BLW - why or why not? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Its getting close to that time... DD is 5 1/2 months old and everyone has already started with the "solids" questions. Ugh!! With DS we did about half BLW and half spoon-feeding, though not with the typical rice cereal or purees. He ate from a spoon if I was eating something or someone else was 'feeding' him (grandma, mostly).

I have been reading more and more about BLW and am curious to what your experiences are - either for or against. Anyone not do it? Why not? Thanks mamas.

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#2 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 01:22 PM
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We do BLW, but the biggest arguments I've heard against are less waste of expensive organic foods and you can get more superfoods into your baby or older baby or toddler or however long you want to do purees. Jarred baby food is also easy to shove in a to-go bag, and you don't have to worry about it spoiling.

I used to work in daycare, and there were expectations that kids would start eating substantial amounts of purees between 4-6 months old (at parents' disgression), and we would have to manipulate them into eating it. Then, at a year old, we would have to coerce them into eating the (junk) food that we provided for them in small chunks and leaving all purees and bottles behind. It was difficult to get the kids to eat the purees (probably before they were ready for solids), and it was hard to get them to give them up. I am sure that if such expectations did not exist, that the process would have been more peaceful.

I'm just delighted to see my daughter sit down with us for a family meal and happily feed herself chunks of colorful, textured, nutritious foods from among the choices she is given. I don't worry how much she eats. I just make sure she has a variety of healthy foods and trust her to eat what she needs.
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#3 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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We did BLW with dd who is now 2.5 and I will never try purees again!!! Definitely BLW all the way!

My favorites about BLW are:

1. You have 2 hands free to feed yourself!!
2. Baby learns good skills of self feeding, and great fine motor skills and hand eye coordination
3. No stress about whether baby is getting enough food or not. They lead, they eat what they want and you trust they know what they need!

We didn't use expensive organic foods, just regular foods we ate. It also made us eat healthier cause I was giving her such a variety, ie butternut squash/parsnips/berries....etc.

Oh, I could not praise BLW enough! A super helpful site is this British forum, but people from other countries are welcome too! Very friendly and helpful! babyledweaning.com/forum

Mom to dd1 7/2007, dd2 2/2010, and ds 7/2006 in heaven
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#4 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I expect we'll end up doing a mixture of purees and BLW depending on the day, DD's needs, etc. But I'm excited to watch all the answers!

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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#5 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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We've doing BLW since my daughter turned 6 months (she'll be 8 months soon). I got the book and decided to give it a try because my DD was already interested in the food that we were eating and because it made sense to me to just feed her table food. It's easy for the whole family to just eat the same thing. I really dont think the waste is greater with BLW, since I just give her bits of what the rest of the family is having, if she wants more, I give her more.
It was scary when I started and she would gag and cough, but she rarely ever does that anymore. It is true that you can pack more nutritional content into a puree, but at that age babies get most of what they need from breastmilk. Solids are just fun and a small suplement to breastmilk. I feel like doing just purees is adding an awkward step to a more natural transition.
DD has been now eating more, than playing. I know what she likes, but I still offer other things. She will now eat more complete meals. For breakfast we had today southwestern scrambled eggs (from better than eggs and it was spicy!), banana and a whole wheat mini bagel with hummus. She ate a bitof sc rambled eggs, a bit of banana and almost an entire half of the bagel. I offer food to her whenever Im having something, because she always wants some. She seems to love eating and trying new things. She's never had a bad reaction to anything and I dont really pressure her into eating. I do purees too sometimes, or foods like oatmeal, applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes. I just give her the spoon, because she will NOT let you feed her.
A negative thing about BLW is that she's so used to having what Im having, that you really cant eat anything that you dont want her to eat in front of her or at least you need to have something right there to offer, but sometimes she figures out she's been tricked.
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#6 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I am in the process of researching BLW myself. DD is 6 months old now and is starting to show signs of being ready. My plan is to just give her some of whatever it is that I am eating and see how she does. I have also already spoken to my daycare provider (home daycare) and she has no problems with whatever I decide to do since there is almost always something that the older kids are eating that she could serve DD and if not, she always has fresh fruit/vegetables available that she could quickly prepare.

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#7 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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BLW seems great, but we opted to do the puree part. We give chunky puree though. My son feeds himself sometimes with the spoon and absolutely loves it. I give him some chunks now and again and he's not interested, but he wants to eat, I can tell.

