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BLW questions (for a reluctant BLWer!)

(8 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Mon 27-Jul-09 11:21:24

Sorry I know there is a big thread for BLWers but its so long I don't know where to start!

DD is 6.5 months old and I'd foolishly thought she would be desperate to eat solids by now as her big brother was. But I've tried various different pureed fruit, veg, baby rice, etc but she is refusing to even open her mouth, let alone actually eat it! On the rare occasion I've managed to sneak the spoon in as she was laughing she has just spat the food out immediately.

So decided maybe we might get on better if she could feed herself as she seemed to be getting quite upset each time she saw the spoon! So for the last week I've tried BLW but I'm not sure I'm doing it right! Also the mess and waste of food is making me quite stressed! I found it much easier with DS when I could feed him purees, and he quickly moved onto lumpy and finger foods.

She will hold food, lick it, and then throw it on the floor. If a bit goes into her mouth she is very clever at moving it from the back of her mouth to the front and spitting it out again! So I have some questions:

1. Is it normal to have this much food wasted? I make a dinner for me and then extra veg for her to play with. They are all on the floor within a minute so they have to go in the bin. I then give her some more from my plate to see if she will eat any, they go on the floor. Repeat until I have no food to eat myself and the dinner is all in the bin!

2. I'm formula feeding and she tends to always finish a bottle. So how do I know if she is filling herself up with milk and then isn't hungry for solid food?

3. She still wakes up in the night for a feed (not every night but probably once every three nights) should I still be giving her milk or will this be filling her up and putting her off solids?

4. Can she eat anything we eat (obviously without added salt/sugar/etc?) I have just given her fingers of veg, rice cakes, fruit, so far. Could she have, for example, some of my chilli and rice (I normally make it mild so DS can eat it too - its veggie, made with beans, tomatoes, etc). I feel quite limited as I don't want to give her gluten yet as there is a history of coeliac disease in mine and DP's families, so bread, pasta, etc are out - we were recommended to wait until 9 months.

5. How long can she go just on milk? As she really doesn't seem keen on eating anything yet! I've not noticed anything different in her nappies so I'm sure nothing has gone in - mostly its dropped on the floor before she's even tasted it!

Sorry for rambling on - I'm getting quite stressed about this! She had to go into hospital for a week when she was tiny as she lost so much weight (she'd hardly taken any milk when BFing) so I'm a bit more sensitive then normal about feeding. Although she is fine on formula and is on the 75th percentile for weight.

Hulla Mon 27-Jul-09 12:09:30

Hi iwouldgoouttonight I don't have many answers - we're starting dd weaning (6 months today!) but this is what I think:

1. DD had mango this morning, loved it but didn't swallow a great deal. Just sort of sucked it, chewed bits and swallowed little bits I think. There was a lot of waste in that the majority of the mango piece wasn't eaten but not much waste in that I only offered her one long chunk and DH and I ate the rest.

2. I think at this age babies are too young to know that food fills them up. Its all about textures and flavours I believe so probably better to offer food after milk and not worry about her being hungry.

3. Yes, if she is hungry at night keep giving milk.

4. I understand that they can have anything we have. You could try corn pasta? We got some gigante pasta (or something that sounds like that) from the supermarket yesterday. Its quite long so she should be able to use a bit as a handle and eat the top. I'd like to try dd on chilli but was unsure about the beans so I'd be interested to hear others experience too.

5. Milk is the main part of babies diet until they're one I think so you have plenty of time for dd to get the hang of this food thing!

HTH smile


PortAndLemon Mon 27-Jul-09 12:11:47

1. If you get a clean polythene sheet and put it down under her chair then stuff that goes on the floor can be picked up and offered again. That way you don't end up with your entire dinner on the floor and none in your stomach.

2. I would suggest either offering her solids before a bottle, or a smaller bottle, then solids, then another smaller bottle, or just staggering mealtimes to be in between milk feed times.

3. I bf rather than ff, so not directly comparable, but I still gave a night feed at this age.

4. Yes, basically. The coeliac thing is obviously a concern and you need expert advice on that (I had thought that it was, somewhat counter-intuitively, actually recommended now to introduce gluten between 6 and 9 months and not to wait longer than that, but as I said you want expert advice which mine emphatically isn't). If there were other particular allergy concerns you'd want to factor those in too, but otherwise just go for it.

