Getting Started

Baby-led weaning is, it must be said, a somewhat cheesy term for just letting your infant self-feed. You cut food up into manageable sticks and offer it, they eat. It’s really pretty simple.

The key difference between BLW and traditional weaning, when you think about it, is in the order that children learn to eat. With a puree, they learn to swallow first and then chew, which works fine until they meet a lump. With BLW, the babies learn to chew first and swallowing might come some time later.

It’s ‘baby-led’ in the sense that you let them do what they need to do while they’re learning, and as the parent you resist the urge to get wound up in knots about how much they’re eating, whether they like the food you thought they’d like and whether it’s smushed into the nearest curtain. The main thing is… it’s all good clean (messy) fun.

If you fancy giving it a try, here are some tips from the parents who contribute to our lively Baby Led Weaning Forum

  1. Have a good trawl on the internet for blogs, info and in particular video clips of BLW babies. Seeing little tiny 6-month-old babies demolishing their food and hearing the gasps of admiration from the proud parent behind the camera (and by parent I mean Dad. It’s always the Dad), will do your confidence the power of good.
  2. Next, forget ‘baby food’. Food’s food, as long as you’re not adding salt. To start off with, think chip-sized because it’s an easy shape for little 6-month-olds to grip, but you’ll soon move on to smaller pieces as it’s more interesting for a child developing a pincer grip.
  3. As a first food most people steam carrots (to about the degree that they can be smushed ‘twixt your thumb and finger), cut up cucumbers, make toast fingers or crinkle cut bits of mango, that sort of thing, but remember if there’s no reason whatsoever why your baby can’t have a pile of Spaghetti Bolognese or mashed potato to dig into if that’s what the rest of the family is having.
  4. No bowls, they’re just asking to be flung heavenwards. Put the food on the highchair tray or table and remember, it’s all a learning experience for the baby at this point. They really don’t care whether the experience is ‘oooooh, mango is in my mouth’ or ‘ooooooh, a bowl is flying across the room’.
  5. As an experienced eater yourself, you already have all the ‘equipment’ you’ll need to feed your child, but there are some things to consider. An easy-to-clean highchair is a must, so head to Ikea for a fifteen quid Antilop, which will even fit in the shower for a hose-down on a bad broccoli day.
  6. There will be mess, oh yes there will, so if you are weaning in summer don’t be afraid to eat outside or semi-naked (and the baby too, if you like, hem hem) and for winter Ikea and Tommee Tippee make great cover-all and pelican bibs.
  7. Putting a wipe-clean tablecloth under the highchair is a good idea if you have carpets and some people find that a crinkle cutter is handy to make food extra-grippable.
  8. (Slightly bitter) experience suggests that the more effort you put into making something special for the baby, the less likely they are to eat it. Give them what you’re having. If they hate it, fine, they’re getting their calories from milk anyway.
  9. Of course it would be perfect if we ate every meal as a family, just like the Waltons but this isn’t always possible. Try to keep your ‘social activity’ head on, though, even if it’s just you and your baby sharing a sandwich at lunch. Keep smiling, keep enjoying, keep paying attention. It’s just good manners at the end of the day, something it’s never too early for a child to learn.
  10. Don’t get too hung up on three meals a day, it may take a while to work up to that. Whatever’s convenient and enjoyable for you is best.
  11. And don’t put too much on the highchair tray at the one time, just a couple of pieces of food will stop them feeling overwhelmed.
  12. Actual hunger can be frustrating for the babies when they’re still getting to grips (quite literally) with things. Timing ‘meals’ to between milk feeds seems to be best, and because it’s just finger food you aren’t limited to staying in. There’s no reason why you can’t pack a wee Tupperware with some carrot or cucumber, buy a banana when you’re out or just pull some bits out of an undressed salad.
  13. Never put food into a child’s mouth, let them put it in by themselves so that they can control it as it moves backwards. If the baby gags, remember that it’s their way of moving food around in the mouth and don’t panic. Some parents have found that making exaggerated chewing faces and noises reminds the child to get back on track.
  14. Nappies and their contents will soon fascinate you in ways you never thought possible. Raisins rehydrate, little pieces of still-green broccoli sneak through the digestive system and bananas produce poo with strange black threads. Look and learn, ladies.
  15. Have a camera ready to capture those first gummy, carroty smiles because as daunting as it may seem, weaning is a very short time in your child’s life. So remember to enjoy it…

560 Responses to “Getting Started”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen Bartholomew and Anna Moore. Anna Moore said: RT @chacasta: Some tips to get you started | Baby Led Weaning http://t.co/OjJgBrG via @blwdotcom [...]

    • k goblinger says:

      Ikea antilop highchair sold 133,000 , but the safety strap broke in 8 of the highchairs. Four days ago thy had a recallI noticed you recommend this product in your blog and may want this information.

    • Sarah says:

      I really want to try this BLW thing but I have a couple questions. First, do I need to stay 4 days on one aliment like with the puree? Second, from what I research it is not clear if I’m suppose to cut the pieces in fries shape or in tiny bits smaller then peas. Im getting confused. Also, do we skip the cereal completely? and are we giving raw food or steemed, boiled veggies?

      • Aitch says:

        definitely chip-shaped to begin with, a little thicker than a french fry. the tiny bits might come later, when they get their pincer grip, because it’s tremendous fun for them to exercise that. you may indeed stay for around four days on a new food before trying another, certainly people who come from allergicky families seem to do that so that they can identify reactions. i didn’t, nor any of my friends, but i most certainly would have done with allergies in the family. does porridge come under ‘cereal’, or bread? i guess you could make some baby cereal if you wanted, but remember it’s about the baby feeding themselves so that can get very messy. but if you have a high tolerance for grot then go ahead. i’d say steam the veggies to begin with, to a consistency that you can squash failry easily between thumb and forefinger, but very quickly they just want what you are eating. all this stuff really is up to you, you’re really in charge of what is offered, when and how, and for many people it’s trial and error. Good fun finding out what works for you and your baby, though.

    • Ella says:

      It was only IKEA ANTILOP highchairs sold between specific dates. You can find out if yours is one of them here:

      http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/about_ikea/newsitem/ikea_recalls_antilop

      I also highly recommend these highchairs for BLW! :)

  2. Loz says:

    Lovely background info.

    I would however quibble at the “no reason not to eat spag bol” idea. If there’s even a whiff of food intolerance in the family, if baby has eczema, irritable tummy, is a bad sleeper on milk, etc etc etc there’s every reason to avoid that and like foods as spag bol is a salicylate and amine bomb that will almost certainly trigger a reaction in an intolerant child (10% of the population and climbing).

    I am definitely starting the BLW when we wean our twins (second and third kids). BUT after my horrendous experiences when weaning my first kid, we will be starting with low salicylate foods singly – pears, swede, sweet potato, etc.

    Loz

    • Aitch says:

      What is it within spaghetti bolognese that will trigger this reaction – I think you might need to be a bit more specific if you are going to use language like ‘time bomb’. ;-D Thanks for pointing out the allergies issue, of course each parent will approach foods according to their child’s experience thus far. How are you defining intolerance vs allergy?

      • kV says:

        Best you do your own research on the broad range of issues with salycilate and sulphur. In Spaghetti it is the onion, garlic and mainly tomato. The meat and pasta are fine. If there is risk of food allergy (ie in the family) then a low salycilate /sulphur diet is generally recommended. That’s not to say never introduce – just slowly so as to reduce the risk of long term allergy or intolerance.

      • Rose says:

        I would certainly agree that certain food can be problematic. However the issue I have is that in many Mediterranean cultures (who obviously consume large amounts of things like onion, garlic and tomatoes) this sort of intolerance/allergy is nearly non-existent.
        I think the big elephant in the room is dairy and second (but equal) is food additives. Dairy and additives both cause intolerance/allergy/sensitivity to themselves but also trigger it off for other (normally fine) foods.
        Eliminate dairy and food additives (and even gluten) before looking at putting the potential the blame on other foods.

      • Emma says:

        Agree completely that spag Bol should be introduced at a later stage, as a mother of children with dairy allergy and also soya snd egg in my youngest I definitely think parents should research potential allergies before this style of weaning and start with low salicylate foods.

        I’m pretty sure “intolerance” is just a non ige allergic reaction. I found out recently it’s often labelled intolerance when actually you’re internal organs are reacting and inflamed, causing the symptoms. My eldest are dairy “intolerant” and it’s such a mild term for how they suffer because of it.

      • Skye says:

        The rule with intolerance is, try something and then see – I gave my boy spag bol at 7 months – no issue and he LOVES it. I gave him mango and he ended up with the worst nappy rash ever so I gave that a break for a month.
        The entire Mediterranean area grew up on tomato based foods with onions.

  3. Elise says:

    Love your tips (and the humour that goes with them)! I have started already and your tips make perfect sense to me. It can be a messy business for a while but my little one just loves this tactile approach to food and it has helped her practice her pincer grip. She loves to chase those little missed bits around the tray and try to get them in the mouth.

  4. Laura says:

    I agree with Loz…an amazing number of children have allergies or intolerences. Our 6mo old has a dairy intolerence though no one in either of our families have any allerges. Giving him a taste of mashed potatoes at Christmas sent us to the ER. I like BLW but get annoyed when they dont mention the 4 day wait rule. Lots of babies get really sick because of that and you may not know what food caused it

    • Aitch says:

      It’s not exclusive to BLW, surely? I don’t recall anything about a 4-day wait rule in the general NHS weaning talk I attended? I have seen people mention waiting a couple of days both with BLW and with general weaning, but that seems more to be up to the parents than any rule, and also as I understand it allergies and intolerances are not the same thing at all so I would have thought that an ER visit would be more likely an allergy than an intolerance? Or is this perhaps an American rule that we are not pushing over here?

      • Diane says:

        Hi from America. It’s been recommended over here that you start with cereal, move onto veg./fruit purees, then meat purees. All with a 3 to 4 day wait in between to access tolerance.

      • Aitch says:

        The wait thing is mentioned occasionally over here, more if you have reason to believe that there might be allergies lurking than as the only course of action, but the way I see it, it can’t do any harm. As for the purees, well in the UK the official guidance says pureed or mashed and finger food as soon as they can manage it. If you’re following the current WHO guideline to wait until 6 months, most of them can manage finger food from around then, so there’s no particular point in doing all the other stuff, unless you want to.

      • Melissa says:

        I’m from Canada and here it’s recommended to wait 3 or 4 days (depending on source) before introducing new foods.
        It’s kind of funny though, as a paramedic pointed out to me, food allergies are quick, much more than 4 days. DS had some difficulty breathing one morning and we called 911 and I asked the paramedic if it could be the food I had introduced the day before and he said no way it would have taken so long.
        Sooooo, around here we generally offer new foods one at a time, but not necessarily 4 days spacing in between.

      • voni says:

        My pediatrician recommends the Dr Greene protocol to introducing solids (which can fit within a BLW approach) and he says (quote from book):’do not wait 3-5 days between foods. introducing new foods rapidly and feeding mixtures of foods leads to more adventurous, happy eaters. As long as babies are tolerating the foods well, full steam ahead. This doesn’t increase the allergy risk. It does take a little more work to detect the culprit if a child does develop a food allergy, but over 90% of children never will’ (end of quote). By my way of thinking, I think hearing the 10% of people driving fear into the 90% of people seems like the incorrect weighting. It’s sad if there is an allergy however jumping at shadows isn’t the right approach either. Love the website…great job with your communication!

      • Aitch says:

        cheers!

      • Miena says:

        I got this piece of advice from a dietician friend of mine: it’s not necessary to wait 3-4 days before introducing a new food, as an allergy or intolerance will make itself known before then. BUT to be on the safe side, don’t introduce a new food in the evening, in case the allergy hits during the night. Always introduce new foods at breakfast or lunch.

      • Laura says:

        Peanut allergies run in my husband’s family, so I was very careful when I first gave my daughter peanut butter. After trying a bit and having no reaction, I felt pretty good. A week later, I gave her some peanut butter on toast for breakfast, and half way through, she refused to eat anymore, which is really unusual. Then I noticed a rash starting on her hands and face, so I immediately took away the peanut butter and wiped her down. A little while later, she threw up all over me, and started running a fever. By the time I got her to the pediatrician, she had a nasty full-body rash. It was a full blown peanut allergy reaction. I say this for two reasons: 1. Allergic reactions happen quickly, not over the course of a few days. 2. According to the doctor, the first time you give a child an allergenic food, the allergy may be formed without any outward signs, then show up the second or third times the child has that food. So be careful.

      • Aitch says:

        Oh what a pain for you all, I hope you’re managing things okay. No question at all that one should be vigilant, and not just on the first mouthfuls, especially if there are known allergies.

  5. Lin says:

    I recall being told to wait three days between introducing new foods but only if I had cause to consider that we’d have problems i.e., family history of allergies. As we have no such allergies in the family then we didn’t do phased introductions. I know that my sister on NZ was told to do this as a hard and fast rule. Advice differs madly from country to country.

    BLW is the method of food delivery not the diet itself – any potential allergies or intolerances will emerge whichever way you wean the child.

  6. Ashley says:

    Thanks for the info! Lots of great tips for me to use!
    This is going to be soooo much fun!!! :D

  7. shannon says:

    Im new to this theory, about 20 minutes new so just learning, sounds so much better than mushy everything.
    Does anyone have experience blw a cows milk/soy protein baby?

    • Aitch says:

      have a peek in the allergies section of the forum, Shannon, there’s a lot of good advice there.

    • lucy B says:

      Hi yes I’m currently exclusively breastfeeding my son who is dairy & sits intolerant. I’m on the diet for him at the moment and on oat milk instead of regular milk. I assume when we start weaning in the next few weeks the same rules will apply!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    My pediatrician mentioned the 4-day-wait guideline from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and I did that for things I was concerned about due to family members’ food allergies/sensitivities (one brother has a number of allergies, two of which have come up in his son) but for other things, I freely combined foods and my daughter has been fine. She just turned 1 the other day and happily demolished her birthday cupcake.

    I’m looking forward to the next year, which will bring the introduction of utensils beyond the pre-loaded spoon.

    • Aitch says:

      i bet if you gave her a wee fork to try she would surprise you, they’re very good at stabbing at that age… ;-D
      metal prongs, or sharpish plastic are best imo and ime.

  9. Carrie says:

    I have happily weaned three children using ‘baby-led weaning’ methods. Food intolerences/allergies are much less common using this method because babies simply won’t ingest as much of any one food as they would if they were being spoon-fed. (This is also the reason it is believed a BLW baby is less likely to end up an obese child – the chewing time allows baby’s tummy to ‘feel’ full, the same way that if adults bolt their food they are more likely to overeat. Plus, in BLW it is the baby that is determining when he/she stops eating, not how empty the jar is.
    When feeding any baby/child, a parent must use common sense. Cows milk isn’t recommended before 12 months, so giving a young baby mashed potatoes made with milk would be a no-no. Likewise a heavily salted spag bol made with shop-bought sauce would be inappropriate for a 7 month old, whereas a carefully homemade version will probably be just fine. I cook almost everything from scratch, and would just (and sometimes still do) hold off on seasoning the food until I could take out a portion for the baby.

    • Tara says:

      With regards to the mash potatoes you could always use formula or breast milk to make their potatoes

      • Aitch says:

        and remember there’s nothing wrong with cow’s milk, unless you’re allergic or sensitised to it, it’s just not advised for babies as a main drink because it’s fairly useless for that.

    • jane says:

      cows milk is not recommended as a drink before 12months, but can be added to foods from 6months on.

  10. Sar says:

    I don’t think Loz used the words “time bomb” – if you read the post accurately it said “salicylate and amine bomb” – which is absolutely true. One of the main ingredients in Spag bol is tomatoes which are extremely high in salicylates.

    We have no allergies or known intolerances in our children, with the exception of our 3rd child who has a salicylate intolerance. If you don’t know anything about it, look it up, but it causes some serious issues and to this day my #3 won’t touch spaghetti bol, and he’s now 3.

    I have no problem with BLW, but agree that parents should exercise a little bit of caution and follow the old rule of offering 1 food at a time to make sure there aren’t any reactions. It’s a commonly accepted practice in Australia…

    • Aitch says:

      apols re that mis-remember. in any case it was ‘bomb’ i objected to… the advice in this country seems to be to pile in, to be honest, unless you have reason to worry re allergies.
      in fact, even when my (puree-weaned) friend’s baby came out in what looked like burns and went to her HV, GP and was then referred to a dietitian and got an allergy consult, the most they said was to keep a diary of what he ate, but to press on with weaning as she had been before
      she didn’t, of course, she stopped weaning him, waited a few weeks til his horrific skin rashes disappeared and let him choose his own food thereafter via BLW, and he’s never had a reaction since. there are some foods that he would pick up, mouth and discard immediately, however, so she assumed they were the ones causing the problem.

    • SJ says:

      I think I will use Coconut milk as an alternative. Its dairy free and packed full of fat and calories :)

  11. Sophie says:

    This is confusing information as I’ve just been to a children’s centre (NHS) weaning session and the person running the session said to start them on little sips of cows milk after 6 months – cooking with it is fine and no caution needs to be taken in this regard.

    • Aitch says:

      I think the objection to cow’s milk is by people who have allergies/sensitivities in the family, isn’t it? my understanding is that cow’s milk is fine in small amounts, be it cooked or whatever, but that it’s not a nutritionally useful milk so mustn’t be relied on in terms of bottles etc? but if you are avoiding dairy, as many people do, then avoid milk, obv. my two certainly chowed down on cheese and porridge cooked with milk from 6 months. The thing is, with so many people coming here from so many different countries, the best thing you can do is not bother about what other people are doing (this being excellent advice for all parenting matters… ;-D) and stick to a combination of local medical advice and your own feeling about what is best for your family.

      • Polly says:

        Flip me!! I’m in total shock here! I’m a first time mum and myself and my partner have had absolutely zero experience with babies (And I mean LITERALLY ZERO!)

        The way things have been put to us is that if I was to just slap a wee drop of spag bol or mashed spuds in front of my baby within seconds he would be half dead from choking or because it isn’t complete gooey splodge concocted by some nutty professor somewhere! I put him on jars because I was so afraid to give him real food even though I thought it completely ridiculous!!

        I have gone from crying my eyes out because he has started completely refusing his spoon feeds and is starting to get up through the night again for a bottle, to actually sittin here almost laughing hysterically at the sheer rubbish that is forced down new parents throats! Toast with a bit of butter in our eyes would have been a complete no no… well pants to that, I just slapped a few soldiers with butter in front of him and he demolished it!

        Im thrilled! Bring on dinner tonight to I see how he goes with spuds, cabbage and sausage!

        I just want to thank you sooooo much for enlightening me!!! This sight is amazing!!! :oD

  12. Nats says:

    This has been soooo useful, I purée fed my now incredibly fussy toddler the normal way and i now dread meal times with him, he was 13 months before he would accept food that wasn’t pureed, it was awful. We now have a second who is 4 months and there is no way I want do go through hat again so am very excited to try this BLW. Thanks for the advice!

  13. Fiona Adriazola says:

    Ok a little embarrassing to say that my child is 10months tomorrow and I now wanting to change to the BLW. I soo wish I had know about it before. I have found feeding a stress and am worrying I am causing problems. I have a very happy, active child who is not happy in his high chair and I totally put that down to spoon feeding. There are many reasons why I couldn’t cope with the idea of BLW before but mainly because the first 3 months of weaning we were in ‘outback’s’ of Argentina where buying a varied selection of foods is not easy, nor in our own house so I thought the puree method would be easier. I now disagree with my choice but hey that is the past.

    As I am nervous and my child is past this 9 month stage you talk about how should I start? How will I ensure he gets the right amount of nutrients he needs? I am not good at family meal times and have always been rather erratic in the fact that some days we have good meals and others I am just too tired to do meals. I know this now needs to stop but perhaps you could help me out with a week food plan idea? I have been giving him bits of meat, pasta, cheese while I have spooned in my purees followed by pieces of fruit while I have spoon fed the yoghurt in. This will have to stop but I am nervous he is got going to get enough nutrients but I do not want to have later feeding problems due to these concerns.

    • Aitch says:

      No embarrassment required, honestly. and I wouldn’t even bother ‘doing’ BLW as such, just forget about all previous weaning, like you say, it’s in the past and let him have a bash from now on. and we are ALL good at family meals some times and not others, this is all perfectly normal. You are speaking to the woman whose kids had fish and chips last night… from the chippy. (They were LUSH).

      Regarding food planning, why don’t you ask on the forum, i know there are a few plans floating about. i should do it too… food sometimes gets away from you, doesn’t it?

      If he’s okay with the bits of meat, pasta, cheese etc and the purees to follow, why don’t you just let him self-feed the purees and see how you get on? He might need a little more milk for a while, but all you can do with these things is make them available, really… please don’t worry about any of this… it’s only food, no big deal. you’ll both get there in the end, you just might as well make it as stress-free as possible (which imo means letting them do as much of the work as they can, lol).

      • Richelle says:

        My baby is 9 months too, and right now I dont know how to start BLW. I was amid a very troublesome international relocation during her 7-8 months, and I tried BLW for her 7th month. She showed zero interest in the food, and never even licked any morsel. Then tried puree feeding last month, and she got terrified of the bib, the high chair, of the spoon, the bowl, and I felt horrible for putting her through this ans stopped.
        Like Fiona here, I too am not a regular proper meal kind of person. I am glad to have found this site,, thanks for all the tips. I feel embarrassed and worried that I have not been able to feed my baby solids yet, while my friends’ babies have been eating things since their 4 th -5th months.

      • Aitch says:

        Tish and pish, don’t feel embarrassed… if she isn’t interested in food it’s zero reflection on you. She is a person in the process too, remember. how is she at sitting up? some children do get to hate the highchair and prefer grazing on more picnicky stuff on a wee rug on the floor. takes the pressure off…

      • Richelle says:

        Thanks Aitch. I stopped all that puree stuff and started making her sit on the chair with food alongside me when I am eating. She sits up well, and even pulls herself to her feet holding anything she finds. And she loves her chair (which is a great relief as I need to sit her in it and keep it in the far end of my kitchen when I am cooking – as she is in the clingy stage right now).

        She is touching, squeezing (not looking too happy about the textures of anything except dry bread) and throwing the food over the edge, but not putting anything to her mouth. I just have to be patient and let her do it at her time, not the nurse’s time, not my relatives’ time.

      • Aitch says:

        yes, it looks that way, doesn’t it? i mean if she’s not giving you the option of feeding her, then she’s not giving you the option of feeding her, there’s no two ways about it? what’s she like with a sticky, yoghurty spoon, would she consider licking it? thing is, if you are eating beside her, how long can it be before she starts to copy you? that’s how she’ll learn to do everything else, after all…

      • Richelle says:

        Oh no no no, she doesn’t like a spoon/ my finger/ food approaching her mouth. She is allergic to milk, so I have tried giving her the spoon with a bit of food (mashed stuff) sticking on both ends, so that if she puts it to her mouth, she will taste the food. But she doesn’t mouth anything (except her thumb when she is very sleepy)and just bangs the spoon about. I hope she doesn’t poke her eye with it!

        She seems really annoyed at the “wetness” of the food – and everything that is suitable for her now (except very fluffy rice and dry bread) is wet! Once I gave her mashed rice- she touched it and it stuck to her fingers. She was v alarmed and spent 20 min (while I sat eating next to her) looking at her fingers (holding them stiff) and making strange noises (trying to ward off the evil goo I suppose).

        I found a thread in the forum, where the baby doesn’t put things to his mouth.

      • Aitch says:

        poor poppet. these will be the sorts of stories that you can save up to embarrass her at birthday parties, of course…

  14. sweetpea says:

    Hi – our boy is 6 1/2 months and we started blw a couple of weeks ago. His favourites so far seem to be broccoli florets, chunky slices of mango, cucumber, banana and avocado. Today he had fun with roasted butternut squash!

    But I worry – the food’s still coming back out of his mouth. I realise this is important, a natural safeguard to stop him choking, but when will he start to swallow?! Someone suggested today that it’s because his tongue-thrust reflex hasn’t disappeared therefore he’s not ready for solids?

    I’ve found tiny broccoli seeds in his nappy, brown threads from banana and a few other bits I can’t make out so bits are going down! However, I’m thinking this is unintentional on his part??

    He’s breastfeeding as normal – same amount of feeds – but I also worry he’s not getting enough iron, particularly as I’m vegetarian. Because of this, I’m planning to offer him red meat once my husband’s off work this weekend (he needs to cook it, as I don’t know how to, plus he also needs to taste it).

    Meantime – I’m watching my friends spoonfeed their babies “stage 1″ foods and much as I’m glad that’s not us, I’m envious that their babies seem to swallow!

    Sorry to go on, but it’s getting me down a bit, especially when I read about breastmilk no longer being ‘enough’ after 6 months.
    Any advice/insight much appreciated!

    • Aitch says:

      It’s a bit unfair for you to dismiss what he’s eating as ‘unintentional’, don’t you think? ;-D he is EATING! food doesn’t go down my throat unintentionally, and i don’t think it does in babies either. he’s swallowing what he has mashed enough to manage, and is popping the rest out. so clever. don’t forget, some of the food he is eating is being digested, the seeds and revolting brown threads are just a bit tougher and remain.
      good idea re the red meat, but if you go on the forum you can ask for help with iron-rich foods. apricots are good, and you are already onto a winner with the broccoli. (you know all that stuff, of course). don’t forget that babies are born with enough iron for those first six months, but the iron stores run out gradually, they don’t switch off like a tap. there isn’t a date that there is no iron suddenly. and you are giving him iron in your bm, and the shortfall will be made up by broccoli etc.
      so yes, in answer to your question… he is swallowing. and he’s only been doing it a fortnight… he’s doing great. ;-D

    • Elly says:

      It’s true that breastmilk contains less iron than bottlemilk which is why people mistakenly think iron stores will run out. However the iron in breastmilk is specifically designed so baby can absorb all of it unlike bottlemilk. So you don’t need to worry.
      Also if you are vegetarian (like me), your body will take iron from you for your milk before it lets baby go without, so if you are worried you should take an iron supplement yourself.
      The La Leche League website has information on iron in milk.

      • Del17 says:

        I know lots of moms whose babies wouldn’t take solids and who breastfed exclusively up to 12 months. The only time to be concerned that its not enough for a baby is if they start wanting to be fed every half hour, start waking up at night hungry again, or begin to go off their weight gain curve.

    • Lala says:

      Don’t worry about your babe not getting enough nutrition if you are breastfeeding. I know a young man who was exclusively breastfeeding for an entire year and turned out exceptionally well!

    • Lisa says:

      If you’re vegetarian you think it’s OK to offer your baby red meat??? I think there are lots of veggie sources of protein and iron plus if you get a proper diet and you breastfeed, believe me, the child is getting the nutrients he needs.

      I am vegan and I eat properly (plenty of whole foods, grains, nuts/seeds, low/no sugar, no caffeine). I breastfeed and my child is quite well-developed and gains weight progressively all the time, very healthy and rosy-cheeked without a speck of animal or dairy in his diet. You needn’t abandon your principles for not consuming animals, thinking your child has to have it to get his nutrition. A vegetarian/vegan diet is just as healthy for a child because it is less likely to include processed foods, unhealthy fats, hormones and antibiotics given to animals, etc.

      Breastfeeding is certainly “enough” for children well into toddlerhood, that is why it’s ok if a baby doesn’t take in a lot of solids at first as long as he still gets breastmilk or formula as the main source of calories. As he or she learns how to chew, swallow, and appreciate new textures and flavors, his/her appetite and skills will eventually do the rest.

  15. wallace10 says:

    Great to read your email sweetpea and your response Aitch. Our little girl is 6mths today and we started giving her some broccoli, mango, steamed red pepper, cheese batons last week. She’s a good size and makes a grab for everything I’m eating. I have certainly read that the first few weeks are about exploring the food and have loved seeing her with the food, she seems to get very excited about it all. Similarly have not seen her ‘swallow’ much of the food and with her recent cold have seen quite a lot of gagging which made me think it might not be suiting her, that she’s not getting the vitamins/iron that she’ll start needing etc. However reading your posts has made me feel a lot calmer and more positive about it all, so I’m going to focus on the smiles on her face with a mango stick in her hand and banana mush everywhere!

    • Aitch says:

      good plan. and remember… EVERYTHING about being a parent is up for constant review. what they can do this week (and the decisions you reach based on that) might change upside-down in a fortnight.

  16. sweetpea says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Aitch – of course you’re right -I just need to give him time. Think I’m also paranoid because he’s a small baby (but then so am I) and is too distracted during the day to properly nurse (he makes up the calories by feeding at night!)
    Obviously I want him to eat and drink beautifully..and get bigger quicker..but think I need to chill out and remember to go at his pace. And remind myself he’ll get there eventually??!

    • kirsty says:

      Thanks for posting your concerns about your son not eating much. My daughter is 7 months now and we’ve been doing blw for 3 weeks now and she is still not consuming much. I also had a panic this morning when she looked like she was choking on a bit of banana but it was all fine and she wasn’t even upset just gagged and got it up. Thanks for the reply from Aitch as that has reassured me about the iron levels and she is breastfeeding fine so feel happy now. I’ve not been to get her weighed in a while so as not to stress myself but she does feel heavier. I’m glad other mums feel the same as me as it makes me feel less stressed. Cheers :-)

      • Aitch says:

        glad to have helped, kirsty. by the way, we were just discussing this elsewhere but a lot of us found banana a veeeery gaggy food in the beginning. so much so that i ditched it until they were better at eating.

      • munchkin says:

        I have only just discovered this website and it has reassured me massively! Just reading the above post from Kirsty has reassured me a little too. My daughter is 23 weeks but not officially 6 months for another 3 weeks, but she has been really interested in foods that we eat, reaches for everything we eat and loves being given things to taste, I started BLW with her last week and gave her boiled sticks of carrot and courgette, sticks of banana, cucumber, pumpkin and sweet potato (at various times of course!!) after sucking the flesh from the courgette and mushing whatever else she could and stuffing her hands into her mouth, one day she squashed a piece of banana in her hand and a chunk broke off, then she stuffed it in her mouth and just swallowed!! I could see the panic in her eyes because it didn’t go down straight away, so she has to swallow again!! I gave her water immediately and seemed fine after but it shot my confidence to bits and I have now started giving her pureed apple, pear, potato etc and even mushing banana for her! Don’t really want to do this but she likes being spoon fed and I don’t want the repeat of the above to happen again! Its definitely brilliant to read these posts and see others as nervous as me. I know deep down BLW is better because she can control the whole process and develops her own feeding skills very early on, but can’t help but feel cautious, especially because my Mum follows the puree route!

  17. Cat says:

    Can’t say I’m a fan of BLW. Why? Because I’m being jumped on and insulted because I feed my child from a spoon. Firstly BLW in the grand scheme of things is a very NEW concept. How can you expect every mother to have even HEARD of this method? It’s nice to read through the posts and see that everyone generally has the same opinion on puree fed babies. That the parents are doing wrong for their children and the baby will not develop at a speedy pace. It’s ridiculous, this is such a new ‘craze’ and yes I dare use the word craze.

    The best bit I have never said there is anything wrong with BLW but yet everyone seems to have an opinion (and a very vocal and offensive opinion) that I have chosen to start my baby on puree food and mush.

    But as it seems to be okay to judge other parents feeding choices I guess I’ll just jump right in! Firstly I don’t like it because it’s messy I’d rather spend time with my baby feeding her (and not having to clean up for an hour after every meal means we have a lot of time to help her development in other ways). Secondly CHOKE CHOKE CHOKE. I don’t want my child to choke (although I’ve seen a lot of people saying babies can’t choke? what? Babies die from choking every day. I once rescued my sister from near death my ramming my fingers down her throat and grabbing the piece of apple that was blocking her air way. But sure babies can’t choke). Thirdly as this is NEW NEW NEW, not enough medical research has been done into any complications this method may have in the future of these children.

