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Help - my baby wont stop crying when trying BLW

(47 Posts)
confuseddotcom1 Mon 01-Jun-09 12:49:32

My daughter is now 21 weeks old and has been showing interest in my food so I have decided to let her start trying a few things just for fun using the BLW technique. I make sure she has just been fed and isn't too tired, so she is in the right mood for the new experience!

We have tried 3 times now and each time it ends in disaster! She has excellent grasping and hand-eye or hand-mouth coordination so has no trouble putting the food into her mouth. She spends several minutes happily chomping, sucking and licking the food before starting to cry. The crying then becomes hysterical and she is really inconsolable - there seems nothing I can do to calm her down and it lasts about 30 min.

Can anyone suggest what might be happening here? It feels like she is getting frustrated but I don't understand why she gets sooooo upset? Has anyone had a similar experience??? I'm so keen to use this method and would like it to work. I also don't want her to start associating being upset with eating...

Thanks for you help and advice in advance!

Unicornvomit Mon 01-Jun-09 12:51:27

i would stop weaning

she does not need any food at this stage, so maybe give her a few days without offering food

for it to work, it is led by the baby, she is telling you she is not enjoying it , so leave it for now

are you giving milk before you offer food?

TheProvincialLady Mon 01-Jun-09 13:03:21

You have started too early, that is the problem. BLW is led by the baby and if the baby sobs uncontrolably for half an hour, I think that is the baby's way of saying 'no thanks yet!'

Try again in a few weeks. You don't want to create negative associations with food.

TheProvincialLady Mon 01-Jun-09 13:04:08

You have started too early, that is the problem. BLW is led by the baby and if the baby sobs uncontrolably for half an hour, I think that is the baby's way of saying 'no thanks yet!'

Try again in a few weeks. You don't want to create negative associations with food.

curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 18:31:55

I don't agree, I have never seen a baby that found it easy to manage nutritionally on just milk until 6 months - you have to try hard as a parent to achieve this and deliberately ignore signs from your baby that they are ready to wean. The baby's behaviour doesn't seem to suggest this is the problem either as she is initially very interested in the food and only cries after she's had it into her mouth for a while. I would say she is initially crying because she has recognised this as food but can't get enough satisfaction from eating it in this way and then is upset at it being taken away. You could test this theory by trying her with some puree that you are feeding her whilst she plays with a piece of unpureed food and see if this satisfies her for both stimulation and nutrition.

If this didn't work after a couple of days I'd think I was on the wrong track and try something else based on her reaction. Remember that babies often start losing interest in milk when they start having solids and that they are often impatient with being fed when they first start out so give it a good go. Nearly 5 months is a perfectly reasonable time to start weaning, listen to your baby rather than silly generalised advice.

There is a lot of evidence that a baby is not nutritionally fulfilled by a diet of milk alone from around 4 months on and that they are better nourished by supplementing with solids. This is controversial because health visitors are concerned about salt levels and allergenics but it is fine if you stick with pure fruit and vegetables pureed at home and nothing else.

Unicornvomit Mon 01-Jun-09 18:35:46

i would like to see some information regarding what you say, when the DoH and NHS do clearly say that milk is absolutely enough for hte first 6 months

DD was perfectly fine until 6 months on milk, well 25 weeks & 3 days to be pedantic. and there have been threads here precviously where plenty of posters have got to 6 months just with milk

the OP wants to do BLW, hence the advice given

Unicornvomit Mon 01-Jun-09 18:36:17

being interested in food is not a concrete sign the baby's gut is mature enough to cope with food.

knickers0nmahead Mon 01-Jun-09 18:39:51

my dcs managed on just milk! hmm Op, i would say you have started too soon. My ds gets frustrated but doesnt get inconsolable.

curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 19:23:35

Not sure it matters as much what the mum wants to give the baby as it does what the baby needs for nutrition which is why I was suggesting to test my theory with a compromise between mum and what I (humbly) thought was going on with baby.

Off the top of a google search (lol) this is one paper on the subject not sure if it's any good - tId=866237

Lots of people obviously do it but that doesn't mean their babies weren't ready to start earlier. I'd never criticise someone for following the advice cos it's clearly better if you're not absolutely confident in how not to follow it safely - I come from a family of doctors and have a lot of access to research and knowledge from, particularly my mum who had four of us as well as a long medical career so I am confident.

