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BLW or not??

(33 Posts)
iloveholidays Fri 11-Sep-09 10:25:45

I'm still undecided whether to do BLW or not (my baby is 5 months + 1 week). My main issues are...

I'm worried as BLW isn't as structured, my baby won't end up trying everything especially fruit and veg. There is the possibility that she may only pick up certain foods and leave others.

I'm trying to work out what the disadvantages of going the puree route (apart from the possibility of my child struggling to go to lumpy food which I haven't actually experienced amongst friends & family)?

Also, my baby was just under 4 weeks early and slightly behind on the hand/eye coordination although improving daily - not sure how ready she will be at 6 months.

Any comments gratefully received.

Hulla Fri 11-Sep-09 11:11:29


- you have to spoon feed while your food goes
- different meals for dc than for you
- bit boring

We've been BLW for a month and a half and my dd has a huge variety of foods. Don't worry about them not being able to pick things up, it comes with time and where there is a will...

Fruit & veg is easy:

bananas, strawberries, nectarines, dried apricots, blueberries (cooked in a pancake or mushed on a rice cake), mango, pineapple, pear, peach, melon......

broccoli, carrots, green beans, baby corn, corn on the cob, little corn kernels scooped up in her hand and flung at her mouth, mushrooms, butternut squash, peas (in a risotto passed on a spoon or grabbed like the corn kernels), tomatoes. I could go on and on.

DD is 7.5 months and this week has enjoyed risotto, chilli con carne (loves kidney beans) roast chicken, pasta, tuna pannini....

There is the possibility that your dc will pick some and leave others but adults do that too. And what they like one day they might not touch the next. Its all about learning at this stage anyway so don't worry. Milk makes up the bigger part of the their diet until they're about 1 year old (I believe).

I don't know if you have to adjust for premature babies. I would go by the general rules - sitting unaided, grabbing food and putting it in their mouth, loss of the tongue-thrust reflex then they are ready. It's the same for purees as for solids though so I don't think thats too big a factor.

Join the BLW thread for inspiration. Its good fun too - I recommend it. smile

Hulla Fri 11-Sep-09 11:17:38


appleeater Fri 11-Sep-09 21:32:45

Do BLW. I was sceptical but can honestly say it is the best decision I've made. The whole point of BLW is that as long as you are always offering a range of healthy, well balanced food it is ok if the child picks what he/ she wants. You find that as you get used to it you don't worry about how much they eat or what they're eating - you become confident in their choices. And you will find that they do choose a range of things to eat. My son sometimes eats everything in sight and then has days when he eats less, but he's perfectly healthy and his weight is as it should be. He is almost a year old and will try everything. He loves fruit and veg -he chose an apple over a biscuit today for his snack! Remember, babies don't have an understanding of veg being 'horrible'. This is something that older children end up thinking after they have been forced to sit and finish a plate of veg they don't want.
Advantages of BLW:
They eat what you eat
You don't have to take jars/ pots of food out with you
They know what they like - eg they know what a banana looks like-its not just a pile of mush.
They judge their own appetite - no chance of over feeding with the old 'here comes the aeroplane' trick
Their fine motor skills develop really quickly - my son could pick up peas and feed himself them at 8.5months. He is now using a spoon and fork (somewhat sporadically!)
They eat more of what they need eg. my boy always goes for lots of fruit when he has a cold.

I knew I had done the right thing when I went to a restaurant with a friend and watched her spoon feed her one year old a jar of mush as her daughter tried to grab the spoon and threw a tantrum when she couldn't have it(and then my friend ate her own dinner cold) and me and my son shared a plate of spare ribs, coleslaw and salad and both had a lovely time.

Give it a go. If you haven't bought the BLW book by Gill Rapely, see if you can get a copy. The photos alone will convince you its a good idea!