    In the defence of spoon feeding, I know how much my child is eating, I know what I can expect from her health by spoon feeding her. And no I do no FORCE my baby to eat, she doesn’t eat MORE because it’s on a spoon. In fact if I’m feeling in a clean the house mood she will feed herself from the spoon anyway! If she wants it she opens her mouth and summons the spoonful of puree vegetable goodness into her mouth. When shes full she shuts her mouth or spits it out. Job done.

    I see people who BLW feeding their children chips, crisps, chocolate a whole array of simple RUBBISH. Yet they all claim their babies will be healthier because the food is whole in comparison to my lovingly prepared, fresh vegetables, fruits and meats.

    BLW what a load of…

    • Aitch says:

      actually, if you read this site you will see that apple is identified as quite a serious choke hazard, although advice with a child would be to turn them upside down just because there is a risk of accidentally poking food further down the throat if you start fishing. thank god you got to your sister in time, though, that sounds serious indeed.
      i’ve got to say, though, i don’t know if you are responding to things that you have read on this site or something that you are hearing elsewhere. i certainly don’t judge anyone for how they feed their children (who’s got the time?) and of course spoon feeding isn’t synonymous with force feeding, that’s just insulting to anyone who spoon feeds. (there i think the name ‘baby led weaning’ is tricksy, to be honest, which is why i tend to call it ‘self-feeding’ in conversation as i think that better describes what goes on.)

      I’m sorry you are butting heads with BLWers elsewhere, that does sound like a pain in the arse, but if you were to join the forum then what i have reproduced below would be pretty much the first post you would read… i think of it as our manifesto and i am genuinely proud to say that you would struggle to find any insulting posts about spoon feeders on there. everyone is just trying to get through their day, really, life is tough enough without going round making enemies of people who you don’t know.


      I’ve been thinking about us as a community…

      Postby Aitch » Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:01 pm
      and i really just wanted to say that we all know that sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to.

      If we’ve got to the stage of having a child with six months we’re very lucky if we haven’t learned that a thousand times. i’m thinking about no interventions on a birth plan instead becoming a crash caesarean, about your 7-7 sleeping plan becoming more ‘as and when they drop’ or for many of us, the moment when our determination to breastfeed became making peace with our formula feeding. or not… whatever, you know what i mean.

      so say for example you try BLW and for whatever reason you and the baby don’t like it and you find you’re happier doing something else, please do not think that you would no longer be welcome here, because that just isn’t the case. there’s room on the broom, and all that. i’m a huge, huge fan of BLW and will always happily make the case for its advantages, but it would be awful to be so closed-minded not to want to hear other views.

      it’s more important, i think, that we are a welcoming community, open to ideas and other ways, because what works for one may not work for another. so i’m sure no-one will mind if i post this as a stickie on the intros board, i do think it’s important as a manifesto. Come one, come all… :D”

      • LollyR says:

        Just a note on how ‘new’ BLW is. I understand it is linked with the ‘Hippy’ movement and has become more popular since the 1970′s but I don’t believe it is really modern. Juvenile apes learn what to eat and how to find food by traveling with their mothers and feeding alongside them. This is what I feel BLW is all about – teaching my children what to eat and offering a rich variety of food. I have always felt that purée is the modern approach. But as a parent you choose what works for you.

      • Aitch says:

        Thank you for your comments, they have really made me smile.

    • lucy says:

      This isn’t a “new concept” either, this is what everyone did before blenders were invented :P

      • Brittney says:

        I’m so sorry you have felt so judged! Often in writing things can come across in ways they aren’t intened… I would just like to point out a few things.

        This isn’t a new concept. We did not always have blenders… Things were cut into pieces that were manageable for babies, things that weren’t manageable were gently mashed and meats were pre-chewed by parents into slightly easier pieces. All of these things are much chunkier than what blenders produce.

        Of course babies can choke. What is actually said is that gagging is different then choking. You of course have to be alert and use common sense when feeding your child. Gagging (like tipping over while learning how to sit up teaches balance) is a way for your child to learn which pieces are to big for them to swallow. If you can see they are possibly doing more than gagging, then of course INTERVENE!

        As for force feeding. Not all people do this, I do not judge those who spoon feed and automatically say “oh they do not love their child enough to blw” no! Most parents I know spoon feed because although not a NEW concept, it is not the social norm. Some parent DO worry so much over their calorie intake that they try and feed their babies to much. This is not becuase they don’t care but because they do.

        On to junk foods! This is a funny comment to me… as some parents will feed their children McDonalds once they are 2 years old, but fresh veggies as an infant. What a parent chooses to allow their child to eat has little to do with purees vs. whole foods. I intend to feed my child as much healthy foods as I can, I hope to keep them from too much sugar, salts and fast/junk foods. However… at some point Im sure my child will taste chocolate or chips :)

        Each parent must do what they feel is best for their child. I am sure that I will spoon feed certain foods (yogurt, smoothie…), I might even take some jar foods with me when I am out at restauratns as I don’t really want to ruin their carpet with all the food he will surely smear and drop. I don’t think I am ruining my child because of it.

    • Claudia Ruiz says:

      I know this is an old post but I couldn’t resist. Luckily, Babies are born (luck for us) with a incredibly wonderful survival mechanism, called the gag reflex. It is initiated when an object in going down the larynx. Yes, babies do choke, and some die, but this is a rarity. That is why you should never leave a baby unattended. The most important thing to do when you think your baby is choking, is if less then 1 year old, perform back thrusts, it is not recommended to “ram” your fingers down the throat because the danger is to lodge the piece even further. After a year old you perform the modified heimlich manuever. If your child is coughing, then you should let them cough as they are trying to clear their own airway, unless you see the object in their mouth, I dont recommend finger sweeping for the same reason, you might lodge the object in the airway.
      The above writer was very lucky to have helped her sister, but in general this practice is not recommended.
      As a pediatrician, and a new Mom, I am very open to BLW now, but was not before I had my now 7 month old. I was very cautious and nervous about the whole experience and I think this is because I did not have the experience. I did start my infant out with purees, but when a friend told me to try giving her a piece of a banana, and she handled it beautifully, although messy, I was holed on the idea. Now she has noodles, brocolli, egg, and whatever I feel is appropriate. The key for me is, “is it soft enough for her to shew on and then swallow?”. In general, I would stay away from anything that is too hard for her to chew on. BTW, I still give her purees, in my opinion its the best of both worlds.

      • Aitch says:

        Yes and no re the best of both worlds, in my opinion. One of the most attractive things for me was the idea of the baby being wholly in charge of when they stop eating (I speak as an avid clearer of plates here, having been trained in this from the earliest age). So while of course there’s nothing wrong AT ALL with purees, what’s key is that they are feeding themselves rather than having me spoon it and fall prey to my own ‘waste not want not’ line of thinking. But that’s all about me, really… ;-D

    • Tracey says:

      I completely agree with you Cat! What a load of codswhallop! From the beginning of time parents have prechewed their infants food so they don’t CHOKE!! So your whole premise of pureed food not being “natural” is just plain bunk! There are always people who want to seem like they are purests and doing things naturally, but what you are doing is encouraging people to put their children in harms way. Yep, that’s my opinion. You are allowing your children to be in greater harm of choking and that is just nuts. Babies who are spoon fed are just as capable of telling you they are full as a BLW infant. They turn their heads, close their mouths, or spit the food out if they are full. Your advice on BLW is scary, and what’s scarier is all the fools agreeing with you. Want to know why babies at 6 months have trouble grasping small things? Because they aren’t supposed to yet! Kinda makes sense that the older they get, the more they gain dexterity and the ability to put choking sized food in their own mouths…..Because they can now control their tongues and mouths in a way that allows them to eat foods that would have made them choke as a younger baby. Shame on you for encouraging such a dangerous way of feeding an infant!

      • Aitch says:

        Are you sure that was the reason that parents pre-chewed their infant food, Tracey?

      • Aitch says:

        Are you sure that was the reason that parents pre-chewed their infant food, Tracey?

    • cortney says:

      Cat I completely agree with you my sister let’s her 6 month old feed herself.those little dissolving treats and my mom had to stick her finger down her throat cause she was choking I am more than happy.to feed my healthy happy baby pureed food.from a spoon and he is starting to grab the spoon himself so maybe soon we SN see what he does when the power is in his hands. I cannot believe people are seriously bashing mommies that feed there children I like to know what is going in his mouth how much and knowing its not going to kill him by choking.

  18. Dee says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say how useful I have found all these comments. Only thing I would like to clarify is, with puree weaning the suggestion is to only give fruit and veg for the first few weeks before introducing gluten containing breads etc and then eventually, lentils, pulses and meats etc… does this need to be followed with BLW? My 51/2 month old (I was advised she could start weaning once she was able to sit up, reach out and self feed) has been having a little suck on fruits (apple, pear and banana) for a week now and in the last few days has had brocoli, carrot and potatoe, is it safe to let her have homemade soup including split red lentils? can she have cheese or am I best to wait until 7 months? She tries to have these things from her toddler sister and I am having to stop her which I feel almost contradicts the BLW theory?

    • Aitch says:

      well from experience i’d say steer clear of gluten until six months (so that you know you did, as much as anything else) and then everything is fair game but i know it’s been discussed on here recently that this is not the advice in every region… do you have any reason to expect allergies? i know what you mean about the toddler sister, it’s fun trying to stop them posting bits of cheese in their mouths for them, isn’t it? regarding the BLW theory… it is just a theory… don’t sweat it at the end of the day, do whatever you think is right for your family, which might mean wheeching away bread for a couple of weeks, or might not. (she says helpfully ;-P)

      • cortney says:

        All the drs I have talked to say no dairy or eggs until atleast 1 years old but I’m in the USA so idk how it is where you are. And no potatoes because they are nothing but sugar once they break down in the stomach which is not good for babies.

      • Aitch says:

        really? gosh. the advice really is so different in various countries. I can’t really get my head round how potatoes are any more problematic than any other carb, though, and babies need all their food groups represented.

  19. Sam says:

    Hi There,
    My bubba is a healthy 6month old (weighing over 9kg!)and I have been doing the purees since about 5 months. I started the purees before I heard about BLW. But since I heard about BLW, I have decided that is the way I want to go with him and we have started. I read in the book that if bubs is used to having so much purees, to continue with the purees for a while but also offer him other foods BLW style. So he seems to quite enjoy the food he can grab and automatically holds it and puts it in his mouth for a good gumming. He has had a choking incident though where he gummed off a sizeable piece of carrot and automatically sucked it back like he would the puree. I had to grab him out of the seat and tip him and hit is back and it came out, then I put him back to keep going and he did the same thing again! So I am a little worried that because he is so used to sucking back the purees, he is going to keep doing that with the larger foods, but I guess it is a learning process for him. So should I offer the puree’d food and the BLW style foods seperately or say the BLW foods first, eg as an ‘entree’ and then puree to top him up for a while?

    • Aitch says:

      that’s probably a good idea, Sam, just to keep things separate for a little while. i tend to agree that this is a bit of a learning curve for him at the moment, but he will soon get the hang of it.

  20. Sam says:

    I see up above how you the site talks about apple being a major choking hazard. Where can I find on here what things are the worst choking hazards, so what I should steer clear of for a while?

  21. Claire says:

    Sam, the main things are those with a skin like grapes, tomatoes, olives etc. Cutting them in half or into wedges of other proportions mean your LO can hold on to them properly.

    However, raw apple is still hard for a mouth to squish, same as other raw hard veg like carrot.

    If it doubt, softly steam the item. I used to microwave pieces of apple for my son.

  22. Aitch says:

    or you can slice them really thinly. i think apple is a problem only because of the fact that people often serve them in wedges, so the wedge breaks easily but then forms a hard little lump in their mouths that can’t be moulded by their tongues. by the time my two were about nine months they would take a whole apple and ‘grate’ it with their teeth, which was fine, but for those initial stages/cut up raw in wedges it is a no imo.
    whole grapes in particular are a no for every child… i think doctors recommend cutting them up until the kid is some amazing age like seven. it’s the shape and the skin, apparently. if they get into a windpipe they’re a bugger to shift. it’s no hardship to cut them, though. i still do it for dd and she’s five. i see the temptation that older kids have to lob food into their mouths while doing something else, and it’s too dangerous for me (a frankly spectacularly lax parent) to tolerate just yet, while her windpipe is still grape-sized.

  23. Vic says:

    Hi there
    I just started doing research on BLW and this site has been really useful! My son is 5 and a half months and I’ve been trying to get him to take solids for 3 weeks totally unsuccessfully! I started weaning early as he was very hungry and began waking for extra feeds, but every time a spoonful of puree came his way he clamped his mouth shut. Totally frustrated I asked my HV who suggested BLW. I admit, I had (and still have) some reservations, particularly regarding choking and him getting enough nutrients, and I’m a bit of a traditionalist as my daughter dutifully opened up like a little bird as soon as a spoon was offered! However, I decided to give it a go today…and encountered some success! As he was practically falling over himself reaching for a flapjack I gave him some avocado slices and green beans and he sucked away on these until there was none sticking out of his little fist. He followed this with a quarter of a banana, and a big grin on his face!
    I then tried a tiny bit of puree on a spoon to see what he’d do (totally relieved that he wasn’t completely food averse!) and he opened up for every mouthful.
    I quite like this ‘mixed’ approach – he gets to try foods he wants to try and feed himself but I get to help him out to get plenty to eat. I don’t know if it’ll work again as tomorrow is another day but we’ll give it a go . Are there any potential problems with mixing the two types of feeding?
    BTW – still paranoid about choking I gave him the banana in this nuby gadget I have which is a chunky handle with a net that you put the food in and they suck it out through the net – made me feel much more relaxed as he couldn’t get a huge chunk off – maybe that would help others who are also worried??

  24. Piskovec says:

    Hi,
    my son is now 4 months old, so I started a little reasearch on BLW and I’m pretty much decided when the time for comes to start with it and see how it goes. It seems to me fairly logical, the only question I have about positioning.
    From what you recommend about chairs and so I have the assume that the baby must be already able to sit alone. But that’s not the case for many 6mths or so babies. One thing I’m definitely not going to do is to “put him to sit” if he doesn’t sit alone. This is something what at least here in Europe is now considered by pediatricians as very harmful for babies back development. So, in case he cannot sit in a chair, what are the options? Do you think car seat might work if I don’t start with tray food but more with things like brocolli, potato and pear which can be held and “grated” even without teeth? Or any other idea how to start BLW with non-sitter without forcing him to sit?

    • Shirl says:

      Im sorry there was no response to your post. The question about baby being able to sit up alone is one I’ve been pondering too as my daughter is 6m & can only manage an unstable frog position on the floor. She’s had short stints in a highchair the last couple of days & picks up & drops finger food & doesn’t yet attempt to get it in her mouth yet. Sitting at the table on my lap she does the same. She’s very interested in watching people eat & drink & makes chewing movements with her mouth. She seemed to enjoy the experience of having bread crumbs on her thumb when she sucked it. If I put food near her mouth she opens wide but I’m resisting putting any in! Unless I hear advice otherwise I’ll continue BLW & just be patient. At the moment she’s still following her growth centile ok. At the weigh-in yesterday in Kent, the HV said she should now be having solids & I had to say that we’re trying BLW. She said she wasn’t trained to advise about BLW & WHO didn’t advocate it. Do babies become iron deficient after 6m if they have “follow-on” or “hungry baby” formula milk? I’m currently breast & bottle combination feeding (due to low milk supplies in spite of all my best attempts to boost breast milk production!)Is there risks in not meeting nutritional demands if babies are slow at sitting & bringing food to their mouths? No mother really wants to put their baby in a position where they may not have enough nutrients for growth & development. At what age do mothers or HV’s/ doctors decide that puree may be the best option if the baby is slow with BLW? All babies develop at different paces of course but I think there should be further advice to mothers & further studies into the ages that babies put food into their months. Could it be as late as 9-12m?

      • Aitch says:

        I think this is where I would employ my instinct, to be honest. I liked BLW, it really worked for us but If you feel that a bit of spoon feeding would feel right for you and your daughter for a while (after all it’s not a permanent thing, unless you want it to be) then absolutely do it. You’re the only one who’s met your baby, no book or ‘method’ has.

    • Jessica May says:

      For those of you out there who have the same worry (Im sure Im far too late to help this particular mum). I have found the cheap Ikea high chair really good for this. My LO is still a little wobbly sitting on his own at just 8 months. The elcheapo chair (£15) from Ikea can have a blow up support bought for it. That is an extra £5. Just deflate it a little as the baby gets bigger. He was basically sitting but if I forgot the padding he ended up lounging to the right at a funny angle. Not the best for BLW. It also stopped him from throwing himself backwards and hitting his head on the back of the chair. Owch.

      • shirl says:

        thanks for the replies. My daughter continued with finger food offered at every meal as well as some spoon feeding & is doing well at 14m. She still enjoys steamed broccoli, carrot etc & loves slices of cucumber cut up & toast. My thoughts were really about the idea that if your LO is sitting up unsupported then they are developmentally ready for finger food & self feeding. But if not, then what to do at 6m when it is recommended that babies start solids? Assisting them with sitting up is one solution, but should you really wait a while until their digestive systems have matured etc., which may coincide with them being able to self-feed? Or not? Where is the scientific research to aid us in these decisions? There is generally too much pressure to wean by a certain age I think; there is such variety in the growth & developmental mile-stones reached by children.

  25. Lomi says:

    My daughter is only 4 and a half months old but i’m considering weaning her in the next week or so. I’ve let her suck on pieces of carrot, cucumber etc and she loves it! Is 4 1/2 months too young for BLW?? She can’t sit up entirely on her own but is quite happy to sit in her Bumbo. I’ve seen the Nuby gadget Vic mentions and that sounds good as she’s so young. At the moment my plan is to start her off on a bit of baby rice for a week or so and then move on to banana, avocado, and boiled vegetables. This is my first baby so a bit unsure…?

  26. Liz says:

    I just found this site and am really enjoying it! Perhaps my favorite thing of all though, is what I see in these comments. Earlier, someone posted a fairly inflammatory comment, but instead of WW III of the Blogosphere erupting here, NO ONE even responded except for the blogger, and that was in a calm, respectful and rationale manner! What a breath of fresh air. :-)

  27. Jess says:

    Just a comment to Cat about BLW being “new,new,new.” Um, what kind of feeding do you think parents in developing countries have been doing? Hint: nohing that involved pureeing! And what about all parents before electricity was invented!? I mean really! Anyone who has judged your spoon feeding was wrong but then so are you for coming here and ranting. Tell those BLW folks to get off their high horse and you do the same. The world will be a better place for it.

  28. Christa says:

    Sweetpea –

    Food before 1 is just for fun. Typically it is said to start solids as early as 4 months for formula fed babies because they need the extra nutrition, but it’s different for breastfed babies. As long as your breastfeeding & he’s still gaining weight/height, he’s getting everything he needs & is just fine! Your body knows what it’s doing! If he doesn’t seem to really be eating solids, that’s alright too. He’s just getting used to what eating, which is all part of the game. Enjoy your time with your little one & all his crazy messes – as there will be many! :)

  29. joszefja says:

    I used the mesh feeder bags with meat and other things I thought would be “choky” at the beginning. But to be honest it’s really, really not necessary, esp. with something as soft as banana.

    That said, they make FANTASTIC mess-lite “popsicles” for teething! Put some fruit (I use banana most often but almost anything will do) and stick them in the freezer. I have three in rotation when it gets really bad.

    • Hayley says:

      Hello! My baby is 2 weeks away from 6 months old. I have refrained from purée weaning her before her 6 months mark because I chose to follow the WHO guidelines … It makes common sense to me that at 6 months they develop the enzymes and solid intestinal wall to handle food… Talking to my HV she said that they now all advise BLW. I live in Surrey, UK. They also hold free classes. It just all makes perfectly common sense to me… Since becoming pregnant my husband and I have researched and researched into what we believe the best was for our baby. From saying “breast feeding is weird to … We are only going to breastfeed! There is no other option!” It’s such a different leap, but we just listened to our instincts. I have breast fed her exclusively. It’s been tough at times. U get down, you shake it off, you carry on. I find my attitude to “there is simply no alternative” helped me through the pain of breastfeeding at the beginning etc. I had my baby alongside 5 other friends. 2 tried breastfeeding and reached for the formula within days, one breastfed for 4 weeks and said that’s me done, another didn’t even want to attempt and bound her breasts up for months getting them to stop leaking. Another breastfed in the hospital to shut the nurses up. And the last “ill do it only so I can say I did it” …. What I’m trying to get at is… We have grown into a very lazy and convenient species. After having my baby and choosing what is best for her I ask myself one question … “What would the cave woman do?” If she didn’t carry on breastfeeding, her baby would die. For me, the same goes for feeding solids. I believe the cave woman would breastfeed her baby when the baby demands it, needing it. Until one day, some instinct that cave baby has, tells him to pick up a bone from the left overs of his mothers wild boar, and lick it! Then chew it, then swallow etc. and I think that is just beautiful. It’s the best way to be… Because to me, for all they know, when a little baby is born, they are born a pure and natural human being with no inventions, medicine or even a clock known to them. This is why BLW makes PERFECT common sense to me. Purée is a convinience food personally. I reckon it started when manufacturers wanted it to fit into jars, and you don’t want me to get started on jars haha ;) … Sorry I’ve really rattled on here! … And please please don’t take offence if you formula feed. I’m not judging anyone I’m just stating my personal opinion. I have myself nearly buckled under and gone to just maybe add one little bottle of formula?! And I understand there are lots of difficult reasons why people can’t BF etc etc. just from personal experience I’m going to try and face my baby’s introduction to foods the same way I faced breastfeeding… With patience, perseverance, will power and that little question of “what would the cave woman do??”

      So… My only question… It was my instinct to give a piece of my pineapple chunk to my baby to “try”. She was staring at me, and was grabbing her hands towards me. I gave it to her, she swiftly took it to her mouth, I held it with her… She loved loved loved it. I couldn’t believe it. Sucking away at such a strong taste. I wasn’t prepared for her to like it?! I started thinking hold on hold on! Is this citrus?! Do I hold citrus back?! My daughter wasn’t concerned hehe … What I want to ask is … Was it ok for me to hand her a piece of food rather than her pick it up herself from the table or my plate?! I’m pretty scared to let go of the food! Should I trust her? Or by me putting it in her hand is too forward? And really she is too young/not ready for this??? I am very sorry for my long long write up!! And if I have made any spelling mistakes!! Thank you!! :-)))

      • Aitch says:

        it IS a funny feeling, isn’t it, when they like it SOOO much? But hey, it’s the best result there is, let’s face it. Good luck, I do hope you continue to enjoy it!

  30. Vic, the problem I had with those nuby things were that they taught him to suck food with gusto if he wanted any, which posed a rather large problem when I gave him anything that wasn’t in it. Even yoghurt. He would suck it straight back his neck and end up coughing.
    Piskovec, they have to be upright. Reclined, in a car seat or the like would be a bit of a choking hazard. On your knee would be good.
    Lomi, 4 and a half months is a bit young I think. With BLW you go on the premise that “food is fun until one”. BM and formula are laden with calories. “Food” was a toy for my fella until he got to at least 9 months, I think. He’d taste things no bother, but really there was more food in his hair than his belly.

  31. Jac says:

    I started with BLW, but also do some spoon feeding if needed (eg porridge is not quite practical – when baby does not like “licking” her own hands). Its a matter of observing what goes down well, introduces them to textures especially and individual flavours. As i noticed my girl (7 months) will NOT have anything with a runny/smooth texture. I thought she was not eating much when sucking on sugar snap peas for instance, but her nappies proved otherwise!!

  32. Shelley says:

    I have 7 month old twins and have been offering them purees for the past two months on the recommendation of my baby clinic.
    I stumbled across this site and I am now a convert. However I am not able to get my hands on the books until the end of April as I had to order than from Amazon.
    Your tips are great and I have been trawling the forums for menu ideas.
    The boys so far are eating cheese on toast, biscuits and apple on their own but I am still spoon feeding the purees. I’m worried that I might be doing something wrong as I don’t know the rules just yet. Also I am in desperate need of a food plan. How do you make sure they are getting balance in their food? Dairy, iron, protein? My head spins. I know ‘food is fun til they’re one” and I am breast feeding but surely I want to be picking healthy options.
    Also what sippy cup do you all recommend for bf babies? I have found they are keen to pick up the cup but don’t tip their head back enough to get the 30mls to the spout so I help them by tipping it up that little bit further. Then once it is up they are biting it instead of sucking. I imagine they will get better but any suggestions would be great. We are using a Hienz one and we have tried Avent.
    Thank you for such an amazing site. Is some one going to add all the great recipes from the forums to the recipe section. I feel like I am on a scavenger hunt for recipes. And whilst i am enjoying it, I really should be cleaning up around here when the boys are asleep ;)

  33. Vic says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your comments – they’ve been really helpful.

    Turtle’sMammy – I gave up on the Nuby thing – my son totally embraced finger food and was chewing almost straight away – all my worries melted! He’s currently very into toast fingers and tender stem brocolli!

    Shelley, I think everyone worries whether their babies are getting a balanced diet! I was always told that as long as you basically offer a wide variety of healthy foods across a week or so then they get everything they need. When I worried I kept a food diary for a fortnight and at the end took a look to ensure my daughter was getting all the major food groups – some days were up and down but overall she got a balanced diet. Their little bodies seem to tell them what they need I think. Try offering small amounts of lots of different foods (fruit, veg, bread, cheese, meat, fish) at each meal or across the day – along with milk they’ll get everything they need. I worried like crazy about it with my daughter. She’s fine – full of energy!

    With regards to the cup I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t bought loads in the effort to get one their little one likes! The one my daughter took to the most was a Doidy cup (got mine in John Lewis). It’s an open cup but with handles and it’s angled so they can see the water and it only needs a slight tip to get a drink from. She’s always used an open cup as a result which has been brilliant (and got the odd admiring comment from old ladies in cafes!) I always found that sippy cups had to be so full for her to get a drink that she couldn’t lift them so it defeated the object a bit. Drawback of the Doidy – when she got excited she forgot to put it down before flinging her arms about – wet mummy!

  34. Millie says:

    Hi

    I fed my first child (now 4 years old and a fantastic non fussy eater) using a combination of the traditional (puree/mush) and finger foods. After the initial few weeks of feeding him a different puree veg/fruit, waiting a few days (for a reaction) and then moving onto the next veg/fruit, I started making him mini meals suitable for his age range (used Annabel Karmel book). These started out mushy and then progressed to more textured to lumpy as he got older. I would make them in bulk and put them in the freezer (cutting down time each day and not having to worry about having a meal for the rest of the family that was suitable for my baby)

    However, at the end of every puree/meal I also gave him something he could feed himself (steamed carrot stick, soft cucumber). I also let him try feeding himself with the spoon from 6 months (he had a spoon and so did I). He would also to pretend to feed me too! Sometimes he would ditch the spoon, and get as much mush/puree on his hands and feed himself.

    What I am trying to say here is that I believe is that you need to do what works for you and your baby the best. I found a combination of the 2 to work really well and my son will still pick up a cucumber and nibble on it for a snack.

    • Aitch says:

      Sure thing, Millie, and of course it all sounds like it worked out great. But here’s the thing… if your baby could feed himself at the end of every meal, I suppose one might say why couldn’t you just have let him feed himself the whole thing while you ate your own dinner?

    • Lisa says:

      Millie, BLW is all new to me! My LO is 4.5 months old and is my 1st child. I like the concept of BLW but am not 100% sold on it yet mainly because I know I will have to sell my husband & our mothers on the non-traditional aspect of BLW. But I do like the way you combined use of both puréed & whole foods. I could see doing something like that (or reversing the order) but doing a combination of both.

      • Aitch says:

        The thing about ‘combining’ BLW and purees, is that in truth it’s no longer BLW. (But of course go ahead, though, do what you feel works best for your family). It’s like saying you’re doing vegetarianism with a bit of meat. BLW is as much about the parents stepping back and letting the child self-feed as anything else. So yes, plenty of people combine bits of self-feeding and some puree, and it might suit them perfectly, but it’s not BLW. No biggie, just a definitional thing, but worth pointing out.

  35. lucikan says:

    Hello everybody,
    I am new to this forum and today is the fifth day of offering my son (6 months and two weeks old) food other than my breastmilk. I decided for BLW approach cos it makes more sense to me, I am the type of parent who loves “baby led” ways of doing stuff.
    I have to say I am bit surprised with the way my boy behaves in regard the food offered. In other situation he would grab a thing (and the thing being just anything) but with the food I offer him, he is very, hmmm, how to say, hesitant. I so far offered steammed potato and carrot. He would hardly touch those things, they did not reach the mouth at all. Well, potato did it, for a second. He would however grab piece of mine ciabatta so I let him have it. He got some small pieces into his mouth and he did not really like it I guess, he coughed a little, but nothing hysterical, just a few coughs. Then he had apple but only in the special food feeder if you know what I mean. He liked this one on one occasion. And the last thing he had is the salad, fresh, this one he liked to touch – not on every occasion but more than once.
    I know this needs time but I am still surprised that a child who wants to have everything in his hands and mouth is suddenly so different when it comes to food.
    He is not sitting yet, while “eating” I am havig him in my lap. I am even eager to say that it seems to me he is not ready for a food. Does any of you have similar experience? I mean of course there is no real eating at first but no touching either?
    And one last example – today I made him potato purree but not to feed him but to give him spoon and see if would play this way. And yes I have to say, this worked better, he would hold the spoon, put it in his mouth and this way he tasted a bit of the potato. I am thinking he does not like the texture of cooked things…maybe one possible explanation why he does not want to touch and hold the pieces.

    • Aitch says:

      If you feel he’s not ready to eat, you’re probably right. Bear in mind that he has only been doing it for five days, if he was learning how to walk you wouldn’t expect him to be hopping after five days… i would say just give him time. personally, though, neither of mine liked potato and were much happier with steamed carrot sticks, cucumber, bits of toast, ricecakes etc in those early days. If it was me i would chuck the feeder as well, and skip apple for a while. what other soft fruit are around where you are? any peaches yet? mine went crazy for peaches. good luck with everything, give him time (and try to ignore him a bit. use those maternal ‘eyes in the back of your head’ and let him explore).

  36. Boomba says:

    i’m really keen to try BLW—but, do they really not choke? really, toast fingers from 6 months? Im nervous about trying it

    • Aitch says:

      hey look, you’d be CRACKERS not to be nervous, that’s your most precious thing, that baby. But no, they don’t choke. They gag, some of them, but choking is rare, in fact they are more likely to slurp back a puree and choke on that than on something that they have placed in their mouths themselves. That said, fore-warned is fore-armed, and i personally did an infant resus course before starting weaning. I’d recommend them for any parent, to be honest, regardless of how we wean, they all pick up mad stuff off the floor and it would be a good idea to know how to get rid of it if we need to.
      my local maternity hospital runs the courses for free – perhaps you could check yours?

  37. lucikan says:

    May I ask why you do not recommend the feeder? Because of the different technique of “mouth work”?
    With the fruit here now it is bit difficult. The spring just began and nothing seasonal really in place yet. The other option I am thinking of is offerenig banana.

  38. Aitch says:

    oh, i guess i just think it’s a bit surplus to requirements, really, and doesn’t teach them anything other than how to slurp a puree back. that said, i have seen people saying they’re great for teething, and i can see that.
    i had one, by the way, so am not preaching from a position of great smugness. although i never got to use it because it melted in the dishwasher the first time i tried it. then we did blw and i saw that my great fears re choking etc jut weren’t happening.