5. DD started eating something (from nappy evidence) within a couple of weeks, and she clearly enjoyed the experience and was eating small amounts from then on, but she didn't eat a huge amount until she got to about 10 months, when it was suddenly as though a switch had been thrown and almost overnight she was eating a good four or five times more than she'd been eating before.

newmumof2 Mon 27-Jul-09 12:37:01

iwouldgoout my ds2 is just 8 months this week and i could have written your post except we still feed him in the night formula!

like portandlemon i am kinda waiting for that switch to flick and milk is fine until they are 1!

anyway i understand how you feel but 2 months down the line i am trying not to stress about it as he's happy alert and developing well... he's on the 25 centile whereas his brother was always on the 97 centile so i did stress like you did when i first tried weaning

my ds2 just wont take a spoon! but almost every day i will try him on some puree or mush of some sort but lips still tightly closed then i offer him something like toast, broccoli, green bean etc and he'll put it in his mouth! i am sure he is barely getting anything but at least he is trying different tastes!

try not to worry, i'm not...


iwouldgoouttonight Mon 27-Jul-09 16:02:59

Thank you for the helpful replies. So it doesn't matter if she doesn't really eat anything until, say 10 months, as long as she's drinking milk and putting on weight? She won't miss out on any nutrients or anything? Most of my friends with babies of similar age are saying how their babies are on three meals a day so I keep worrying that I'm doing something wrong!

I was thinking maybe she's not ready for weaning as she really doesn't seem keen, but as she's over six months surely she should be getting more hungry?

My mum is a member of the coeliac society and she has just asked them about weaning, and you're right PortAndLemon, they can have gluten from six months as long as we're aware of symptoms to look out for (which we are).

So for tea today we're probably going to have stir fried veg with cashew nuts and noodles. I obviously won't give her the nuts, and won't put soy sauce on hers, but can she just have a play with the rest and see what happens?

PortAndLemon Mon 27-Jul-09 16:08:35

Yes, that sounds a good plan.

Powdoc Mon 27-Jul-09 17:31:37

I haven't actually tried BLW, but I have been reading the Gill Rapley book ready (DD is only 3 months).

Her description is that babies will normally spend a good few weeks tasting, then chewing, before finally swallowing. It's not like conventional weaning, where your aim is for the food to go 'down' from the off. You should apparently see each of these as stages of development, rather than thinking that the process is not working if the baby doesn't swallow (a bit like you wouldn't expect them to walk straight off, but sit, stand, etc). Plastic sheeting is advised so that you can keep 'recycling' bits that go on the floor. Also, it is advised to only put a few bits on the plate at once, as otherwise some babies will swipe everything off as it's all too overwhelming!

She also advises NOT trying BLW when the baby is hungry, as he/she is likely to get frustrated. They need to be full and happy to have the patience to play with the food. The reasoning is that the baby will cut down on milk when he/she is naturally eating enough to do so.

Of course, this is all theory at this stage. Will report back in a few months!

pookamoo Mon 27-Jul-09 17:49:46

My DD is 8 months today and while she chomps away happily on her favourites like strawberries, she quite often just licks food and drops it. It's quite frustrating but ebentually I'm sure the switch will flick.

The thing where she pushes food out of her mouth is great - it's a safety mechanism and is what she does when the food is too big for her to swallow easily.

I'm no expert and can only speak from experience but in answer to your questions:

1. Yes they drop loads. I always try to sweep and wash the floor before meals so she can have the bits back. If she leans over the highchair looking for the food she has dropped it seems to be a sign that it was accidental. At 6.5 months they are only just starting to get the hang of letting go of things from their fists, so she's probably not doing it on purpose.

2. What powdoc said. You have to forget about the food "filling her up" and just give her milk as usual. She will cut down in her own time. I am bfing and still just as often as before! I think she will cut down when she leaarns that food can fill her tummy.

3. As with 2 above, don't worry about putting her off solids as she will still need the milk because with BLW at this stage she won't be getting much from the food. Think how much more nutrition there is in her milk than in, say, a carrot stick!

4. Sounds good to me! Do get advice re coeliac disease, it looks like you have done anyway and you know what you are doing.

5. She will be fine for quite a while yet on just milk. Keep an eye on her weight to reassure yourself if you are worried.

Have a look at Gill Rapley's website which is quite helpful.

Good luck!

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