I don't plan on keeping him on it or forcing him to eat something he's not ready for. I offered him chunkier stuff like brown rice pasta in the beginning but he didn't want to eat it and would get frustrated because it was hard for him to grab and put in his mouth (he's short for his high chair). Even when I offered it to him after we started purees he didn't want the chunky stuff unless it was on a spoon. I'm also introducing foods slowly because I have a lot of food allergies.

So really, it depends on the baby. But I never forced him to eat this food, he leaned forward and I follow his lead. Every baby is different.

Mother to a crazy wonderful son born 7-11-09 and A very determined amazing daughter born 5-3-12!
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#8 of 79 Old 01-04-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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I didn't "discover" BLW until after we had already started purees. I just thought purees were the only way. I started offering the steak-fry size pieces and, for some foods, DS liked it. But, he gagged a lot & he bit off way more than he needed & had huge chunks in his mouth that scared me. Around the same time I offered peas and he loved picking them up with his fingers. So, I started cutting the steak-fry pieces into smaller chunks (a little bigger than pea size) and he loves picking them up and he gets most into his mouth. We still do a few purees, for the foods that don't work in chunks, but he prefers feeding himself!
We don't offer him everything we're eating. I want him to have all organics for awhile and not everything we eat is. I don't know if what we do is really BLW, but we're definitely responding to our LO's wants/needs!

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#9 of 79 Old 01-05-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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No experience with this yet (and not for awhile), but I'm curious about it so was reading. I asked DP sitting next to me (who has a child by the ex) 'have you ever heard of baby lead weaning' and got the STRANGEST look in return. Seems he heard 'baby linguine' and knowing I was reading here about babies, he was understandably confused

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#10 of 79 Old 01-05-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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DS is nearly two & has been using utensils really from the start of solids at 6 months. He took to it really well. (I have video proof! ha ha). He's never had a puree. The way I figured it, my husband & I eat very little processed food. Why am I going to give it to my child?

He is always willing to try anything we put in front of him at least once before rejecting it. And rejection is rare.

I'm not suggesting his eating habits are due wholly to BLW. But the method suited us as foodies & individuals who care about what we eat. I don't go entirely organic, for what it's worth. But how wonderful that the whole family eats the same foods every day!

My only exceptions for the first year were nothing: spicy, salty, sugary, or crunchy. I did not introduce the big allergens like seafood, peanuts or honey until after the first year. But otherwise, DS ate what we ate, just in smaller portions. I intend to do the same for my second DS when the time comes!
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#11 of 79 Old 01-05-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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We have been doing purees but now that 8mo DS has a little bit more finger dexterity... and a few more teeth : ) I totally want to try BLW

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#12 of 79 Old 01-05-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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My baby is 9 months and we did BLW starting at 6 months. He wasn't so interested in actually eating food for the first month or 2, just kinda playing with it and sucking on it a little, but that was fine with me! At 8 months he started acting interested more than once a day and all of the sudden at 9 months he wants to eat and eat and eat! We don't really do purees, except for things that are like that naturally like yogurt and soup and stews and grits and oatmeal... but just this past week he has been SO excited if I use a spoon and mash his food a little, whereas before he wasn't at all interested in that. I think he has gotten hungrier and wants it FAST!

We're actually at the point now where BLW is making him not nurse enough (IMO) and I'm debating slowing him down on the solids or not... I pump at work and it made my supply go down slightly. He's eating 3 meals a day now (DEMANDS IT!)... today he nursed all night/early morning (last nursing at 6:30 AM when I left) then ate breakfast at 9 when he woke up (tiny bit of oatmeal, yogurt mixed with apple/blueberry mixture) then didn't want a bottle until 11:00, then begged for his grandmother's edamame and had some, fell asleep, then woke up and had some veggies and fruit/yogurt, bottle again at 2:45 right before I got him, then nurse a lot then at 6 grape leaves and falafals. TOO MUCH!!!!
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#13 of 79 Old 01-06-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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Ds (near 7 mos) has been eating food with us but he doesn't digest it at all. Food like rice and brocolli. Is that typical? Also, if he takes a big bite, do you take it from his mouth or just let it fall out of his mouth. I can't help but worry about choking. Thoughts? Thx

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#14 of 79 Old 01-06-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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It's normal to come out the other end undigested with BLW in the beginning. Whenever I did more liquidy things in th ebeginning like applesauce or soup it came out more digested.

