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BLW - your experiences please!

(28 Posts)
ladypop Tue 13-Aug-13 03:51:22

Our DS2 is only 4 months but before we know it, we will need to think about weaning again!
My friend BLW her 2nd child and really recommends it, she has lent me a book on it (yet to read!) but was just wondering, in the mean time, what others experiences and thoughts on the subject are?
I went down the whole purée route with our first and, tbh, cannot see me spending the same amount of time on it all this time round, with time being so much more limited; so it really appeals, if only for this selfish reason!
My initial hesitation is nursery, as he starts there at 4.5 months and I know all the food is mushed for them in the baby room at this age. I guess I just have to approach then on it and take it from there...I am sure I wouldn't be the only mom doing BLW. X

jennimoo Tue 13-Aug-13 07:48:00

I did it with DC1 and plan to do the same for DC2. Can't imagine cooking and feeding separately! I'd say a good first step is as soon as he can sit up comfortably on his high chair give him a spoon and bowl to play with while you eat so he can join in, then later some bits of food. DD actually picked up and are food just before 6m, a wasn't pushing but didn't think she was able to so gave it to her to play with...

And talk to nursery, but if they can't accommodate I wouldn't worry too much: babies seem to behave entirely differently at nursery / home IME!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 13-Aug-13 08:15:17

Same as you lady. We did the whole purée thing with dc1 then dd came along and she was a complete spoon refuser so blw was the only way to go.

It was so, so much easier. We basically just gave her what we were having and used low salt stock cubes in cooking. I found lunch the most difficult as I was home with her for most lunches and started to run out if ideas but there are some great suggestions in previous threads, in the MN recipe section and on the blw website.

You aren't selfish either. Being selfish would imply that there was no benefit for your Lo, only you but blw is just so much fun!

Awakeagain Tue 13-Aug-13 08:22:13

Nursery will have to be cooking for the other olde children in the nursery so no reason that your dc cannot have that food surely? Or that they just don't mush her portion of the food up
My ds took to blw really quickly and the time he has spent in nursery (visit and 2 ad hoc days before school summer hols) I was t convinced they were letting him feed himself totally - for one he was far to clean to have fed himself his own food all day!!
He will be 10 months when he goes back in when term starts and will be there 3 days a week so I will be really confusedif they are giving him mush (!not needed at 10months) and spoon feeding him! When he isn't spoon fed at home, he will take a spoon, put it in his mouth and feed himself though!

Any way rant over

I have found blw easy to do, have had to adapt a few things and make the occasional different meal or additional item for ds if me and dh are having something not suitable or ds needs some extra bits to what we are eating, I make a
Bigger batch and put it in te freezer so I have a ready supply for him

ExBrightonBell Tue 13-Aug-13 08:32:36

I did BLW with my ds and really enjoyed the process. He went to nursery at 11 months and they were more than happy that he could feed himself. I wouldn't be happy with a nursery that doesn't follow your instructions about food tbh.

LeBFG Tue 13-Aug-13 09:08:07

My sister did it with both her two. They love eating and it worked really well. The nursery was accomodating too but a bit hmm about it all.

I tried with DS but started supplementing with purees after 8mo as he wasn't eating very much and not gaining weight at all. He wanted to be spoon fed and still does at 2.5! DD looks like she might be BLW type as at 5mo she is feeding herself already.

So, I suppose it depends on the character of your baby, something you may not have much control over!

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 13-Aug-13 20:13:08

My DS is nearly 7MO and we are BLW. I offered him so purees at first but he wasn't interested in being fed - he wants to do it himself, so that's what we do and he loves it. It is messy, but I just put a cover-all bib on him and let the dogs clean the floor smile.

FWIW, I have 5 friends with similar aged babies and they are all doing purees. None of them have been able to move past mush - as soon as they tried it their babies didn't know what to do. They just keep trying to swallow things whole as they've never had to chew. I also don't like how passive their babies seem when they're fed. They just sit there and wait for the food. Doesn't appeal to me at all.

