BLW - I'm finding it tough :cry:

Hi Mummies
for those who are BLW I could do with a bit of help/support please image
I'm finding it hard going really, it's the coming up with new things to make so she's getting plenty of nutrients, I don't think she's eating enough as she sucks at most of it, does eat some, but the amount that's on her lap & the floor is unreal! The amount of time it takes now for meals is driving me crazy.
Plus the mess and the cleaning up afterwards is a chore I'm starting to really hate.
I know that sounds horrible and I do only want what's best for her but it's my issues with it.

She's looking a bit pale & tired atm (she's not poorly or anything) and I'm worried it's cuz she's not eating enough.
She's on roughly 18oz's of follow on milk per day. She seems happy *enough* feeding herself but I think she gets a bit bored after 15mins or so and I don't know what to do??
The reason I switched from purees is that she was refusing me feeding her. She's great with her hands and knows what to do with the food but why is she dropping most of it? We've been doing it fully for a month now (she's now almost 9 months) so I thought it would have got better??

Should I stick with it? I don't really want to go backwards and start making purees again but i've not found any great recipe books for BLW (I know they eat what you eat but I'm on a diet lol so I'm making something different for her). Lunchtimes I'm getting stuck in a rut with really; its either sandwiches (usually with cheese or tuna!!!) or jacket potato.

Agh, I just feel a bit down about it. At least when we were on purees I knew the amount she was having.
Please help :\( xxx


  • We have only just started blw and have been doing it for a week now so don't have too much advice though.

    With regards to the cleaning, what do you put on the floor around her? If you can put a few newspaper sheets down then you could just throw them away after and make the cleaning up easier. At the moment as it is so warm I am just stripping lo down to just her nappy and pop a bib on her so I can just wipe her down after and her clothes don't need changing after every meal.

    As we have just started she has mainly had sticks of fruit and veg and a little bit of what we are having if its appropriate, the other day she had breaded fish, crushed new potatoes and broccolli. For lunch its usually a sandwich or something like breadsticks and homous, today we are going to have a cheese omellette which I will cut into strips for her and some fruit and yoghurt for after. I also bought the Annabel Karmel finger food book, I haven't actually used it yet but I've had a look through and it looks lilke there are some good ideas in there.

    She also can take ages to eat very little, she just seems to suck on most of it and then spit it out after a while. Breakfast I do actually spoon feed her her cereal as we don't have so much time as I have another child who is in school so we are usually in a rush in the mornings.

    It sounds like you are doing well, my hv recommended giving vitamins as well at this time so you can get some of those if you feel you want to, although actually if you are on formula then as that is fortified then you may not need to until she goes onto cow's milk.

    Keep up the good work and don't get too worried about how much she is eating, she will eat more when she is ready.
  • VITAMINS????????????????? WHY???????????????
    I'm sorry but this baby led weaning thing isn't always a good idea. Women since the beginning of time have mashed the food up for their babies, either on the plate or in their own mouth and then passed it to the baby. Why don't you give baby puree and mashed food alongside BLW, that way you know LO is getting enough food and nutrients, plus he can still explore food shapes etc. I would say at 9 months she needs food asap and I'd be amazed if any HV would advise you otherwise, try letting her feed herself puree with the spoon? Or stop BLW and she'll soon eat off a spoon again!! Blimey, I'm sorry if I sound a bit brisk but I just can't believe why anyone wouldn't just feed the baby in a way that a baby can eat and put aside fashionable ideas for fun. Isn't it obvious that the baby spits it out because it can't eat it??? I think there'll be alot of hungry irritable babies out there dying to eat but not being able to manage breaded fish/chicken drumsticks and god knows what else, what is wrong with letting a baby be a baby.

    [Modified by: dollywotsit on July 12, 2010 12:48 PM]

  • Hi

    No advice as I am not yet a weaner, but I have bumped up a thread on finger foods which I bookmarked a while back.

  • Dollywotsit-I think by 9 months most babies have progressed from purees-they're great if you start weaning early but if you follow the guidelines and start weaning at 6 months then you can go straight to finger foods.
  • Dollywotsit the reason I was advised to give vitamins is for vitamin D as it is hard to get that from food and rickits is on the increase in this country and our hv's were advised by the peadiatrician to advise all mothers to give vitamin D.