Good luck! x

Hulla Sat 12-Sep-09 08:28:55

And some lovely pics here

cara2244 Sun 13-Sep-09 20:26:50

BLW - you don't worry about how much they're eating. You don't have to make purees or buy jars.

pinkthechaffinch Sun 13-Sep-09 20:32:56

Why not do what I do, and do a bit of both ? DD (7 months) is spoon- fed porridge for breakfast but one meal a day, she feeds herself, for example lumps of cheddar, cucumber and tomato.

I don't bother with jars, she just has what's in the house-veg soup is popular ( I spoon feed that).I started weaning by giving her a segment of orange to gum when she was 24 weeks.

Sometimes she sits on my lap and grabs food from my plate which is great but not at every meal!smile


plimple Sun 13-Sep-09 20:48:27

Be sensible and do a bit of both. You can imo be lead by your baby while using a spoon too. Don't bother pureeing though, just mush with fork - pureeing is not necessary, our Mum's wouldn't have had blenders when we were babies.
Give a spoon when you are spoon feeding, also give hand foods e.g. broccoli/bread stick while you spoon feed.
I followed Annabel Karmel's book using my own common sense too. Started off with mushed root veg, baby rice and fruit, moved on to mushed up meals that I eat, plus hand food.
You can easily do a combination while eating your own dinner. Eating together stops you stressing about baby eating "enough".
Do what suits you, but by 8/9/10 months most babies won't allow you to spoon feed as they want to do it themselves.

SoupDragon Sun 13-Sep-09 20:51:04

You do what is right for your baby. That's is being truly baby led.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Sun 13-Sep-09 20:56:09

I do a bit of both with DS. He is spoon fed some of his meal, then the rest he gets from my plate or DH. He loves it and loves to feed himself but gets very hungry hence the spoon feeding too (he is 6 1/2mths btw and has been on solids since about 5mths). I give him a spoon when I'm feeding him and let him get his hands in the food if he wants to (and he trys to get the food on his spoon which is great).

iloveholidays Mon 14-Sep-09 10:57:21

Thanks everyone. I think we're going to go for it - I'm waiting for the baby led weaning book to arrive so looking forward to reading that.

I'm thinking I might mash up some food anyway to use as dips.

I've been worrying for the last couple of weeks but really looking forward to it now.

I also need to order a plastic sheet to put under the high chair!! grin

Thanks again

Hulla Mon 14-Sep-09 14:00:39

Have fun!! smile

Gemzooks Tue 15-Sep-09 13:29:34

I will probably get flamed but I didn't do BLW with my DS. Of course he was given foods to hold and eat himself, but basically I cooked and pureed different foods in this great thing we have called a babycook. He was delighted trying all the different things. Then started just mashing it, then normal food by about 1. He has always been a great eater and eats a big variety. I'm not saying don't let them explore the food, but I think it's just going too far to say anything sloppy or pureed is wrong, or spoonfeeding, it's fine as long as it's enjoyable and not in any way pressured.. just my opinion. now going same route with 6 month DD and same great result so far.. I also think it's crucial to eat with them and make positive faces and noises.

GirlWiththeMouseyHair Tue 15-Sep-09 13:35:58

we started on purees, once he could totallysitup on his own introduced finger food, he has a mixture of both - used to feed himself with a spoon but is a lazy boy and realises he gets more food if I do it hmm but allin all I've not followed a proscribed book or method, just tried out variety of foods in a variety of ways and followed what he wants - DS is 10months and never turns any kind of food down!

Ealingkate Tue 15-Sep-09 15:43:54

The book is obviously the best place to start - the part about how we came to puree and spoon feed is fascinating, make sure you read all the book. I am so glad I did BLW with my DS3 it has been so unstressful and a joyful experience and great for his fine motor skills.

hanaflowerhatestheDM Wed 16-Sep-09 11:31:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BornToFolk Wed 16-Sep-09 11:42:47

You don't have to buy a Babycook if you want to do purees though. We managed fine with a £5 handblender from Tesco. And we were only blending foods for a very short time anyway, as we started weaning DS at 6 months so he was onto mashed/lumpy/finger foods very quickly.

