanted me to spoonfeed it. Since then she has been spoonfed the types of food you would expect to eat with cutlery (and sometimes fingers) and eats everything else as finger foods. She's also now trying to sometimes feed herself. So by accident we've kind of done both and starting with just finger foods seems to have worked out OK as she is really good with lumps and finger foods now, in fact I think she now prefers it again!
In terms of eating and going out, I wouldn't worry too much about this at first, just take a few bits with you, e.g. rice cakes, cucumber and give your ds some of your own food to mess about with/eat. I often just take finger foods for her lunch and she has some of mine too.
There are plenty of people out there who will be much better at giving advice on BLW and sticking with it. I don't think there's a problem with doing both anyway as you want them to get used to finger foods. Hope this helps.
Oh, go out anyway - as long as he's getting plenty of milk he'll be fine. Of course you can spoonfeed if you want to - there's no law about BLW, but if you like the ideas behind it, then you have to come to terms with the fact that it's a longish process, and it's messy. I loved going out with dd - would just hand her bits of whatever I was eating, while everyone else dug around for tupperware tubs and spoons...
I do this i give dd2 bit's to eat and spoonfed while she not looking.
The point of BLW is that it is fun for the child. Your ds is still very young and still relies mostly on milk. Over the next few weeks, when he is ready and able, he will put food into his mouth himself and be able to swallow it without choking (although there will the be occasional spluttering and bright red face!). You can spoonfeed if you like, but under BLW principles babies will feed themselves when they need it. He will not starve in the meantime and will continue to thrive on milk.
My ds (nearly 1) didn't really start eating much until he was about 7mo. By 8mo he had radically cut down the amount of milk he wanted because he was eating so much.
The best advice is to do whatever you feel comfortable with. Although you feel frustrated at the moment with the length of time he takes to eat (chuck his food around), once he's got to grips with it, it's great because he will eat at the same time as you and you won't be getting starving while spooning his food in. Alternatively, you may be worried he's not getting enough food and want to get him onto solids, in which case spoonfeed for now. You can start giving him fingerfoods too, but it wouldn't be BLW as such anymore.
Hope that doesn't sound like a lecture. Just trying to be objective whilst actually being a firm believer in BLW .
The difference I like between letting them get on with it and spoon feeding is you're free to potter. If baby is taking longer than about half an hour I would say they've had enough and take them away from the food.
You are still in very early days, by 7 months Tink was eating proper food rather than the cut to shape selection of what we were eating. Don't forget for the next 6 months or so he is only learning about food and needs milk far more than he needs solids.
You can feed your child however you want, personally I couldn't be bothered with it and belived that if she couldn't do it herself then she wasn't ready, but there are many people who do combine.
thanks everyone - what you say is quite reassuring, both that doing both is possible, and also that he will get there in the end
I think I'm just in this weird state of not wanting him to be on solids (and stay a little baby) but also in a hurry to get him eating three meals a day!
thanks for the advice
I can understand the 3 meals a day worry, but I'm learning myself that in the early days you've just got to let them take it at their own pace. DS is 6 months and has been going on fruit, veg and rice cakes since 23 weeks.
DS has no routine, and never has had (except bedtime) so we are finding that sometimes he's not interested in his solid food if he's just woken up (normally has a BF when he does) or if he's tired (sometimes he goes 1.5hrs between naps, sometimes 5!). I have to make myself not worry if he hasn't had a "meal" all day because I know he's controlling what he gets - both milk and solids. He's managed to grow himself this far, so I shall keep trusting him until I see a reason not to - even if I am itching to see him eat tons of stuff like his puree eating baby-friends.
On a 'good' day he does actually swallow a fair bit of stuff (as evidenced by the lumps in the nappy) so he's getting the hang of it. I just have to learn to be patient :-)
Thanks for the reply. It is hard to be patient isn't it? Especially when everyone else's babies are eating loads of purees.
I'm like you in that we have no daytime routine to speak of - I thought I'd try to get it together a bit once we started weaning though because it seems so hard to fit everything in otherwise.