    And blw is not a fun trend it is a normal way for a baby to feed themselves. Babies learn to crawl, walk and talk when they are ready, provided they are given the opportunity. So why shouldn't it be the same with eating solid food? They feed themselves from the breast from birth and they have the instinct and the ability to feed themselves solid food at the right time. And don't forget any food they eat now is complimentary to their milk until they are a year old anyway.

    blw encourages a baby's confidence and independence and they will progress at their own unique pace. Given the chance almost all babies will show that they are ready by grabbing a piece of food and taking it to their mouths, they don't need their parents to decide when weaning should start and they don't need to be spoon-fed - babies can do it themselves
  • honestly if you can stick with it, she was about 9 months when my lo finally got it and started eating properly, a baby can survive and thrive on milk alone till at least a year old, so try not to worry to much about what there eating, there milk either formula or breast milk contains all the vitamins and minerals they need, food is just a bonus. My lo is 15 months old now and blw is the single best decision we made, just have to put lo down for a nap but will be back soon
  • for lunch my lo does tend to have sandwiches or a pitta bread filled with cheese and other stuff and toasted, sometimes she'll have some bread, sticks of cheese, carrot battons, bits of banana, and a few organics crisps, omelette's are good for lunch and have a look at the post of finger foods, they'll be some good ideas on there.
    As for mess pip does still make a mess but usually now it's contained to her high chair try, unless i'm not paying attention and she starts chucking stuff over the edge to tell me she's done lol'
  • Aww Kelly, sorry your getting down about it. Maybe try a mixture of finger foods and mashed up food from a spoon again. Seth went through a stage of refusing spoon which is why i started finger foods but i still give him a mashed up meal at tea time then use finger foods at lunch time.
    Just a thought.
  • Hi Kelly,

    sorry you are finding it tough. We have always done BLW and LO is 9mths now and eats quite a bit. I imagine it's more difficult to get used too if you were using purees and mashed foods as you had an idea of the amount she was eating.
    Some of LO's dinners include cheesey omelette, vegetable curry and cous cous, chicken and veg, meatballs and pasta, shepards pie, veggie burgers, fishcakes. Pretty much anything we have, I have used recipes from baby books such as AK. He has got very good at feeding himself however he still makes a mess if he's not that hungry and just playing. There are no rules saying you can't offer her mashed foods again, if you think she needs more, then offer her food in a way you feel better about. You know her best hun so I would follow your instincts.
  • Oh hun - I know exactly what you mean - I could have written the same post !!!

    I find that sometimes DS will eat really well and other times he will hardly touch anything ! Like today for example, we went out for lunch - I took sandwiches for him as I've stopped buying him food when we are out as it ends up on the floor - and he hardly ate a thing - didn't even really want many strawberries which are his fav !!!

    I really struggle for meal ideas too - I take a lot out of the Annabel Karmel book - which I know you do too - but it is frustrating when I spend ages cooking and then he doesn't eat it !!!

    I too am on a diet (weight watchers) so we never have "extra" to give to DS - which is why I cook separately for him.

    I seem to give him (for his main meal) either jacket potato or pasta - it seems very boring for him ...

    I get so stuck for ideas ... image

    Keep your chin up tho hun - you're doing a fab job - and I tend to come to you for inspiration !!! xxx
  • can I just offer my experience of BLW??
    I've popped across from toddler for a nose and found this quite interesting.