  39. Anna says:

    I think there is nothing wrong with a combination of traditional feeding and “self feeding” finger foods. That is what I have done with my 9month old Son. It is virtually impossible to over feed a baby. When he’s had enough he clamps his mouth shut, he’s not daft!! I don’t like the notion that puree food weaning is wrong or bad and that the child is being force fed/overfed. I would never do baby led weaning alone, I think it’s best with the traditional method, the baby gets a good amount of food in their tummy and they are learning to feed themselves too. What’s wrong with that?

    • Aitch says:

      Nothing at all wrong with that, Anna, and I also bristle when I see the assumption that puree-feeding = force-feeding. To be clear, the main attraction for me of BLW was that I didn’t have to bother doing spoon feeding, but I hardly think that had I done purees I would have been the type of person to do all that ‘one more mouthful, here comes the aeroplane/just distract them and shove more in’ anyway, it’s just not my style. Or yours, which is great.
      This is one of the reasons why I am not in love with the name ‘baby led weaning’ as it can be interpreted that it means everything else is not led by the baby, which is just a bit insulting to the vast majority. Maybe ‘exclusive self-feeding’ is a better term (although just as clunky). And if it was called ‘exclusive self-feeding’, though, then that would point up how when people say they do a mix of ‘exclusive self-feeding’ and ‘parent-feeding’ then it is a contradiction in terms.
      And anyway, at the end of the day i think of it as Easy Weanng, because it was the easiest option for me. If it’s not the easiest option for someone else then they’d be a fool to pursue it. We’re all just trying to get through the day with as little stress as possible, imo.

  40. Jem says:

    I would argue that it’s easier to over-feed a baby than you think. “They” (health experts, scientists, etc) say that it takes some time for the stomach to signal to the brain that you’re full, right? That’s why if you want to lose weight you’re supposed to take regular breaks with your meals, sip water, chew lots, enjoy the food etc. If you’re spooning food in as soon as baby opens his mouth, he may consume more food than he needs to before he realises that he’s full.

    Then there’s the parents who aim to get in “just one more mouthful, sweetie” <- overheard in Starbucks on holiday in Wales recently … but that's possibly another topic altogether!

    Of course it goes without saying that I'm not accusing you of over-feeding your boy Anna, nor any other person here. I also think that the chance of this happening when baby is also self-feeding is reduced because they're going to be messing about which will naturally space out mouthfuls of puree anyway. (And sensible parents will space out mouthfuls too, I'm sure.) Just putting it out there as an example of how it's not as impossible as you may think. FWIW I think quite a lot of people take the same approach as yourself.

    And Aitch is the voice of reason and sanity as per usual :)

  41. Eleanor says:

    Something else about puree-weaning makes it easy to overfeed: the baby’s eaten most of the lovingly prepared mush but there’s a bit left in the bowl; it’s so tempting to persuade them to take those last couple of mouthfuls, which otherwise you’ll just have to throw away… Not inevitable, but tempting.

    Of course if they’re really stuffed they won’t take more, but there isn’t a single line dividing “still hungry” and “now I’m full”, there’s room for negotiation. Just like when you’re grown-up and somehow you eat more chocolate Hobnobs than you really needed (ahem).

    Like Aitch says, I don’t think puree weaning is wrong or bad. It’s just not the only way.

    • Aitch says:

      That’s certainly true of me, Eleanor, I find it almost impossible, even as an adult who Knows Better, not to clear my plate. I do envy people who can just stop eating when they feel full, but i fear that those signals long ago stopped reaching my brain and i now feel full when i see white ceramic poking through sauce…

  42. Anna says:

    Your comments have been really positive thank you. As long as he’s happy and healthy that’s all I care about…. And he is!!!!!

  43. DancingDiva says:

    Thank you all for your comments. I’m really interested in weaning my 2nd son with BLW. I did my first son the traditional way and I didn’t enjoy it atall (having an anorexic sister also made it hard when he refused to eat from the spoon, result – very stressful meal times). I’ll be starting in June and I’m just reading up as much as I can so I’m fully loaded with knowledge. I’m very excited and just wanted to thank you all for your comments as I was a bit worried about the choking thing, but mind totally at ease. It’s a shame that more people (like us) don’t give ‘new’ things a try because how would there ever be any advancements and the health advisers are recomminding it for a reason, as they believe it really is better for the baby. I don’t know about anyone else but I often get a negative response from people when I say this is what I’m going to try, have you had any experience of this and if so, what do you respond? Thanks everyone.

    • Aitch says:

      as with all parenting advice from others, i just smile and nod… smile and nod… and then do whatever the hell i felt like doing anyway. also, i think some people reckon BLW sounds faddy (whateva) so i tended to say ‘oh she just feeds herself’ and not really invite any further conversation about it. it is none of anyone’s business what you do with your baby, so long as you are both happy. puree/blw/cloth/disposables/slings/pushchairs/co-sleeping/cot… up to you, your the mum, so ignore the peanut gallery i say.

      • Melinda says:

        Totally agree with the parenting your way. Made the mistake to listen what the recomandations are and followed them with my first one was a big mistake because he was unhappy untill I stopped.Then we were both happy :)
        Love this blog, congrats

  44. Nat says:

    Wow thanks was beginning to worry my 9mth old had no interest in eating anything she didn’t put in her own mouth!lol She was baby led weaning without me even knowing about it! Like the food is fun till one! She feeds on BM all the time

  45. bimbambaloney says:

    I always equate the “advice” people give on how to wean children, to me trying to eat what the media tells me is best for me. I’d be eating a different diet everyday.

    You must have 5ltrs of water a day, you must have your 5 fruit/veg a day, you must only have 3 portions of oily fish a week, no more than 3 eggs mind you, only eat foods that are 10% fat, only eat foods that are 5% fat. What!! You still drink full fat milk, don’t you know that it is nearly 4% fat! red wine is good for you, no it’s not, yes it is. That food gives you cancer, that one prevents it but only if you eat a field of it a day …. aargh.

    Listen, digest, then do what works for you and your baby. Best advice I was ever given :)

  46. Rena says:

    This sounds so intriguing to me. I plan on trying it with my 4 month old son when he is ready. I do have a question though…How did you introduce utensils?

    • Aitch says:

      well a lot of the time you’re eating with them, so they learn how to use it by watching you do it (same as everything else) so it’s really just a question of keeping some baby cutlery kicking around for them to pick up and play with, i think.

  47. Mrs.bear says:

    Hi there. I’ve read most of the replies here about BLW and agree with cat. I weaned mostly in the traditional puree way. however I combined it with this kind of feeding even before knowing it had s name.

    Unfortunately like any other argument of feeding babies this could potentially have the same damming argument of breastfeeding vs. Formula feeding. And that would be a great shame. Neither of my two children overeat, are overweight,or fuzzy eaters. So please be very careful in negatively portraying traditional weaning and glorifying BLW. it won’t help your cause and it will just make fill lots of moms with self doubt about doing the right thing for their babies.

    I for one will do the traditional mush and spoon mixed with self feeding again,which is what I did with my other two. But I will definitely won’t be giving them any rubbish

    • Aitch says:

      Thanks for the advice, Mrs Bear. I can’t be bothered with people who get into a Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding ‘argument’ (what is the argument, precisely?) and would say the same for blw ‘vs’ puree. Feel free to address it when you see it.

  48. Karien says:

    Hi, I have a situation where my one year old refuses to eat. He has never eaten. He had open heart surgery at three months and the intubation after the operation left him traumatized in terms of letting things come close to his mouth. So, I give his food in his bottle with the formula. Mostly very fine purchased baby food. He does not like anything with a texture either. So no cereal in bottle either. He does stick things in his mouth though but not much. He has only two teeth since he is very tiny for his age. I tried various therapists. No one helped. He still refuses to eat. BLW is my only hope. So my question to you is, what are the foods babies like most that he, with only two bottom teeth, will be able to cope with?

    • Aitch says:

      Och, the wee soul. Is he well now, after the surgery? That must have been terribly worrying for all of you, I do hope he is doing okay, even if he’s a little on the dinky side.
      First of all… forget the teeth. No big deal At All. Seeing as most kids are starting to self-feed at 6 months, most have maybe one tooth and manage just fine. So put that to one side, it’s not an issue.
      Seems to me that his ‘issue’ is a perfectly sensible one, the clever lad, why the hell would he want to stick something down his throat when it brings back horrid memories? What do the therapists say about helping him to overcome his fears?
      Regarding your specific question, thinking back I’d say with two teeth but being one year old he should be up for a lot of normal family food. why don’t we start with what you and the rest of the family like to eat and maybe we can suggest ways of making it easy for him to deal with? Because it seems to me (as a non-professional, i must stress, so ignore ignore ignore if necessary) the the hurdle you need to overcome is to make things sufficiently intriguing and appetising to make him want to overcome his perfectly reasonable fears. I feel for you, open heart surgery at three months and therapists and not eating, it sounds hard.

  49. Vic says:

    Karien,

    You sound like you’re having a really hard time. I’ve not had experience on the same scale as you, but my daughter is tiny too (she’s nearly 2 now and has always barely made the centile charts – she’s only just made 20lb!) She’s always eaten but just tiny amounts and I used to stress badly over it. It got worse after tonsilitis when she wouldn’t eat at all. What worked over time was to put both our food on the living room floor and play and slowly eat my own meal and act like I just didn’t care (I did – I was watching everything!). Always small amounts of lots of things – cut up grapes, breadsticks, grated cheese, toast fingers, banana slices etc. Eventually she started tasting my food, then picking up a bit herself and eating it, stealing a spoonful of yogurt etc. There was no pressure on either of us.
    I also used to invite my friend’s children round who are really good eaters and she mimicked them and tasted food – the odd chocolate finger used to encourage her to eat something – junk but what’s life without chocolate, and at least she knew there were treats! Organix snacks (crisp things) are good too- they melt in the mouth.
    It worked for us, but her fear was very mild. Not great for table manners but they can come later. She’s now eating lots (at the table), tasting new foods, using a knife and fork – it’s great!
    Also, don’t worry about teeth – my son’s just 7 months, he’s got no teeth and is eating what his sister eats (ditched purees – he’s not interested at all). Tonight was cheese quiche, new pototes, green beans, and carrots, then banana and yogurt. It was everywhere, including in his tummy! The Annabel Karmel top 100 finger foods book is good – got loads of interesting ways of presenting food.

  50. TinksMum says:

    Hi All,
    I’m think of starting the baby lead weaning as i have been trying the puree and anything that seems extremely mushy like pears my bubba will just eat and eat and eat. She is 7 months and i have had so much conflicting information about just feeding babies in general i’m so confused and just lost. My maternal health nurse said i should only be b-feeding till 10 months…that seems an awful long time and everyone else is feeding there bubs finger foods. I would really love to know what you think the best first blw foods are. I also have no ideas on what she is allowed to eat, i see some people are saying their bubs are eating meats….my bub only eats pureed apple,pear and oatmeal cereal :( I don’t like to be a stress head but wouldn’t like to think she isnt getting enough nutrition and being she was born 1 month premmie i tend to stress alot lol
    Thanks for your time

    • Demi says:

      TinksMum – I haven’t tried baby-led weaning yet (just about to) but just wanted to say I can sympathise with your confusion and the nurse who did my son’s vaccininations as good as told me to ignore what the health visitors say because they always just stick to the latest guidance and ignore the needs of individual babies! My mum was a midwife thirty years ago but feels that mums now are possibly worse off precisely because there is too much, often conflicting, information which just makes everything so stressful. I know there are lots of great health visitors and they do a very difficult job but have to say mine made me feel absolutely awful about formula-feeding even though I continued to express for weeks so my son still had some breast milk and, however well-intended, stressed one too many times that I could still try to go back to breast-feeding alone. I couldn’t believe that she would keep suggesting this when she knew that my little boy ended up hospitalised with dehydration and massive weight loss because he just couldn’t get the hang of breastfeeding even when I was literally leaking with milk and I’d told her I was still struggling coming to terms with how poorly he’d been and how guilty I felt about it. Anyway, sorry for the rant, just really wanted to say that all you can really do is listen to the guidance but then just use common sense (also see the ‘nod and smile’ advice in previous posts!) and do your best for your baby e.g. according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the health visitor my baby was having 2 extra bottles a day in terms of both frequency and amount of feeds but we knew our son’s ‘hungry’ cry so knew he needed it and after a few weeks he stopped wanting them and started sleeping through the night. They’re all different and even the most black and white guidance acknowledges that children reach developmental stages at different rates so why would we expect them all to be ready for food at bang on six months?
      Our son is nearly 6 months old and has been having a few spoons of baby rice for breakfast for the last 2 weeks. He loves it and pushes the spoon away when he’s had enough and tries to grab our food, particuarly if it’s finger food, so I think he’s ready for more. We’re going to try a combination of BLW and ‘mush’ so that hopefully he won’t have to ‘unlearn’ anything. Fingers crossed and good luck!

  51. Thea says:

    Thanks so much for this post and the website! I found it awhile ago when I was researching this method to start with my daughter, but just now realized how useful it is and will be. She is now 6.5 months old and it’s working great! She has just figured out how to swallow food, so it’s very exciting. I have commented on it on my blog (noted above) and I can’t wait to read more.

    Thanks!!!

  52. Aitch says:

    tinksmum, my dd2 was born a couple of month’s prem, it is HARD not to be a stress-head about prematurity, don’t worry, i understand.
    first and foremost, your maternal health nurse is a bit… unusual in only recommending bfing until 10 mos, the WHO recommends until two years (obviously taking into account your own wishes).
    I always say, start with looking at what you eat and lift from there. sticks of cucumber, steamed carrot sticks, rice cakes etc are easy-peasy for going out and about, certainly, but my two always liked whatever i had on my plate best of all…

  53. Sheetal de Sa says:

    hey, i am new to this method as well as this forum…. my 6 month old is just starting on baby led weaning but somehow she cannot hold the food all by herself… though one of the comments says do not put food in the baby’s mouth, Zoe cannot hold her own food, so i help her a little bit… she does not manage to take much and then gets frustrated and ends up crying a lot…. don’t know what to do…. did anyone else have this problem, if yes how did you deal with it?

    • Aitch says:

      If she’s only just 6 months I’d give her a bit longer, I think. Does she pick up other things? Are you feeding her milk beforehand? I always made sure mine weren’t hungry prior to those first meals, so that they could just concentrate on lifting, tasting and playing, just while they are getting the hang of things.

  54. smg says:

    I am thinking of starting this soon, but anticipate a few problems. How can I give my son whatever I’m eating, if no added salt is allowed? Everything gets cooked with salt, whether I’m cooking at home, eating at a restaurant, etc. It seems like I would definitely have to make some specially for him.

    Also, my daycare begrudgingly allows cereals and purees to be brought in (as opposed to commercially prepared), and probably won’t agree to feed him any real food. I’m thinking of letting lunch be oatmeal time.

    • Aitch says:

      I saw BLW as a great way of drastically reducing my salt intake, and didn’t miss it at all after just a few meals. Even though we kept a salt cellar on the table, we never really used it. So my advice on that one would be to add yours at the table from now on, though you might be surprised. Restaurant-wise, I would ask for veggies to be cooked without salt, which is easy enough for them to do, and then just wing it with my own food. I was confident enough that I wasn’t giving them salt elsewhere, and a few grains in some restaurant pasta won’t kill them.
      Have you spoken with daycare? ‘Grudgingly’ sounds a bit annoying, given that you are paying them… it’s not really up to them how you feed your child. I would make an appointment to speak to the manager and go through it with them, if they won’t do it, whatever… a bit of puree in the daytime isn’t going to prevent your child from achieveing greatness. ;-D

  55. TinksMum says:

    Thanks Aitch,
    I have been feeding bub on puree’s but last night she started playing with and eating her brocolli, hubby and I couldn’t believe it – was very exciting!
    Hopefully soon she will get a bit more interested in a few others.
    How many bits of food do you put on their table at a time? And do you just do 1 or 2 different things?

  56. claire and ryan says:

    Just wanted to say i started my son a bit early about 5 and a bit months as he was just so interested in what we were eating he would watch us like a hawk and then cry if we said no. I used the puree thing for about 3 weeks with fruit and veg as i started early but when he was six months i started with the BLW and have not had a problem. I always offer a spoon with things like porridge and leave it to him if he wants to use it but don’t have a problem if hands are preference. Some times he does try and quite well too. He eats most things we do, he devoured a home made lasagne. i don’t cook with salt now because bub eats with us and have been amazed at the things he will try. Soft sandwiches and toast made me anxious at first as he put a bit to much in but if you watch their reflex to bring things back up it amazed me and now im learning to make things smaller and he is learning the whole lot does not have to go in all at once.This way is so much easier than the way i fed my daughter and meal times have really become a family affair with bub included.

  57. Eva María says:

    Hello.
    I’m Spanish and as many of you, also novice. I found this web about a week ago and was absolultely excited as our child was 7 last week and he does absolutely not want any puree, either it was of fruit, vegetable or flakes, neither the fruit I offer him. He just loves the pieces of bread we offer him to chew.
    I’m yet more worried because I could not breastmilk him (a long and very sad and frustrating story for me) and now I think it’s my fault he is not keen to food. I know he’s well feeded as nowadays formula is enough complete and there is no nutritional worries until 1 year, but nearly 2 months of trying is quite frustrating even if we try our best not to get obsessed with weight (and we are not, he is quite healthy and smily handsome! ;-)
    The description of Lucikan (comment #48) is quite similar to Matías behaviour except that he does sit himself.
    We are quite discouraged as, as Lucikan says, he does not try to take the food to his mouth very often and he even gags and vomits before the food gets his mouth. It is just a couple of minutes and all the pieces are on the floor, and then he starts to play the drum over the table and that’s all.
    We always give him a piece of bread after all, and then he devours it! No problem of chewing or swallowing, nothing!
    Well, I hope you can give me some hope…
    Regards from the south of Spain to you all, good caring mothers.

    • Aitch says:

      first of all… EVERYTHING is your fault, you’re his mother. ;-D (truth is, i do understand that it is hard when you tried to breastfeed and couldn’t. but we move on and up, parenting is a long job.)

      second of all… please try not to worry. he is obviously strong and determined and did not want any puree, so this is all you can do. he is only seven months old, give him time, the gagging will get better, especially if you let him deal with the food himself.
      that is good that he enjoys bread, perhaps you could put some cream cheese on it, or dip it in soup?

  58. Eva María says:

    You’re right, I forgot. EVERYTHING is our fault! JAJAJAJAJA
    Thank you so much.

    • Aitch says:

      it jajajajaja how you say hahahahaha? i am CHARMED by that and will henceforce start spelling it jajajaja in my head. hope you feel more chilled-out now, he sounds like a lovely determined boy.

  59. Eva María says:

    Hola Aithc!
    You know? My lovely determined boy chewed today his first piece of meat! We were fascinated! After nearly around one week we were determined to continue but, even if you do not want to, bit of frustrated about him not wanting any of the pieces we lovingly offered him. The father (obsessed about him axfiating) was very nervous at the beginning, because he had two pieces inside his mouth. I got to calm him down so Matías vomited the first one, because he tried to swallow but he could not. I succeeded to calm my husband down again, and then, after a while, the second piece disappeared of his mouth. He swallowed it!
    I know some frustrating days will come again, but this is way, I can feel it.
    THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR YOUR BLOG

    • Aitch says:

      HOLA Y ENHORABUENA! (I think). hey, that’s great, how funny that he spat the first bit out then carried on with the next. funny and… revolting. ;-D
      forget about the frustrating days, they don’t exist. more or less they eat if they are hungry and feel like eating, and don’t if they don’t. i like that they please themselves.

  60. Paws says:

    I just want to say how pleased I am that I found this website. I am first time Mum to Daisy – 7 months and have been driving myself (and my husband!) mad with obsessing about Daisy and food. She had been exclusively breastfed up until 5 and a half months when I started giving her porridge for breakfast which she loved – at first. Then I cracked on with purees, cooking, mashing and freezing like a mad thing, everything was going great until 2 weeks ago when she suddenly decided that the only thing she wanted to eat was whatever was on Mummy’s or Daddy’s plate and there was no way she was going to eat any more of that puree – thank you very much Mummy! This would have been great, however, she now doesn’t seem to be actually eating very much – she’ll grab things and gum at them quite happily, but seems so erratic in what she’s actually consuming (she also seems to be doing dirty nappies much less frequently so I’m worrying about that too) I continue to feed her bm but have been having so many stresses, it has been so good to realise that other Mums are having the same issues! I really will try to chill out a bit and stick to the ‘Food is fun until they’re 1′ maxim.

  61. Jewels says:

    I stumbled across this website via a friend on facebook and have loved reading all these interesting comments..

    I have 3 year old twins who fed themselves (it is not easy trying to spoon-feed two bubs) when i discovered that i could actually eat at the same time… it almost felt like break for me after the first 6 months of B/F (demand) where i spent most of my days on the couch with a feeding pillow. I agree with the concept of ‘fun until 1′, they continued to B/F regularly until then….

    So many people sound anxious about food types etc, but i hope they read all the comments made previously, as the info is fantastic…

    My next son is just over 5 months and I’m relishing these final weeks of exclusive B/F, knowing my kitchen will soon look like a food bomb has been set off!!!

    My only advice to anyone who is stressed, is take a deep breath, and remember this will be over so soon, next year you will be wondering how to deal with a cranky near-toddler!!

    Happy feeding!!

    • Aitch says:

      A-MEN. it’s amazing and awful how quickly the time goes, isn’t it? it’s kinda hard to explain to people who are just starting out weaning that it’s a blip, i think. certainly i thought it would be a loooooong process, but of course it wasn’t. it’s just food.
      heartiest congratulations and impressed-ness on the tandem-feeding on demand, btw.

  62. Claire says:

    I came across this website looking for advice on what to do when your 9 month old suddenly refuses to eat. Sorry ladies, this is a long one but I need to get this out…
    Our son was diagnosed with silent reflux at around 4 months old and as I was breastfeeding (still am) I was advised to give up dairy as this can help alleviate reflux symptoms (not before trying him on Nutramigen formula which he, rightly, rejected – it smells like fish & chips. Which is fine for fish & chips, but…). A few months later and it became obvious that he has both a dairy and soy intolerance/allergy, something that we’re hoping he’ll grow out of soon (usually this happens around the 18 month mark but I’d be interested to hear from other mums with dairy intolerant babies). Because of the reflux and intolerance issues, I was advised against BLW as children with digestive problems have a hard time with lumps (bunkum), plus my mother, bless her, was terrified of the idea! I’m a first time mum so I took the advice to heart, assumed everyone else knew better and weaned him with purees successfully. He seemed to love food (like his parents – I’m a chef and daddy’s… well, daddy’s greedy) and we went through the appropriate stages, from purees to textured foods, finger foods, even trying to feed himself which, of course, I let him do (even if he and everything around him looked like the work of jackson pollock). We ate together at breakfast and lunch and nothing from our plates was off limits. He would sit beautifully in restaurants, much to the surprise of waiters (and us) and was completely used to the idea of eating. His breastfeeds naturally diminished too, he was sleeping thru from 7.30-6 ish and everyone was happy.
    And here’s where I think my problems started. He crawled at 7 months and was super active, pulling himself up on every chair/table/person he could reach. My paediatrician took this into account when he weighed him a month ago but he was very concerned that Evan had dropped 2 centiles from the 50th to the 9th, so I was told to encourage him to eat more at mealtimes. I started hiding lentils in his breakfast fruit, gave him quinoa instead of couscous, sauteed instead of steaming, and generally made more of an effort to get him to “have one more bite for mummy”. And he slowly became more difficult at mealtimes, refusing anything if it wasn’t completely smooth, refusing meat (he’s never liked fish, the weirdo), no longer wanting to feed himself, standing up in his chair (if I could get him into it at all). Then I realised he would let me feed him as long as he was holding a snack, which we did for a week or so and then that was it – mouth clamped shut, nose turned up, hands up to his face, head turned away from me and shouts of frustration. From both of us.
    I persevered for two days, thinking it was what I was giving him (I’d experiment all the time) but after bursting into tears after yet another day of him refusing anything but breastmilk, my husband and I decided that we would just leave him be. This also coincided with a bit of a dicky tummy which is now on it’s way out.
    The truce started last Tuesday. He now sits on my lap while I eat and I encourage him to take things from my plate. He’ll eat crusty sourdough bread, suck lemons (!!), cucumber, pear, apple, strawberries, a variety of homemade (dairy free) cake and the odd bite of something like potato cake. He drinks water and smoothies from a glass (good boy) but I’m not allowed to offer him any food (he takes it and throws it back at me if I do) and nothing remotely slimy – everything has to be sort of dry, and yet he used to relish getting stuck in. No veg. No meat. No banana or avocado. No rice or pasta. Nothing he previously ate. Nothing of real substance and consequently, we’re breastfeeding every two hours (aaahhh!!) and he’s back waking up for night feeds (aaahhh!!). And of course my boobies are all over the place…
    I’d be really interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience and what they did/how long it took them to get back on track. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I’m worried about his nutrition as well as the social aspects of it. I feel like we’ve regressed 4 months and it’s frustrating to think that I ignored my instincts towards BLW – I really don’t think I’d have this problem right now if I’d not taken notice of all the professionals!

    • Aitch says:

      You might have done, though… you just cannot know and there is zero point in second-guessing yourself. We do what we think is right at the time with the best information we have. So, fuhgeddabout the past, let’s worry about the future. Did you read Eleanor’s post on reflux, by the way?
      What about breaded chicken goujons (there is a recipe on here but i’m guessing you have that nailed)? they’re dry and protein-y…
      the thing is, rejecting stuff that they have previously liked is pretty normal i reckon, at 8-9 mos. both of mine did it. it’s a bid for independence i think, them saying ‘right i wasn’t discerning before because it was All New And Exciting but now… i’m going to start making some decisions here’. the no-slime thing is a pain but if he’s had a dicky tummy then maybe it’ll be temporary, which would be fine so long as you can ride out the feedathon.
      will think some more about dry food… how is he with nice, meaty chipolata sausages if you dry them off first? and chips/fries, of course… we are not worried about the fat content if he’s ditching centiles, i think.

  63. Jem says:

    Totally agree with Aitch. We did 100% pure BLW – didn’t even spoonfeed yoghurts and porridge/etc and my daughter STILL went from eating absolutely everything to eating nothing but bread and pasta at about the same age.

    It’s only now at nearly 19 months she’s starting to eat more again.

    Also, at 9 months there’s another sleep regression/growth spurt, so I’m not surprised to hear about the sudden increase in feeds/waking again at night.

    Try to relax, go with the flow, feed on demand. Your chilled mama vibes will echo through to your son and he’ll be right as rain in no time, I’m sure :)

  64. Claire says:

    OK good to know Jem – I guess this refusal could go on for a while yet. None of my friends with children could remember what they went through, or they all had champion eaters and children who could take formula to fatten them up. I’ve always loved breastfeeding, as does Evan, but I suppose I thought we were coming to a point soon where I could perhaps leave him with my mum for the odd day while I got back to work…
    Aitch, I did read Eleanor’s article and it’s pretty close to what we did with Evan, minus the dairy of course, which is encouraging. I was actually going to make him chicken goujons today so we’ll see how that goes down. He won’t eat sausages but I’ll try a chipolata, didn’t think of that. Some sort of fried potato has actually been all he will eat, so I make little potato cakes mixed with chicken thigh and egg to up the protein. I’m going to try falafels too, come to think of it. I figure if I carry on letting him take things from my plate, even if they end up on the floor, he’ll possibly gradually eat. He fed me his toast today (I’ve been making a game of it all week so that the tables were turned somewhat) and he was absolutely delighted with himself!
    Thanks for taking the time to read my long missive and for passing on the encouragement and advice :o)

    • Aitch says:

      Good idea, Jem, i used to find a picnic on the floor was great fun with mine, especially if they’d been ill and were running shy of eating. we still do it to be honest, although we are long past all that food worry stuff, it’s such good fun to get olives and veg sticks and dips and triangle sarnies etc on a blanket. (actually also an EXCELLENT thing to do at children’s parties, can i just say for the future. picnic on blanket, crumbs and all sorts of cack remain on blanket, grab four corners and WHOOSH, all debris cleared in a heartbeat. even better if you buy those party boxes and put a ‘packed lunch’ in there. ithangyew. )

  65. Jem says:

    Isabel fed two-hourly until the day I returned to work! She was absolutely fine. :)

    Oh, another thing you could try… (I think the Americans came up with this) get one of those muffin / cupcake tin things with the 6 holes in and put a different snack in each one, and just leave it lying around somewhere. Kids apparently are grazers so prefer this method. Not tried it myself yet though.

  66. Claire says:

    Sounds promising, I’ll try that this afternoon.

  67. Claire says:

    Bless you Aitch, he ate a chipolata! It’s the first piece of protein he’s eaten in well over a week. Thanks for the suggestions ladies, they’re really helpful. I like the indoor picnic idea too, we’re always in the park but that’s a great rainy day idea.

    So that I feel like I’ve given something back, one of the few things that Evan eats is olive bread twists and they’re really easy to make:
    Knead some bread dough with a handful or two of whole green pitted briny olives and fashion into thick wands (two fingers width). Leave to prove for an hour, spray with water then shove them into a really hot oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool. I like them with with a cold beer. Simples.

    • Aitch says:

      oh cheers, that does sound lovely. we have a bread machine so dough not a problem. and GREAT news about the chipolata… mind you, who could resist really? btw if you are wanting to try cheese etc, mine refused all mild cheeses with a look of disgust, but loved and continue to love really mature cheddar. again, quite right too imho.

  68. Em says:

    I discovered this website last night and can already feel myself starting to relax about feeding my 7mth old. Thank you! I attempted to start weaning Charlie with baby rice and purees just before he was 6mths and at no point has he showed any interest. If anything he gets upset as soon as you put a spoon near his mouth. This morning he sat a the table with me and his big sister and smiled away whilst gumming on sticks of cucumber and banana. With traditional weaning it’s all very clear when to introduce the different food types. With BLW are you saying pretty much anything goes? (Of course besides the obvious- salt, sugar etc.) What I mean is, If we are having say spag bol, that it’s ok for him to have that too? This is the only thing i’m a little confused about.

    • Aitch says:

      well i would say yes to that, in fact on the gallery there is a wee girl whose first-ever food was spag bol and judging by the look on her face she LOVED it. the advice in the UK, as far as i understand it, is to go for it, unless you have allergies in the family, in which case show more caution and maybe introduce new foods separately so that you can identify the culprits if there is a reaction. if i recall correctly i did this for the first week then got bored, but i am generally a relaxed (some might even say laaaazy) person…

  69. Em says:

    Thanks! This website is brilliant. Never before have I read an entire forum with such interest.

  70. Eva María says:

    Claire,

    As you mentioned falafel, I thought about meat or fish croquettes. Here we make them of ham, cod, chicken breast, spinachs with pine kernels (these last ones very fashion at the moment).
    I also thougt about pasties. The most usual one here is the tuna-fried tomato, but you can make it of meat too? I found this recipe: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/13287/tuna-and-sweetcorn-pastie.aspx
    I would like to say that in Spain we are not adviced to try dairy (cow milk or cheese), berries, eggs or fish until one year old. I was amazed reading you give your children cheese or fish. How can advices differ so much from one country to another?