I don't worry about the bigger pieces, he's always spit them out if they're too big. He gags sometimes, but that's how he gets it up.
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#15 of 79 Old 01-06-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Funny, this is what my mom did with all of us and it just seemed normal. Like the easiest thing to do with a babe is just give them tiny pieces of what you are eating. Always figured I'd do the same. . .why buy all that jarred pureed stuff anyway? Never saw a single jar of baby food in my moms house and she had 4 kids! I didn't know this idea had a name and a "following" till just now

I would certainly smash some things up a bit though, no sense chocking a child IMO. But lots of food are soft and perfect for little chunks. . . avocado, banana, tofu, sweet potato. And some foods already come pureed already like applesauce (so yummy homemade!), and yogurt.

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#16 of 79 Old 01-06-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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we're blw, makes life so much easier, no need to mush anything, or buy anything special, not much is going down yet, but it doesn't need to!

Anne, Christian mummy to Nathanael 05/28/03, Ada 06/10/05, Grace 05/24/09
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#17 of 79 Old 01-06-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Auraji View Post
We've doing BLW since my daughter turned 6 months (she'll be 8 months soon). I got the book and decided to give it a try because my DD was already interested in the food that we were eating and because it made sense to me to just feed her table food.
What book?

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#18 of 79 Old 01-06-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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BLW has been wonderful for us. I like having DD really be a part of our meals, sitting in her little chair sharing food with us. I'll definitely use this method with any future children. All DD's grandparents really enjoy being part of our meals this way too. (In fact, my MIL recently commented that she was visiting with a friend whose grandchild was visiting and how odd it seemed to see food spooned into a baby's mouth.)

DD wasn't all that interested in solids till about 8-9 months. She'd play with the pieces and bring them to her mouth, but she didn't start to really get the hang of eating till closer to 9 or 10 months. And then things really took off.

I love how she was (and is) able to explore different tastes and textures on her own time and at her own pace. She has very definite likes (she'd probably eat a pint of blueberries a day if I had them available for her) and dislikes (pasta and carby things, and eggs). I didn't realize that babies had such strong preferences and it's been fun to watch her try new things.

Mama to a little bouncy girl (11/08) and someone new coming 11/11!
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#19 of 79 Old 01-07-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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I didn't know this idea had a name and a "following" till just now
You and me both!

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#20 of 79 Old 01-07-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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What book?
Baby Lead Weaning by Gill Rapley

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#21 of 79 Old 01-07-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I'm another mama that didn't know BLW had a name, I just did it naturally. With DS I bought him a couple cans of baby food, I fed him one, I thought, "this is silly, here's a chunk of banana".. I never did purees again and he always fed himself. He enjoyed it and it freed up my time to do other things (like eat!). In retrospect pureed food is totally strange and unnatural. It's odd that in just 2 generations people have forgotten that we didn't used to have blenders or commercial baby food.. What did people used to do??

My DD is almost 5mo now and I plan on doing BLW. I'll let her guide it.

Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11.  We are planning our next adventure to South America in April 2014!
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#22 of 79 Old 01-07-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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For:
-purees are unnecessary
-why teach a baby how to eat pureed food only to transition them to "real" food later?
-spoon feeding is boring
-its important that he learns how to self regulate his food to meet his appetite

Against:
-its a little messier
-my MIL thinks he is constantly on the verge of choking to death

Joy wife to DH, mom to DS1 (4/2005): DD (5/2007) : : DS2 (1/2009 :
I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#23 of 79 Old 01-07-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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I'm another mama that didn't know BLW had a name, I just did it naturally.
I think that's because the name BLW seemed to first appear in the UK, where the common use of the word weaning is the time of introduction to solids, rather than the time of stopping breastfeeding. So BLW doesn't really make sense in US English, CLW refers to the ending of breastfeeding by the child, which babies pretty much don't do.

My older kids were born in the UK, we sort of did BLW with DS 6 yrs ago, I think awareness about this is greater over there, to the extent that I was hearing childcare experts having opinionated debates about it on mainstream TV and radio.