    My ds is 3 in September and I did BLW with him from 6 months. It was great and hardly choked on food and was eating a variety of finger foods by 10months. by around 13-14months I was so proud of the things he could eat adn how nimble he was using a knife and fork at his age.......then at around 18months he stopped eating - most things. Wouldn't eat and fruit or veg, became very fussy and I was limited to 2 meals he would eat. He'll be 3 in September and he is still the same!!!
    I have had him seen by several dieticians recently and I have had to go back to basics at 3 years old and start making puree's to hide his veg and meat!!!!
    The concensus within the professional world seem to think that BLW has bought this on.
    At 3 years old food is the only thing that he has control over and he knows it and he's now controlling me by telling me what he will and what he won't eat!! its nice to have such an independent little boy but its also bloody worrying when you ahve a lo that has hardly eaten a meal for a year and half!!!
    I do give vitamins daily, as I know he is getting his nutrients.
    All I want to say is that I think a mixture of puree's and finger foods is the best way to go, don't be stuck to one thing as it might bite you in the bum in a couple of years like it has me!! and having lo's independent is great in some respects but not so when they are that independent they won't eat anything!!!
  • Kelly, it may be a good idea to offer purees and finger food. What I do is make a meat/fish based dish into a puree, and then offer fruit/veg as finger food. He is distrated enough with the finger food to allow me to offer the occasional spoon! Maybe as an idea, try feeding him in a different room - sometimes I put a blanket on the floor, and feed him sat on the floor, with his toys. Also, you can just pick up the blanket off the floor and that's all the clearing up done!

    I think BLW definitely has it's place - my LO point blank refused a spoon and mashed up stuff at first, would only eat finger food. Mealtimes were a battle and I was really worried about him having negative associations with food. So I was very glad my HV suggested BLW and he took to it right away with a big grin on his face (I was very sceptical till I saw it with my on eyes).

    Incidentally, dolly, BLW is not a new fad but has been around for a centuries! When babies were routinely fed at 3 or 4 months, then yes purees were the only option but at 6 months a baby is well able to sit up and find their own mouth with food - they put everything else in, just some of the items are chewy, tasty and nutritious. Milk is still the main source of nutrients at this age. The Gill Rapley book is excellent, I would recommend it to every mum whichever weaning route they are going down.

    Kelly I hope you have found some support and new ideas from the people who have responded.

    K xx
  • Something to bear in mind, they really don't need too much food at this age. A meal should be about the size of their closed fist (less if you pur????e things as it is denser), which really isn't very much at all. Plus they can get all they need from milk up to a year, as has been said (with vitamin supplements for those who are breastfed as their iron stores start to deplete at that point). If you are worried, will she take more milk? Another option may be thick soup (basically veg pur????e) of various sorts. Either serve on preloaded spoons (which gets really messy) or dip some bread in and let her suck it off. This also works with stew gravy for protein.

    If you can, take a deep breath, relax and let her play with her food. The more meals become a battle for whatever reason, the less she is likely to want to eat. She will work out that it tastes good and is nice to swallow, but it may take time.

    Claire a belle, I'm really surprised that blw is being blamed for your son's refusal to eat. I read somewhere that between a year and two years children can reduce what they are willing to eat to one or two very plain items for months at a time (one nutritionist's daughter would only eat plain pasta and yoghurt). It is, apparently, a throwback to our hunter/gatherer past when children might eat something poisonous once they started eating unsupervised, to protect them against accidental poisoning before they have a chance to learn how to discern safe foods. I hope that is what it is, as Peter sounds very like your son at the same age!

    As for blw, historically it was the way to wean children. I have a 1920s manual which advised giving babies thin gruel (ie baby rice) with a crust of bread to play with from nine months followed by mashed potato with gravy a week later and completely weaning in 2-3 weeks! Given that we have only had electrical equipment available to create completely smooth pur????es for about 50 years, babies have been weaned with more solid foods more much longer than with pur????es. Pre-chewed food was quite common, and still is in a lot of developing societies, of course, but Gill Rapley does include that as part of blw.
  • I weaned at 6 months, puree and mash and sometimes finger foods to PLAY with and explore but the puree and mash is his food. Gggrr I actually find the replies here so silly that I think I'd better keep clear of this thread. To the OP, good luck with whatever methods you use.
  • Im sorry things are hard Kelly.

    Soup is a firm fave in our house, I just break up bread into bits until its more or less a stew and he shoves it in. Yes its messy but he does get a lot in.

    Sandwiches, Dylan gums them to death sometimes he eats lots sometimes he doesn't.

    Fish fingers and spinach and peas is his current fave.

    Jacket potatoes

    Meat and salad (I just give bits of chicken etc and chop up salad into different size pieces) he never eats much salad but he plays with it a lot and eats the beetroot and tomato flesh.