    • Marta says:

      Eva Maria, I understand how you feel. I am Spanish and I live in the Uk. I brought up my first son with baby led weaning as a matter of coincidence. He wouldn’t take anything with a spoon. He played with them and that was it. Since he was nearly 7 months and he was not into solids in the Spanish style (purees REALLY smooth), I tried by giving him bits of bread and he devored them! then he started to eat from our plates and when this was taking place my husband saw an article about a new thing called the Baby Led Weaning. A book was about to be published. It was in fact the book that appears in this website. We ordered it, and when I was reading it, everything made perfect sense. It was also good to start with the chewing as it helps the tongue movements so speech will benefit from it and since I am bringing up my children bilingual this is perfect! I must say I had and still have to deal with the criticisim of my family and friends as they do things in a different way! but 3 1/2 years down the line he eats everything. His first and since then favourite food (6 months onwards) was salmon and broccoli. When I told my granny in Spain she said: hija, no le puedes dar algo mas normal? But they all see how he eats now and time has given me the reason. Now I have a 7 1/2 month old baby who again won’t eat with the spoon so we are doing the same thing and he really likes to have control and putting things in mouth himself. Give it a try. It is worth it. Regarding what you mention about foods that are ok in one country and not recommended in the other one, I am puzzled, like you, but as I say, I live in the UK and so I do things like they do here. I have never looked back. In fact, when I see that in Spain they are still with the pureed food almost till they are 1 year old, that is what I cannot understand. Children are able to eat proper solid food a lot earlier than that. Good luck. Sorry for the super long email!

  71. Lin says:

    EXACTLY! Tbh all this differing advice was one of the main factors in me just deciding to go for it. My sister in New Zealand had different weaning advice again from the UK and other friends in other European countries. Given that kids all over the world seem to successfully make it to maturity, I stopped stressing about the whats and whens and just gave them food.

    (Caveat – we didn’t have amy allergies in the family, I did go low-salt and I did avoid whole nuts and took the standard sensible precautions about cutting up grapes etc…)

  72. Eva María says:

    Sorry,

    Just one little explanation. I have answered my peditrician today and he told me yes to cheese, any animal it was. No animal milk but yes for the cheese.
    No fish, no berries, no eggs though.

  73. Clare says:

    We did blw with our son who is 2 and half now. He has Cystic Fibrosis so his diet is almost the opposite of what you would normally give a baby, he needs high fat, high calorie food and needs lots of salt in hot weather! This felt very “wrong” when we started, adding salt at the atble to his food, not ours. We loved the whole process of weaning him. Lots of friends and family were fascinated, but very dubious. I can’t wait to get started with our daughter who will be 6 months next week. She watches us all eat and she is just desperate to get stuck in herself. I’m always amazed though by the number of people who seem so anti-blw, I know we all do what we think is best for us and our own kids, but this is such a fun, stress-free and enjoyable way to introduce your baby to family meal times. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

  74. Aitch says:

    ooooh, can you tell us what hi-cal food he liked best, Clare? hope your son is well and happy and your hands aren’t sore from the tap tap tapping. hope your daughter enjoys herself too, it certainly sounds like she will.

  75. Clare says:

    Cake! Just like his mummy. And 2 packets of crisps a day, on doctors orders. Edward is doing really well thanks, Aitch.

    • Aitch says:

      hahaha i thought you were going to say ‘oh, he ADORES avocado’. hey, regarding the crisps, did you know what they are worse for your teeth than sweeties? (i learned this recently on QI so it must be true). it’s to do with the potato starch and the way that the crisps get stuck between teeth, so if you don’t clean them properly at night the starch just eats away all night… so sayeth Stephen Fry. did you know that, cos i didn’t? anyway, this factoid has been GREAT for getting the dds to let me have a proper go at their teeth when they’ve had crisps. ‘worse than SWEETIES?!’ they gasp, opening their mouths like baby birds…

      • Clare says:

        I remember my dentist telling me that about crisps when I was a kid, it made me feel better about having chocolate!

  76. kayren88 says:

    SOO many helpful comments but i did not have time to read them all with my 7mo crawling about.

    BLW seems a great idea and wish id known sooner but…. my daughter has had 2 bottom teeth since 4/2 n now has 4 top comming in so i mash food up otherwise she bites massive bits off and chokes. should i try blw and let her learn to chew or stick to mashing till she is slightly older and knows better?

    do any other mums that are blw have problems with with this? really need help x

  77. mystic_eye_cda says:

    Some allergists now suggest that the 4 day wait rule can cause allergies. If you give a baby a small amount of some new food and then wait a bit -no problem. If you all of a sudden give your baby nothing but bananas for 4 days the immune system can overreact. There is even more evidence that delaying the introduction of allergens makes allergies MORE likely, not less. So you may be better off giving peanuts at 6 months, not two years.

    That being said IF you have reasons to suspect allergies, or a strong family history of allergens, do your own research. Decide what makes sense to you from the current research -early allergens vs late; rotation diets, vs standard 4 day rule, vs unrestricted. If you are going to want to work with an allergist/immunologist then find one early that you trust and then work out a plan with them; but of course you don’t need one

  78. Lady J says:

    Thanks for a great website – loads of useful info!

    I have just started BLW with my 6-month old. Several people have suggested to me that I’m crazy not to fill him up with baby rice in order to satiate his enormous appetite for milk (and even that it would be kinder to him to do so). He has started waking up in the night for feeds even though he has slept through for the last three months or more.

    I have considered feeding him in the evening with puree or whatever but worry that if I combine the two methods he’ll be learning to swallow and chew at the same time and therefore may swallow a big chunk of solid food that hasn’t been sufficiently chewed… Can anyone advise me?

    With regards to the BLW, he is enjoying everything I put his way – fruit, veg, meat, bread – and there is definitely evidence that some of it is making its way into his tummy!

  79. Claire says:

    Lady J, from within my circle of friends introducing solids had no effect on sleep whatsoever. Sleep patterns do tend to change a lot in the first year as well. The vast majority ended up constipated from the baby rice too.

    I’m not sure about combining the methods, though people do. You could always offer purees on loaded spoons.. I did that with hummous quite early on, just chickpeas, clove of garlic, olive oil whizzed together.

    So glad you’re enjoying it.. it really is a lot of fun. I think most people are skeptical in the beginning, but once you calmly explain the difference between gagging and choking, and they see it in action, it tends to die down. My mother now brags about how well her grandson eats.

  80. ches says:

    When you introduce solids it takes several weeks for the baby’s gut to start to digest the solids. This means that the baby feels full, but is still hungry as the solids calories aren’t available. Milk, on the other hand, is nearly completely digested, so is the answer to getting through the 6 month growth spurt.

  81. Nicky says:

    I am researching weaning at the moment and really like BLW, I have a 4 month old who is bottle fed. Can I do BLW or is it for bf babies only? Do they get enough nutrition from formula allowing them to play/experiment with food for the first year or should I purée so they get other nutrients from food?

  82. NickyB says:

    I am researching weaning at the moment and really like BLW, I have a 4 month old who is bottle fed. Can I do BLW or is it for bf babies only? Do they get enough nutrition from formula allowing them to play/experiment with food for the first year or should I purée so they get other nutrients from food? Just ordered the book so I hope this helps.

  83. Kate says:

    Nicky, it’s fine to do it with formula fed babies! Aitch bottle fed hers and they took to it like little troopers. Just whatever milk you use, keep it coming aplenty till they get the hang of food properly (can be around a year, can be later!!)

  84. Sarah says:

    What a great website! I am completely dismayed to find I have been naively giving my 10m old whole grapes for a few weeks now, without too much worry. And I’m a Dr for goodness sake! She manages fine but the point about a whole grape being a bugger to remove from the lungs makes so much sense that I shall not risk it again. I remain the only Mummy out of all my new friends with babies the same age as mine, who is allowing their child to self-feed & who has never purred or spoon-fed. I have no problem with the latter, you guys are so right, spoon-feeding is NOT force-feeding, but I just thought that this method sounded so natural & so easy it was right up my street. The reassurance for me comes from seeing my daughter full of energy & loving mealtimes which are always with at least me +/- my husband. The other thing that made me relax, and thrilled me, was seeing her weight continue between the same centiles it always has been. She has days where she seems to eat quite a lot & other days when she plays, chucks most things on the floor, pays some attention to a familiar food (avocado or plum usually, top favourites) but doesn’t seem in the mood. We just let her do what she wants to do regarding her meals. The rest of our extended family, except my Mum (who traditionally weaned all 4 of us with a struggle & is terribly envious of blw & wishes shed known about it), have taken some serious convincing that blw is ok, the two granddads remain sceptical to say the least. But really all they need to do is look at her and realise, she’s thriving. So, I am loving weaning my first baby this way. My one tiny little doubt/concern is about going back to work & as I now have only 5w left before my daughter goes to nursery it’s beginning to really worry me. I am still bf-ing on demand, and although she has dropped feeds as times passed & she’s getting more from solids, by no means are we near stopping. Some days she has maybe 8 feeds, and I am worried about how things will go after I return to work. Any advice/experience re blw and going back to work would be excellent. I am meeting the nursery manager next week & will be armed with a copy of the blw book as they said they had never heard of this way to wean?! I also intend to provide 2 feeds of ebm for my daughter each day I leave her which I hope she’ll drink from a sippy cup/doidy. Expressing beginning imminently. Relax & enjoy blw…until you are due to return to work & realise your expectations of three square meals a day were ridiculous but will be what nursery think is going to happen, eek.

  85. Aitch says:

    hahah re the grapes… some doctor you are. ;-D actually i find all this risk stuff fascinating. after all, we only need a car seat for the kids in the event of a crash, don’t we? apart from the crashy thing, they could sit on our laps the whole time.
    you might be surprised by the nursery thing, btw, it’s often the precursor to a great leap forward in eating volume, and so long as there is enough liquid (ebm and water) she shouldn’t come to any bother. if you can get the nursery to let her lunch near older kids, so much the better. but do you know what? if it doesn’t work out, getting a bit of spoon-feeding from the nursery nurse will not interfere with her plan to become prime minister some thirty years hence, so i just would NOT sweat it if were you.

  86. IRR says:

    This website is interesting, but I’m a little surprised to learn this is a new fad. This is how my mom weaned me. She was just telling me the other day to just wait for my baby to show interest with what’s on my plate and start reaching for food. When he does, she said just cut him a couple small pieces and let him take over from there! Much as I like to think all the women in my family are brilliant, I pretty sure she did it this way because it was easier than puréeing her own food and cheaper than buying jarred baby food.

  87. Laura Maria says:

    Hi, I’ve just been reading this page and the posts, and it looks fantastic! We just began pureed foods two weeks ago (DD at 7 months and WANTING to eat solids!!) after reading the ABA booklet. I have two questions about how BLW weaning works. 1) How about liquids? DD is really interested in how we drink water, and we haven’t let her. She was also really, really excited about some fresh juice the other day (beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger) but we didn’t let her have any. Would it be okay for her to have these things? 2) Is there a list somewhere on the site about what to be careful with? I see in the forum (above) a bit of a mention about apples and grapes, and I’d like to know what else so we can just know and then go for it! :) Also concerning things to be careful about, I’m guessing thinly sliced meats might be included, would that be right?
    It’s great to read all this! Thank you!!

    • Aitch says:

      What is the thinking behind not letting her have water? Is it because you are breastfeeding? I don’t imagine there is a problem there, at this stage, it’s so unlikely she would do much other than spill it over her anyway. And of course it’s up to you to decide whether or not to give her fruit juice, but when they’ve got teeth coming through etc i can’t really see the point myself.
      regarding foods not to give, i would avoid apple unless v thinly sliced, cut up grapes and cherry toms and just generally use your noggin by squishing blueberries a bit, that sort of thing. I can’t remember giving my kids thinly sliced meat at that age, but they both loved steak to chew on, so i guess it’s whatever your baby prefers. and think about what you might do if a choke happens, so that you are armed with what to do. (although i struggle to remember mine choking at all, one did once, on a bit of apple, and it was sorted with a slap on the back, so i would be wary but not anxious iykwim?)

  88. Laura Maria says:

    Aitch, so what do you think about veggie juice? I’m guessing she might just find the beetroot etc juice a surprising and strong taste and reject it quickly anyway. I’m sure it would make some amazing stains, too.

    • Aitch says:

      don’t overthink this, she will like the things you don’t think she will and hate the ones you think she’ll love, if my kids are anything to go by. honestly, if you’re eating it, let her have some, that’s really what family life and learning is all about. (providing no added salt etc etc blah blah… ;-D)

  89. Mel says:

    I have just read the BLW book and my mom said she weaned us the same way (I am the eldest of 3 at 35 yo). Can’t wait for my darling to be ready, we are just at 13 weeks old. The idea came to me after reading a book I was given for Xmas – Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mom and Baby. (topic creep…given by inlaws, I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian…she is decidedly NOT in this book) I am keen on trying egg yolks, which Nina gave to her son with natural mineral-rich salt. So far other things I have read on the www are all against salt, however to her point, at such a young age the salt provides valuable trace minerals. Has anyone tried this or egg yolks at 6 months? And to the earlier posts about “salicylates” in foods…I have not googled it, but my first instinct was that is sounded a little alarmist, along the lines of thinking that your body’s “pH” can be altered by food…I believe that the body will always aim for homeostasis.

    • Eleanor says:

      Just spotted nobody’s replied to this point about the salt (I like this new threaded-replies layout!)… There are trace minerals in breastmilk and formula anyway; we know there are risks from adding salt to baby food; there’s no evidence I know of that babies are suffering any kind of deficiency from not having salt added; so all in all I can’t see any reason to bother with it, personally.

  90. Jess says:

    Hi, have just cruised through the website today, I have a 4 month old that seems to “float on milk” and is hungry, although she is not yet reaching for food when we eat, she watches carefully and has started feeding off a spoon. She is not yet able to sit herself up in a highchair, is she too young to start controlling her own food to mouth?

  91. Jess says:

    Thanks, she is waking up every 3 hours for a feed at night. She’ll go for 4 hours during the day between most feeds, but she’ll have a full breast feed, then 200mL bottle, and finish the bottle in the night, then feed again 3 hours later. I have just started her on some solids, mush, but am keen to have her self feeding as soon as possible. Cheers

    • Jem says:

      That’s well within the realms of normal, and doesn’t strike me as being particularly hungry. Hell, I eat/drink more often than 4-hourly during the day.

      Milk is so, so important at this age (breast or formula, whichever you choose) and rushing to replace this with food could leave her genuinely hungry and losing weight.

      She will take to it in her own time. In the mean time I would suggest laying back on the mush (less calories) and just offering more milk if she wants it. Make sure any bottle feeds are given with her sat up so she’s not in a drink-or-drown position and let her set the pace :)

    • Aitch says:

      mine were definitely on that much milk at that age, they loved their milk, my two…

  92. Maria says:

    Hi,
    Great site, useful info. About to start weaning my 3rd child who has been exclusively breastfed. My other 2 children were weaned with traditional mush and it was time consuming and not particularly effective.
    I am a little concerned by how many people on here are worrying about food ‘intolerances’ and I also fear many do not understand the significant difference between allergies and intolerance. This very issue is being studied in London and they are looking at introducing specific food substances commonly associated with ALLERGY earlier into babies diet as in certain areas in the world where the diet is more varied at an earlier stage they have a far lower rate of allergies. That aside, allergies are genuinely a potentially serious problem and reactions to them are usually soon after exposure. As for intolerances, although we do have specific medically reconized intolerances such as lactose and gluten intolerance, we need to be careful that we are not becoming a little obsessive about this and self-diagnosing intolerances that aren’t really there.

  93. Cheryl says:

    Hi
    My son is 5 1/2 months and I’m really keen to wean the baby-led way. It feels right to me, seems like less hassle, seems as if it puts less pressure on baby and parents and actually looks like it would be fun.

    However, I am concerned as my son has reflux. We’ve had to “force feed” him gaviscon from syringes since the early weeks, so my worry is that this could have interfered with his gag reflex already, making him more prone to push foods to the back of his mouth.

    Has anyone any experience of this or advice to give?

    Thanks

    • Janine says:

      Cherly,

      Hi! I am brand new to this site, but saw your post and had to reply. My son is 7mo now and also has reflux. We have been shoving prilosec down his gullet since he was 1 week! I started him on purees at about 5 months, when he started reaching for my food and making chewing motions when I was chewing.
      He did ok, still does, but (not knowing that BLW was anything with a name or following!) I started giving him bites of my soft food once he was starting to push the food around in his mouth more. My mom did the same with me saying that if she didn’t want to eat it(purees) why would I!
      Since I started feeding him my food he has been keeping the food down better than ever, and eating more. Just today I sat down to eat a nectarine(skin off!) and he took it and ate half! And that was right after he nursed.
      I have had to be more careful with what he eats than it seems many BLW moms are, remembering to keep in mind his sensitive tummy. Keeping foods bland and avoiding food that can cause indigestion and gas. I don’t know if I will ever recover from the inches deep puddle of broccoli that he so sweetly deposited on my chest! And since many reflux babies are also constipated bananas are right out too, at least for us. And since many raw foods are more irritating to a reflux-y tummy I am sure steam or microwave anything but the mildest of foods.
      In my experience with this sort of feeding (my 5yr old was the same) it is actually better for reflux babies since if a food makes their tummy upset, the just wont eat it. My advice would be not to push it, wait till baby is showing signs that they are ready to start eating(they will be just fine on breast milk or formula till they are ready) and just make sure you are still careful what you give. If you are not concerned about dairy, it is a good time to introduce yogurt since it has probiotics that aid digestion. We have allergies in the family so I have just started adding probiotics to his food.
      I have personally just looked up advice for eating with chronic reflux for adults and adapted that as I could. And no one knows your baby as good as you! Just listen to the dear boys body and it will be fine! Hope this helped and I didn’t ramble on too much!

      Janine

  94. Jessica says:

    Hi, Im very interested in BLW for my first child. However she’s 8 months old with no teeth! So im wondering what would be a few good foods to start with that I know she can manage with no teeth..? Thanks!

    • Aitch says:

      Pay no heed to the teeth situation, Jessica, it’s not a big deal. The teeth are there, they’re just under the gums, so they can give any old thing a decent chew, honestly. I’m pretty sure we had a wee baby on here still with no teeth at 11 months, now that I think of it. When they do start to trouble her on their way through, try celery straight from the fridge, that’s a nice hard food that doesn’t break, and was a really good ‘soother’ for my two.

  95. Ellen says:

    So happy to find this site! I was aware of this concept with my first daughter & did some things earlier than most w/her, but was still into to the whole babyfood thing as she was small (not sickly, but you know how us mommas get paranoid when our babies aren’t gaining as much weight as all the others, even when the Dr. isn’t concerned!). #1 is now almost 3, a good eater, and still petite. ;)

    For #2 who is now 6.5 months we are full-on BLW, I just gotta work out the floor covering… LOL! Thanks for the site and info.

    • Aitch says:

      cheers, what a lovely post! i used a bit of old washable wallpaper, but i know that others have reported great success with cheapo shower curtains or bits of oilcloth/table cloth.

  96. Mardi says:

    This information is really useful, I have been EBF my 5.5 month old twins and am about to embark on BLW. I must admit I am very nervous, but excited at the same time…. Is there any one else on here who has BLW twins?

    • Aitch says:

      there is, there is… although they’re probably five by now so maybe that should be there were, there were… i think there is a photo in the gallery.

  97. Nicky says:

    Hi I have only just started BLW so I’m not too worried yet, but my little one has started to put food to her mouth, but this morning started to taste a bit a the toast with mashed banana, a little banana went in her mouth and she heaved, and heaved all her milk up. She did this once when I gave her calpol too a while ago, and she just projectiles all her stomach contents up. Is this normal, what should I do?

    • Nicky says:

      I have just had my LO on my lap, she reached out for a bit of toast I was eating so let her have the crust. She got a little bit in the front of her mouth and was chewing, she then was sick again, heaved twice and her stomach contents up. She is 6 months tomorrow but not sitting up on her own, is she just too young?
      Thanks Nicky

      • Eleanor says:

        I would probably just leave it for a week or two and then try again. She is still little, she has loads of time to get the hang of it :)

      • Eleanor says:

        PS – try the forum too, more people look at that and you’ll probably get more replies.

  98. Kelly says:

    Love this – I had never heard of BLW before, I have now brought this up with my ante-natal group (all 4 months post natal) and hopefully a few of us will have a go at this. Sounds so much more natural than mushing up food… Really good website, nice one :)

  99. Rita says:

    Hi
    I just started BLW and it seems to be going well.I have tried pears, peaches, bread, cucumber,banana,and chicken breast….. Not all at one sitting though. My guy just turned 7 months… before this he really didn’t show any interest at all in what we were eating. I’m just wondering how often a day should I try? I understand that this approach is more relaxed . I started with fruit. Should I include all the food groups each time? How does it work.?

  100. Brittany says:

    So I just heard about this & I’m looking into it cuz it makes sense to me, but I’m terrified he will choke! I know it’s supposed to be soft food but he has barely popped through a tooth a week ago. Am I crazy for feeling this way?

    • Beccy says:

      Its really natural to be worried about the choking and its prudent to be prepared for what ‘could’ happen. But one you’ve begun (and you’ve read the book/blog etc) you’ll understand the difference between gagging and choking.

      Gagging is common and can be worrying also (because it looks like choking) but its ‘all part of the process’ and if you are going to explore BLWing then you’ll hear that phrase A LOT! All babies have the gag reflex, all adults have it to, its just much further back for adults. A babies gag reflex is very far forward in the middle of their tongue. When you see a BLW baby gag look at where the food is. It’s not at the back of their throat I’ll bet. 9 times out of 10 if you leave the baby to deal with the “gag” they move the food with their tongue, or by coughing and spluttering a bit. This is still not choking. If your baby was choking then you’d be hearing no noise and they’d be turning blue.
      Honestly we gagged (and vomitted) at most meals in the beginning but the more opportunities she was given to explore food the better she became at it. Practice is key to its success I think.

  101. helen A says:

    My baby isnearly 6 months old, can sit in a highchair with a bit of extra support and is fascinated by our food. He was 1 month prem so hv said ideally should wait til 7 months to start weaning. I thought i’d wait until 6 months then try a bit of blw as he seems ready to play with food. If I start with soft fruit and veg i’m guessing it shouldn’t do him any harm. Has anyone tried blw non mush before 6 months? He can drink from a sippy cup and has 2 teeth with another coming.

    • Beccy says:

      We started around 5.5 months because my LO was sitting up really confidently and grabbing the food off our plates. I started then with non-mushed veg and fruit. Broccolli and Carrots are great first foods!

      If your baby still needs support to sit up straight then it may be that they are not quite ready. Its important they can sit up straight to deal with the food in their mouth. What helped Sofia sit confidently was having her sit on my lap at mealtimes which encouraged her to sit without support.

  102. Jessles says:

    Hi :) My son is 6 months old and I’ve decided to look into BLW. He is a very lively little one who is just SO keen to explore the world. I’m breastfeeding him and he is unbelievably distracted, it’s getting to be very difficult to feed him during the day. He is waking every 2 hours at night and only wants to be fed (sometimes it’s hunger, sometimes I think it’s comfort). He has two razor sharp teeth that are part-way up. He is on the lean side (5th percentile for weight but has been since he was born, so I try not to stress).I’ve been attempting to introduce mush for a few weeks but he’s just not that into it. Today he grabbed a handful of my ginger/chilli noodle dish that I reluctantly prised out of his little hand. I’m thinking that BLW may be the way to go. I’m just a little concerned about whether he will be getting enough? (considering that bf is so tricky at the moment). Also a few people have mentioned a cup (noiby?)that sounded interesting, where are they available?(I’m in Australia). My mum friends are happily mushing away and I’m keen to find something that works for my little dude. Thanks :D

    • 33goingon64 says:

      I think you mean a doidy cup, made by biccipeg. Am sure you can get them on Amazon. The top is slanted so the baby can see the water coming towards them. Also, am sure others will agree that making sure they get enough isn’t the aim at the moment, it’s about discovering food. Soon enough your little one will be eating plenty.

  103. Chloe says:

    So, this is exciting – I discovered BLW 3 1/2 years ago when my second child was 6 months and it was fantastic – she and I loved it! The exciting thing is that number three is 6 months tomorrow so we get to do it again :) I thought I’d pop in & say hello, look at a few recipes and encourage anyone who’s thinking about going the BLW way to give it a go – you won’t regret it x

  104. jayne says:

    wht age is it appropprite to start weening becasue my daughter is 3 months nealy 4 months and she is interessed in food. what do i do. thanks

    • Jem says:

      Hi Jayne

      What makes you think your daughter is interested in food? Is it just curiosity in general? At that age babies are generally satisfied by being involved with spoons and plates to mess with. Unless she’s sitting up unaided, bringing objects to her mouth, etc it’s unlikely she’s ready for food. In fact, weaning before 17 weeks has been shown to significantly increase allergic reactions and gut problems, so be wary…

      • Aitch says:

        indeed, weaning before 17 weeks has been shown to cause kidney damage in some children and expressly advised against in the UK. the guidance nowadays is to wait until 6 months, but the good thing i felt about BLW is that you really can leave it up to the child to decide. for some children, that will be a bit earlier, for some a bit later, just as with all their other developmental milestones.

      • Isla says:

        Actually rule about starting at 6 months is now on the way to being considered out of date. I recently heard a talk by a leading allergy doctor & researcher (Sue Prescott, University of Western Australia). She said that there is no evidence to say that withholding allergens until after 6 months reduces allergy in fact they believe it may in fact be increasing the incidence of allergies. She did not give a best age to start solids but she believed in getting babies accustomed to whatever the family will be eating.
        Personally I would think that if babies are able to put food in their mouths and show an interest in doing so it is probably nature telling us they are ready. There is not much comment here about experience introducing food between 4 and 6 months. I’d like to hear how they go as far as controlling the food in their mouths, swallowing, choking etc.

      • Aitch says:

        It just depends on the baby, Isla. Some start a bit earlier, some a bit later, just as with walking and other developmental milestones.

  105. srags says:

    Hello aitch :-D good to see you are still going with the BLW advice. I came to BLW via your blog when I BLW my first son in 2007. No-one had heard of it back then (I mean, the HPs where I live) and I had to pretend to the HV that I was pureeing…people were sharply divided: aghast to see a toothless baby gumming a broccoli stalk and waiting for him to choke (he never did but he gagged occassionally and it was SCARY! But it was fine ;-) ) or they didn;t get what all the fuss was about because it was exactly how they’d weaned their kids back in the 60s/70s.

    Anyway I’m here again in prep for weaning my new baby who will be 6mo in November. I’m reading a lot of advice and ‘research’ type comments and its making me nervous. Perhaps you can help.

    See, I remember BLW as being: wait til 6mo, give the baby whatever you like as long as it’s healthy and in solid/gummable form, give real utensils if you like and sit back and watch what happens. There was only one mantra: until they’re 1 it’s just for fun.

    Have I forgotten some major advice, glaring errors or is that still essentially ‘it’?!

    • Aitch says:

      wotcha srags, i think you about have the size of it there. ;-D i would add ‘cut up grapes and grape-sized stuff and know what to do in the event of a choke’. although that is advice that every parent should absorb, not just blwing ones. enjoy it! (oh, and if you want some actual ‘i’ve blwed two kids’ advice… don’t confuse ‘what ds1 liked to eat’ with ‘what babies like to eat’. both of mine favour COM. PLETE. LY different food and it took me a while to get my head round that, because i was offering dd2 things that had been a hit with her sister and forgetting to give the misses a try as well. the first would rather eat a sweaty jockstrap than an aubergine, for example, and the second… favourite meal is ratatouille. just like me and dh, actually.

      • srags says:

        Thanks! And yes, I am totally making that same mistake i.e “But DS loved that!” “But DS loved that!” repeat ad infinitum…

  106. Nicole says:

    If you don’t want your child to grow up on “kid” foods with bland taste and addicted to sugar I would suggest reading this:

    http://www.foodrenegade.com/why-ditch-infant-cereals/
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/05/21/Some-Baby-Foods-are-Worse-Than-Junk-Food.aspx
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/20/get-the-white-out-of-babys-first-foods.aspx

    Plus there are a host of other health benefits including better skin/hair/digestion/ overall mood. I could go on for decades. Also kids on this diet sleep through the night much fater and are overall happier and healthier.

    Get the crap out, eat REAL food! Yes bread is processed! Meat/veggies/fruit. Corn is not a veggie it’s a grain!

    Good luck!

  107. Cherie says:

    This forum is GREAT!!!! We have been practicing BLW for a month (6-7 months of age). I loved the idea when I heard about it from another mom and read several books beforehand to prepare. I’m committed and want to continue, but I’ve had three gagging/choking scares recently. In hindsight,I doubt she was choking in any of these instances, but I definitely turned her upside down and hit her back hard in two of the three instances. One time she even vomited. She never stopped breathing or changed color. I just panicked. Probably in all of these circumstances, she could have worked it out on her own. I’ve read every single post on this forum-I didn’t find any descriptions of gagging/choking. It would be helpful to discern if what I experienced was normal. I am aware that my response to what happened was not necessary, so examples of how others handle similar situations would be immensely helpful! I am terrified now!!!! Today, I cut up the food that I have previously been giving to her as a handle and I preloaded it on a spoon. She did very well feeding herself with a spoon which is pleasing to me, but that’s not really the point of BLW. Furthermore, I’m very concerned that I am negatively influencing my daughter-she looks at me with worry and fear when eating. How do I get back on the right track after being scared?
    Thank you so much for your time.

    • Beccy says:

      Honestly we gagged (and vomitted) at most meals in the beginning but the more opportunities she was given to explore food the better she became at it. For me reading the book etc gave me the confidence to let her get on with it. I never once needed to intervene. If your baby is coughing and spluttering to get the food out then they are dealing with it. She is not choking, if she was choking she wouldn’t be able to make any sound (as the pipe is completely blocked)

      Honestly I think turning her upside down could make things worse and make her more scared. If you are concerned then I would undertake a First Aid course for babies as I don’t believe turning upside down it the way to deal with choking in babies anyway. However in the meantime If she gags again then my advice would be to stay calm, and watch and see if she deals with it because 9 times out of 10 she will. Only if you can see she is in difficulty then I would be trying to help.

      Gagging is really common and can be worrying also (because it looks like choking) but its ‘all part of the process’. All babies have the gag reflex, all adults have it to, its just much further back for adults. A babies gag reflex is very far forward in the middle of their tongue. When you see your baby gag look at where the food is. It’s not at the back of their throat I’ll bet.

  108. ricecakesrule says:

    Hi Cherie, I’m not an expert at all – only at the same stage as you. Firstly I’d say that eating from pre-loaded spoons is fine, it’s necessary with things like yoghurt anyway. However I understand what you mean about wanting to let your little one do BLW “properly” by picking things up herself.

    To give you a description of gagging, my little boy will normally open his mouth, lean forward and stick his tongue out, whilst making a gagging type noise. When they do this you can normally see the food that’s causing it, and as has been said elsewhere on the blog, you will notice that it’s in the middle of the tongue and nowhere near the throat.

    The only “choking” incident I think I had is on my other post on the choking / gagging blog on here (I have only just written it). It was different in that the little chap didn’t seem to know what to do. He didn’t move, make a noise, just sat there getting red and looking at me.

    Do you eat at the same time as your daughter? I try to share mealtimes and make the mealtime a sociable time rather than sitting and watching the baby eat. I babble on at him about the food (yum yum that’s a lovely bit of broccoli etc) and about what we can see out of the window. If he looks like he’s gagging, I stay calm and make chewing faces at him saying nom nom nom! He normally smiles at me like I’m an idiot, which is reassuring in itself! Often the food then just gets spat out, I give him a drink of water, say good boy and let him carry on.

    It’s easier said than done but staying calm is 90% of the battle I think. Do you have any ‘safe’ foods that you find easier to let your daughter have? Perhaps you just need to go back a couple of steps until you get your confidence back. Good luck with it, hope you can get some useful advice on here.

  109. Victoria McF says:

    On my phone so can’t write much! When Fraser first started weaning he gagged a lot. He never choked. He would cough and sometimes be sick (well, a bit of food would come back). I was reassured that if he was making a noise then he could breathe and wasn’t choking. My mum *hated* this and really struggled not to intervene. Although I can be a bit of a panicker by nature for some reason I trusted the profess and my experience was by staying calm and giving Fraser the opportunity to sort it out himself, he was fine. He would start eating again straight away. It didn’t bother him at all.