Babies guts are mature enough to handle food from birth (african babies who's mothers cannot make enough milk or have died have survived on solid foods from birth) but this doesn't mean they should have it or that it is sensible - Health Visitors only know what they are told (i.e. guidelines) about this and are not infant nutrition specialists. DoH and NHS guidelines about weaning used to be wean from 3 months based on nutritional needs of baby and content of breastmilk upon analysis but was changed to 6 months because of allergies and salt worries. I'd say listen to baby as 3 months is mostly too soon and 6 months mostly too late and be sensible about how you wean - don't overload straight away when system has been used to milk. Start with pure fruit/veg, build up amounts, start adding baby rice to bulk out and then try finger food and some varied meals.

I can see that waiting and following advice would be comforting to most people but when to wean is an individual thing with each baby and can happen anytime from 3/4 months on. I'd be sceptical of anyone telling you categorically your baby did or didn't need anything at any set age without even meeting them - trial and error and motherly instinct is best. Best to listen to your baby, research things thoroughly by looking at the real reasons for the guidelines (comparing both sides) and try things out yourself - it is hard to harm your baby but always better to stick to advice if you are not absolutely confident you have looked at all aspects.

ChocOrange05 Mon 01-Jun-09 19:30:24

confused my DS behaved exactly like this and I couldn't work out what it was - we started weaning at 24 weeks and he loved it for the first week and then just started screaming at every meal time and for ages after. I got so stressed about it all so I decided just to stop for a bit. We restarted when he was 27 weeks and its fine now - I think he was frustrated by wanting the food but not being able to get it, I think it might be best for you to wait till she is a bit more developed to be able to eat what she wants.

During the 2 weeks we stopped weaning I just didn't eat in front of DS as I knew he would want some. I just had food when he was in bed.

HTH - and good luck, I know how frustrating and worrying it can be.

I think the DC stopping crying when eating would be a comfort to most people....

Stop weaning, it's too early and he's obviously not ready.

DuchessOfAvon Mon 01-Jun-09 19:40:37

DD2 used to get very cross when food got stuck up in the roof of her mouth and she couldn't get it out. A sip of water sometimes helped or she would eventually work it out of her mouth. Having said all that, she was 26 weeks when we started.

It may be that your LO just hasn't got all of the skills to handle the solids yet - it must be a bit discombobulating working out what those different textures are, especially if she can't manoeuvre it around her mouth very well.

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 01-Jun-09 19:46:09

I agree with most others that it sounds like you have started weaning too soon. I'd stop and try again in a month or so. That said (and I realise this isn't popular on here) I don't think BLW is right for every child. We tried and tried and tried it for months and DS never liked it. He ate but unhappily and things only really clicked into place when we introduced a spoon. I'd wait until he is 6 months and if he is still miserable, try giving him something on a spoon and see what he makes of it.

PinkTulips Mon 01-Jun-09 19:49:07

my ds1 was 21/22 week when we did blw as he stole food himself and ate it, even so i went very slowely, he went days with no food and the second he became in any way irritable during a meal i cleaned him up and breastfed him.

21 weeks is very early and very few babies are developmentally ready for blw at that age.

let her play with food by all means ut the second you sense her becoming cross end the meal.


curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 20:59:45

One statistic (the only one I found immediately) suggests only 6% of babies make it to 6 months without being weaned but I'm sure this is incorrect and out of date and I'm not sure statistics are particularly reliable anyway.

Early weaning is considered by medical professionals and researchers to be weaning before 3/4 months. This means research into the risks of 'early weaning' may be weaning before 3 months, best to check actual research paper for details as unsure what everyone is referencing.

burningupinspeed Mon 01-Jun-09 21:08:45

6 months is too late? Too late for what?

curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 21:14:24

to start, whilst it wouldn't do any harm, it'd be later than most babies would choose to start.

burningupinspeed Mon 01-Jun-09 21:17:41

Oh. DS wasn't interested in doing any actual eating until about 32 weeks, or 7.5 months.

