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BLW - Help with practicalities and support needed as scared...

(8 Posts)
sharleenh Mon 18-Aug-08 22:36:28

Having come across BLW on MN and having read the research, guidelines and Aitch's blog, I really wanted to do BLW - it makes total sense. However, none of my friends have come across BLW and I feel like I am the only one although it was supported at my clinic by the HV's. I am scared that I will put my DD off food for life by keep giving her things which make her gag and also worried that she is not getting what she needs as I am now mix feeding with formula in the day. I BF exclusively for 6 months and tried her with first foods on her 6 month birthday. Tried broccoli, carrot and banana. She gagged on the broccoli. I have since tried banana again and yoghurt (gave her the spoon with some on and she stuck it in her mouth!). I am hoping someone can help with what to do next!

Do you keep giving the same thing until she eats some and then start bringing in new things or do you try new things each day? We have no family history of allergies. Should I wait until she eats things like fruit and veg before introducing pasta and meat etc. Also, after the first experience with gagging, do you try the next day or leave it a while before trying again? How do you cut banana so she can pick it up, it seems to just slide around her tray and she can't pick it up without it breaking so hard for her to even try it. Final query, do you try once a day until she seems to be in to eating and then gradually build up to 3 times a day?

Thank you to anyone that can help as I really want to go forward with the BLW. If BLW does not work for DD, will I need to switch back to puree's at some point. How do you know if it hasn't worked?

MrsJamin Tue 19-Aug-08 07:31:48

Right long reply for all your questions:
- Firstly calm down, food is fun until they're one and it won't be fun if you're stressing about it!
- Babies have a very sensitive gag reflex and this is desensitised by coping with lumps - so your DD will gag, it's part of the process. If you were doing purees your DD would have to go through the same process just later. Just smile and coach her through it reassuringly. It definitely won't put her off foods.
- Roast veg sticks (in olive oil) and toast are great starters- try them next?
- Just give what you are having/what you have in your fridge/cupboard, and see how she does. You can go quite quickly through new foods as long as she's over 6 months and there's no history of allergies. It does feel a bit weird, like there should be some clever schedule, but there doesn't need to be at all. Just avoid honey, and minimise sugar and salt.
- The main thing to think about is how easy the thing is to hold, really, rather than what the food actually is, IYSWIM. So maybe leave banana and do something a bit less slippery. Plum and peach were good starter fruits for DS. Cucumbers are nice and easy to hold, and nice to gum.
- There's no need to build up slowly, really, I offer food 3 times a day and have done from the start- I figure he could do with all the practice eating he can have! If DS has a big meal though (e.g. a roast) for lunch, I won't give him a big tea just in case it might constipate him.
- Just see how you go, it might take a while for your DD to get the hang of swallowing or being interested enough to stay in the highchair but it will happen. You can always think of purees as a fallback but generally people don't need to do that, it seems. Remember there's loads of people on this board who have done and are doing BLW so you can always come back with questions and support as you're doing it.

ChairmumMiaow Tue 19-Aug-08 07:38:49

Firstly, I second everything MrsJamin has said (wave). We've been BLW for more than a month now and are loving it - once we relaxed about it!

I'd just add that most babies don't really seem bothered by the gagging thing. DS once gagged so much he vomited and it came out his nose! This bothered him so much that once I'd cleaned him up, cuddled him (the vomit up the nose was not popular) and put him back in his chair, he picked up the same stuff that made him gag and proceeded to chomp away at it again. I always say if he's breathing, he'll sort it out. (and he always is)

Favourites here are rice cakes with philadelphia (especially if there's salmon mixed in with the philly), roasted courgett and butternut squash, steamed green beans (he sucks the pea bits out), salmon chunks (just steamed/microwaved). Ooo and my home made hummous went down a treat. He used the pitta bread as a hummous delivery method but ate every scrap of the hummous!

Good Luck and enjoy it - DH and I do (not to mention DS!)

TheProvincialLady Tue 19-Aug-08 07:42:33

Firstly, gagging is scary for you but not necessarily for your baby as she doesn't know it looks like choking. You won't scare her by offering food in this way, honest.

We have all been sold the Annabel Karmel weaning must be really complicated involving menu plans and special equipment, but it doesn't have to be like that - despite what publishers/baby food and equipment manufacturers would like us to think! If you have a healthy diet you can just sit your DD with you and offer her the same as you are having. If she eats it then great, if she doesn't then that is fine too as she will be learning about how food works and the social niceties. She will start eating it when she is ready. If your diet isn't healthy then now is a good time to sort it for the future as DD will need to eat the same as you sooner or later. I was a bit of a nervous BLWer but it did work and DS is now a confident eater at 23m.

It can be hard when everyone else you know does purees, but I found that quite a few of my friends started offering chunks of food that they never would have dreamed of before, having seen DS have a go.

LilysMum2008 Tue 19-Aug-08 21:08:07

Thanks all. Feeling much more positive and confident again, as I did at first until I thought too much and listened to others too much!

Mrs Jamin - I will try roast veg, had only ever steamed before. Re Toast, do you put butter/marg on it if low salt? Or just dry?

What would anyone give as a BLW breakfast, I tend to have cereal myself.

TPL - we do eat fairly healthy but don't eat dinner until after DD is in bed and lunch tends to be out but I will work round this.

onepieceoflollipop Tue 19-Aug-08 21:11:50

We do a mixed approach. e.g if dd seemed too tired to eat carrot sticks or broccoli florets, I would just mash them up a bit with a fork. She quickly took to feeding herself rather than wanting to be spoon fed. (she does make exceptions for yoghurts, custard etc as she loves her milky pudding - she barely shuts her mouth between mouthfuls!)

Re breakfast. You can buy cereal such as Oatibix or weetabix (mini or standard version) and dampen them with milk to make them less dry but not so they fall apart. Also you could offer various fruit slices. Things like scotch pancakes/crumpets with butter or a spread are also good b'fast foods.

MrsJamin Wed 20-Aug-08 13:04:08

Ooh you can put all kinds of things on toast, unsalted lurpak, low-salt 'marmite' (from health food shop), no-added-sugar jam, Sunwheel fruit spread, philadelphia. I wouldn't give toast without anything on it, as it would probably make their mouth a bit dry. Similarly with rice cakes, really.

BLW breakfast is bitesize shredded wheat, toast, crumpet, favourite is porridge pancake though.

Pheebe Wed 20-Aug-08 22:11:06

Another vote for mixed purees and finger foods here. No need to be exclusive. You absolutely won't ruin their ability to self feed by also offering purees as some of the BLWeaners would have you believe

Some days ds2 wants to feed himself, others he doesn't. brekkie he has fruity porridge that I feed him followed by toast he feeds himself. All other meals are a mixture. He's 9 months now and is starting to explore feeding himself with his own spoon which is great fun to watch, not so much fun to clear up though smile

My advice would be just go with the flow, no need to rush. see what you both enjoy and are comfortable with and go with that

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