    The only time I thought hr might be choking was a few weeks back (aged 14 months) when there was a moment with a satsuma segment when he looked the same as normal gagging but with no noise. I slapped him on the back and thd satsuma flew out.

  110. Ruaridhs mum says:

    I have a 10 second rule. I sit on my hands for 10 seconds before doing anything. It’s amazing how many times my son has handled food I thought was way too big. We have had a few incidents but he is now 9 months and its way better than before. Try eating at the table with her in her high chair and chatting to her as you eat. Make it a social occasion to take away your fears and distract her from feeling afraid. Hope this helps!

    • Cherie says:

      Thank you mums for your replies! All comments were helpful and appreciated. :)))

      My husband and I are both infant CPR certified, and we always share mealtimes. I eat breakfast and lunch with her and we all eat dinner together. What I originally described as “turning upside down” was a poor description of laying my daughter in my lap with head lower than body, etc. etc. I am sure that even the proper choking procedure scared her as she was not really choking! In only once incident did a rather large piece of pear come up with quite a lot of vomit…In hindsight, I think she vomited because I tried to remove the pear, but probably pushed it further back.

      Even when gagging, my daughter is very quite-she makes no gagging type noises, which increases my anxiety. Of course, I would love to hear sounds and than I wouldn’t be worried at all! I am making progress though-last night she slurped down a rather large hunk of cooked bell pepper from our stew. We handed her a piece large enough to fist with some extending to chew, but she bit the thing off! Personally, I kept eating and looking at my dish. I did not want to look at her with panic on my face. My husband was saying things like stay calm and in your chair, she is not making noises but is still breathing…It was funny when she finally swallowed it. Then she smiled :0) Now I feel even worse that I intervened 3 times within a week. I think that had I not exactly what happened last night would have happened, or instead of swallowing she might have worked the food out of her mouth. I like the 10 second rule!!!!!

      We’re going to keep at it. I hope that with continued experience and practice we will all get better. Again, thank you for your help.

  111. Cherie says:

    Thank you mums for your replies! All comments were helpful and appreciated. :)))

    My husband and I are both infant CPR certified, and we always share mealtimes. I eat breakfast and lunch with her and we all eat dinner together. What I originally described as “turning upside down” was a poor description of laying my daughter in my lap with head lower than body, etc. etc. I am sure that even the proper choking procedure scared her as she was not really choking! In only once incident did a rather large piece of pear come up with quite a lot of vomit…In hindsight, I think she vomited because I tried to remove the pear, but probably pushed it further back.

    Even when gagging, my daughter is very quite-she makes no gagging type noises, which increases my anxiety. Of course, I would love to hear sounds and than I wouldn’t be worried at all! I am making progress though-last night she slurped down a rather large hunk of cooked bell pepper from our stew. We handed her a piece large enough to fist with some extending to chew, but she bit the thing off! Personally, I kept eating and looking at my dish. I did not want to look at her with panic on my face. My husband was saying things like stay calm and in your chair, she is not making noises but is still breathing…It was funny when she finally swallowed it. Then she smiled :0) Now I feel even worse that I intervened 3 times within a week. I think that had I not exactly what happened last night would have happened, or instead of swallowing she might have worked the food out of her mouth. I like the 10 second rule!!!!!

    We’re going to keep at it. I hope that with continued experience and practice we will all get better. Again, thank you for your help.

  112. KimiH says:

    Jelly was a fun experience, oh how funny to watch Miss 10months trying to pick up jelly with her new found pincer grip. Which has developed so quickly due to BLW!! & for anyone stressing about the sugar content, it was only a couple of teaspoons, and I really water down my jelly(makes it go further!) I’m so glad a lovely friend put me onto BLW it has made life so much easier, as I now don’t stress about meal times, until Mr. 6y/o informs me that he suddenly doesn’t like a variety of things that have been favorites for many years. Oh well can’t win em all! Thanx, & keep up the good work!

  113. lilbuggy says:

    i’d be totally concerned with my kid choking, even older than six months. why would you risk that, for what benefit outwieghs the possibility of that horrible experience of seeing your child gag at an earlier age?

    • Aitch says:

      Well that is of course a huge point, but i would ask how you think that conventional weaning (using puree for a while then letting them self-feed) protects them from choking? If anything, I’d be inclined to say that the misplaced confidence that comes from using purees to wean a child capable of picking things up and putting them in his or her mouth (as most are at six months) places them in more danger, not less.

    • Jem says:

      I totally agree. This is why I’m still feeding my 2 year old purees, served only on rubber spoons. I also sterilise all of her feeding equipment (plates, bowls, spoons – you name it!) I only allow her to play with vaccinated children who’ve recently had a full doctors health check. I attached soft padding to all furniture corners to protect her precious noggin’ and have relegated the cats to outside (fleas, scratches, bites … oh the possibilities give me nightmares!)

      You just can’t be too careful these days.

  114. Elisabeth says:

    My Katie Siobhan is just about to turn 7 months on the 18th of Dec. She’s just started really using her hands (Came a month prematurely) and simply loves trying to feed herself! Before reading about BLW I was doing the pureed baby food thing! I went to a friends home on Thanksgiving day and my Katie gleefully reached for my plate… first time ever! She happily ate (spoon fed) bits of mashed sweet potato casserole and fresh cranberry sauce. The next evening her bottom was bright red… I think the cranberry changed the PH in her urine and caused a reaction. Will hold off on cranberries for a bit! As she is not sitting unassisted yet, she has to be held up in a high chair with padding around her. I do believe I’ll get a REAL sweet potato from the grocery store tomorrow and cook it up and offer her some pieces that she can knaw on herself.
    Thanks so much for the wonderful info. BTW I found your site from a poster on Babycenter.

  115. Jennifer says:

    Forgive me if some one has already said this but I dont have time to read all the comments. I like this approach however I would introduce new foods 1 at a time for allergies anc such. Also grains and dairy are much harder to digest and should be introduced LAST. Dairy 8-9 months and grains 12 months. I personally will NOT feed my baby grains except perhaps rice until 12 months because my oldest and I have issues with gluten. The spaghetti suggestion made me cringe. This is an excellent article concerning feeding nourishing foods to growing babies. http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/nourishing-a-growing-baby

    • Aitch says:

      good for you, am sorry to hear that you and your child have issues with gluten, best that you be extra-cautious then. However current advice in this country has it that gluten is fine for children over six months.

  116. Clucking Hen says:

    Aitch, and co.
    What a fabulous resource this is! With my first, i almost changed my name by depoll to Anabel Karmel, so strictly did i follow her instructions. And it drove me mad (and intact, having to go back to work at 6.5 mths i only really did half the work as nursery did the rest). I was aware of BLW, but my mother (aka the harbinger of doom) put me off it. This time round however, the thought of being free from pureeing was sooo delightful that i almost couldn’t wait to get started on BLW. I did wait, til a week before she was 6 mths old…and am now 3 weeks in. And by gad, am amazed. First week i was a bit dismayed, but then suddenly she got it – coincided with her starting to ‘talk’ (as opposed to comedy pterodactyl sounds) – i.e. using her jaw.
    However, got a bit carried away yesterday and gave her scrambled eggs, which she loved, but came up with a rash around her mouth. Now i’ve been looking on Dr Google (baaad mistake), and i did not even realise that egg allergy is the 2nd most common amongst kids, and that advice is to delay exposure and then to do whites first then yolk. Anyway, just wondered what peoples thoughts are on what to do now. Do i ‘expose’ her again and see what happens? Or just back off? She doesn’t have a problem with mayo (well not mixed with tuna, which she can’t get enough of), nor with other things that i’ve fed her that have egg as a binding agent in (e.g. turkey and courgette fritters – must put recipe on here, it’s amaze), so i don’t think that this is a big allergy issue…and the reaction wasn’t severe, but it was still a reaction. WDYT?

    • Aitch says:

      erm… i’m not sure, if you post on the forum in the allergies section you’ll get the experts. but i have a pal who is an A&E paed consultant and he told me (when dd had a wee reaction to tomatoes) just to jack them in until she was bigger. trickier with egg, granted.

    • Amy says:

      def dont give here any more egg, thats how we found out with my son, we took him to an allergist and he was diagnosed with egg allergy and a couple others we didnt even no bout, he told us tht kids shouldnt be exposed to egg n nuts till afta 2, and its always worse in its raw state too. the more the egg is cooked into things (ie cake bickies store bought products) th lesser th reaction. but dosnt mean they can have it! every time they r exposed th reaction can get worse, and annaphalaxis can only take 2 mins, i would take her to th docs asap n get ur self an epi pen just incase!!

  117. Clucking Hen says:

    Ta love. Had a mooch about and chat with the imminently sensible gals (and guys) on the forum. Will just not feed her egg toute seule, as that’s what did it and monitor her for reactions to anything else. Meanwhile, pitta and houmous a HUGE hit today…brilliant. Veg and fruit still a bit of a struggle, but am hoping it’s cos she’s so full of vitamins that she doesn’t need it!!! My mother will have her wagging finger out at xmas if i turn up with a baby who only eats meat and potatoes. Ah well. Plenty of time for veg and fruit…she’ll learn to love ‘em as much as we do (or else she’ll starve! Am not one to cook different meals for different peeps…).

  118. Jany says:

    Hi All,

    Via google i came accross this site, because my GP advised BLW for my nine month old.. It feels like a brik is falling from my shoulder ( i am sorry if my english is not as suppose too, i am dutch). The story is that i am trying my hardest to wean my youngest daughter who is now 9 months old.. i started with 4 months ( as is normal with formula fed children here) but no succes… i stopped, and tried it after a month again, still no success, and so on and so on.. doctors keep on telling me that she HAVE to eat cause she really need the nutritions, so you can understand i am worried sick, as she really doenst want to.. she stiffenes her lips as soon as she sees a spoon, she only want to grab it out of my hands and play with it.. this weekend i just gave her a piece of tomatoe in her hand while sitting on my lap and i got the shock of my life!! she actually did put it in her mouth!! so from now on i am going to try BLW every day.. we also are not very good in family meals and all as we do have different shifts at work. My oldest was never a problem ate the plate with the food if she could.. anyway thanks for all the advice!!

    • Aitch says:

      i am LOVING the brik falling from your shoulder! your english is quirky, but brilliant. how excellent that you’ve discovered your baby is a natural self-feeder, hope she’ll really get on with it now. don’t worry about the family meals thing, it’s just that if the baby has someone to copy (especially if they gag a bit) that is often helpful, and can be more fun. but hey, our lives are busy and we are all doing what we can do, sitting down as a family is the aspiration, not the rule. (i aspire more than i comply, that’s for sure, in most areas of my parenting…)

  119. Amy says:

    i dont understand, y do they tell u no full cream milk b4 12mths if its not true. havent they done tests to prove its not good for bub? curious! My son has a major allergy to egg so i can understand th allergy thing people r worried about, but in my house there is no egg related food at all, we all eat the same food. so theres no stress of a reaction, and we neva eat out. im still a bit hesitant on trying it, all th preservatives n added salt in pkt meals it cant b good for my 5 month old… can it? ill try anything once though, ill let u no how it goes!

    • Aitch says:

      who is it tells you not to give full cream milk before 12 months? it’s not poison, it’s just not nutritionally complete and not to be used instead of formula, surely? if you can hold off until 6 months, so much the better as that will go along with the WHO guidelines, and i’m not sure what you mean about packet food, sorry. i do agree that packet/processed food is infinitely more likely to contain salt and preservatives and best avoided.

      • Amy says:

        book, docs, nurses, friends, anyone really. they say bub cant digest th milk and it can cause allergies? i breast feed so it dosnt matter for me but i was just curious. by pkt food i mean meal bases for dinner, we r a working family so 4 out of th 7 meals i use meal bases.

  120. Natalie says:

    Really love the idea of blw, my mum is harder to convince with “issues with choking” as a nurse she has concerns and also dives across the table to retrieve something that ‘he MIGHT swallow’ – thought that was the point of eating lol! Anyway… When starting blw does it interrupt their digestive system, gave LO a bit of rice porridge ( only cos that was what I was eating) a stick of hard pear which he gummed to death and a bit of young coconut to suck on… He hasn’t pooed for 3 days now. We are in Singapore for a short while so could it be he’s a bit dehydrated too as he isn’t used to the heat or is this a usual thing to do when staring to blw?
    Don’t know if you can answer but just looking for a bit of reassurance especially when faced with the might of the nursing profession…..

    • Aitch says:

      i think it’s perfectly common for their digestion to go a bit… interesting…. when weaning, regardless of whether it’s solids or purees. i’d definitely keep an eye on the hydration if you’re in a hot country, but you know that already.
      as for your mother, she will get with the programme in the end, they ALL freak out initially (comes with the job of grandmother) but then get very proud, very quickly. (also a job requirement).
      my mum was similarly WAAAAH about choking when i first mentioned it, which is fine, but actually she reasoned it out in the end. Her kids were weaned in the 70s, so all kinds of ages, the oldest being three months, so by six months we were all self-feeding anyway. all my children had to do was convince her that it wasn’t three or more months of purees that had ‘taught’ us how to eat, but simple developmental readiness. once she realised that her grandchildren were every bit as smart as her own kids, she was well away.
      (so what i’m saying is, go look out your family photo albums for photos of your six-month-old spaghetti-smeared face… guaranteed there will be something there to put her gas in a peep, as we say in Scotland.)

  121. Natalie says:

    Thanks, I’m going to give it a real go when we get back home!

  122. Natalie says:

    Just thought I’d update you! We have been doing well with fruit, we have had our first gag up with banana and guava and oddly enough this has mad me feel more confident to try more stuff when I get home lol :) he loves sticks of softened carrot and chews on leafy greens stalks that have been cooked too (he’s teething ATM)! I’m sure I will be coming back again for advice but just wanted to say thanks!

  123. Natalie says:

    Ok so we have tried most stuff fruit, veg, meat, fish and eggs – no issues so far! How about cows milk? (I apologise if this has been covered elsewhere) also, is there a problem if I give him proper food and the odd puréed slop (as its already been bought for me by someone else?)
    Cheers!

    • ricecakesrule says:

      Hi Natalie, I think the official advice is that cow’s milk shouldn’t be given as a drink until 12 months, but until then it can be used as an ingredient. I give my LO shredded wheat but just use enough milk to soften it. Otherwise you can use expressed BM or formula in the place of cow’s milk.

  124. Paul cullen says:

    8 an half month old, recently doesn’t seem to be getting loads down. Worried about weight loss, don’t wanna go to puree

    • Aitch says:

      Hi Paul, has he/she actually lost weight? Is she maintaining a line on the growth charts? Is there anything appearing in the nappies?

  125. Aitch says:

    PS not that puree is the devil’s work, exactly… ;D if you want to give it a try for whatever reason, you absolutely should.

    • ricecakesrule says:

      Just to add my experience that as they get better at actually eating rather than just gumming everything, it can look as though they’re eating less. Have you tried going back to any favourite foods? My LO is off food a bit at the mo as he’s teething, gave him a bit of comfort food pasta and he was a happy chappy again. My LO seemed to not be gaining weight as quickly as (mental) HV liked – she advised to make sure he didn’t have any milk for at least 1.5 hours before a solid meal. It did seem to make him more interested in the solids!

  126. Kimberley says:

    My son is 5 months old tomorrow. Born 21st sept. The last week he has been watching us eat and seems to get a little ‘bothered’ by missing out. When I was drinking water out of a glass 2 days ago, he reached up. I put the glass to his mouth and tipped it a little and to my amazement he drank no problems. Amazed me totally! Also in the last 2 days he can now sit up un-aided, but after some time he leans right forward and needs propping up or lying down if he has had enough. I heard you can start BLW at 5 1/2 months IF the baby is sitting up un-aided. So my question is! Can I start my son on some breakfast with us in the mornings when he is 5.5 months? If so, what would you suggest I gave him to start with? I am so nervous and dont want to give the “wrong” thing! Maybe I am just not imaginitive enough! Thanks!

  127. Kimberley says:

    Next question! So can I give mashed banana on toast as a “first” food? I am just concerned about toast scratching his gums. He has been teething since 3 months. Is there anything to “soften” the toast? Also, what bread should I buy?

    • Aitch says:

      what about starting him off with some steamed carrot sticks, cooked so that you can squash them fairly easily between thumb and forefinger? or what fruit is around at the moment? maybe give the toast a miss until he’s reached that magic six months mark, just so that you know you did. what kinds of food do you have?

      • ricecakesrule says:

        Just a banana itself would be fine, let him mush it with his gums. I just buy normal wholemeal bread, have tried seeded batch which resulted in interesting nappies! Seeds aren’t great really while they’re just learning. I waited until 6 months but my LO was sitting early so I did let him gnaw on the odd bit of steamed carrot, pear or banana. Started in earnest at 6 months though. It’s harder work than breastfeeding, don’t be in a hurry!

  128. Kimberley says:

    Well this morning he didnt take much notice! So I am going to try hold out until 6 months anyways. I can get anything for him. Thing is I live in Dubai so a lot of our stuff is brought in from overseas! I guess we get some stuff local! Like cucumbers! Ha! This might sound a bit daft. Just didnt think of carrots as a breakfast food? Does it matter? I just read why you dont give bread before 6 months, so that helped! I hope I get the hang of this! I just feel so nervous! Will get a high chair soon, so he gets used to it I guess? Thank you everyone!!

    • Jem says:

      Just another take on it … he might just be interested in what you’re doing. Have you tried sitting him at the table with a spoon and bowl or an empty cup to have a good bash? He’ll soon let you know whether or not it’s actually the food he’s after :)

  129. Kimberley says:

    Yes defo gonna try that! Thanks! I read that yesterday ‘somewhere’ (whilst desperately trying to read EVERY BLW blog)! That’s why hubby is off out getting a high chair! Not very organised I KNOW hahaha. Thank you :)

    • Aitch says:

      I never bothered about breakfast foods, really. But then, as an adult I don’t really either. I’m happy with a sarnie or a bit of fruit, am not a fan of cereal.

  130. Lara says:

    Im combining the approaches is that OK?

    • Aitch says:

      there are two answers to that, both of them in my view correct…

      1. if you combine the approaches it’s not really self-feeding any more, unless you’re letting them self-feed the puree, yoghurt, whatever. (Feel no obligation to let them load the spoon as well, though, that way madness and splattered curtains lie).

      2. of COURSE it’s okay, you’re the mother, you know what you’re doing and what works best for your family.

      the thing about feeding them rather than letting them feed themselves is that we, I think, have a tendency to get more involved in how much they are eating, to congratulate over empty yogurt pots and that sort of thing*, which might make it harder for the child to jack it in when he or she is no longer hungry, but so long as you keep that in your head, then i say do whatever you want. no ‘method’ is completely right for every child in every family in every house in the world, that would be crackers.

      *that has been something i’ve really noticed since my children went to nursery and school, they show me their empty plates and are thrilled with themselves and i have to say ‘well done dear i’m glad you enjoyed that but remember we do like it when you stop eating when your tummy is full’.

      • JSB says:

        First of all, I’d like to say thanks to Aitch for this site. I have found it really helpful while weaning my daughter.

        Lara, I thought you might find it useful to hear my experience. I have “cheated” and fed my daughter occasionally with a spoon. I have tended to do this when I have been at someone else’s house and been worried about the mess she will create. I think what has worked really well for my daughter though is because she is predominantly baby-led she knows when she has had enough and communicates that to me. When I do feed her with a spoon I spend my time doing so and ensure I pick up her signals as to when she is full. I also ensure she always has her own spoon, otherwise she gets very frustrated and is constantly trying to grab mine!

        Interestingly this week I went for lunch with some other new mum friends of mine who are weaning their babies with purees and they were all really impressed with how well my daughter is eating and feeding herself (she had a spinach and cheese muffin, some melon and salad). They were quite nervous at the thought of baby-led but by the end of the lunch buoyed on by seeing my daughter they all tried some “real” food including salad from our plates and some home-made treats I carry with me for my daughter. We all had great fun waching their faces.

      • Aitch says:

        meant to say, Lara, your post inspired a thread on the forum. heaps and heaps of opinion as you can see, of which the only really important one is yours. :D

        http://www.babyledweaning.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31336

  131. Catherine says:

    On the waiting a few days between introduction of new foods rule, in NZ I have been advised to wait 2-3 days between new foods (on the basis that it allows you to pinpoint the cause of any reaction) and conversely to introduce as many foods as you wish early on (on the basis that it (allegedly) reduces fussiness later on). We didn’t follow either rule – we introduced a range of foods early on but stayed clear of the common trouble makers(wheat, dairy, eggs etc) for the first month or so and monitored for any reaction when we did introduce them. Common sense really. We started on purees but the battle of the spoon soon made meal times frustrating, for both of us. We tried BLW and our little girl embraced it with great enthusiasm! Now that she is feeding herself she is much happier at meal times. Feeding herself means she will try anything – lettuce, chard, beetroot, meat, fish, anything really. She is an eating machine!

  132. AshleyB says:

    We have begun BLW and I love it I am preaching to everyone. It makes so much sense and it works. She didn’t poop for a couple days & being a new mom I called telehealth and they advised me that it was fine :) I just gave her some prunes and she was good to go. We started a bit early as she was sitting up and grabbing at our food. How do you say no to a little one who is so interested. She has masted this talent and we are so happy with her progress.

  133. Marja says:

    Hiya – i have just found out about the blw concept through mothering.com and really like the idea but my bub is now 10 months and i have been spoon feeding him mashed food and also feeding him finger food since he was about 7 and a half months. This has been fine – he eats a variety of food with this method but does go up and down with his interest and i feel like sometimes hes not really that into it but just eating because im giving it to him, which is why i would really like to start the baby lead method – im just worried that because he has been eating quite a bit of solid food that he might loose this nutrition (although he is still breastfeeding A LOT). He mostly just plays with the food if i let him do it himself so doesnt really get much down. Im sure it will improve with time but just wanted to know your throughts on how to approach this initially??
    Thanks!
    Marja

  134. Aitch says:

    I guess if he’s been used to eating then you and your breasts would bear the brunt of the changeover for a while… could you handle that, do you think? if it was me, i’d look to offer him finger food for all snacks and meals but maybe some spoonfeeding as well (afterwards), gradually dialling that down?

  135. Melanie says:

    Hi, My son is 6 1/2 months and I have tried to give finger foods and some purees. I find with some of the finger food e.g. pear, banana, although he loves it, he seems to have terrible tummy trouble until it passes through the other end. In fact since starting weaning, i’m having more sleepless nights than ever (he has never slept through/breastfeeding still). He wakes up several times a night seemingly wriggling around and sometimes results in bottom wind. I’m starting to think that bland foods with baby rice/milk is all he can stomach without it upsetting his sleep habits too much. Don’t know if anyone has this experience. Thanks Mel

    • Skip says:

      I remember my son struggling with the transition to solid food in the poo department too – I think it’s likely to be the same whether you do purees or BLW though. It’s a big jump from milk to all these different kind of foods for their little digestive systems to process. I would have thought that fruit and veg is probably easier on their gut than grains and cereals though.

      Also, it’s still very early days – if you feel that he’s able to digest blander foods easier at this point then by all means take it slower. You can still be baby-led in theory! Let him handle spoons and have a go at feeding himself, and try again with a wider variety of foods in a week or so to see how he fares.

      There’s a likelihood that the sleepless nights are due to something else entirely too… teeth, gross/fine motor developments for example? There’s a lot going on at this age, and a lot of babies’ sleep tends to suffer as a result.

      • Melanie says:

        Thanks for the replies skip and Ches, My baby was only waking once a night and now its more like four/five and he is co sleeping which blows out the window all the good habits!! He loves feeding himself with sticks of various items, but he really struggles then digesting it, in fact banana seems to make him really constipated. Maybe I’ll try one night giving some paracetamol or ibuprofen to see if it is down to his teeth (already has two at the bottom). Thanks again

      • Aitch says:

        banana is a known cause of constipation in some kids, so deffo avoid if it’s a problem for him. regarding the sleeping, though, i sound like an old granny i know but you were kidding yourself if you thought that the ‘waking once a night’ thing was likely to last. that will change every few months, if my experience (and that of my friends) is anything to go by, and for a zillion different reasons. my advice on that score is to enjoy good sleep while it lasts but not to expect it to.

    • bimbambaloney says:

      Oh my banana’s were the devil’s food for my DS. They really used to give him bad wind/constipation. I gave up on them and reintroduced them when he was over a year old and doing proper stinky solid poos. He is now a few months off 5 and eats one or to a day with no issues.

      Both of mine took time to settle with the transition from a milk only diet to one involving solids. I always out it down to the change in diet (I’m the same when I’m eating food I am not used to on holiday!!) I recommend moving his last meal forward a bit so he has digested most of it and got rid of the wind before he goes to sleep. And remember you have no reason to be on 3 meals a day at 6.5 months so you could only give him milk in the afternoon and solids in the morning giving him all day to digest them.

      Hope the sleeping thing gets better for you, lack of sleep is the worst part for me. I’m not a nice person when I’m tired :/

      • bimbambaloney says:

        I would just like to apologise for the random apostrophe that seems to have crept into the bananas!!!

    • Carrie says:

      Hi there. My 6 month old became quite gassy at the introduction of foods and sounds just like yours! Thing is, I started with the cereals. Then I added some purees and he became gassy. Went back to just brown rice cereal with breastmilk and he was worse than ever! Tried oatmeal, but he didn’t like it. Now we’re on to just simple fruit and veggie purees. He’s got a sensitive tummy and was “colicky” with allergies (to almost everything I ate) so we’re taking it slow. Just pears, apples, carrots, and squash (he reacted to sweet potatoes – diarrhea, rash, vomiting). I plan to cook up some pieces to allow him to play and self-feed in addition to the purees. He loves the pears and carrots – they seem to be treating his tummy better than the cereals. Although, he still has a few issues it’s much better than the when he was eating cereals. Every baby is different, but in our case we found simple purees worked better on our sensitive baby. We used Happy Bellies brown rice cereal and oatmeal, by the way. The rice cereal is completely dairy and gluten free.

      • Aitch says:

        Great stuff, but even better maybe would be to just let the babies self-feed altogether, and see if he expresses a preference himself? Sometimes if you’re giving whole, recognisable foods this allows them to reject foods they know they react to, and to accept ones they know to be neutral (or even delicious). That’s kind of the point of BLW, at the end of the day, that you ditch the purees and just let them get on with feeding themselves. (Unless, of course, they’re in control of the purees but your soft furnishings might not thank you for it. :D)

  136. lucy says:

    im thinking about trying baby led weaning we have tried some purees ive also tried lumper purees and finger foods but he chokes and is sick on anything but purees does it take a while for them not to gag ?

    • Beth says:

      Have a look on youtube so you can see the difference between choking and gagging – choking is scary, where the baby stops moving, goes red or blue, stares and you end up having to turn them upside-down and whack them on the back to dislodge whatever is stuck in their throat and start them breathing again. Choking is very rare. It’s more likely that you’re encountering gagging, where the gag reflex at the back of baby’s mouth is still active, and when some food touches it, the baby gags and is a little bit sick in order to move food that is too big to manage, out of the mouth. Much like if you stuck your fingers down your throat! Gagging looks and sounds dramatic, but you’ll probably notice that a few seconds later, your baby is happily looking for the next piece of food, and is not at all bothered.

      It took around 3 weeks for the gag reflex to disappear for us, although it still happened from time to time (usually somewhere super-inappropriate, like a smart restaurant!). As long as you’re giving plenty of opportunities for your baby to control the food, with him moving it into his mouth and him getting rid of it if he can’t manage it, then he’ll get there before too long!

      Good luck ;)

  137. Ches says:

    Hi Mel,

    My son is 6 months and 1 week. When he was 2-3 months old, he slept through a handful of times and was down to only waking once when EBF. It was fantastic. Now he wakes up several times a night and is co-sleeping so I can get some kip! The reasons are:
    - Teething, been going on for months, but ibuprofen helps
    - 6 month growth spurt (food doesn’t help as it’s not digested yet, he needs more milk)
    - He is SOOOO close to crawling/pulling up, he’s consumed by doing it by day AND by night.

    He is my second and my first wasn’t interested in eating until he was 11 months old, so we’re going VERY slowly with BLW, watching the baby and not the calendar. I only ever offer him food if he’s grizzly and I can’t eat my own dinner. The only thing he consistently brings to his mouth is a peanut butter sandwich (crusts off), but it doesn’t go in. He did manage to swallow some broccoli (I saw it in the spit up), but he has a solid tongue-thrust reflex still (bit off a bit of banana last night and it came straight back out since it was a thumbnail-sized chunk).

    Hope that helps,
    Ches

  138. Laura says:

    Hi there,
    I am new here. I am starting my son on BLW as he is 6months. The only problem is that aside from toast he seems uniterested/unable to grab anything and bring it to his mouth. I am holding things for him but if he doesn’t want them they don’t go in as then it’s not really baby led. Anyone else have this problem? Is he simply not ready?

    • Aitch says:

      I’d say don’t get too hung up on the terminology, Laura, are you happy enough holding onto things and letting him guide your hand to his mouth? Then great. I appreciate that a lot of the fun for the kids is feeling squidgy things but some children are naturally more fastidious and take longer to get to grips with the mess. They’re funny wee individuals, just give them time to get used to everything. Remember, until last week he had only ever had milk, maybe he reckons the toast is a big enough change for now?

  139. Kimberley says:

    Well I have started! We have had cucumber, carrots (gagged loads with them), banana and brocolli. Loved it all and he is feeding himself organic whole grain baby cereal last two mornings, well if he swallows much.

    Someone mentioned a 6 month growth spurt? My little one was sleeping 8:30 pm til 7am, waking up 2:30am for a feed, then 7am have a feed and falling back to sleep until about 8:30 EARLIEST. Last 8 nights he has fidgeted none stop and waking up 3 times between 8:30 and 8am he finally wakes up. I am exhausted, and every time he is just hungry. He seems to have his bottle, nappy change and be burped all in his sleep. I mean he is the “perfect” baby, no fuss, no crying and is real easy. I just cannot seem to get any sleep! Mum keeps sayin “feed him rice cereal before bed, make him full”. The thing is he is having formula, 2.5 scoops, 160mls of water. He sometimes leaves some, so isnt hungry! And my son was 9.5kg a few weeks back, so he is a BIG baby.

    What to do? Just ride it out? I work 10:30am til 7pm and my mum or husband look after him! I am shattered. So can food help with this?

    Main question! How do I know when to start reducing formula as I increase food?

    • Aitch says:

      Let the baby work the formula thing out by himself, I’d say. He’ll drop bottles when he’s ready to, but in the meantime it’s up to him to calibrate his intake, I think. I reckon maybe a more convenient (for you, i mean) dream feed might help with the sleeping, though. what about feeding him a bottle as you’re going to bed, when would that be?

  140. Gallicgirl says:

    Is he teething perhaps?

    My DD used to do this and sometimes we had to tweak her routine a little bit to accommodate changes.

    Ditto about the formula. Baby will work it out themselves.

  141. Lucy says:

    Thank you so much for all this info. I have a 5 1/2 month (3rd child) who is refusing all purees/baby cereals and reaching for my food. I am excited to start this method at 6 months. Hopefully it will work. My first child ate everything in site, my second refused purees and is the pickiest eater around so I’m hoping we can do something different here and have another good eater. Now, onto the research!

