Baby Led Weaning

BLW Diary – In which Siobhan frets then Gets Over It…

by Aitch

So how exactly does BLW work when you have a baby with an upset stomach who’s also teething terribly? Answers on a postcard, please, or even better, below…

Poor Siobhan blubbing. (posed by model)

“How long has he had an upset tummy and what’s he been eating?” the pharmacist asked as my little man wailed loudly, dribbling profusely on my shoulder, his cheeks getting redder and redder as he gnawed away on his (already well worn) teething ring. The sound of irritated voices behind me in the queue exclaiming “Poor little mite must be hungry/tired” was so NOT helping in a stressful situation (and that’s me putting it very nicely for the sake of editorial standards!)

“His tummy’s been upset for two days,” I said to the pharmacist. “I’m doing Baby Led Weaning so lots of….”
“You’re doing what?” he interrupted me with a confused look appearing across his face.

“Baby Led Weaning,” I said.

It was still there – that oh-so-familiar bewildered look I get when I say to my boyfriend; why haven’t you fixed the tap/put the rubbish out/unblocked the sink/put that picture up/got Alban dressed/fed/changed?

“Baby Led Weaning is basically letting h im eat what we eat,” I tried to explain to the clearly perplexed pharmacist. “No purees or baby food in jars – he eats with us at mealtimes.”
The confused look turned to horror -total and utter horror. “Oh,” he said very slowly “that may have something to do with his upset stomach…”

So, it’s fair to say we’ve not had the best of weeks. It did however, start off rather well. I won’t list exactly what foods he’s had every day (as I have to stick to a word limit, although good old Aitch does tend to turn a bit of a blind eye.)

Breakfast has (or should I now write did) consisted of melon wedges, weetabix, scrambled eggs with some flaked smoked salmon. However, I had a bit of a sinking feeling after giving him the salmon as he gulped down his water akin to a dehydrated pot plant . I should also add that this was his breakfast over three days, not one – just in case you’re getting worried…

Being the world’s worst cook I decided for the sake of my darling son to become a parent that can (attempt to) cook. Also, as I’m now a responsible mother of one (I can hear you all sniggering) that has a duty of care for Alban’s future eating habits, I attempted to ‘make’ him a BLW pizza for lunch. I used multigrain seeded loaf, low salt tomato puree, grated mature cheddar and then really went for it – sprinkling tuna (in spring water, not brine) and very finely chopped red onion on top. I must admit though to trimming off the rather tough and burnt looking crusts.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of culinary delights; I am proud to announce (no, not another pregnancy) but the concoction of a new dish, imaginatively titled ‘Salmon Flaked Mash.’ Is the BLW community ready for this gourmet creation?
So, anyway I’ve digressed. We enjoyed three days of moderate success when Alban decided that he’d had enough. Now, I had been giving him plenty of fibre rich foods so was clinging onto the hope that may have been the reason for two nappy changes an hour and generous applications of Sudocrem.

I realised though this wasn’t the case when he kept crying when I put him in his highchair. After checking that he wasn’t sitting on any utensils, it was obvious that he wasn’t at all interested in any food I was putting in front of him.

It was so distressing seeing him so upset. I attempted to offer him different foods and handed them to him, rather than just leaving them on his tray, but he became more and more irate. I gave up, cuddled him and gave him his feed. It was a struggle to get him to feed though and he became extremely distressed and didn’t want to be put down at all.

As I cuddled him I ran through everything in my head I had given him over the last couple of days. I was starting to panic praying I hadn’t made him ill. Was it the tap water he’d been having before and after his food? Maybe I sprayed too much Dettol spray on the tray when cleaning it? Had I cooked everything thoroughly enough? Was is it the salmon/cheese/bread/fruit? You name it – I worried about it. It was then that I really appreciated and understood the phrase ‘worried parent.’ As I put him to bed that evening and checked his temperature I sat down and reflected whether I had made a mistake trying the BLW approach. Maybe he wasn’t enjoying it? Maybe he wasn’t ready for it? Had I given him too much or too little food? Off I went again… fretting and worrying.

After an appointment at the doctors the following morning she explained it was ‘highly likely he had picked up a little bug’ and not to worry as it would work itself out of his system naturally. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and said a silent thank you that I hadn’t harmed my son.

As I was getting ready to leave, the doctor asked me what baby food and purees I had been giving Alban. A sense of déjà vu occurred as I explained that Alban wasn’t having baby food and purees but eating real, healthy food with us at mealtimes. To that she replied: “Oh right that sounds interesting, how does that work then..?”