    Scrambled eggs (or any type of eggs)

    My minds gone blank now, if I think of anymore i'll come back to you hang in there hun. You could see how she goes feeding herself purees, Dylan likes the messiest foods the best as he likes the different textures, if you mix purees and finger foods she may really enjoy exploring the different textures in front of her but it will be messy!

  • Keep going hun. BLW will be fine. They do all have their off times when food becomes more of a chore. Just remember that babies don't really need to consume full amounts of food until they are 12 months, any food before that is a bonus. If you're worried, keep the milk intake up - as you're using follow on milk that will keep enough of the right nutrients going in. image

    As far as food goes, how about using purees with toast or bread sticks? That way she's getting the choice of puree and/or solid stuff.

    Other options to try for lunches are:

    Eggy bread (bread dipped in egg and 'fried')
    Crumpets (a firm favourite and can be topped with cheese, cream cheese)
    Potato scones
    cheese on toast (or use cream cheese)

    Those tend to be my core 'lunch' meals when I want something different from sandwiches.

  • My LO is 10 months - recently he has started eating pureed stuff with his fingers, so I put some on his tray. it is super messy though! he also likes cheerios, peas and little chunks of fish etc. he likes boiled egg for breakfast, and will feed himslef little chunks.

    My friend's little boy has reflux and she was advised by a paed to BLW because apparently the lumps are harder to bring back up, as it were!

    K xx
  • Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOO much ladies for all of your replies. I've literally only just had chance to come back online.

    Dolly - i'm sorry, i didn't start this thread to cause debate over BLW vs purees, i'd just hot a wall with the BLW front and i know many ladies do it on here so i needed a bit of support. I appreciate your comments though.

    Everyone else - i relaly, really do appreciate your support.
    I ended up making a puree for her dinner tonight (well, it wasn't mush, more chopped) - it was rpast chicken & veg that i'd made for all of us. She wolfed it down, but what i did was give her her own spoon and she kept putting it into the bowl, then feeding the food herself.
    It was a much more enjoyable experience if i'm honest, as it didn;t take over an hour like it can do at dinner time usually.

    I think i'm going to do a mix (although i know it can't be classed as BLW then!) but do finger foods for lunch times.
    Today for lunch she had a cheese omelette (finger food) with tomato quarters. She loved that!!!

    I do wonder sometimes if it's me that puts too much on her tray, i think it may overwhelm her. So that's something i'm going to learn to cut back on as she doesn;t need that amount, hence why it looks worse being on the floor i think!!!!

    I'm pleased, and thankful, that she is so good with her fingers and that lumps don;t bother her either.
    My main concern was that i didn't want to raise a fussy eater, i'm quite a fussy eater (getting better with age) so i wanted to give her as much nutrients, vary of tastes, textures, flavours etc as possible.
    I've been told that she does amazing and that some adults don;t eat as well as her :lol:

    I think, like anything, we can feel like it's overwhelming. I don;t do mess, so that's been my main bugbear behind the BLW (which i kknow it shouldn't be and she'll also pick up on any of my anxieties).

    How do babies get used to using cutlery? When do you introudce this with BLW?
    I think if i do the odd puree (when i'm overly concerned she's not eaten enough) then i'll do what i did earlier and give her a spoon too, she seemed to enjoy that!!!

    Thank you so much once again xxxxxx
  • hello

    we do a mix of BLW and mashed as for us he does not get enough food through BLW. i am sure full BLW is great for babies who love their milk but our LO doesnt take a lot so one meal is finger food which mostly ends up on him or the floor (we have a cut up shower curtain to contain the mess) and one meal is mashed or finely chopped dinner, we have brekkie too.

    have you tried spoon loading? we do this but we have a spoon each for when he decides to throw it for mummy to pick up :lol:
  • Another thing I did when I was struggling was I did a food diary of everything he ate. I didn't think he was eating much at all but once I wrote it down I was quite shocked at how much he actually ate !

    As for cutlery - no idea - sounds like Ava is doing better than H - he only wants to chew his spoon - nothing else ... he thinks his hands are the best cutlery around ! LOL
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