    • Aitch says:

      good luck, although isn’t the idea that the third children are left to be raised by wolves? it was in our house… *thinks of semi-feral little brother*

  142. Stacey says:

    My baby is 6 months old and we started introducing purees at 4 months. She actually really enjoys meal time and we only feed her from the spoon when she “asks” (leans forward with her mouth open or positively responds when we sign “more” to her). We don’t really worry about how much she is getting a day although we do offer purees to her three times a day but if she refuses to eat we don’t force the issue. I am interested in starting baby led weaning but wanted to know if there is any harm in offering her purees twice a day (while at daycare) and pieces of food at dinner. I actually came across the concept of BLW when I was telling my sister in law that my daughter was interested in a banana I was eating so I let her have it and she bite off and chewed a few pieces with her single bottom tooth. She told me to look into BLW and now I’m very excited to learn that giving her other food is an option at this age because she is so fascinated when we eat. So it’s not that our baby doesn’t like purees nor is a difficult eater. I want to introduce pieces of food just at dinner when 1) I can supervise her versus her daycare provider and 2) she likes purees so I don’t want to take them away from her. My only concern with doing both is will she be more likely to choke if she is learning to swallow food without chewing during two feedings, but then needs to know to chew when offered pieces of food at dinner?

  143. Asma says:

    Hi,
    I started to wean my baby about 3 weeks ago, using puree, but have been giving her bits of toast etc i didnt realise that was blw!!! its been such a pain pureeing everything I will now stop with the puree and just give squidgey food sticks instead, :) WOOHOO!

  144. Dalaimama1007 says:

    I read that you shouldn’t introduce a new food near bedtime in case your baby has an allergic reaction. We are starting BLW today, so I plan to give him his new food at lunch, but today is Saturday, so that is convenient. During the week, he has various grandparents watching him, so I would prefer to introduce new foods at dinner, which would be close to when he goes down (6:30 – 7:00 p.m.). Do I really have to let the grandparents have all the fun of introducing new foods during the daytime?

    • Aitch says:

      That’s your call, i’m afraid. I just introduced foods when I wanted to, to be honest, but yes i’ve seen people talking about leaving three days between trying new things, trying them at lunch etc etc etc. I think you’ll get a feel for it, there are certain foods that are known to be allergenic, if you feel strongly about it or if you’re from an allergicky family then get the grandparents to try those ones. I’m thinking egg, raw tomatoes etc.

  145. Emma says:

    Hello,

    I am in desperate need for some advice. I read BLW book and think it is wonderful. However, my son is already almost 13 months old and he is not taking to solids. My mother-in-law was taking care of him until now and spoon-feeding him pureed food, but she literally had to sing and dance to trick him into eating. Mealtimes were always a struggle. Now that she is finally gone home I am trying to teach him to eat solids BLW way, but he is having hard time eating anything but some commercially made cheese puffs and crackers. He refuses to be spoon fed anymore, and he refuses to eat our food. I eat all my meals right in front of him, and sometimes he takes some of my food, but he would chew it and spit it out. But mostly he acts disinterested no matter how much variety we offer him. He still drinks formula so he is not loosing weight, but I am very concerned – he cannot keep eating formula till he is 18 years old! Please help with some advice for parents who started BLW with toddlers and who are having difficult time. Thank you so much in advance!

    • Aitch says:

      Hi Itala,
      the thing about BLW is that really, it starts when weaning starts, so round about 6 months, so that opportunity has passed I think. However, of course it seems like you have got yourself a baby who doesn’t much like eating at this stage, for whatever reason, and you want to address that. (I doubt you would have done the singing and dancing and tricking, left to your own devices).
      First things first, he’s not going to be eating formula until he’s 18 years old, or even anything like that… :D And remember, short of force-feeding him there is Absolutely Nothing you can do about his reluctance. Can you maybe get some vitamin drops for him, and then knowing that he’s getting that plus the milk might help you to relax about it?
      Does he eat when you’re not looking? I know some babies love a picnic on the floor, or in the park, or even in their buggy, because they really dislike being observed. Does he eat fruit if leave it in a bowl for him while he’s doing something else?
      Some kids just don’t like eating, for whatever reason, and it’s a horrible worrying spiral (especially when mothers in law are around) so a good first step is stopping the worrying, i think.

  146. Dapper says:

    hi we started weaning our little girl at 5 1/2 months as she was alway grabbing my food at mealtimes. she is now nearly 7 months and has seamed to go backwards at eating. she gets upset when comfronted with food infront of her whether on my knee or in her chair, at 4 months i tried to spoon feed her but she kept her mouth tight shut, this is why i wanted to use the blw, i worry now as i am due to go back to work and she is breastfeeding, she wont take a bottle or have a cup so i seam to be in a bit of a dilema and i wondered if you have any experiences in this, and what will happen when she goes to nursery.

    • Aitch says:

      https://www.facebook.com/babyledweaning
      Hi Dapper, I can hear the urgency in your post so I’ve put you up on the FB page as well. The thing is, it’s perfectly normal for them to go a bit backwards and forwards with eating, for various reasons including wee illnesses, teething, other things being more interesting, their parents being annoying or even just, as you have discovered simply being 7 months old. I think mine waited until 8 months before refusing food, so your little girl is very advanced. ;D
      the only thing you can do, as you know, is plough on. If she doesn’t like the high chair, forget about it for a while and have picnics on the floor or outside. or give her a sarnie in the buggy.
      this really wouldn’t be an issue if there weren’t the looming spectre of nursery, of course. have you spoken to them about how they feed the kids?

    • Antonina says:

      I’ve replied on Facebook but thought I’d post it here as well.

      My son was a bit like that too – didn’t want to know about spoon-feeding, that’s why I started BLW, which he loved at first but then just stopped eating alltogether (well apart from my milk!). He’s now MUCH better and I’m having the best week ever at the moment (and he is 14 months – it does take time!) and I think the trick is to not stress about it, because they can sense it and it makes it worse. As soon as I decided I didn’t care if he tried something or not, it got better. Another trick I used is to eat exactly what he was eating and show it to him. Eating on the floor always helps too! Now that it is summer, try picnicing in the garden on in the park – they seem to try things they never tried before when they think they are picking something from the ground! :) Also I think when she starts nursery she will see example of other children eating and will progress much quicker. As for the bottle feeding, my son also didn’t want the bottle with formula (or my milk), but he preferrs sippy cups. I’ve read somewhere about just giving those to them as a toy at first, and letting them get on with trying to drink, and then they figure it out and drink themselves. Also a type of cup matters, I tried a lot of them, and the one he loves is Tommy Tippee essentials, so yours might prefer a certain type of cup too!

  147. Emma says:

    Thank you so much for your reply. Relaxing about it and just letting things proceed naturally is what I need! Thank you so much! And thank you for the idea to try him eating unobserved. I will try to have fruit left for him to find in small plates in his play area and see what happens! Thank you again! I feel so much better!

  148. Aitch says:

    good idea, especially if it’s nice and cut up so that he can nibble without risking a choking incident when you’re not around. i even once knew someone who had a brilliant success with a four year old fusspot when she stopped trying to feed him at mealtimes and instead gave him his own mini-fridge stacked with chopped carrot and cucumber, bits of ham etc. i mean you’re not there yet, of course, but i do find my own children often get so hungry (if we’re out doing somethign) that they won’t eat anything at all. little weirdos. but if i let them graze on healthy stuff… suddenly dinner is more appetising.

  149. Dapper says:

    Thanks for your advice. its nice ti know i’m not alone, lol. i have bought several sippy cups and i have found a nuba cup with a silicone spout, which comes out fast when in her mouth but she seams to like it. of course it goes all down her as well but its nice to see her drinking :). as for the food well ive just gone back a few steps myself and i’m just going to go with the flow. i will talk to the nusery over the next couple of days and see what they say, again thanks.

  150. Sarah says:

    I couldn’t wait to start weaning my little man and when my HV mentioned looking into BLW I must admit I was reluctant. I have watched my niece ‘play’ with her food at the dinner table and, to be honest, don’t like it. However, now that I have started puree feeding I am starting to see the merits of the BLW approach and today my son enjoyed tucking into a banana (me not so much when he gagged a couple of times but at least I know he can clear his throat ok). This is what bought me to this website and it has been most helpful and very common sense in my opinion. My only concern is that I will have to, at some point, go through the ‘don’t play with your food’ battles.

    • Aitch says:

      I guess that’s one of those battles that you pick or don’t pick, isn’t it? Children learn everything through play. But when i was a kid, ‘don’t play with your food’ didn’t really mean ‘don’t play with it’, it meant ‘eat it’. And with my kids having been BLW’d that’s another battle i’m not getting into. They’re not allowed to be ill-mannered, ungracious, or wantonly wasteful with their food, but they are encouraged to follow their own appetites, especially in our house, where they’re getting good tasty meals and have nothing to gripe about. (They do gripe, of course, because they’re children, but they know that bitching about dinner is met with a bored roll of the eyes and a request to be more polite, rather than an invitation to go to war over penne puttanesca…)

  151. Pam says:

    Hi there
    I’m new to this site and have found all the comments so interesting and informative and have learned heaps in just an hour! I just thought I’d comment on the gagging thing – my nearly 3 year old daughter refused to eat anything off the spoon from 5 1/2 months when I first started weaning her. I gave up after about a month and a half of trying to get her to eat purees. She gagged on every mouthful and spat it out and I found the whole thing completely stressful! I didn’t know about BLW at the time and found myself doing BLW without even knowing it. I gave up on the purees and just put some food like steamed brocolli, carrots or pear on her table. She played with the food and ate little until she was about 12 months. She pretty much only had breast milk until 12 months. Anyway, when she first started gagging I was worried and stressed, however, after observing her for months doing this I eventually realised that she wasn’t going to choke, she was just moving the food around her mouth and mostly out of her mouth! Now I have an 8 month old daughter and because I was so stressed the first time round with weaning I really wanted this time round to be pleasant and enjoyable for Mum and bub! My 2nd daughter still has a very strong gag reflex but I’m not as worried. I can she that she gags on the food, moves it around her mouth and then swallows it yay! (most of the time). I have experimented with purees just to see if she can swallow better than my first daughter and she’s fine with them. However, I’ve decided it’s much easier and more fun for everyone if she learns to feed herself and enjoys finger food. She loves getting messy with banana and avocado and particularly likes brocolli. My 3 year old now eats pretty much all foods and particularly loves olives, smoked salmon and raw salmon, avocado, dukkah, lamb chops and most vegies!

    • Aitch says:

      aaah, you have reminded me that i haven’t had dukkah in yonks. *revises shopping list*
      i do think some babies are gaggier than others, definitely, really interesting to hear of your wee girl gagging on puree as well.

  152. Sanda says:

    our first solid food experience was, of course, accidental, and it was daddy holding baby on his lap while mummy was handling the camera – so it’s not alway the dad; i’ll post it up, but i’ll have to cover the conversation in our funny language with something nicer :)

  153. Nikki says:

    My daughter is 6 months old I’m very interested in trying this but she has already been eating baby food for 4 weeks . I saw that one of the points of this is to teach them how to chew before swallow so im afraid shes just going to put it in her mouth and swallow and choke. We have let her pick up and suck on things but as soon as I think she’s going to break of a part or eat it I take it away cause I’m afraid of her choking?

    • Aitch says:

      well it’s very smart for you to be concerned, and entirely natural (we’ve absolutely all been there), but i suppose it’s something that has to be faced at some point unless the intention is to keep her on purees forever. :D the best thing to do is have a look at a good infant CPR page or do a course, so that you will actually know what to do. (To be honest, i think this is something all parents should do… the only time i ever needed to use the knowledge was in the park with someone else’s three-year-old). Then think about what you’re giving her… soft steamed carrot isn’t so different from what she’s had before. I totally get what you’re saying about learning which thing first, but all you can do is see how she gets on. She’ll be fine, I reckon, we’ve had heaps of babies who’ve had puree first and made the transition perfectly. Just take it slow and relaxed, and good luck!

  154. Clare says:

    So glad I found this website. I knew I wanted to try BMW when I start in the next week or so but I didn’t know where to start. Some great, helpful advice. Thanks

  155. Clare says:

    Sorry meant BLW not BMW

  156. AJL says:

    My daughter is 7 and a half months old and we decided to go with the BLW approach as she wasn’t having a bar of any mashes. And WOW. She devours anything we put in front of her, it is a delight to watch and be part of. Watching her discover foods for the first time on her own is such a joy. She has learnt about her favourites already and she is always prepared to give everything a go!
    Funnily enough I have never felt too worried about choking, I have kind of trusted her to work it out herself, which she seems to do. Spits out skins of fruits, never puts in too much at a time etc.
    It’s been great so far and I look forward to the next couple of months when I think she is really going to ‘take off’!
    By the way, my son, almost 4 is a terribly fussy eater, we end up having to spoon feed him half the time – you can imagine the contrast at dinner time!! Feeding the big boy while the baby sucks on her steak and chomps up her brussel spouts!
    Thanks for the website – it’s great!

  157. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Aitch,
    Thank you for your website and information. I’ve just started BLW with my almost-7mth old. I’ve got Gill Rapley’s book and I think we’re off to a reasonably good start. But, I was hoping to ask you a couple of questions. I’ve started my baby with sticks of steamed vegies and a little fruit. I’ve done all the reading that says gagging is normal and a good safety mechanism etc but everytime my little one does it he vomits and gets upset. It seems to be his signal that mealtime/playtime is over. This is fine, but the other thing is that he hasn’t really swallowed anything yet. The couple of times he has (a bit of bean and carrot), he gags and brings it straight back up again. He’s quite happy to play with the food and is very interested in my meal when he sits on my lap so I feel that he’s ready for BLW but with the gagging and subsequent vomiting I’m wondering if it is too soon? Have you any ideas/advice/suggestions? Thank you very much, Elizabeth.

    • skip says:

      It’s pretty normal – not much fun for whoever’s cleaning up, but normal! My son went through this too, and we just kept food to a very casual minimum until he was more proficient, maybe once a day if the timing was right. There’s absolutely no rush with BLW – food is fun until they’re one, and at this point it’s more about the experimentation and exploration than actually filling them up with food.

      My LO was much worse with gagging/vomiting when he had a cold, as I think all the mucus was irritating his stomach.

      It will pass. If you’re all finding it a bit much then there’s nothing wrong with taking a break for a week or two. You might find he’s developed just a little bit more by the time you go back to it.

  158. Shirah says:

    Hi there!
    I’m not aitch, but blw’d both kids (3 1/2 & 1 1/2) so can offer some opinions at least!
    In my opinion, it’s all part of the learning to eat situation. My eldest seemed to learn how to eat the first time he smelled food, whilst my younger child is still not a reliable eater! I personally would carry on as you – letting it be a playtime. How is he in a highchair?

  159. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the advice ladies. This has confirmed my thoughts and good to know I’m on the right track. He’s very strong and sitting up on his own and quite likes sitting in his chair for eating/playing. He also sits on my or my husband’s lap for mealtimes. We’re only offering food once a day and not putting ourselves under pressure to even do that. If we miss a day here or there it’s ok. I wasn’t worried about whether or not he was eating/digesting food, I just got a little concerned that my little one might start to associate food/mealtimes with a negative experience (i.e. gagging and subsequently vomiting) and not want to explore food? Thank you again for support and confirmation that it’s all about playtime and exploring at the moment. I know that; It’s becoming a little draining trying to help others to understand that…. with comments like ” oh he’s not eating much is he”!

  160. Sophie says:

    I have a similar question. Although my 6 1/2 month old enjoys sucking and chewing food, as soon as a bit breaks off he gets really cross/upset, throwing his head back and yelling until he’s swallowed it. I try to encourage hinto chew the offending bit by going “nom nom”, telling him it’s normal, giving him a well done when he does swallow, but it doesn’t help much. Then as soon as the bit is down he’ll be reaching for more.

    The only foods which don’t offend him in this way are corn puff crisp (Organix Carrot Stix) and croissant. Scone went down ok the other day too, not sure why. Plus veg which doesn’t break (eg raw courgette) and v squishy fruit like kiwis. Not sure whether to keep on with toast even though he grabs for it?

    • Aitch says:

      What foods have you been giving? How does he do with something like fusilli pasta or broccoli etc? Same thing? I’d give the toast a rest if it’s actually upsetting him, maybe he just needs a bit more practice with softer, more easily mashed with a tongue, stuff?

      • Sophie says:

        We tried broccoli in the lentil & veg curry from the BLW recipe book on Sat. He loved sucking it until a small floret broke off and went in his mouth. Very ripe avocado was popular for Sunday lunch. Have also tried roasted parsnip and carrot (didn’t make much headway on either), red pepper (will chew tiny bits off happily, but again hates bigger bits), kiwi was ok, pitta bread is like toast, fusilli pasta got chewed up and spat out. Lumps of sticky rice just get thrown overboard before they even get tasted!

        So I think you may be right that he only likes things he can mash with his tongue, I’d appreciate any suggestions. I’ve got peaches for him to try but what else? Are there any good carb options? Besides croissant!

  161. Sophie says:

    Forgot to say, we’ve only been doing this for two weeks!

  162. Christina says:

    I have a 9 month old who used to eat the purees but recently will hardly touch the stuff. Am I too late for blw? I am seriously stressed out about his eating! Any advice would be so appreciated.

    • Christina says:

      OH! I forgot to say I have tried the stage 3 and he gags and wont try them again. I guess its a silly question and I should just try giving him the finger food stuff.

      • Aitch says:

        i don’t really know much about stages, but i think you’ve come to the right conclusion. :D
        Forget about terminology such as BLW, just have a look at some infant resus stuff (there is gagging to consider, but not sure how much if he’s been eating already) and get wired in with the food. With little babies we tend to start with steamed carrot sticks etc but very quickly you’re limited only by your imagination. If he loves it, great. If not, don’t be too downhearted, he may just be cutting a tooth and not very pro-having-anything-in-his mouth at the moment. It’s common for BLW babies to get a bit antsy at 9 months as well. Whatever method of weaning you’re following, i think the thing is to trust that they probably have a reason for acting like little loons, and not to sweat it too much.

  163. Milena says:

    I like the idea, but I don’t understand – am I supposed to give my baby whatever we’re having or am I supposed to not use salt etc? I don’t cook bland for the family so not giving salty food to my DD would mean cooking separately for her, no? Also, I have a huge sweet tooth so I’d better fix my own habbits before I hypocritically try to teach my babe not to indulge in sweets :-(((

    • Aitch says:

      And with that one realisation you’ve hit the horror of weaning… you just do have to become less of a hypocrite, or at least keep the hypocrisy until after they go to bed. ;D
      Yup, don’t use salt, you really don’t need it in cooking if the produce is good, but it will take a wee while for adult palates to get used to it. I took it down gradually, while my first daughter was still in those first couple of weeks of eating steamed carrot sticks and cut up fruit. After that, she had what we were having, but remember if you still want salt, you can add it at the table.

      • Milena says:

        Hm… Tell my husband that ;-) Sounds doable though, definitelly taking to the idea! Thanks!

  164. Kat says:

    Hello, I was led to this website by my health visitor today. I have to say, I have been very sceptical about BLW, as my son (now 4) was puree fed and is healthy and loves all foods. My daughter (6 1/2 months) has been weaning since she was 5 months due to lack of interest in milk, and has been having purees. But today, when I saw the HV for a weigh in, I was persuaded to try BLW. Gave my daughter pasta spiral, grated cheese, cucumber sticks, banana and breadsticks at lunch and we had sooo much fun. At tea, more pasta, brocoli, a little fish fillet, cauliflower. She did really well, and the dog got a meal out of the dropped bits too. My HV told me that BLW helps babies to learn to chew and if I continued on purees then when she had the lumpy stuff she would struggle and purees aren’t chewed, just swallowed. So I put this theory to the test. I put a small piece of pasta in some puree. gave my daughter two spoonfulls and then the third spoonful had the pasta in. Result…she choked! Thank goodness I’m a qualified paediatric first aider! So…where do I go from here? Got a cupboard full of jars…take them back to the supermarket???? Also, today, she has drank more milk than normal, I think this may be because she is not over full from me shovelling puree in! So a result I think…off to buy the book!

  165. Shakenbake says:

    Just wantee to say thanks for the site and info. I have a 6mth old with no interest in purees who very happily knawed chunk of cantelope tonight! I’ll be trying more for sure!

  166. Shell says:

    Hi, just looking to pick some brains please. Planning to do BLW but little one is very interested in food. He’s 18 weeks and sitting upright at table in high chair for last month. He’s already stolen chip from dads plate and brought to mouth (removed it) and if we eat near him he drags our hand with the food to his mouth to try and get it in. At the minute I’m distracting him with plate, spoon and expressing milk which he drinks from open cup while we’re eating. Actually considering eating while he naps as he is getting so upset – drooling, crying etc. Is it ok to let him play with food? I had no intention of starting to we hit 6mths or as close as possible. I’m happy with sleep etc and confident he’s getting enough milk but wasnt expecting this level of interest at this stage. Advice would be appreciated.

    • Aitch says:

      Wow, that’s very early, isn’t it? Cool, though. You know the guideline is 6 months, but presumably you also know that after 17 weeks a child isn’t going to do kidney damage (might get more upset tummies if weaning before six months, but that’s about it as I, a non-medic, understand it – it’s a pretty big window).
      Personally, in your position i’d go with distraction for the next couple of weeks, just, well… just to get him over the five months thing… so not scientific really. Thereafter, barring known allergens and gluten, i’d maybe let him go for it. From memory, neither of mine waited until 26 weeks, both were around 23. It can’t really be an exact science, i think, any more than they all start walking at one year on the dot.

  167. Kath says:

    As a mad grandmad (and yes grandmad is my name of choice!!) I have to say that blw is quite distressing. I see my beloved grandson desperately trying to eat food that he cannot get into his mouth. He gets totally frustrated and I just want to give him something sustaining. He is now eight and a half months old and still waking up during the night. My daughter is due to go back to work in two months time and will still be woken up during the night. She works an hours drive from home. Who came up with this total tosh? She seems to working on the thought that this will stop obesity. I am small and slim, in fact the only person who agrees with this is her 33 stone father – my first husband. A load of rubbish is all I can say. All of us oldies are quite healthy without inedible food being put our way. AND YES I AM FURIOUS. This is just another of trying to get good book sales. And – by the way, I have not read the book. I feel that this is akin to giving a starving person their favourite meal and then tying their hands behind their back. My grandson was so desperate to get his food his food last week that he went face down to try to eat it. He is not yet allowed to use a spoon! How sad is that?? What is wrong with half and half?? A little of the ‘mush’ and then textures.

    • Aitch says:

      Nothing’s wrong with half and half at all, if that’s what the child’s mother wants to do. If she doesn’t, you can either back her decision or undermine her in her new role as a parent. I know what I’d prefer.

      • Kat says:

        June, thank you for your interesting comment. I was extremely sceptical about BLW, until this week when my daughter tried it and is now refusing pureed foods. I think every child is unique and individual, and BLW may not be for everyone (babies and their families) but at least your daughter has tried and should be commended for that.I hope your Grandson stays well and find his feeding favourites!

        Kat x

    • Alice says:

      Why don’t you read the book?

    • D says:

      How about you quit your b!tchin, mind your own bee’s wax, and realize you arent the decision maker here. The parents are.

    • Skip says:

      “This is just another of trying to get good book sales.”

      Actually, it’s the current guidelines given by the NHS, and World Health Organisation. In fact, this is what the NHS website advises:

      “Every baby is an individual, but there are three clear signs which, together, show your baby is ready for solid foods along side breastmilk or infant formula. It is very rare for these signs to appear together before your baby is six months old.

      1) They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
      2) They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
      3) They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.

      Some signs that can be mistaken for a baby being ready for solid foods:

      -Chewing fists
      -Waking in the night when they have previously slept through
      -Wanting extra milk feeds

      These are normal behaviours and not necessarily a sign of hunger, or a sign of being ready to start solid food. Starting solid foods won’t make them any more likely to sleep through the night. Extra feeds are usually enough until they’re ready for other food.

      Always stay with your baby when they are eating in case they start to choke.

      Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food.

      Allow your baby to feed themselves, using their fingers, as soon as they show an interest.”

      Pretty much identical to the BLW guidelines given on this site and nothing about trying to sell books.

      Spoonfeeding is not the enemy – but whatever your daughter decides in terms of how she weans her son, it’s up to her. He will not starve by doing BLW. Using the ol’ faceplant technique to try to get food is just him trying out a different technique! It’s great that he’s enthusiastic, and I hope you come to appreciate how proud of himself he will be once he learns how to feed himself – it really is a joy to watch.

    • Zoe says:

      Can you not think back to being a new mother? Do you think your daughter really needs this from you now, or just support? I think you feel FURIOUS because your (adult!)daughter is not wanting your advice, and you feel put out.

      BLW is now recommended by the NHS. My health visitor even leant me a DVD about it and is extremely supportive. My little boy is 9 months old and 26lbs. I have not made a puree or spoonfed him ever. Definitely NOT starving!

    • bimbambaloney says:

      Hi Kath,
      I found that the best way to get my head around BLW was to remember that if the baby is hungry, he gets milk, the food that can fill him up and that his system can easily digest, providing him with all the nutrition and energy he needs. The solid food presented to him should be for fun, a new play thing for him to handle, smell and taste. As the child begins to be able to handle the food and starts to eat it gradually he will prefer the tastes and begin to fill up on solid food and will gradually reduce his milk intake. You think your grandson is frustrated and hungry, perhap you could suggest she gives him solid food about 30-60 mins after a milk feed, so that he is not starving hungry but is hapy and therefore more likely to enjoy the food he has in front of him to play with. The face in food is just him lernign how to experience new textures, Im sure there are many spoonfed babies who have stolen the bowl and tied to drink from it or put their heads in it, because you know, this food stuff … it’s FUN :))

      You mention your daughter is using BLW as an aid to combat obesity, which is clearly something that is close to her heart given the weight issues her father has. The thoughts around this relate to the child gaining from an early age a positive relationship with food. By allowing the child to choose what they eat and when they eat we allow the child to maintain their natural cues of when they are hungry and when they are full up. With spoon feeding these cues can easily be overidden by pushing the child to “eat just a few more spoonfuls” or “just finish what is on the plate”. I assume your daughter has been feeding her son with milk on demand since birth, babies do know when they are hungry and they know when they are full when it comes to milk feeding so feeding with solids should not be any different.

      While I can understand your concern about your daughter’s lack of sleep while having to travel long distances, I think as a grandmother, it is your role to support your daughter in whatever parenting decision she chooses, perhaps you could offer to spend the night every so often so she can catch up on a good’s night sleep?

      I hope you and your daughter can talk through the frustrations you are having. Every choice that she makes that is different to the ones you made can seem like a personal slight. Talking together in a calm, positive and wanting to learn way, may bring you closer together than talking at each other in a negative accusatory style.

      I hope you both reach peace and can be a happy supportive family and positive female role models for your grandson.

    • Helen Davies says:

      Hi Kath,

      I’m interested that you describe your grandson as frustrated, this sounds like an interpretation of his behaviour, which means it is not necessarily true. It doesn’t sound like he is distressed, which is the main thing. He sounds like he is very inventive in his new food adventures, imagine how much he is going to learn and the satisfaction he will feel when he succeeds! What a great learning for life for him. At 8 and half months he is still getting all the nutrition he needs form his milk. As for the book issue, I’ve read 1 book on BLW from the library so no cost and the rest I’ve gained form this excellent website itself. If you read the book maybe you could get some ideas to share with your daughter so you become part of the adventure with them, rather than battling against them. 2 months is a long time in baby world, he will change so much and will be ready for his mum to be at work, especially with all the new independent skills he is learning through self feeding. Learn to trust your grandson and daughter otherwise you may loose out on an awful lot of pleasure, and so will they without you and your support. I’m sure your anger is driven from a place of love for your grandson, imagine how different your experience will be if you communicated from that place instead. I hope as he starts to much away happily you will be just as vocal about his successes. I look forward to hearing about them. Best wishes to you and your family.

  168. Janice says:

    As a grandmother your role is to support your daughter in her parental choices, not undermine them. Your daughter has done her research and made her choices. There is nothing wrong in pure BLW, pure mush to start or half and half. Either way milk is the main source of nutrition until at least 12 months so it sounds as though things are fine.

    Please stand by your daughter’s decision.

  169. Lizzie says:

    Dear Kath, I understand your concern, as your grandson is being weaned differently to the guidance you probably received when weaning your own children. However, current guidelines support this method of weaning, and many health visitors and doctors I have seen actively promote it. From my experiences I can tell you that yes, puree fed babies get more food down them, but then they drink less milk (and milk contains far more micro nutrients, vitamins and minerals per calorie than most food- particularly food such as baby rice, which is mostly starch) they are also more prone to dehydration and constipation, as their fluid intake can be inadequate. One of my friends’ traditionally weaned babies ended up in A&E with severe constipation recently as he is finding hard to take in enough fluids to balance all the solids she is eating.

    Night waking is only a problem for the mother if she finds it a problem.

    Baby led weaned babies tend to rely on milk for longer, which is good for baby because milk is still the most nutritious food they can have under the age of 1, and for mother because regular breastfeeding including night suckling contributes to reduced oestrogen levels over a longer period, resulting in a lower risk of breast cancer later in life.

    20 or 20 years ago babies were weaned earlier, and at 4 months a baby can’t feed themselves so purees and mush were necessary. If your grandson is being weaned at 6 months according to current guidelines he has effectively ‘skipped’ the mush stage he would have gone through if he had been weaned at 4 months as, for example, I was. This is now considered too early as doctors have discovered that the baby’s gut doesn’t mature enough until around 5-6 months to deal properly with food.

    Additionally, self- feeding develops baby’s motor skills and coordination far more than spoon feeding does.

    If you wait and watch, you’ll be surprised how fast he ‘gets’ eating and how much fun he’ll have with his food.

    Lastly, this method has been tried for long enough now that we know it works! I do agree that the book is being sold as a ‘method’ when actually babies have been weaned this way in many cultures since time began. We didn’t invent blenders till a few years ago! Don’t buy the book, just watch and marvel at how clever your grandson is being, learning all these new skills.

  170. Gallicgirl says:

    I have a 16 month old daughter who doesn’t always sleep through the night so I wouldn’t in any way think that puree feeding would solve that problem. In fact, purees are mostly water, aren’t they, so surely if baby is hungry then more milk/formula would be better?

    Babies learn skills at different ages. Your grandson’s frustration is understandable but he is still tiny and he will learn. I found that I had to find the right time to feed my daughter: if she was too tired or too hungry, she didn’t manage too eat much. However, by about 9-10 months it all fell into place and she eats brilliantly.

    Parenting is a learning process for everyone involved.

  171. Fliblet says:

    Hi Kath. I presume your grandson is still receiving milk to supplement his eating attempts? If so, then he is receiving all the nourishment he needs, and the food is giving him the opportunity to learn how to eat. This is what we do when we encourage babies to push themselves forward by leaving a favourite toy just out of reach, or to take the first tentative steps by calling them towards us – we are giving them the opportunity to learn how to do it themselves. Sure, it can be frustrating for them at times – my little one used to cry when he couldn’t reach the things he wanted, but he soon learnt how to reach them himself. The same is true of BLW – your grandson may be frustrated, but how wonderful that he is interested in learning how to eat, and how much of an achievement it will be when he manages to do it by himself, just like he did when he sat upright on his own, and like he will when he takes his first steps.

    I hope you are able to allow your daughter to parent as she chooses. There are so many people who have found BLW to be immensely rewarding and fun, and the likelihood of reducing the chance of obesity is only one of many benefits it can offer.

  172. Juliana says:

    Remember, your grandson is NOT a starving person, he should still be getting all necessary calories from breastmilk or formula. Support your daughter, it sounds like she could use it right now, going back to work is a stressful time! Your grandson will get the whole eating thing either way, purees or not, and won’t even remember, but I’m sure undermining your daughter will always be remembered :-(

  173. kate says:

    My son loved baby led weaning and ate well from the start but i would still of described him as a frustrated eater cos he couldn’t get enough of it quick enough. I know that if i had puree fed him he would of been frustrated with my delivery speed, at least this way he was in control and he soon got the hang of it.