He was interested in us when eating, as he was when reading the paper, driving the car, chopping veg with big sharp knives...

AnarchyAunt Mon 01-Jun-09 21:25:53

CK I am sorry but that is just crap.

'Listen to your baby' - well indeed. And then if they are screaming inconsolably after being given solids far earlier than is necessary or recommended, well listen to that too and forget it for a few weeks, then try again. Baby is evidently not enjoying the experience.

Babies CANNOT cope with solid food from birth. They can cope with solid food around the age where they can pick it up and eat it. Until then they only need BM/formula.

wombleprincess Mon 01-Jun-09 21:28:22

ck, you are a loon. your arguments are so ridiculously flawed i dont know where to start.

confuseddotcom1, just wondering, when we started blw i had to make sure that she had had a satisfying milk feed either before or near her solid feed, otherwise she would just get really hungry and and think "is this is it?". for the first few weeks with BLW it is about experimentation and the amout they take in isnt actually very much.

also we started just short of 6 months (so perhaps you are a bit early) and she still was a bit iffy.. BLW is a bit hit and miss - stick with it though, we are both enjoying mealtimes tremendously now!

curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 22:06:32

wombleprincess/anarchyaunt - I think these are strange personal comments to make never having met me. What research do you base your opinions on? I am entitled to my opinion as you are yours and unlike you I am not making personal comments, telling people what they should and shouldn't do, what their baby wants or offering my own opinions as facts. I just made suggestions as to what I thought might be going on and what I'd try in this situations. I'm sorry my opinions worry you but perhaps you could justify why you can be so sure to tell me I am wrong to have my opinion? How is weaning linked to digestive problems/damage/allergies or what does research say about exclusive milk feeding being nutrionally superior up to 6 months. I'm not saying you are wrong but you are yet to justify your argument with anything other than you own opinion and NHS guidelines. The poster said the baby screamed after they'd had the food for a while and after the food had been taken away. Surely logic would suggest the baby would be more likely to cry at the sight of the food if it didn't like the food.

AnarchyAunt Mon 01-Jun-09 22:12:07

I cannot see a single personal comment in my post.

I am going to bed now but I suggest you look at the weaning/BF topics on MN, Kellymom's excellent research-based site and the links there, the WHO guidelines and the evidence they are based on... very informative.

I notice you say you have 'never seen' a baby who managed nutritionally on 'just' milk without solids - are you an HCP?

curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 22:20:41

kellymom is an interpretation of evidence by someone else and surely could not be considered evidence in it's own right but I shall spend some time reading it if this is what your opinion is based on.

I have based my own opinion on my own experience, knowledge, research published in medical journals, questions I have asked my various family members in the medical profession whilst my children were growing up and my own intrepretations of the validity of each study but I can't stress enough that these are just my own opinions to which I am entitled.

curiositykilled Mon 01-Jun-09 22:54:33

The wilson study which is provided as evidence for exclusive breastfeeding being best up to 6 months did not take into account variables such as nursery attendance, exposure to smoking (only asked how many ppl in house smoked not whether smoked around babies or where/how often smoked) was based on questionaires filled in by parents about how often they thought their children had symptoms of various things (not very reliable as a subjective opinion fitted into a yes/no questionnaire) and never asked how weaned babies were weaned or what they were fed and when. To improve this study you could have asked the parents whose babies were weaned pre 6 months and had the same statistical outcomes as exclusively breastfed babies how their babies were weaned and what they were fed, for how long, for example. Anyway, this study I would say was evidencially dubious. The main reason is the study group was taken from a geographically small area and the results were based on a very small group of children which were also split into even smaller groups based on classifications such as 'exclusively breastfed' which were decided by the ppl carrying out the study. There are many major problems with the validity of this study as far as I can see.

That is just one study however, the main issue is with the whole site. The whole site is only presenting evidence to support her own opinions and does not offer any evidence for conflicting opinions and why it hasn't convinced her. It is far from impartial or comprehensive. Maybe I should start another thread for this though as it's taking over this one.

TrinityRhino Mon 01-Jun-09 22:58:52

curiositykilled - your first post is full of enough bollocks for me not to read the rest

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