What kinds of food have you been giving? It seems to me that the harder foods (like steamed carrot or ricecakes) are easier for DS to pick up but he has trouble chewing them whereas softer things like bananas go down more easily, but it takes ages for him to pick them up in the first place.
Have you not been tempted to spoon feed at all?
I think (and I'm sure I'll be corrected) that the philosophy of BLW is not to spoonfeed, but to let baby pick up food and maneuver it into his own mouth in his own time. I've noticed lots of references to BLW when I think some people are really talking about finger foods in general. I don't follow any particular philosophy, I combine the two, in that I primarily spoon feed, but also let my 7-month-old feast on fingerfoods like banana, avocado, pasta, toast. But I actually hand these to my lo. We bought a poxy huge highchair that our lo can't reach the tray on, so I find it easier to hand stuff to her. When we're out and about I'll sometimes spoon feed, and sometimes give her a ricecake or something less mushy to chomp on. She's definitely happier (and quieter) feeding herself, but her favourite meal so far is a leek, sweet potato & pea purée (it is yummy) which isn't exactly finger food friendly.
agree pretty much with what everyone says except i'm afraid lizziemun. while you can of course combine finger food and spoon feeding if that's what makes you comfortable (because you're the mum, you can do whatever you like ), the idea of 'spooning in while the baby's not looking' runs COMPLETELY counter to the philosophy of BLW. it's just not BLW at all, BLW is about the child being in control. for me, that would include loading up a spoon and letting them have a shot, no problem.
re the amount of food other babies are eating... well, let's just say i get a lot of emails from panicked mums whose babies were happy eating purees until about 10 months and then suddenly want to feed themselves and spoon refuse. at 10 months... you can be in a bit of trouble, if they're not practised in self-feeding they can get seriously frustrated by that age as their desire outstrips their ability. slowly, slowly catchee monkey.
Combining or more particularly starting on puree and moving over after a week is what AK recommends - lots of money for a week or two! The DoH is now recommending combining.
Apart from what I said before about why I didn't spoon feed, I also didn't see the point in giving her anything she couldn't do herself as there is nothing they can't live without IYSWIM.
I wouldn't worry too much after a week, your baby will mostly be needing milk anyway.
When you're going out, take things that are easy to carry around if you want to encourage finger food, I took some prepared baby foods (tubes rather than jars, much more portable) but I found it much easier to give ds pieces of bread roll and I also carried round a packet of cheese and a cheese slice everywhere. Bananas are great as well, because the skin protects the inside so they're sterile until you peel, and they give a teething baby something that's not that hard but has a texture to get first teeth/gums into. We moved on to half segments of satsumas within a few weeks and gradually experimented with other food around.
I actually found those foods much easier to deal with at baby groups and cafes etc than spoon feeding puree. I would take my own food to cafes to give ds though I would buy something there for me and no cafe ever complained, now he's a valued customer of several of our local haunts then.
My HV talked about three meals a day, but that plus milk feeds will come when baby's ready, whatever your method of feeding, IMO. At 6 months, you have plenty of time to start with a few easy to manage foods and just offer new tastes when you're eating something which isn't too salty or whatever, and gradually introduce more variety and balance.
Its frustrating sometimes, but I do sort of spoon fed, but not in a way that takes the control away from DS - I load up the spoon and hold it out so he can take the initiative and suck what he wants from the spoon. I have to admit I did once or twice try to slip some fromage frais in, but he actually gagged on it! (I'd put it past the front of his tongue) so I won't be doing that again.
He's actually pretty good with a spoon himself (I bought some soft tip weaning spoons from asda which work really well as he can squish them with his mouth to get bits out of the bowl of the spoon). The trouble comes when you try to compare how much they eat with puree-eaters - Its going to take time to get up to that level, but (I keep telling myself) we have plenty of it!
Favourite foods so far:
fromage frais / yoghurt
this morning's apple and mango porridge went down quite well too!
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