    We have BLW 2 children now and had ALOT of flack from family first time around, who are now all converts and sell it to thier friends too.

    The best choices are not always the easiest – please don’t stress your daughter out during this time – being a new parent is stress enough

  174. Lizzie says:

    20 or 30 years I meant… sorry typing in a hurry

  175. Kylindryl says:

    If you haven’t read the book or any literature on it I am not sure you would be able to see the whole argument behind BLW. One big thing is that they control the pace of the meal by self-feeding, and are more able to stop when full.

    If he is having trouble getting the food to his mouth it may be the types of food or their slipperiness, etc. I am sure if you pointed your granddaughter to the forum here there would be lots of pointers.

    There is lots of time between 8 1/2 and 12 months to learn new feeding skills. In fact many babies don’t start eating well until into their first year. Most Health organizations indicate food is for fun up until one. Breast milk or formula is much more calorific than fruits and veggies. Moreover it is more digestible for little ones than solids are (as their little systems are still developing.)

    Finally… by 9 months most weaning systems encourage the introduction of finger foods… so it isn’t just this method that would be having your grandson learn to self-feed at this stage.

  176. Sarah says:

    Sleeping through the night, as much as it is considered desirable in a child and the pursuit of it fuels lots of book sales, isn’t truly normal for human babies and some studies have shown it to lower natural SIDS protection. I know that past advice was to give solids to encourage sleep but that advice, along with when and how to introduce solids, has changed as new evidence comes to light.

    It sounds like your daughter has done her research and come up with what she feels is a good way for your Grandson to start his relationship with food. It might not be how you did, or would do, it but speaking as a mother who has had a lot of misinformed criticism from my parents, I think she’d probably appreciate your support – and maybe you’re venting here to avoid doing so to her in which case that’s great ;)

    Just a thought on the obesity question – perhaps your family are not genetically predisposed to obesity, but your Grandson is a mix of your family and his fathers so he might be more so. In any case I always think of BLW being about a healthy relationship with food primarily and that might help stave off the pressures to be super thin in the future too.

    The little guy might be getting frustrated trying some things now but believe me, when he ‘gets it’ and you watch him enjoying ‘real food’ with the accompanying grins, babbles and pride in himself you’ll feel very differently!

  177. Lizzie says:

    Also I should have said ‘puree fed babies get more food down them at an earlier age’. This is only based on what I’ve seen. The older BLWed babies I know eat just as much as the ones who started on purees. I’m sure your grandson will be fine Kath.

  178. Chloe says:

    To Grandmad (and yes, you clearly are a bit mental), you really need to read a bit more about BLW before you start to spout “tosh” in a comments section.
    The benefits and results from BLW are tremendous. I have 3 children and BLW my last two children (I hadn’t heard about it the first time). The first time I did it, it was almost forced on me as my son would not eat at all as he had pretty severe reflux and it was almost as if he was scared of eating as he knew he would vomit. He’s now almost 6 and just been diagnosed with autism but through it all, I now have a child (and his younger brother) who has a very healthy appetite, isn’t picky and isn’t afraid to try new foods. In fact even with his autism, food is one of the things that captures him and that he shows an interest in.
    I’d also like to point out that the sleeping has nothing to do with it. That’s an old wives tale Some babies sleep, some don’t

  179. ricecakesrule says:

    Agree with the others that said their children cracked it at about 9 months. I was still breastfeeding on demand at this stage and so there were no concerns about my baby not getting enough food. The current thinking on food is just for fun until they’re one. Babies find some things easier to eat than others obviously, but for now your daughter and her son are still learning so there are likely to be some small issues.

    Also, re sleeping through, mine didn’t sleep through til 11.5 months! Yes it drove me crazy but I decided not to do controlled crying as was the preferred method in my parents’ day. This may have more to do with your grandson not sleeping through than the feeding method?

    I hope you can be more supportive to your daughter’s face than you come across in your post here!

  180. Karen says:

    I really feel parenting is enough of a nerve wracking experience without criticism from family members who really should remember how hard it is being a new mum trying to do the best for their child. My first child was fed on puréed food and didn’t sleep through until she was 17 months, my second child was BLW and didn’t sleep through until 18 months so in my opinion puréed food vs BLW doesn’t have any effect on sleeping through and as has been mentioned milk is the main source of calories for the first year. However if venting your spleen on here stops you criticising your daughters choices please carry on, I would far rather read your vitriol than have you spout it at your poor daughter and undermine her experience as a parent!

  181. Kath says:

    Excusez moi but did I say that I was not supporting her? Of course I do but I still find it distressing when he cannot get food into his tum. I really seem to have opened a whole can of worms here. For the person who said there are weight issues here, yes of course there are with the paternal side of the family her dad is HUGE. I can,therefore, understand her wanting to her gorgeous little boy to understand food properly, in the way that I brought her up – yes – mush and all. What I could actually do with here is support from you all. I am trying my hardest to understand this. Funnily enough for you all I am a Food Technologist, Teacher (special needs) and Linguist. Help would be appreciated as opposed to hostility. My daughter and grandson mean the world to me and I do remember how hard it was to be a mum for the first time – good luck to you all! Thanks to those you who have given good advice. I will show all this to my daughter when she comes over tomorrow as I know that she will enjoy the debate. I am not vitriolic – just allowed to have an opinion.

    • Lucy says:

      I just wanted to second the observation that food will probably make very little difference to the sleeping. I have fed both ways and my purée fed child slept no better than my BLW one.
      It took a while for BLW to click for both of us, but once it did the rewards (and giggles) were well worth it.
      There are lots of tips on the forum for things to try if he’s finding it hard to handle some things. I found triangles of things were easier than rectangles for instance, and spiral pasta easier than tubes.

    • Aitch says:

      What kind of advice were you looking for, Kath? Your post is wholly vitriolic, I’m surprised you don’t see that. Of course you’re allowed an opinion, and broadly speaking it’s an opinion that has been voiced before, many times, but never, in the thousands and thousands of posts on here, quite so angrily.

      Anyway, now that we’ve got your French and your teaching quals out of the way, how can we actually help? Because if you’ve opened a can of worms about anything, it’s more likely to be about how our own mothers have spoken so dismissively of things that we have decided to do with our children, rather than the concept of BLW (which, after all, none of us is married to, it’s just something we did for a little while with our kids).

    • bimbambaloney says:

      I suspect that the reason you were met, in some posts with hostility rather than help was because instead of asking for help to understand your daughter’s choices, you decided to be rude and dismissive. When you post on a website that the subject of the website is “tosh” and “rubbish” and you are “FURIOUS” at the choices your daughter is making; then well, I’m not sure what you expected.

      Now if you really are after advice and support to better understand BLW, then I suggest you head over to the forum and ask your questions, perhaps in a warmer tone? You will find a hugely warm and supportive community that welcomes considered and respectful debate. If however your main purpose is to instigate arguments for fun (yes some people really are that sad and lonely) then please stay away.

  182. fuz-chan says:

    I think you were met with hostility because you were hostile, if you see what I mean. Coming in ranting at the start is a sure fire way to get people’s backs up, and you were very rude about a parenting choice all the people here have made.
    You can’t make your daughter raise her child the way you raised here; obviously you did those things for a reason but she is the mother now and has the right to make her own decisions. You are allowed an opinion, but ultimately the child’s parents get the casting vote.
    Reading the book might be an idea, if you really want to understand. And some of the comments above are helpful and informative – NHS and the WHO recommend these things for a reason. DId you do any research before you came on here to insult us and our “tosh”?

  183. Danielle says:

    Lol! It’s 10Pm, and I’m reading this grandma post and having a laugh! It’s actually fun since I’m awake once more with my 8 months old, well fed on “half/half” to the point that she bites my nipples if try to feed more! I’m frustrated because I know she doesn’t sleep because she just doesn’t want, some how I screwed up her routine and that’s that! There’s nothing to do with how she is feeding, or how much for that matter! I’ve got to say that you’re completely in title of your opinion but first you should get the fact straight, (NHS info, read the book) and second remember as you are mother yourself that in the end of the day the decision belong ALWAYS to the parents. So you should be more supportive and help out not be part of the ” problem”. Good long night! At least to me!

  184. Maria says:

    Dear Kath,
    I am very sorry you have such a hard time with your grandson LEARNING TO EAT. This is all that BLW is. If you are a teacher, you probably have heard of Montessori, right? I understand BLW as the food deal of Montessori. Let them do it yourself. I am not all against puree, in fact, my daughter (now 15 months old) loves certain purees and sometimes (especially when teething) eats them better than solid foods. But I as her mother (!!!) did decide that I wanted her to be real with food meaning that she started eating with her fingers, however well or not so well it worked in the beginning.
    Here is what I ask you to consider: Trusting your daughter’s intuition as a mum. I see a trend in mothering today that must be hard for all those new mums of the past 60 years who were taught to follow the rules and pretty much had their intuition tossed by people who didn’t understand the same.
    Also: Maybe hide you opposition to BLW as this will make your daughter listen to what you say first and then ask her if you can help your grandson pick up and maybe even feed some food if he really has trouble picking stuff up. Redirect her to this site to let her read about the multiple ways in which BLW can work for all kinds of families. I helped my daughter eating stuff she couldn’t pick up and by showing her how to do it, she picked up on the picking up and inserting in mouth really fast. :-)
    To sum this up: RELAX. Being all wired up about things is the worst you can do with a baby – it screws with their heads and makes life miserable for everyone.

  185. jennyeightyseven says:

    When I first heard about BLW, my son was 4 months, and everyone, including his grandmas were telling me that I should start him on solids, get some cereals in him etc etc because he was big for his age. I read a bit about it and decided to put off weaning til 6 months and go baby-led. I told my mum about it, and although she was suspicious, and it was completely different to all the advice she had received in the 70s, instead of dismissing it as new-age tosh, she researched it, even bought me the book! My son is now 8 months and loves food- he’ll eat anything and has even learnt to pick up peas! My mum has been a great support and wishes she’d known about it when we were babies. Read about it, Kath, you might just be convinced (and why not get the book from the library if you don’t want to buy it?)

  186. Kath says:

    okay, okay I didn’t think this would invoke such a response!! Yes, when my gorgeous little babe comes round I stick to mum’s rules. I wouldn’t do anything else, he is her baby and it is up to her. I have to mention that she had a bit of a run in with the health visitor at his 8 – 9 months check up. As a result of this she wrote a letter of complaint. She felt that she was being interrogated. The health visitor went round this pm to see her. Have yet to find out the results. Please don’t any of you think that I am undermining my daughter. When my grandson was born she was in serious danger of post-natal depression as she was finding breast feeding very difficult. As I am now a supply teacher I took the whole of the Autumn term off to support her and will always do so. I still find it difficult to see a babe of his age scoffing half a baby plum tomato and not choking!! That is my biggest fear, and that I couldn’t get him out of the high chair in time to do anything about it. Danielle hope you have a better night’s sleep tonight. If any of you can give me advice on the easiest food to give him that he can eat it would be greatly appreciated. He seems to like asparagus – strange but true!! I am so pleased to have had this discussion with all of you as I was really worried, but you all seem to be doing fine. Onwards and upwards!! Sorry if I seemed hostile – just a silly old maddie!! Maria thanks for your comments. My daughter does not like me helping him to pick up food which is very difficult. Interesting to read that some babies can pick up peas!! I am thinking of grated cheese instead of cheese sticks and maybe mashed spud so that he can get a fistful – to hell with the mess!! The kitchen floor gets cleaned every day anyway!! I’ll just have to get the book after all!!

    • Aitch says:

      The thing is as well, Kath, that I bet if you think back this isn’t very different to what you did with your kids. My mother was also very ‘BUT SHE’LL CHOKE!’ about BLW but calmed down when a. the baby didn’t choke and b. i pointed out at all the photos of us (her kids) eating lasagne at six months. The big change here is that the babies wait to be weaned, but in truth if you weaned your children at 3 or 4 months onto puree, they’d be on family food by six months anyway. Who could really be bothered with the faff of spooning for more than a few months? (Not my ma. :D)
      Grated cheese is a good idea, asparagus delish, steamed carrot/broccoli etc also easy. Personally I didn’t mind the idea of handing food to them back when they were in that stage of only being able to open and shut their gripping hands, but it wasn’t necessary for most foods.
      I understand the fear of the halved baby plum tomato, I tended to cut bigger things if they were available, so normal toms quartered rather than baby toms, and was hawk-eyed about small foods like halved grapes.
      Mind you, I also did a baby resus course at the local maternity hospital, which did make me think i was armed with information about what to do, but also got my fears into perspective. The nurse, with if I recall correctly, some thirty or so years experience, just hadn’t encountered a fatal choking. There’s some good info on here about choking, but I think it’s no substitute for the real deal of practising with a weird medical doll.
      Re the peas, that’s just another developmental stage… fine motor control. Anecdotally, BLW’d babies seem to get there quicker, probably because they’ve been allowed more access to weirdly-shaped, non-plastic items.

  187. fuz-chan says:

    Sounds like you are coming to terms with it. To hell with the mess is probably a good way of thinking!

    Honestly, with a 2.5 year old now, I can look back and say it was a very hard six months but now it is so easy – her fine motor skills improved vastly with all the practice she got and people are ALWAYS telling me how beautifully she eats for her age.

    Hasn’t cured fussiness, sadly – she changes her likes from one day to the next but it doesn’t bother me – I think BLW prepares you to be much more relaxed about it all with your kids.

    Good luck with reading the book! Lots of good ideas in there.

  188. debbie says:

    I’m very pro blw and give my 7month old sandwiches, toast, omelettes etc…but am really nervous about giving her meat that isn’t pureed….. can they really manage chicken or meat balls etc when they have no teeth??? I’ve done some pesto chicken for dinner tonight and put some in the fridge for her for tomorrow with the normal veggies, asparagus, courgette, potato…..but think i’ll back out of giving her the chicken…… help!!

    • Laura says:

      I am said daughter of the mad grandma. Leon’s weight actually jumped centiles after he started BLW and grandma is wrong to see him as starving. Mum I cannot believe you can come onto a BLW weaning site and be so rude and dismissive!! Apologies to the rest of you who have been riled by my mothers ignorance. I have suggested she read the book. Mum – the person who said your lack of support would be remembered is quite right >:-|

      Leon is actually pretty good with a range of foods and baby led weaning is actually going pretty well for us. He has good and bad days – don’t we all? I don’t make a habit of feeding him the food but I do help sometimes. It actually makes him a bit lazy and he expects the food to be popped in his mouth so I try not to but that doesn’t mean it’s not perfectly ok to do – sometimes. At the end of the day at least they are trying proper solids and not mush.

      To Debbie – have you tried pre-chewing the meat? Sounds horrible but just nibbling the meat can soften it. I have done this with Leon with steak and chicken.

      I think BLW is ace and I’ve had some good advice on here in the past on stuff to give him. Great website by the way.

  189. Laura says:

    Hi again, Just wondering what snacks people give their babies? I am trying to get more snacks into Leon’s day but not always sure what to give him. Banana bread goes down quite quickly. Any other ideas?

  190. Sarah Fitzpatrick says:

    Hi. I’m starting my little girl on solids. She is just over 5 months and I want to do tr BLW. What do I do? I am giving her baby rice on a morning but she holds the spoon and eats what she wants and then she is having a slice of peach on an afternoon. She is still on 6 bottles a day. Do I cut down on these? I know she will tell me. Should I give her more things to nibble on between foods. I’m so excited about doing this I love babies covered in food! Sorry if I sound a bit thick on the subject but health visitor hasn’t really mentioned anything

    • Aitch says:

      Hi there, good to hear you like babies covered in food, as it’s pretty much inevitable if you choose this route. Is the baby really able to hold the spoon by herself and feed herself at that age? How fantastic! Forget about the bottles, as you say she’ll tell you. She might even want a bit more milk for a while, if i recall mine did, and certainly didn’t cut back for months. Meanwhile, they were eating for Scotland so go figure…
      keep off the gluten and possibly allergenic things until 6 months, just to keep your bases covered, but keep up the peach and expand it to other fruit and veg if she’s enjoying that. BLW is a doddle, basically, it’s best not to over-think it. Food is fun until they’re one, and all that… milk’s the thing, really.

  191. caroline says:

    Hi, i’m new to blw…just researching b4 i embark on weaning my lo. He’s only 5 months, but interested in our dinner plates and cups…..my question is can the fruit to try be tinned in fruit juice? We eat plenty of veg, but i actually like alot of tinned stuff. I obviously will stock up onfresh fruit but wondered…….

    • Aitch says:

      god, yeah. the only thing is that it’s a bit more slippy for them to hold (cling peaches, that sort of thing) but if he can grip them then go for it.

  192. Nicky says:

    Hi, my daughter is 6 months next week, we have started blw this week just once a day mid morning we have tried toast, cucumber and nectarines all of which she loved, we also tries chunks of banana but they turned slimy and she just ended up chasing them around the tray and non actually made it to her mouth, do you recommend leaving banana out for a while or mushing it up? Also are we ok to try cheese want sure about dairy? Thanks x

  193. Clarey says:

    Hey!
    What kind of bread/toast do you use as I’ve heard you shouldnt use seedy grainy bread due to choking risk? Is Rye ok or wholemeal? Ta x

    • Aitch says:

      I’ve not heard of the seedy grain bread being disapproved of because of choking, but i have heard that we’re better to start kids off on white bread rather than wholemeal/brown because of it can interfere with vitamin c absorption. I figure if that’s a problem, you’re giving your kid waaaay too much bread, so i just gave my children whatever we had at the time. Crusty or toasted to start off with, though, deffo, because it can be a bit claggy and prone to balling up in the mouth otherwise, and that is a choking risk.

  194. Ree says:

    This is a really good blog im glad i came across this. My 9 month old nearly 10 months is very fussy when it comes to eating solids at 4-6 months he was fine on purees but as soon as i started to introduce the lumps hes gone right off his food eats it every now and again but he wont eat from a spoon without having some sort of hassle. I dont know what other kinds of finger foods to use. I’ve tried banana stewed apples avocado mashed pumpkin carrot potato sweet potato etc I also get paranoid aswel when he eat chunks cause he always gags on it freaks me out i cut everything up to the size of a pea.

    • Aitch says:

      What about doing an infant resus course, or at least having a look at one online, so that you put your fears into perspective a bit. (Not that they’re unreasonable fears, just that what’s the point of them if you can’t actually do anything about it? ;D)
      By his age, if you’ve let him have the things you mention, and his pincer grip must be pretty impressive if he’s picking up these pea-sized things, i’d be letting him have the family dinner, but obviously that’s contingent on it being low in salt, booze etc. what kind of things do you have?

  195. Emily says:

    Hi, I’m trying to get to grips with BLW. My son is 13 months old and I’m so stuck as to what to give him. I’m told I give him too much milk (prob 80% of his diet) and he shouldn’t have bread. He doesn’t like butternut or banana but eats a tonne of gem squash which he only likes me to feed him, thereby negating the BLW. Aside from that he mostly chews on rocks…help please??

    • Aitch says:

      so here’s the thing, though… at 13 months your boy is waaaay past the BLW stage, he’s just eating, and with your help, which is FINE. He just likes rocks best. :D
      Who’s telling you he’s eating too much milk? (I mean maybe he is, maybe he isn’t… but is he ill in any way?)

  196. Rabab says:

    Im going to give BLW a try now with my 4th Child, used the other traditional methods with the others (who are all great eaters with no allergies aged 3, 4, 7) but they weaned earlier and were bottle fed mostly. My daughter is 6mths next week, exclusively breast fed and refuses all spoon feds/bottles etc. Today she reached for and helped herself to a bit of bread at lunchtime and took a little sip of water from a sippy cup…. so here we go!!! wish us luck!

  197. REBECCA AND ROC says:

    Hello
    I am in desperate need of some advice and reasurance than blw is the way to go!
    My baby is nearly 7months old, he is very healthy and big for his age. I am still breastfeeding but have been trying blw for 1month and he has barely chewed anything and has only swallowed twice and was sick after those two times so actually has never kept any food down
    he doesn’t have teeth yet
    the other babies of his age and younger are all doing really well at blw but not my baby, Roc

    any advice would be really welcome and appreciated!!!!!
    many thanks
    Rebecca and Roc

    • Aitch says:

      aaaaand, breathe… ;D
      heavens, you sound stressed out by all this. forget about the other babies, there are always babies who take to this later and it sounds like Roc is one of those. we did a wee poll about when kids took to BLW on our FB page and look, it really is a bit of a bell curve. You’ve just got yourself an outlier, that’s all. No problem, especially if he’s breastfed. If you’re worried, you could give him some iron supplements (hell, if you’re worried spoon-feed him, life is way too short to stick to something that’s making you unhappy just for the sake of it), and if you suspect he’s an extra-gaggy baby have a look at the comments on here, where there are some other mums with gaggy babes. In fact, you’ve inspired me, I’m off to see if there are any gaggy babies’ mothers who want to write some advice for us here, as it’s not something I had experience of…

      • Janey says:

        Speaking of gaggy babies, my daughter was bad at latching on for a breastfeed in the beginning. We took her for cranial sacral therapy – just for an MOT really as I’m a big believer in it – and the therapist discovered while feeling in her mouth that her soft palette wasn’t aligned properly so she pushed everything forward. She corrected this and from then on she sucked better at the breast and accepted a dummy at sleepy times. Now she’s feeding herself at 6 months and we rarely have any gagging problems. Just a thought. Perhaps your baby may have a strong gag reflex for the same reason. Can also recommend cranial to help colds.

  198. sonia says:

    Hi,
    My 5 months and a week old baby is mad to start weaning. Every time we seat on the table for a meal (specialy evenings) she goes mad if you don’t give her a taste of something. I started yesterday to give her what she wants, had a go on a brocoli, banana and bread, but I find I have to help her to reach her mough or otherwise starts crying frustrated because she wants to eat some. This happens after she has been fully breast fed before hand. Not sure what to do about it as she is not brilliant holding the food by herself… any ideas or advice?

    • Aitch says:

      are you holding her hand while she’s eating, or does she get the picture once she’s got the food to her mouth? if it’s the latter, i can’t see what the problem would be there, so long as she’s in control. but the thing is, her motor control might just not be there yet, so likely will find this improves the closer she gets to 6 months. try her with toys and spoons etc at her highchair as well, sometimes that’s enough to distract them at that age, when they appear absolutely desperate to join in… sometimes. ;D

  199. lily says:

    Hi my son is turning 6 monthd in two day and i want to start this method becuase i believe its the best way to introduce real food to babies.
    My son has mild eczema so im a lil scared about what food to introduce first and how long to wait. im a lil confused about the 4 days. do you feed him the same food for 4 days or you feed him 1 day and then wait 4 days to try something new.
    Please help me understand this.
    Thank you in advance

    • lily says:

      One more question . in comparation to what should the pieces be. for example the size of my fingerss or smaller?

    • Aitch says:

      it’s really about introducing new foods, so you’ll only notice the lack of choice for the first week or so as the baby likes more and more things without (hopefully) bumping up against a reaction. but if there is a reaction, becuase you’re only introducing one new food every four days or so, you’ll be able to pinpoint what it was.

  200. Lolo says:

    I read in an alternative parenting magazine that the hydrochloric acid in babies tummys isn’t produced until more like 7months… N that we shud therefore be waiting a bit longer to introduce food… ? Have u heard of this?

    • Elly says:

      I have read several studies advising waiting until 7 months also. But when I started blw at just over 6m, I noticed she didn’t really swallow anything until 7months anyway.

  201. Aitch says:

    let’s say your pinkie finger-ish. unless you are a giant. ;D

  202. Angel says:

    This is a great website, thank you for all the information! My daughter is almost seven months and we started (trying) to feed her purees when she turned six months. But she’s only ever taken a couple of spoonfuls, and she insists on holding the spoon. I spoke to a nutritionist for guidance and she suggested I try BLW, which makes sense to me (although I really do fear she may choke… but then I’m a worry wart…) My question is that in addition to fruits and veggies I want to start her on egg yolks, so how can I prepare this is a way she can safely self-feed? Should I cook an omelette and cut it into thin strips? I’m going to start the self-feeding today… hopefully… *fingers crossed*

  203. Comadrona says:

    Even 25 years ago before BLW had a name, many of us were letting our babies choose. I had a pathological hatred of mushing up food and none of my kids ever took to jars of baby food. So for us it was soft fruits, steamed vegies and they were allowed to mumble on a chicken or chop bone. I also used to chew up food for them (predigesting – an ancient and sensible method) and it all worked beautifully. When I became vegetarian, so did my kids and we just carried on as before. The mess is annoying but small children are all about mess – when we lived in caves it wasn’t an issue of course! So take your meals into the great outdoors whenever you can, I’d say!

    Regarding when might be the right time to start – the baby is usually reaching out for interesting things on your plate by about 4-5 months or so. I know that fully BF is the recommendation, but a little taste here and there will not kill them. In the centuries before everything about childbearing and rearing became regulated by the calendar and the clock, mother simply observed their children and let them explore.

  204. James says:

    Hi all,

    Thought you might like to see our BLW experience. The video is of our daughter at about 7 months.

    http://www.sanderstemple.com/sanderstemple.com/Blog/Entries/2012/7/6_Baby_Led_Weaning_-_No_mush%2C_all_lush…html

    James

  205. Bc says:

    My son is 5 months and i LOVE the idea of this but am so terrified of him choking that it makes me question if i should actually do it. Please help me

  206. KH says:

    I was worried as well, but my 6 month old’s gag reflex is amazingly effective. Yesterday he grabbed another child’s PB&J and stuffed it in his mouth. His entire mouth was full of bread, peanuts and raspberry jam. Not only was I happy to find that he’s not allergic to peanuts, but after happily gumming on the sandwich for a while, he hacked it up to the front of his mouth, where he once again started working it with his gums. He gave me a huge smile at that point, and I realized that the sandwich was filling in the entire roof of his mouth. As long as the pieces aren’t choke sized like raisins, he’s been able to handle anything that’s gone into his mouth, including a nice long piece of chicken breast. I figure he’s learning what fits, and how much is a reasonable amount to stick in there. The other day he had falafel, pita and a celery stick in there. I think he realized that was too much, because a short while later there was a half-gummed pile of falafel and pita on the tray.

    Just don’t leave him alone, brush up on infant CPR, and becareful about the small things. :)

  207. Camilla says:

    I was worried about choking too, that’s why I started with the softest foods. At first I would bake yams and squash to the point where you could mash them with your finger and let the baby figure out how to spit the skin out. He did gag a few times on some big pieces he’d bite off by accident but he would always ‘cough’ them out (nearly giving me a heart attack each time). He still bites off huge chunks of apple wedges and even pineapple so I’m going to wait to give those. Don’t give up on BLW because of the choking fear just work around it! Always watch your baby when he is eating to make sure he is managing ok. He will figure how this whole eating thing works soon. Hope I helped out some.

  208. Kirsten says:

    Hi Bc,

    Just wanted to let you know that our son started eating solids 4 weeks ago (from 6 months old). I feed him porridge and bits of soft fruit for breakfast, and we take a BLW approach for lunch and our evening meal. To date, he hasn’t choked on anything. He certainly likes to stuff his mouth full of food, and he does occasionally cough and splutter. However, this is rare and happens on his porridge as well as on the more exciting foods he gets later in the day.

    My own view is that he is learning how to eat. Sometimes, he gets it a bit wrong and has to cough or spit something out to regain control, but that’s ok. S’all a part of the process. He has to learn this skill, and the small risk of choking will be there whether he’s 6 months or 6 years old.

  209. Vita says:

    Bc – one way or another there will be times when your child will get food in the “wrong pipe”. Puree fed babies do as well. The best thing you can do – go to a First Aid class or watch an online tutorial. It will make you feel more confident to help your baby if he does choke. Otherwise, babies are pretty good at feeding themselves and the over-sensitive gag reflex in the beginning really helps them to learn about bite sizes and swallowing.

  210. Tami says:

    My son is 7.5 months old and has been eating cereal and purées since he was 5 months.

    Is it too late to start BLW since he has learned to swallow before chew?

    Thanks!

    • Aitch says:

      Well yes and no, but he sounds like he’s doing great though. I wouldn’t take away the purees, just add more finger food, slowly but surely, and then hopefully he’ll enjoy it so much it will take over. 7.5 months is a fine time to start finger foods anyway if you’ve been following the more traditional weaning line. Good luck, the aim is that children will enjoy their food, i firmly believe it doesn’t really matter how we all get there.

  211. Marketa says:

    Hi, we just started with BLW this week, although is very exciting it can be a little bit scary watching our 6 months old daughter occasionally gag. I understand that is a process of learning but just cannot help worrying.

    What food you would recommend at the beginning?

    Kirsten, when you feed your little one porridge, do you spoon feed? Can I actually do a bit of both? Spoonfeed as well as BLW or do they clash and just confuse the baby?
    thank you

    • Aitch says:

      It’s really going to depend on the baby, I think, so you’ll just have to judge it yourself. The bottom line is that you can do whatever you want (within reason), you’re the mum, you know what you’re comfortable with. That said, I personally didn’t spoon feed, mostly i think because it was so clear that mine were happy to be left to get along with it themselves. But BLW is not an ideological position, it’s just another way of feeding your baby, so you must feel free to pick and choose. (At least this is what i think. There are interesting arguments against, actually, including that you’re kinda making the kids miss out on the whole touch, feel, taste thing of single ingredients, but at the end of the day you’re always going to do what you’re most comfortable with.)

      • Lauren says:

        Hi everyone, I have enjoyed reading all this sharing and humour! I was very interested in this “weaning concept” as a dietician and as a Mama of 4 bundles of love, each 2 years apart. I spoon fed my first child purees, the “by-the-book” method I learned at university, she loved that as did I (liked the whole “special preparation” aspect and had time with just one), second child started with purees but he moved much more quickly to food pieces cuz he saw us with it, 3rd child also did purees to start but by 9 months ate what we had, and then came little Miss 4 who would make a lovely little puckery face when any kind of spoon/puree approached her mouth! So after it quickly became obvious that feeding her purees wasn’t an option I started giving her bits of food at 7 months and she was thrilled to be part of the gang at the table.

        For the whole gagging/choking thing, the advice someone gave about learning what to do if that were to occur seems coherent (and is reassuring). I found that no matter when I started giving my babies pieces of food, whether they were 6 months old or 10 months old or 1 year old they did occasionally gag (very nerve racking), some more than others. At some point they do have to learn how to chew and swallow I guess. The worst experience I had (and hopefully the worst I will EVER have), seemed more like choking, was with one of those “special baby cookies”: Baby was over a year (those cookies say for 6 months +), but he sucked on it, a piece came off, got stuck. Thankfully he gagged, coughed, chucked and then was just fine- we were right there, turned him upside down, were ready with the Heimlich maneuver for babies – but no more of those cookies in this house. Plus, one is hard pressed to find ones without palm oil, yuck.

        For the mess, well, having done a bit of everything, it seems the time it takes to make purees is about the same as the time it takes to clean up. I did make an effort to learn to relax about the mess though. Babies make mini messes, toddlers make bigger messes and, well, I admit, sometimes as an adult I spill things. Paper towels work well for all.

        For allergies, wow, recommendations change all the time, even within the same country so it’s hard to keep up. I bet those that are “at risk” have their Mama-Radar fine tuned in that area and are particularly careful, especially if they have experienced an impressive reaction to food, which must be frightening.

        Mama-Sense is generally pretty reliable. Everyone commenting here certainly seems to have their thinking caps on. Staying informed is certainly useful.

        Good luck to everyone with their weaning choices, thanks for sharing!