CMOTDibbler Tue 13-Aug-13 20:19:30

I did BLW, and ds was at nursery from 4.5 months. They were quite happy to just give him the toddler food once he was 6 months old.
We had an entirely positive experience, and ds only ever knew sharing the same food that we had and never had a fussy phase. He's always been a great eater, and at 7 will give anything a try.

sipper Wed 14-Aug-13 23:04:06

My first was puree fed and used lidded/spouted cups and now has crowded teeth, jaw not developed well, weak chewing and looking like a hefty orthodontists bill awaits us in the future. Second and third were BLW/'proper' food and small open Babycups - teeth looking great, strong chew, jaw/facial development great - no big bill looming and all is looking like it's developing v healthily. I wish I had realised I didn't need to mush up the food or give no-spill cups and all that jazz for firstborn. Keeping things natural is far less time consuming and I can see results are far healthier. I also found it far easier to clear up 'whole' foods from the floor than puree!

utopian99 Thu 15-Aug-13 05:50:47

Can I ask how much yours ate at 7-8 months and how long it takes them? We are blw but with some preloaded spoons of the mushier stuff whichI i load and then just hold up so he can choose to take or not. Also if out and no better option am using plum pouches which again I hold the end of and he 'steers' (he likes to eat straight from the pouch)

The thing is I have no idea what's typical at 7.5momths. Yesterday he had a few handfuls ofweetabix, about a 1,5cm of bannana and a sq cm of toast for breakfast. Half a dozen good squeezes of a lamb and pea plum pouch and a his fist sized lump of my ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, plus the insides of three slices of tomato and a slice ofcucumber.
Supper was a couple of his handfuls of noodles, a mangetout and sq cm of chicken in bits, with a third of the pot of apple and plum puree for supper.
Snacks are rice cakes, grapes and baby biscotti.

Written out like that it looks like quite a bit but doesn't seem like it in person iyswim? He's still feeding at least 5 times a day and twice at night and I'm sort of hoping he'll be fully weaned by 1yr old...

LeBFG Thu 15-Aug-13 10:27:22

sipper - sorry but your child did not have wonky teeth because s/he didn't do BLW hmm.

sipper Thu 15-Aug-13 11:26:33

Hi LeBFG not using the jaw and facial muscles correctly can impact on jaw and facial development. Swallowing mush vs chewing, sucking vs sipping, are actions implicated and which more and more orthodontists are advising parents to be aware of.

LeBFG Thu 15-Aug-13 15:37:48

I'm sure babies have lots of opportunities to use those muscles outside of eating situations sipper.

It's the sort of rational people use for vaunting the benefits of 'tummy time' (e.g. develop lateral eye movement in training for reading, I mean ffs!).

sipper Thu 15-Aug-13 20:22:07

Hi LeBFG Never heard of any claims about preparing eyes for reading via tummy time (!) but there is a lot of information about jaw development/facial growth/tongue position. I hope my babies didn't chew on and practise swallowing anything other than food. I'd be a bit worried if they did shock What would those things be?! Please don't dismiss this info as it is something many orthodontists and dentists know about and advise on. I found it useful info. It wasn't something I had considered and when I did find out about it and read up on it I was quite surprised, but glad I knew.

Hi utopian99 I'm trying to look for a really good visual I saw a few days ago that shows the size of baby/toddlers stomach at different ages. Pretty small! I'll keep hunting and will post it if I find it. I'm not a fan of the pouches as they seem to be a lot of water (flavoursome and colourful but high water content). I know the dilemma of being out and about though. I bought some little Thermos pots and would put regular food in them - casserole etc. I'll keep searching for that stomach size reference. Also, I've remembered that after seeing a nutritionist I reduced the amount of rice cakes, raisins and grapes and increased cheese and avocado. Cheese is a particularly good snack because of its fat content and also its effect on the mouths ph balance and so unlike grapes or raisins isn't a potential tooth decay problem. Sorry if that's a ramble! I hope it makes some sense!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 15-Aug-13 22:05:36

sipper surely though whether you did traditional weaning, purees and finger food or blw weaning your baby would be on finger food by 6 months so I fail to see how it would have made a difference.

sipper Thu 15-Aug-13 22:22:37

Hi JiltedJohnsJulie Not sure if I've understood correctly, so apologies if this reply makes no sense.... I didn't wean any of mine until 6 months, so at six months my first was on purees for a few months whereas at six months my second and third started with foods they could gnaw on and have some degree of chewing rather than a straight down suck.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 16-Aug-13 07:44:28

sipper there's no need to st do purees at 6 months though surely? Only giving purees was the way people managed to get solids into a baby who was weaned at a much younger age, say 4 months. By 6 months the baby would be on mashed or puréed food and finger food. So if you choose to wean with purees at 6 montgs there is no reason to withhold finger food,baby can have both.