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#24 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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For those of you who have read the book, would you mind sharing the guidelines? Like what's okay to feed them and what's not? As far as texture and shape and so on. I guess I've been doing BLW with my six month DD just because she's not into purees, she only wants things she can feed herself, but I sometimes get worried that she'll choke. I can't afford to buy the book at the moment....
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#25 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just ordered the book from amazon so I will see what I think. DD is really starting to show an interest in food but she is not sitting up very well on her own yet, so I hesitate to start anything. But while sitting on my lap yesterday, she grabbed my banana and shoved it in her mouth!!! She gnawed on it for a while and made crazy faces and screamed like a banshee when I took it away from her. She also seems soooo hungry lately... it must be a growth spurt? She is wearing me out!

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#26 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 02:07 AM
 
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I also had never heard of it but my first just totally rejected purees and was not interested until 8 or 9 months, and just wanted to eat off my food from then until he was about 2. So, he insisted on what I gather is "BLW". Oh- and he would eat ANYTHING until around 2, then became a bit more restricted. But now at 5, he is not picky. Of course, he doesn't love everything, but really, who does??

My daughter, now 8m, has never been offered purees, but she DOES sometimes choke on stuff so I am being pretty judicious what I give her. And if we are eating soup or applesauce or something, sure I spoon feed it to her. (she doesn't really like oatmeal, oh well!) She likes to help with the spoon

Anyway, she's only recently getting interested in food and is still quite the little nurser. I try to think about it when meal planning- what will I want to give her out of this? I have, at the adamant advice of our midwife, who I really trust and respect, pretty much stayed away from cow milk, eggs, soy and wheat for now. Little bits, whatever, but I'm not giving it to her as a main dish. I don't worry about salt or spice, since our food is not heavily salted, and even the more mainstream ped we saw with our first admitted there is really nothing inherently bad about salt, if the food is all home-made and unprocessed.

Cons: people think its weird. None of their business!

Pros: so cute! Easy. And a lady in Ikea came over and was gushing about how "impressed" she was by how my daughter was feeding herself. (lol that lady must not have looked at the floor under her high chair!)

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#27 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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Here is my breastfeeding story in a nutshell .

1. Antonin fully nursed until 6 months (except for some doctor recommended juice, which was before I knew about the whole gut flora thing and some mashed potatoes my sister snuck him at 4 months old that really ticked me off).

2. Tandem nursed both kids for 1 1/2 years which was HARD. Oh my goodness that was a lot of work.

3. Had planned to let Antonin CLW, finally ended up weaning him at 3.5 years because it was just too much work for me.

4. Continued to breastfeed Arianna after Antonin was weaned. I also planned to CLW her and saw no reason that I couldn't, until I was accepted into the program I'm in and absolutely need my time to study. So, very sad to me, she was actually weaned at a younger age than her brother. She only nursed for just under three years.

5. However, on the bright side, Arianna did that baby led solids thing. I forgot what it's called. Anyhow, I followed her lead about solids so she was totally breastfed for a little over a year.

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#28 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I have been reading more and more about BLW and am curious to what your experiences are - either for or against. Anyone not do it? Why not? Thanks mamas.
I haven't had a chance to read the other responses yet but I LOVE BLW!!!!!!!!!! I think it's awesome. I save so much time & money not dealing with jars of baby food or homemade purees. DS LOVES everything I eat and has never made that "icky" face babies usually make when they try new foods -- EXCEPT one time when we offered him a spoonful of a sample jar of puree we'd gotten!!! He feeds himself so well & there was no awkward transition from chunky purees to finger foods, no rejecting foods... I have also read that BLW babies are less likely to choke, since they learn to chew then swallow instead of swallowing first. DS gagged a lot in the beginning -- still does occasionally -- and it used to freak me out but I've seen how well he handles it & now I'm much calmer about it. He is growing so well & I love that HE is in control of how much he eats.

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#29 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by simplykate View Post
For those of you who have read the book, would you mind sharing the guidelines? Like what's okay to feed them and what's not? As far as texture and shape and so on. I guess I've been doing BLW with my six month DD just because she's not into purees, she only wants things she can feed herself, but I sometimes get worried that she'll choke. I can't afford to buy the book at the moment....
http://www.rapleyweaning.com/assets/blw_guidelines.pdf

Mama to my sweet girl born at home 6/09
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#30 of 79 Old 01-08-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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