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Downsides of BLW?

A isn't far off 6 months so we're doing our research on how we want to wean her, and are fairly convinced that BLW is the way to go. We want to go into it with our eyes wide open, so what are some of the pitfalls with BLW? The obvious ones I've thought of are:

She'll gag/choke a lot to start with

More mess

More prep (compared to just opening a jar/pouch)

Getting grandparents etc on board if they look after her

What else is there? Can they form bad habits of any sort? What else do we need to consider?


  • Not so much a downside as something to be aware of.... Don't be surprised or disappointed if she doesn't seem to 'get it' for a while, it takes most well over a month and a lot closer to 3 months before they start eating anything in quantities comparable to purées.

  • Jude never really gagged at all so it's not a given but it can happen of course.

    If you have a healthy diet then it's not really more prep cos you can just feed them your meals except maybe change the way things are cut so they're more suitable.

    In the end I did a mix of purées and finger foods as Jude had a dairy allergy that became apparent upon weaning and I got a bit jittery about it all but blw would have been preferable, a lot easier IMO.

  • A doesn't really gag unless he has a mouth full of food and tries to ram more in!

    Although they weren't keen at first, after the first couple of meals grandparents were on board here.

    The only downside we've had here is A got nappy rash last Wednesday, which quickly developed into a yeast infection overnight, and now has a really sore bottom.  The HV says its because his poos are more acid as he's on solids, which have reacted with his skin.

  • I'd say a bit more mess, although mine was a relatively clean eater and we have a dog. A plastic sheet under highchair and dressing baby with a good bib / just nappy helps. (We only had proper messy meals before bedtime). The beginning was not really more prep, just things like making sure I did our carrots in batons and not rounds, keeping some pasta aside with no sauce (as in first few weeks of BLW).

    You can feel like BLW is more work/prep, but at least once the food is made you can sit and eat yours and let them get on with it, as opposed to half eating yours and half feeding them. I used to get mine started before we even say down to eat which kept him occupied. Oh, and don't underestimate how much mess a purée fed baby can make. I've seen it for myself with friends ( were talking all over baby, tray, feeder and floor)

    Key thing is to relax, go with the flow and let baby lead you through it, they will get the hang of it eventually. Oh and you may see their development come on in leaps and bounds. Mine had amazing hand and eye coordination and a good pincer grip very early on.

    Good luck!

  • agree with isis - just up the amount of prep for your own meals, I don't really notice extra prep time (extra money at the checkout however...)

    the main one is the mess and the waste - it could be months before they 'get it' and it is a lot of wasted food (unless you have chickens! my mum's chooks loved early stages of weaning!)

    my parents were equally sceptical but I explained why we were doing it, focused on the 'regulating own appitite one' as we are a family with weight problems and once S got it they could completely see why we'd done it, wished they'd done it and my mum now tells anyone who will listen about it and how good it is.

    also, like smashed crab, my girl struggles a bit with nappy rash if she's had too much citrus/acid stuff but she does have very sensitive skin in general.

  • i wouldnt say mine did gag more than their puree fed friends, isaac choked once but that was because he literally shoves everythin in his mouth

    L gagged a bit on something but managed himself to cope with it, i can only really think of those 2 occassions

    they are controlling what they are putting in their mouths so tend not to gag iyswim

    i didnt find it any hassle at all, i literally gave them what we were having and left them to it.  i did make things like lentil and cheese wedges or other things like that but i just made them for lunch ideas iyswim to stop myself giving the same types of things, i could have easily just have not bothered

    my MIL was very against it and was very frightened but around 10 ish months with L she was just gobsmacked with what he was eating and totally became a BLW enthusiast Laugh, she was pro it for isaac

    id say its quite messy, but just open out a bin bag and put it under the high chair and scoop everything up at the end,  o and L didnt 'get' food till about 9/10 months where as isaac was totally into it from 6 months Laugh

  • That all sounds good though, nothing to turn us off :)

    We have a box of baby rice and a sachet of porridge and a couple of small pouches of fruit puree. It seems a shame not to use it still possible with BLW? Would I just pre-load a spoon and leave it on her tray to pick up and feed herself if she wanted it?

  • We kind of did a mixture, if we were having say curry, she's have a pouch, but most times she'd feed herself. Shes a brilliant eater now and eats anything! You could always uae the puree to spread on bread, toast and to flavour porridge

  • M refused to be spoonfed so we were really finger foods all the way. At first I gave her just finger foods then would load spoons with yogurt or fruit puree or whatever, then began putting what we were having on her tray and leaving a spoon beside it so she could use it if she fancied.

