Baby Led Weaning

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Seeing as many of you lot have had babies...

My sister is thinking of baby led weaning for my second nephew. Oli, the elder one, went onto the usual mush and was weaned that way, but I gather with this other method, the baby takes on soft, but whole food, when they are ready and able to chew (or gum) it.

Anyone tried it, or know anything relevent? I'm sure she'll have done a fair bit of reading about it, but any real and actual experience would be useful....
 

wafflycat

New Member
Nathan was put on to pureed apple & baby rice as his first 'solid' Then he just got everything MrWC & I had pureed down in the blender. Over time the puree was less smooth & 'lumps' allowed. He seems to have made it to adulthood ok.
 
OP
OP
Arch

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Nathan was put on to pureed apple & baby rice as his first 'solid' Then he just got everything MrWC & I had pureed down in the blender. Over time the puree was less smooth & 'lumps' allowed. He seems to have made it to adulthood ok.

Yeah, that's pretty much what Oli had. I think this other method starts them on solid food more or less straight away as finger food. Apparently they are capable of feeding themselves at 6 months and it saves on making purree.... it's all to do with them learning to chew first, then swallow, whereas with mush, they learn to swallow before chewing...

Obviously, mush works, but it seems this other way does too....

Chocolate baby rice was my favourite. I don't remember eating mine, but I do remember eating my sister's.... ;)
 
My firstborn got (mostly) homemade mush, and lots of recipes from Anabel Karmel. Exclusively breastfed for 7 months, then lovingly pureed organic home cooking.

The second ones first food was coffee and walnut cake in the Spurriergate Centre, at just shy of 5 months old. He helped himself when sitting on my friend's knee, and took advantage of the fact that we were too busy laughing to stop him from chewing it into a sticky mush, then shoving it down her cleavage. Sensible boy, knows what he likes.

He then progressed to bits of pasta with the sauce mostly slurped off (Science Museum cafe) and cucumber (BHS cafe) and chips (Betty's). All of his 'baby led weaning' was about keeping him entertained whilst we were eating out, and my shocking slippage of standards between child no 1 and child no 2, but he seems to have survived well enough
:biggrin:
 
OP
OP
Arch

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
That's interesting, thanks. I'm sure the second baby thing is relevant. My sister says she's way more relaxed about Max than Oli. I'll pass on your experience...
 

Canrider

Guru
My developmental objection to BLW is it assumed the baby teethed to schedule or slightly early. Miss Canrider was so late she was miles away from breast and bottle before she had any hope of chewing up 'soft but whole' food. Purees filled that gap.

My parenting objection to BLW is I've found most of its devotees are working to a Gina Fordesque self-fulfilling prophecy: If it works, it's because The System Is Perfect. If it doesn't, it's because You Did It Wrong.

And so, much like Gina Ford, the best advice is 'If following it makes you crazy, don't bother with it.'
 
Location
Gatley
We did baby led weaning (or a modified variation of) with our son (first-born, unusually) - for us it worked perfectly, from around 4.5 months he sat at the table and played with food while we ate and then somewhere around 5.5 to 6 months he started taking bits in and actually eating just by gumming things (still only very small quantities) - because almost every meal is home cooked we were able to vary the menu to suit him e.g. more soft foods until he was confident with food, so it was much less hassle than preparing lots of purees or even pureeing our own meal to spoon into him. His intake has gradually increased and is now (at 15 months) on mostly solids with only a couple of milk fields a day. He now sits down and eats at a table with one or other of us (or at nursery) for every meal and we really enjoy having family meals together. But this is what suits us and our lifestyle

He still only has 6 front teeth, but can manage most foods except tough meats tend to get mauled until grey and all nutrition extracted in his mouth and then spat out...

There is a big caveat though, weaning is much slower with BLW than with purees, at least based on the puree feeders we know, and if for some reason you need your child to be on 'solids' earlier, then its not going to work for you.

There is a smaller caveat, which is our son now believes all food is for sharing as we've always eaten the same things as he has and shared off our plates - so don't expect to keep treats etc. to yourself!

The big concern you get from 'concerned people' is choking, but from a theoretical a) we both have done basic first aid and refreshed for babies/children and B) would never leave him unobserved with food. Obviously even under those circumstances there is a risk - but there's also an argument that extended supervised eating during his early years lowers the risk of choking as he gets older and begins eating unsupervised (as he is more experienced).

In terms of developmental issues and 'filling the gap', I'm not convinced; this guidance from the British Dietetic Association suggests there is potential harm of delaying starting weaning beyond 6 months, but no benefit or harm in starting earlier, coupled with its guidance that soft solid food can be introduced at 6 months seems to match my instinct. There is an argument that babies need to learn to move puree around the mouth before solids, but I don't think there is actually much peer reviewed evidence for that.

Final word of caution, there is a book who's title and author I'm not going to mention, but its about the subject above. It does have some good points, but it is in the Gina Ford, 'do it my way or harm your baby' style of authoring that Canrider (and myself) dislike and I'd take it with a strong pinch of salt - we had a much more laid back attitude, where it was appropriate to help with a spoon e.g. soup, weetabix, yoghurt etc. we did so, where it was appropriate for him to hold and chew food we let him do that...
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
Is it just me who read the thread title and wondered what LEDs had to do with babies and weaning?
 

Bollo

Failed Tech Bro
Location
Winch
Is it just me who read the thread title and wondered what LEDs had to do with babies and weaning?

I misread it at first and wondered what sort of person would wean their baby on lead. It's poisonous FFS!!!
 
OP
OP
Arch

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Thanks everyone - I'll pass on the knowledge. I think, with it being baby number 2, my sister will be a lot more relaxed about it, so I don't think she'll fall into the trap of thinking she's got it all wrong just because of a book. And she's got loads of friends with similar aged babies too.

Now, about these baby LEDs....
 

Cathryn

Legendary Member
Never expected to see a BLW thread on cyclechat!!

Arthur's having a mix of both. As much mush as I can get down him to be sure he's getting something and then lumps of stuff as and when. I'm slightly unconvinced by BLW (I got the book) but a mix of mush and finger food seems to be keeping him alive. He discovered pasta and pesto yesterday...that was an ephiphany!
 
OP
OP
Arch

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Never expected to see a BLW thread on cyclechat!!

Arthur's having a mix of both. As much mush as I can get down him to be sure he's getting something and then lumps of stuff as and when. I'm slightly unconvinced by BLW (I got the book) but a mix of mush and finger food seems to be keeping him alive. He discovered pasta and pesto yesterday...that was an ephiphany!

Mmmm, yes, I think Oli liked pasta and pesto from early on.

So do I!
 
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