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BLW/Puree question

(6 Posts)
Greatgoing Sun 27-Sep-09 12:34:08

I started my baby on homemade purees at 5 and a half months, keeping all breastfeeds. He is also eating finger foods and feeding himself with them. I am also giving him a little water.

I attended a BLW workshop and understood the concept, and was interested in it. I tried to ask what I considered were pretty reasonable questions. The midwives leading the class were unable to answer me thoroughly.

I understand that BLW discourages the traditional pureed food method, and that there is evidence that it goes some way to preventing allergies etc. However, I cannot understand why a feeding a baby at six months pureed fresh fruit, legumes, vegatables, could cause allergies??

My baby is seems content to eat both finger food and to be fed purees.

Are there any research papers available for me to read? I just feel that I am being given anecdotal information disguised as fact. Why is pureed, non dairy, non animal based fresh food given to a baby at 6 months the cause of allergies/digestive problems/etc?

greensnail Sun 27-Sep-09 15:07:57

I have never heard that BLW prevents allergies. I think there is some anecdotal eveidence that some babies avoid eating foods that they later turn out to be allergic to. I suppose if babies do this then they may avoid eating certain food that may cause problems until their body is ready. As far as I know there is no evidence to prove this.

In my experience of BLW with my 9 month old, it wasn't until she was a bit further into it that she has started to definitely choose between different foods, so I really can't see that she would have avoided things that she wasn't ready for early on.

BelleWatling Sun 27-Sep-09 15:13:21

OK I am not an expert but have read the book and various websites at the University of Google.

I think it is the waiting until the baby is ready for solids (ie at around 26 weeks) that is considered preventative of allergies ie the timescale rather than the actual method of serving food. This is the principle behind BLW - waiting for the baby to be physically ready in terms of being able to eat and their digestive system.

From memory Gill Rapley said that if foods were given whole rather than pureed together then there is some anecdotal evidence that babies don't eat any that they are allergic to or give them reactions. When pureeing foods together they don't have this opportunity or they'll refuse the whole thing.

Being in control of their eating and not forced to eat anything is important in this respect as well.

The point of BLW is that the baby feeds themselves and the baby cannot feed themselves puree (or more to the point, spoonfeed themselves). If you want to give your DC a mixture of puree and finger foods that is great but it's not BLW.

TBH I think you would find very few quality research papers on BLW but Gill Rapley's book, based on her MA, is a good place to start.

BelleWatling Sun 27-Sep-09 15:16:24

Yeah, what Greensnail said - the allergy thing is a bit of a red herring. There are many great benefits of BLW - this probably shouldn't be posited as one. The 6 month weaning age is more important.

ruddynorah Sun 27-Sep-09 15:20:32

yes the 2 biggies are-

that you wait til they're ready, ie their gut is ready. so until they have the ability to feed themself you don't by pass this by spooning it in.

they are able to choose for themselves what they eat, they can see the food in full form. so brocolli puree isn't mistaken with pea puree or whatever. they will naturally pick food they aren't allergic to. where as if you puree you bypass this.

gill's book details it all. also on babyledweaning.com there are links to the research. there was a study years and years ago done on orphans who were used to see what foods they ate if presented with a choice. they ate a balanced and varied diet. so not all potato or whatever. they naturally chose, across the day and the week and the month and so on, a good diet.

Greatgoing Sun 27-Sep-09 16:25:00

Thanks very much for your considered replies; really helpful and interesting. I realise my combo is not BLW, but really the old school way with added finger foods. I think I was just a bit frustrated, as a devoted breast feeder (so, someone keen to carry on with 'good' habits), that my particular midwives seemed totally unable to really explain to me (beyond the age aspect, which I understood) the wider basis behind the method.

Thanks again.

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