    My friends little girl is a fussy ester and always has been, she now - at 3 - wants her food mushed up, whereas her 8 month old brother wasn't given purees by their mum and he eats better than she does. She's a very extreme example though

  • We used bread/toast as a good medium to give runnier foods (soup etc). also cooked a lot of stuff into an omelette which is easier for them to pick up (sweetcorn, peas etc) until their pincer grip got better. mine started demanding a spoon between 12 and 14 months if the see the rest of us with cutlery so we've moved on from 'food that can be cut into a stick' to 'food that will stick to a spoon'!!

    I was more fanatical about the 'baby must do it all himself' with my first. with the twins I relaxed a bit more and did used to spoon in the odd bit of yoghurt but definitely not forcing it, if they turned away/didn't reach for it I wouldn't offer any more.

  • Just agreeing with everyone else really. E rarely gaggs,  never choked yet,  touch wood.  

    The mess however is something else,  depending on what you feed of course.

    But a mat and easy wipe decent highchair stops any issues.

    The main con for me is that we've got some places its impossible to do.  We've just got back off our holiday and blw on the beach just isn't an option, same when we've stopped at the services so we've given fruit pouches on spoons as she's not getting the sucking from the sachet yet. Es 10-11 weeks into blw now and success with a preloaded spoon is minimal haha.

  • Am I right in thinking that the ikea antilop highchair is best? Seen lots about this, but we do have a different highchair we've borrowed from BiL if we don't get on with it

  • Antilop is great, very easy to wipe/hose down, doesn't take up much space and if for some reason you don't get on with it you've only lost £15.

  • we had one very similar to this:,default,pd.html

    ours was the mothercare own brand version which has a plastic tray (they still do it in store, cant find it online, its £50)

    Obviously more expensive but the removable tray was a godsend and it convers to a table and chair when they are bigger. plus you can easily lift just the chair section to have tea by the fire/out on the lawn which we do quite a lot.

  • I'm not a fan of the antelope tbh.  We've got a coastto 3sixty which is fab. Lovely padded one with removable tray, 3 different seat recline positions, move up and down (so she's eye level whether at the breakfast bar or sofa level) and 2 trays/ tray insert too (which is a godsend because I can put her food on the top tray, let her eat,  remove it with left overs and then remove the tray easier or if needs be,  give pudding into a clean bit). It's got a 5 point safety harness and if E is having something very messy I can remove the cover to prevent stains which converts it to an antelope style plastic number,  however I wouldn't want that full time as E spends a lot of time Eating and I want her cosy.

  • QoK - the in laws have that one at theirs and used it with my nieces, so hopefully A will get on well with it too when she's with them :)

    I think we'll get the Antilop anyway, and if it doesn't suit us then we still have the cosier one from BiL and can try sell the ikea one :)

    My library has some BLW books that I'm going to go and get on Monday...excited to read up a bit more ready for a few weeks time!

  • Oh, and we do spoonfeeding too, as sometimes we are home late and there isnt time to prep a meal for A so he gets a jar of babyfood on a preloaded spoon.  We're 2 weeks in and he is  brilliant with the spoon, he practically wrestles it off you, shoves it in his mouth, then makes sure he's got it all with his fingers!

    We also mix fruit puree into his porridge.

    We were out with girls from our baby group yesterday whose babies are all slightly older than A (1 or 2 months) and they were feeding them purees while A was stuffing his face with a toastie, then one of the other boys pancakes which he wasn't eating!!

  • I wouldn't automatically presume they will gag more, Zoe never did.  In fact the first time she ever did was at age 3.5 yrs on a chip in Tesco cafe :lol:   It is messier but we saved the messiest meal for the evening, strip her to a nappy to eat and then straight in to the bath after dinner.   For me it was much less hassle as I didn't have to be thinking ahead to make sure I had food with me when out or work out what she was going to eat evening as we just all ate the same.  

    The only downside I can see now, looking back with a 4.5 yr old, is that she still eats with her hands.  I try so hard to get her to use cutlery but she always reverts to her hands unless I am constantly nagging her, unless it is something messy.  

  • For me, the only downsides were the wasted food. Although a lot of what she dropped on the floor could be picked up off the shower curtain that we have under the highchair. It wasn't as messy as I thought but I don't think we used as much sauce as some do. Certainly wasn't any more prep, just cooked a little more of what we were having. My mum & my inlaws were worried at 1st but are all converts. My daughter has only gagged a few times & has dealt with her fine by herself. No choking for us.

    So instead of downsides, how about some upsides:

    Cheaper (baby food manufacturers must make a killing!)

    Much easier when out (don't have to find anywhere to eat up food)

    As far as I can tell it makes them more capable with cutlery earlier

    Easier to eat your own food whilst hot as they just get on!

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