There is a danger with purees that you keep babies on them for too long, and then you probably will run into issues with lumps etc but if you are aware of that danger and introduce finger foods alongside purees you can avoid it. IMHE of weaning precisely one child that is! grin

In the scenario that appleater describes, my one year old would have been the one sharing my food, not eating a jar of mush.

BigTeuchLittleTeuch Wed 16-Sep-09 11:59:50

I do a mixture of both, as I don't see the point in being too purist grin

What I will say is, my word, the mess from DS feeding himself is up after mealtimes is a whole new job. I often opt to spoonfeed him just to avoid the extensive clean-up operation grin

I, personally, have also found that I have had to make different things for baby than we are eating and there is often a lot of waste.

I like being able to prepare stuff ahead of time and have it in the freezer, although I don't puree, just mush where needed.

My experience is that you can spoon-feed but also offer finger foods right away (by waiting until 26 weeks...DS was 25, I think) and they will soon master feeding themselves, which means that you can do whatever is easiest at any given time - spoonfeeding breakfast to get out the door or handing over a bit of your sandwich whilst out and about!

confuddledDOTcom Wed 16-Sep-09 14:01:43

The thing is purees aren't necessary, food isn't really necessary at that stage, so why the rush to get food into them?

Baby is 8 months and only recently starting to eat, not a lot at all either. I give her the opportunity on a regular basis but she's having a go at it and getting some tastes and that's all that matters. Everything she needs she gets from my milk and she will for a long time to come.

Toddler was never spoonfed, since she started on things like yoghurt she has had more help like scraping the pot. She eats anything and everything, her favourite thing to snack on is prawns!

nuttysquirrel Wed 16-Sep-09 22:17:10

BLW is great, although I did it because where I was living didn't have a freezer, and I soooo couldn't do with cooking different food for us all.

Revelatory moment came when in first week of weaning DS decided he really wanted some of our venison casserole as well as veggies!

I also think that there is something in them seeing you eating what is obviously the same food as them, must be an evolutionary safeguard I guess?

Its a whole heap easier out and about, and makes it a less stressed affair as you are busy eating too (based on observing friends who went the spoon/puree route).

We eat loads of different foods and flavours, he loves moules, rabbit, Thai green curry and dal, but wasn't so keen on steak tartare!

heverhoney1 Wed 16-Sep-09 22:26:01

Sorry to butt in but I just wanted to say I was horrified at the price of the babycook blender - however lindam do one which I bought today in asda for 14!!!! cant vouch for how well it works all through the stages but I just blitzed up some cooked apple and pear and it worked a treat.

Golda Wed 16-Sep-09 22:26:47

I thought mushed up was easier because they can eat what you eat. If you BLW do you not spoonfeed at all? What sort of foods do you eat as a family?

hanaflowerhatestheDM Wed 16-Sep-09 22:27:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nuttysquirrel Wed 16-Sep-09 22:34:19

Yep, we just gave him whatever we were eating and he ate what he wanted - DS is two now and is pretty good at regulating how much he has and what he wants to eat. I just think it takes away stress, as you haven't made anything special and if they don't want to eat it thats fine..a friend made a special annabel karmel mini pie thing, and got really upset when DD refused to eat it......good to have a bad memory I think grin....I genuinely have no idea what DS likes or doesn't, I just plonk whatever we are eating infront of him and us....

Golda Wed 16-Sep-09 22:35:01

Do they just eat with their hands? Sorry to sound thick. We don't eat very much western food. I can understand lumps of meat and veg but what about rice or spaghetti. With my eldest 2 I would chop their food up small and spoon feed them until they could manage themselves. I've only started with ds3 this week and he has ishoos so I don't think blw would suit him so he has had mashed sweet potato and porridge on a spoon and broccoli and rice cakes in his hand but I can't see him eating what we eat with his hands iykwim.

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