Hi Blackkat. Thanks for posting this - and apols that we didn't spot your comment till today *blush*
You're absolutely right that giving your baby finger foods is not the same as pure BLW. And we actually do make that point on our general page about purees or baby led weaning here: http://www.babyexpert.com/baby/weaning/purees-or-baby-led-weaning---which-way-is-best/8215.html
We say: "Mixing the two methods - this involves introducing purees and finger foods from the start. If you combine the two, this isn't true baby led weaning, as at the basis of BLW is the fact that you don't spoon feed your baby - your baby feeds himself. The Mix Method is really spoon-led weaning with the introduction of finger foods right from the beginning."
We probably should have made that a bit clearer on this article, though. We've made some changes today to put that right. Thanks v much for alerting us: we always appreciate feedback.
Thanks for your most recent post, Blackkat - and apologies again for not spotting it sooner (we need to get better at this!).
We hear what you're saying and, to be fair, we do point this out when we say: "If you combine the two, this isn't true baby led weaning, as at the basis of BLW is the fact that you don't spoon feed your baby - your baby feeds himself. The Mix Method is really spoon-led weaning with the introduction of finger foods right from the beginning."
We do think many people confuse giving finger foods (in addition to spooned purées) with baby-led weaning, so we wanted to make that as clear as possible.
Thank you for suggesting that we have a proper "how to start BLW" article. We do have lots of different articles about BLW (including this one) but we don't have an explicit how-to-start guide. So that's a good suggestion! We'll definitely look at sorting that out soon.
Thanks for your reply. But I still don't understand why you have a third 'Mix Method' when this is the same as traditional weaning. As you're right a lot of people seem to confuse finger food for BLW & this will confuse things further as there are really only 2 methods especially as on that page you quoted also talks about 31% of mums who've mixed BLW & purees whereas these families actually did traditional weaning not BLW. & at the bottom you say:
Of course you can, and as you can see from our poll, 31% of mums did a mix of both. Successful weaning should be a relaxed experience, so go at your baby’s pace and do what you feel comfortable with. While some baby led weaners like to avoid purees completely, others prefer the freedom of using both methods.'
BLW is, by definition not giving purées. The BLW site (http://www.babyledweaning.com/) states:
'The distinct advantage of weaning at around six months is that by then, our children are developmentally capable of feeding themselves proper food, in other words – no more mush!
You just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don’t they won’t. (But they do, really they do… check out the baby with the pork chop).
That’s the essence of Baby Led Weaning. No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veg combos… just you and your child, eating food that you enjoy with you and your family.'
I think that the information you currently have on BLW is good in places adds to the confusion surrounding the term when in fact it's very black & white.
Thanks for this, Blackkat - all very useful.
We will definitely review all our articles that mention BLW to make sure our language is clear.
That said, we do think many people do think of traditional weaning as being spoon-feeding only, and BLW as 'finger foods only'. So they would naturally regard any weaning that includes some spoon-feeding and some finger foods as well as being a mix of spoon-feeding and BLW. We do take your point about rigid definitions but we hope you also see where we're coming from.
It would help greatly if you could let us know which of our weaning articles in particular (well, of the ones that mention BLW, obviously!) you think could do with a little editing along the lines you mention.
Perhaps you could PM me with your thoughts? We'd love to have your input on this.