LeBFG Fri 16-Aug-13 08:06:42

sipper, the things so called professionals spout hmm. Of course your baby had lots of chewing opportunities: teething rings and toys, dummies, bf (extremely good one): babies explore the world using their mouths and, early on, have a strong suckle reflex.

There are a large minority of babies that won't be eating anything very much (purees or otherwise) at 6/7/8 months. They don't develop poor eating skills. I live in France where purees are THE food until about 1 - these babies do not have loads of teeth/jaw problems.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 16-Aug-13 08:13:45

It's easy and convenient - have done it with 2 and will do with 3rd.

However - the book claims all kinds of things about how BLW babies are better at regulating their appetites and eating healthily, and being less fussy.

None of which is true IME. My DD (now 4.5) loves junky food and would eat as much as she can get her hands on, so needs portion control. She's also gone through normal toddler fussiness, rejected meals she used to like as a baby etc...

My DS (20 mths) ate very little at one and was very fussy. I had to start hiding veg just to get him used to the taste - he will now eat cooked carrot and peeled cucumber, but that's it for salad and veg. Spoon feeding him veg sometimes encourages him to try things he's rejected so far. So I am open to spoons!

LeBFG Fri 16-Aug-13 08:40:18

I don't agree with all the things on the Kellymom website, but here is a bit of reading which rings true to me sipper.

sipper Fri 16-Aug-13 16:05:18

A few more links to add to the thread for anyone who fancies a read about facial/teeth/jaw development and the connection with use of chewing/sipping muscles. There are loads more sites with this info on but here are the first two that came up. (N.B. the first link involves monkey love which could quite fairly be considered a rather quirky addition to the tale!)

Having read up on it a lot and having seen very different results in a puree & pouch-fed/spout-drinking child vs solid food/open cup drinking children I definitely now prefer the solid food from the start and open cup approach. Breastfeeding suckle is a different oral process to a spout suck. I agree that babies suck and bite on all sorts of things and investigate the world a lot using their mouth; biting on a teething ring is a useful chomp but not the same as a back teeth (or gums) chew and swallow. Tongue position is also highly influential in the developing jaw/teeth/face which is why drinking, other than via a breastfeeding suckle, is best done with a sip (open cup) as much as poss rather than a suck (spout/no-spill valves - some of those things are so hard to get anything out of!!).

Interestingly the professionals (orthodontists, speech therapists, orofacial myologists, dentists, oral health promoters) who 'spout' on (ha ha rubbish joke intended....!) about chewing and sipping are offering preventative advice - i.e. doing themselves out of future work.

In answer to the original post, for me purees (and definitely pouches) wouldn't get a look in again and 'proper' food wins hands down thanks

P.S. LeBFG Great to read that France does not have a high rate of kids needing braces etc - unlike much of the rest of the developing world where malocclusions are increasing.

sipper Fri 16-Aug-13 16:14:54

P.S. oops, meant Western world (not developing!!)

LeBFG Fri 16-Aug-13 20:31:01

Thanks for the links. I learn something new everyday smile.

What I would like to say in response is the orthotropics thing seems good etc though the link with purees has to be fanciful. Only one study (to my knowledge) has been done on BLW so I really can't see how orthotropists know how food munching in young infants can influence malocclusions. I can see how 18 years of eating pap may influence those sorts of things but young babies? And from 6 months nearly everyone offers finger foods anyway: I can't see the difference or the problem.

sipper Fri 16-Aug-13 21:55:38

I see lots of babies who live on pouch-food and spoon-fed gloop. Also first few years are the most crucial for jaw dev. There are more studies but can only post so many links. Am already at risk of being a serial linker!!

GingerDoodle Sat 17-Aug-13 13:35:26

I'm not a purist of anything and tbh; I think the only ppl I 'know' who 'only' blw OR transitional wean are those on mn.

In my experience its perfectly possible to do both and or to progress from one to the other as suits you and your baby. DD has always had finger food and blended (never got it down to a puree) food we eat but also had a fair amount of baby pouches to start with and progressed to textured stuff / less blended version of our food and then lumps / mashed version. Now she mostly feeds herself what we eat by her own choice. To my mind that is baby led weaning - actually being led by your baby.

On the drinking cup front my DD has the oxo top sippy cups as they were the first she could hold herself, they don't spill in the bag and the valve does not require too much of a suck.
My HV (who had never seen me before our 10 mo check) said she should be on open cups to learn to sip, whilst I agree to an extend (and she can sip perfectly well from a cup anyway) - i'll be sticking to what works for us until she's old enough to not chuck most of it down herself!

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