  212. Tracey says:

    I am currently weaning baby number 3. My first two were weaned on puréed food without any problems. Baby 3 was also started on puree at six months but now at eight months he wants nothing to do with puree and will only eat finger foods. I am basically giving him free range taking care to keep foods healthy and not adding salt and sugar. I will continue to offer puréed for the moment but was wondering how many people have had a baby make this choice for themselves and how long it takes to wean a baby with this method?

    • Aitch says:

      Loads of people have babies who were unhappy with purees and who have cast their vote firmly for finger food, and loads of them end up here. As to a time, I guess it depends on your definition of ‘weaned’. My two were able to feed themselves pretty skillfully from the get-go, but went on and off food quite normally as their teeth came in, or they got sick. I’d consider that they got the hang of it after a month, I suppose, but that was the beginning of our journey with food, rather than the end of it, if you know what i mean?

  213. Tina says:

    Hi, i have a 6mth old who has been on purees for last month or so, usually hit and miss with her, but interested in this new method ive just read about. Do fruit and vegies have to be cooked slightly so easier to chew or just raw?

    • Aitch says:

      Just use your noodle, really. For example when you are getting started, steam carrot sticks until it’s quite easy to squash them between thumb and forefinger, roast veggies are sensationally enjoyable, whereas something like cucumber seems just to be chewed a bit and spat out if it’s tricky. Trial and error, as with everything with kids. But if it’s hard and apt to break off in lumps, for example apple, then cook it. And make sure grapes, cherry toms (some people even do blueberries) are chopped in half.

      • Tina says:

        Thanks, we tried cauliflower for lunch, think she enjoyed it even if most come back out lol

      • Jem says:

        Brilliant info, thanks. We are starting BLW this week with our 6 month old. One question, how many times a day should I be giving him food alongside breastfeeding? I’ve read that you have to be careful not to give them too much at first so they continue to nurse, and should only give one meal a day, but the advice on here seems to suggest feeding at mealtimes alongside normal family meals? I’m a first time mum and would appreciate any advice.

      • Aitch says:

        Trust yourself and your baby to know what to do when the time comes, first and foremost. Personally, I always gave my kids milk before offering food, so that they weren’t going mad with hunger and could just enjoy the experience of discovery. Sometimes that was once a day, sometimes twice, it really took us months to ‘graduate’ to three meals a day I think. Remember, a lot of the time you’ll be having your normal family meal and at that minute your child will decide they want a nap (which is great, enjoy your child-free meal! ;D)
        You’ll work all this stuff out, take the websites and books etc with a big pinch of salt (you’ll have plenty lying around as you’re not using it for cooking). BLW’s just food, it’s not a test. Babies want to eat. Good luck!

    • Aitch says:

      Something like a carrot or broccoli is best cooked to the point that it’s easy to squash between thumb and forefinger, but cucumber, celery, pepper sticks are good for a bit of chewing in the beginning. Fruit-wise, no raw apples and chop your grapes and grape-shaped things in half, and let the baby loose on yummy halved peaches and apricots etc.

  214. Stephanie says:

    Hi!

    Love the website – thank you so much! My DD is 5 months and Im VERY keen to do BLW at 6 months.

    I have just had a look at all your amazing recipes and im wondering – do you start off with actual receipes or do you just start off with offering steamed carrots, broccoli etc.

    :) x

    • Aitch says:

      Whatever you wish, really… personally I started with the steamed carrots etc but it didn’t last long, they start to beg you for your dinner…

  215. Sal says:

    Hi. we have a family holiday to the States booked (driving across it for a month) and our daughter turns six months on the first day of the holiday. In my mind I had a vague notion of weaning her (with purees) at around 5.5m so that when we were away , I could continue in some form and she’d hopefully be a less messy eater as we will mainly be eating out.I’ve just discovered BLW and love the concept. The thing is how can I begin it in that environment? Or am I best to go the ‘traditional’ route and go BLW when home with the highchair and home cooked meals? Any thoughts much appreciated.

    • Aitch says:

      What a brilliant holiday, lucky you. I think if I were you (and I wish I was…) I wouldn’t be in a tremendous hurry, really, so long as her milk supply is going to be solid throughout. You should be able to ask for toast, give her a side of veggies to play with (you’ll have to explain they’re for a baby and ask them not to salt) and peel a banana or avocado for (messy) snacking. If she gets on well, give her bits of chicken from your dinner to play with. I also presume, perhaps we should ask on the forum about this, that there will be baby rice cakes and snacks available in the supermarkets. Or just do the puree thing for a while if you think that will be more relaxing and tidier, and then think a bit more about a BLW-ish approach when you get back? Main thing is for the family to enjoy the holiday, your baby will eat food for a lifetime, this is really only a month.

  216. Sal says:

    Thanks for that and great to put it all in context – its a marathon and not a sprint, right?! ;-) PS Useful website – thanks.

  217. Jem says:

    Thanks, have really benefitted from reading these comments ( yes all of them!). Started with some steamed carrots and a bit of cucumber today. He seemed to like the taste of the carrots but hardly any stayed in his mouth, he was just playing, so I don’t think I have to worry about him spoiling his appetitie just yet!

  218. Natascha says:

    I have been trying to wean baby #2 on pureed food and have been pulling my hair out. He is just not interested in me feeding him so I gave him a piece of bread on the weekend and voila off he went. After discussing with a friend I have decided to try BLW and see how it goes. Goes to show that all babies are different as we had no problem with pureed food with baby #1.

  219. Gemma says:

    Hi Just really wanted to say a big thanks for this section ( and the rest of the site) my 3 year old was a blwer and it was a massive success (mainly due to the forum stopping me from worrying!) so my new baby ( when I say new she is 4 months where has the time gone) and this section has been brilliant in jump starting my memory on how we start so thank you! One question though, my understanding is that a baby can’t physically feed themselves until they are physically able to accept food, therefore Could I put food in front of her say when she is five months ( as my husband wants)and she will only eat when she is ready to? I know the WHO say wait until 6 months which I duly did with my son but having more understanding of the blw premise and some research has said waiting until 6 months is too long I’m in two mind whether to stick the food in front of her at five months ( she sits up straight now and grabs) and let her decide if it is the right time. Opinion please:) ?

    • Aitch says:

      Well I just think that for the benefit of doctors etc it’s better to wait (just so that you can say you did it, if you know what i mean?) however neither of my children complied with that, both grabbing food from us before the magic day, so make of that what you will…. ;D

  220. Anna says:

    Hi, my son will be 6 months on Monday .we started on sweet potatoes 3 days ago. He is interested in food, grabs it and try to put into his mouth. But he gets flustrated easyly because he mashes the finger sized food in his hand so much that when he eventually reaches his mouth almost nothing is left…everything lands around him. How long will it take for him to start successing in feeding? Can I help him somehow? Can I give him anything from spoon at the end of each feed ?he is not eating anything!

    • Aitch says:

      He’s not even 6 months yet, there’s no rush, honestly. Does he mash broccoli up in his hands, that might hold a bit better than squishy sweet potato. Mine could only ever manage that roasted, steamed just seemed to fall apart. In terms of BLW, the idea is to let them feed themselves, so just yet don’t bother with the spoon unless you are handing it over. If you feel strongly that you want him to eat, though, it might just be that BLW isn’t for you two, because the point is that they come to it at their own pace. And in that case, spoon away, we all use cutlery in the end, after all, and you’re better being happy with what you do than sticking to something that’s making you anxious.

  221. Dani says:

    This is a wonderful site and I am so thankful to see that there are many others with the same questions and concerns I have! I found out about BLW from a family member that had a lot of success using this method so I decided to try it also. We just started with my 5 1/2 month old and gave him steamed carrots a few days ago. The first day he picked them up and brought them to his mouth but after that he wanted nothing to do with them. We even took a video on day two of him picking them up just to throw them off of his tray! Not sure if he just doesn’t like the carrots or if he is just not interested in eating at all…which makes me wonder if it is ok to introduce something else or if we should wait? I was also advised to wait 3-4 days between new foods, but there are no concerns for food allergies in our family. Also, I was advised to stick with vegetables at first so they don’t get accustomed to sweet sugary taste of fruits and want nothing to do with veggies. Is that normal advice that anyone else has gotten or would it be ok to introduce a banana this early? I know this method takes patience and that eventually it will catch on, I just want to make sure I am doing the best I can for him!

    • Aitch says:

      Here’s the thing, if you care this much about something as ‘easy’ as weaning, you’re doing the best for him, regardless of which method you choose.
      As regards your questions, he might not like carrots, he might be teething and just not interested in anything at the moment, and the waiting thing is up to you. Some people like to be strict about it, some not, but as far as I’m aware (not medically-trained so this is what i have picked up rather than Proper Book Learning) the three to four days gap is about allergies, so if you’re not concerned about them…?

      I’ve seen people say this about ‘no fruit’ on a lot of weaning stuff, not just BLW, and i personally think it’s hooey. Milk’s sweet. But again, if you want to give him just veg, that’s fine. Bananas, as it happens, really made mine gag, but they went crazy for peaches and apricots at that age. Oh, and pears, but they are the very devil for staining. He’s only five and a half months old, not even strictly at WHO recommended weaning age yet, so there’s no hurry whatsoever, you’ll all get there.

      • Leslie says:

        I was worried about the fruit/veg thing so I only gave veg for a while then switched to fruit … I think it is nonsense too – because if that were the case once he got his hands on fruit he’d never go back to veg and my little guy loves everything I give him…eats it all every time — obviously he is a bit more excited by sweet things.. arent we all!!

  222. Quetzalli says:

    Hi! I’m trying to do baby-led with my 1 year old baby, but she only wants breast milk, sometimes I don’t know what to do because she just doesn’t show interest on food. In other matter I want to ask if anybody knows where I can buy the fifteen quid Antilop here in Mexico, cause I just didn’t find any website that sell those internationally. Thank you so much for this website, I love everything about it!.

    • Aitch says:

      That is tough going on the breastfeeding front, well done you… does she show no interest in food if you do spoon feed her?

  223. April says:

    Hi! I love this site and find it very helpful. I have an 8 mo old exclusively breastfed baby who I just started introducing solids in the last month. I have been making my own organic puree. She always grabs the spoon and wants to do it herself. I am very much wanting to do BLW now that I have researched it and she LOVES nawing on pears, avocado, and virtually anything I give her. The problem is that she ALWAYS bites off a chunk of the food and then chokes on it. I have had to get food out of her throat 3 times now and it is really scary. So that led me to stop for awhile and I started back up but she still does this. I feel like maybe BLW is not safe for the reason that they can choke very easily? She has a strong bite and always does this. Please help because I really would like to continue. She LOVES real food. Thank you for your help.

    • Aitch says:

      This might be related to the fact that in having puree first she has learned how to swallow before she’s learned how to handle solids in her mouth. There are a couple of safety mechanisms in a baby’s mouth that are designed to stop food getting to the throat, first of all the tongue thrust, and second ability to gag food from further back. From what I understand, both of these triggers disappear over time, with exposure to food. So, assuming that she’s choking instead of gagging, I’m wondering if she’s overcome these already?
      Are you giving her finger-sized sticks of food? If so, perhaps try just handing her a whole pear, then she’ll be limited in what she can gnaw off and her strong bite won’t be involved? It may be that in terms of BLW, her window of opportunity was 6 months, which is when 97% of babies are ready for it… but then saying that how did babies fed on puree start on solids at around 8 or 9 months without choking? Hmm. Just thinking out loud here, but maybe this isn’t so much a BLW thing as a ‘i’ve got a baby with a strong bite and she can already swallow’ thing… now that you’re introducing whole foods I’d perhaps try foods that she needs to puree herself, if you know what i mean? Like, I never gave my children apple pieces (waaaay too chokey) until they could get the whole apple and scrape away at it. Does that help at all?

  224. vicky says:

    hi,
    i would like to let you know what a joy i am finding BLW. my son actually started putting food into his mouth at 5 1/2 months, i have let him. he is nearly 7 months and is swallowing and has great hand eye coordination already. And has started practicing his pincer grip.
    I love the fact we eat together and have the same food. I also find it great when we go out, everyone else is giving puree food to their babies and stressing about how much they have eaten and my son just eats whats on my plate and enjoys his time out with me without me trying to force food upon him. He also loves to show people his new skills.
    I have read the book, read your site and watched videos on you tube.
    I would just like to say thank-you for giving me the confidence to not give my baby mush and for giving me a proud mummy moment every day

  225. Leslie says:

    Hi – first time mom here — and a bit obsessive if you know what I mean. My son turned 8 months old on Tuesday. We started feeding him cereal at 4 months, then added fruit purees (jars) at 5 months and somewhere thereafter added veggies by then end of 6 months he was having two meals a day (fruit and veg – 8 oz) and after that I added in a yogurt so he had 3 meals a day — plus his formula… during 6-8 months I moved his high chair to our table and I started putting foods on his tray (mashed potato, chicken, green beens etc…) he is showing NO interest … I even tried a textured food in a bag (chicken,veg and quinona) and he hated it… what should I do?? Should I stop feeding him the purees and make him pick up his food?? but he LOVES eating food — absolutely anything I give him – as long as it is a stage 2 puree gets gobbled up?? Did I ruin everything by spoon feeding him from so early on?? Help!

    • Aitch says:

      Lol at ‘bit obsessive if you know what i mean’, that’s so sweet. Well, they are our precious first-borns, aren’t they?
      He’s just a baby that’s been traditionally weaned, that’s all. He’ll be fine, look at everyone around you, they’re fine, aren’t they? (mostly?)
      I’m not hugely surprised by the food in a bag scenario, I guess it’s not that appetising if you think about it.
      He’s only 8 months, you can’t have ruined him yet (give yourself time… ;D) but he’s probably very happy with the way his feeding is working out at the moment, with you doing all the boring stuff and him chomping it down.
      Do you eat at the table with him? Or does he snack at all? A wee rice cake, maybe, when you’re out and about? He’s young yet, remember, so everything you’re saying could change upside-down in a fortnight. I think you should keep doing what you’re doing, ditch the bag, and make sure he sees you eating with him. At the moment even if he picks it up and plays with it, that will be a positive. He’ll get the hang of it, i’m sure.

      • Leslie says:

        Thanks! I am glad I found your site…I dont know I realize it all works out in the end because at some point he is going to be eating burgers and fries regardless if I am feeding him purees or bits of real food… but I can’t wrap my head around what is enough… he is the right weight for his age and he is genuinely a happy baby .. but I want him to have the best experiences possible… right now he is just eating the 3 meals (4oz each) a day… that is my other problem I can’t figure out where or when there is time to snack? he wakes up, he eats, he plays, he naps, eats, plays, goes for a walk and naps again and then eats again and then plays again until it is bath time and last bottle for the night — where do people have time to give their babies bottles of juice or water or snacks?? My little guy sits down 4 times a day — plus one more time for a quick half container of yogurt…when he is playing he does not want to eat or drink and when he is napping he cannot … seriously, can you give me an example of your baby’s day when they were 8 months old?? Much appreciated – my pediatrician just keeps telling me not to worry – which does not answer my questions!!

  226. Leslie says:

    ps.. yes he does sit at the table with us when we eat… and I do put those little dissolving crackers on his tray to play with .. I’ve tried other foods too – but all he does is play with them (green beans, broccoli, chicken, mashed potatoes… nothin!) and I put the sippy cup there too and he just knocks it around… he’ll drink a bit if I put it in his mouth which is fine — but he’s just not interested!

    • Aitch says:

      Putting it in his mouth is pretty dangerous, though, so don’t do that again… *firm voice*. ;D
      He’s only 8 months and he just sounds like a milk monster, that’s all. If your paed is saying he’s fine, then that’s great, isn’t it? I’ve no memory of what my children’s days were at 8 months, sorry, the first probably got loads of attention and playing, the second… well by that time she was just dragged from pillar to post following her sister’s hectic schedule.
      If you say he’s eating three meals a day and it’s 4oz each, are you measuring his food? is it puree? why do you think this isn’t enough? One thing that BLWers do is trust their children to follow their appetites, indeed that’s why as a broad rule we don’t spoon-feed, we just let the babies feed themselves (messy business, but makes for cuuuuute photos), is there a particular reason why you’re not happy to do that?

  227. Jo says:

    My LO is 10 months old and I have been doing a combination of purees and also putting finger foods on the tray as a distraction method, which was working, but this week has not been. My LO loves picking up her food and putting it into her mouth, however, she often then spits it back out. Yesterday she did eat most of a clementine and I was so pleased. She, however, turns her head and flaps her arms if I try to feed her from a spoon (even if it is her favourite yogurt – until she realises what it on the spoon!). What do you recommend that I should do – give up completely with trying to use a spoon??? If that is the case, how do you feed sauce based foods or yogurt? At the moment it is all so messy and frustrating at times when I have spent a lot of time preparing food for her to refuse to eat it. Please could you help?

    • Aitch says:

      She’s definitely sending you a message, don’t you think? By 10 months, she’s well and truly weaned, well done, now she just wants food on her terms (it’s actually quite a common time for them to start asserting themselves, and good for them, independence is a great quality).
      First of all, stop spending time preparing food for her, just take your resentment right out of it. BLW (which kids do from 6 mos) is aaaaaaall about family food asap for this reason. It IS bonkersly frustrating if they reject what you’ve made them specially, so… make nice family food and don’t take it personally when they’re less interested in their portion. They don’t mean it personally. THey just don’t fancy x or y that day, or they’re teething, or coming down with something or they’re feeling a bit grumpy… who knows? But it’s not about you.
      Yogurt isn’t a food group, to be honest (that’s kinda puree-thinking, if you know what i mean?), so as long as you’re happy with the amount of milk she’s drinking you can ditch it altogether. Or you could load up a spoon and hand it to her, see what she does? She’ll be able to get a spoon to her mouth easily, if she can feed herself finger food, although if my kids are anything to go by there’s every chance it will be turned upside down first. THick Greek yog a good idea.
      I’m not sure what you mean by sauce-based foods, but the same applies. Or soups, say, which can also have nice crusty bread dipped in them. She’s a good age now, for feeding herself, so this is good. You’ve done your job, have the confidence to let her take over now, I think.

  228. Sonia says:

    Hey! Very happy I found your web, cos I just can’t wait to start. My little monster is 5 months and a week, so I’m trying to hold back for a little longer, but she seems to be sooooo hungry all the time. Never mind, the question is. How to BLW her when she’s not confidently sitting on her own just yet?

    • Aitch says:

      I’d try hard to give her that extra bit of time, if you can, and lots of practice at sitting up for the next wee while. You know what they’re like, they can’t do something on Monday and have nailed it by Weds.

  229. Jo says:

    I was all set for completely going down the BLW route this weekend as I was at the end of my tether. However, after one day of total BLW yesterday, my OH thought it was a bad idea because of the amount of mess everywhere! So much ended up on the floor, squelched between my LO’s fingers, on her forehead, ears, hair etc (I was able to see past it to be honest as I am so used to it!) It was stressing him out, but I found it less stressful than trying to give her a spoon and having her fight it. He has made a good argument that we will not be able to feed her outside the home as it is so so so messy! Today, I went back to combination of BLW and purees to appease him. Do you have any suggestions for me to help? She does spit out so much of her food!

    • Aitch says:

      Well that’s the thing, really… she’s splurging it everywhere at the moment because it is without question the Single Most Exciting Thing ever to have happened to her. This will pass, as she gets used to the idea that ‘oh, actually, it tastes good and it sates my baby appetite’. So this is very much a temporary condition. In the meantime, if you’re out, give her clean food. Low salt rice cakes, steamed carrot, cucumber sticks, hunks of bread crust, oatcakes, NOT BANANA (it goes evil and black on clothes), or failing that, carry a big sleeved bib (Ikea do them) and half a hundredweight of wipes. My experience was, certainly, that it’s the food that is messy, not the baby, iykwim? Broccoli… ye gods. Sometimes I just used to hose down the highchair, baby and all.

      • Jo says:

        I think I just need to forget the purees altogether. My OH is not here for the majority of her meals as he is in work. She loves grabbing and stuffing food in her mouth! Does anyone have suggestions for breakfast. Today I gave her strawberries, blueberries (she spat the skin out, but ate the middle) and crumpets (she just squashed this between her fingers!) so not a very filling breakfast. I have looked at the recipe section but there aren’t many suggestions. Thanks for the support,it is so stressful!!

      • Aitch says:

        Forget about the filling thing, at this stage. Milk’s doing the filling, remember? Right now, she’s doing wonderfully (it’s bonkers, isn’t it, how adept they are at spitting out skin etc, isn’t it?). Toast and a bit of butter’s good for breakfast, if you want something more chunky, and i think we had porridge pancakes by the bucketload. They are now much older and had porridge this morning, still love it.

  230. Mai says:

    My husband is from Nepal and we are currently in Nepal. My son has hit 6 months old. I really want to try this baby led weaning as we don’t have electricity for 14 hours a day so using a blender for purees may involve getting up at 2am!!
    My husband’s parents tell me that they just gave my husband and his sister what they ate which was traditional Nepali food of rice, lentils (like a soup) and various different curries. (babies still eat this now) People tend to eat with their hands here anyway when eating the traditional dish so everyone looks at me funny when I mention a spoon for my son!!
    Things like baby rice, baby porridge etc…. are not available here and certainly not jarred baby foods. All vegetables are seasonal, there is no importing of fruits and vegetables so at the moment I can get things like apple, banana, papaya, potato, pears, broccoli, cauliflower, courgettes. All these veg are used to make curries. Paneer is also used a lot here and mutton. Is it ok to give this to my baby? Normal basmati rice with lentils? I am a panikcer to say the least so this whole weaning thing is sending my mind into a spin!! Can I give him sticks of raw, peeled cucumber, do I have to cook apples and pears??!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Aitch says:

      It does seem like a MASSIVE gear change, doesn’t it? Months and months of nourishing them inside you, then milk, and now OMG FOOD! I remember it well. However, do try to keep in mind that this is the developmentally correct change, just as when they go from being lovely little sitting chubsters to little toddlers, raging around and banging their heads on the furniture.
      So it sounds like the Nepali way is really in tune with the BLW thing (or perhaps it’s the other way around?) All your seasonal fruit and veg are great, apart from the apple which is a pain in the ass for choking unless you cook it down a bit (it is just too apt to break off otherwise). Broccoli and cauliflower will be great to start off with. As for the recipes, you really can give what you like so long as you are keeping an eye on salt, the idea is to be eating family food and joining in with everyone. Paneer’s just strained cheese and lemon, and mutton is fine, yup, can’t see the problem. Bigger bits of meat i always found better in the beginning, so that they can suck and chew at the meat and get all the juices out. I think some people peel cucumber but I never did, a bit of skin is no bad thing, they’re pretty nimble at getting rid of the bits they don’t want, anyway.
      Main thing is to be there, I think. Eat when they eat, let them see how to do it, it’s how babies learn everything, after all. And educate yourself on resus, there’s some info here. Really good luck, Mai, it’s a good laugh, this weaning lark, I hope you enjoy it.

      • Mai says:

        Thank you so much for you advice. He tucked into some sticks of carrot and potato this morning along with some of his dad’s porridge. He has just demolished some cheese on toast for his lunch and it’ll be rice and lentils for dinner!!
        This is a great site and has been so helpful to me.
        I can send some photos if you need them.

      • Aitch says:

        The best thing is that you both sound like you’re enjoying it, Mai, thanks for being so nice about the site!

  231. Dannielle Wibberley says:

    Hi Everyone!
    My Son is 5 months old and we are using BLW, he is just mushing at the moment. He isnt eating anything just licking and squishing! is this ok? is this showing he is not ready? he will be 6 months in 3 weeks. We have tried banana, squash, carrot and pear. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Aitch says:

      Well yes it probably does mean he’s not ready, but really, with BLW you’re supposed to leave it until 6 months before starting anyway, so you’re kinda running ahead anyway. Don’t worry about it, there’s really no rush.

  232. Liz says:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to let you know we are about to start BLWing with our second baby. Our first is severely visually impaired and we weren’t sure how she’d take to it but thought you may like to know she did amazingly. She still eats with her hands though, but it is clear that she’s squeezing all the food to find a texture she approves of. I think it was incredibly good for her having the control (your experiment would be much worse if you had to shut you’re eyes and have a spoon shoved in your mouth!) and she is a confident happy eater now, I’ve been meaning to drop you a line for AGES to say a massive thank you, and now I find myself back (things have grown a lot!) again it seemed like the prefect time. So THANK YOU!

    Let the fun begin all over again!

    Liz

  233. Anna says:

    Hiya! My little guy (10 months old)seems to have NO interest in eating food. He stares at every bite we take, but when we offer him food he will not eat. He squishes it in his fingers and then drops it over the side of his high chair. (The dog loves this!) We’ve been offering him bits of our food, as well as puffs, teething biscuits, etc. all to no avail. Is this normal behavior?

    He is only breastfed and refuses bottles as well.
    I realize you don’t have a crystal ball, but could this be an early sign that my son will be a picky eater?

    • Aitch says:

      It could be, but then again it could also be that he just really, really likes your milk best, which is perfectly sensible really, for all the reasons that we know. With children like him, at least it’s perfectly clear. He can pick up the food, he just doesn’t want to eat it. I take it that, given the bottles, he’s much the same when you give him a loaded spoon or try to spoon feed him? If you are worried about iron etc then what about giving him a supplement, but aside from that there’s not a great deal you can do.
      On a practical note, join the forum. You’ll find parents of children who didn’t get the point of eating until later, and are just fine now. And what about giving him a ricecake when he’s out and about in the buggy and knows that the chance of milk is low?

  234. Michaela says:

    Hi everyone. I have an 8 mo old boy and we just discovered the joy of self- feeding today! The joy for both of us I think! Since 5 months old I had been painstakingly trying to feed him puréed and mashed foods. He had never accepted the spoon, and I had started hand feeding with my finger instead ( so pampered!) as that seemed to help to get a little in but still not much. I would say total 1 tsp per feed. He has been reaching out for food since 5 mo and I was too scared to give him bigger bits. he is a happy healthy baby but it was becoming a source of stress for me as I am going back to work soon and he is still breast feeding 3 hourly including at night! So today my child health nurse mentioned BLW and I googled it…
    I sat him in the high chair, put some soft canned peach slices, halved grapes, and small whole meal bread sandwich with humus ( basically whatever I could find in fridge) and next thing I see him squeezing it between his fingers, shovelling it into his mouth, smiling, excited, and I would say more than half of it eaten (rest on high chair etc). He gagged once but sorted it out quickly himself. I wish I knew about this earlier it would have saved both of us some stress I think. I don’t mind the cleaning up bit.
    By the way this is my second bub. My first had no issue with spoon feeding, so I didn’t need to look elsewhere. Now she is 3 and her favourite thing is to chew on a lamb chop!
    Thanks for the website.

    • Aitch says:

      Oh that’s brilliant, and yes, some babies just don’t give you any choice in which weaning ‘method’ you employ. Particularly impressed that he managed with a sandwich so soon, the advice tends to be to toast bread or use crusts for the first while, cos bread can ball up a bit in wee mouths. Re the lamb chop, apparently my great-grandma used to keep her lamb bones for me to use as teethers… (my mum said ‘THANKS!’, apparently, then binned them.)

  235. kimberlee says:

    thanks,that is a great list of tips for getting started,my son is 19 weeks so quite a way off yet but im excited and am enjoying reading about it.He is my 4th,3rd that will be blw-eaned (?)but i didnt know this site existed!

  236. Reenie says:

    This information has reassured me enough to give it a go. Thanks. I’ll let you know what happens x

      • Reenie says:

        Hi. Love love love BLW. I’m a complete convert. Also re-tried porridge made with EBM and LO was fine – no hives, so retried wheat (toast) and again he was fine – no hives. So either his gut matured enough to grow out of the allergies or it was a dairy allergy, because initially I gave porridge made with milk and toast with butter. If dairy is the culprit am I best to leave it out or try him again?. Otherwise we are doing really great with the basic starter foods and feel ready for more adventurous recipes now, so will take I look at your forums and possibly get the book you recommend. Had dinner with an old friend a few weeks ago and they’re trying BLW with their LO too and had the book already. I recommend this site to them. Thanks again. Reenie x

      • Aitch says:

        Oh that’s great, Reenie! I’d speak to the doc re dairy and see what they recommend, am so glad you’re enjoying BLW.

    • Rah says:

      How’s it going, Reenie?

      • Reenie says:

        Hmmm not the best of starts. He gagged on a small piece of soft chip and puked and he gets hives all around his face with bread and porridge. On the positive side he has seemed to enjoy anything we’ve tried so far. No hives with sweet potato or banana and he has no trouble finding his mouth and chewing lumpy food. It’s just the hives that’s holding us back. I’ve asked for some advice from my healthy visitor with regards to possible wheat allergy??? The porridge may have contained some wheat from where it was processed so I’ve heard? Going to try soft rice and see if he’s ok with that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated x

      • Aitch says:

        Was it baby porridge? And do you mean baby rice, by ‘soft rice’? Real porridge should just contain the oats you put in it, surely? Gagging and puking is par for the course, so that’s absolutely fine, he’s just learning how far back his gag reflex is. When you say ‘chewing lumpy food’, do you mean just whole foods, or are you mashing it?
        The hives are a bugger, for sure. I’d take them seriously, and drop whatever you’ve given him that caused them from the menu for a while. I know it seems boring, but don’t underestimate the attraction of a stick of steamed carrot…

      • Reenie says:

        Hi. Things are going better. He loved the soft plain rice and actually fed himself with rice stuck to a weaning spoon! He also fed himself 6 chips this evening.. to mine and my husbands amazement! ! Lol. With regards to the previous comment I have dropped anything containing wheat. Gagging is getting less and has not puked since. I’ve given him lightly mashed veg and sticks. Will try the sticks of soft carrot and let you know how I get on. Question for you… what foods are best for getting his iron intake up? He’s had some fish but meat is much harder to chew? Thanks so much for your advice. .. still waiting for my health visitor to ring me back! X

      • Aitch says:

        Broccoli is great for iron, all those greens are. Don’t overthink the chewing thing, like you say he’s surprising you all the time, let him do it. My two loooooved steak, and believe me they could chew and chew and suck it until I doubt there was any nutrition left in what she had in her hand. Ditch the mush, though, Reenie, it’s not necessary…

      • Reenie says:

        And no it was normal porridge oats… I’ve bought some baby porridge today so I’ll try it and let you know what happens x

      • Reenie says:

        I’m getting more confident… basically I started on faith and our little 6 month old self-feeding muncher is showing us the way. No more mush now… not even lightly mashed. Thanks for your guidance x

      • Aitch says:

        lol, that’s what it’s all about, being ‘baby-led’, i guess. good for you.

  237. Ryan says:

    Hi,

    I just started my 6 month on BLW. We gave him strong bean, carrot, and parsnip to pick from. He started to throw up his milk feed. Is there a suggested time before giving him the solids so that he doesn’t puke?

    • Aitch says:

      Yes and no, it’s something you’ll learn or something he’ll learn not to do, if you know what I mean? I used to leave about half an hour after a milk feed, but if they really triggered their gag reflex, sometimes it came back up more digested than others. I should say this only happened a couple of times each, so i also presumed they got better at not triggering that reflex?

  238. Linda says:

    Hi,
    Our daughter will be 6 months old at the end of the month. My husband really wants to start giving her some foods, banana/carrots/apples and the like, but I have some reservations. Mainly, my question is: Should she be able to sit up on her own (as in, go from the laying down position to the sitting up position) or does she just need to be able to stay in a sitting position after one of us puts her there?

    She is able to stay in the seated position quite well, and sits up straight up but I just am not sure enough to start with BLW just yet.

    Sorry if this is all over the place. I would appreciate any answers.

    Thank you!

    • Aitch says:

      It’s not all over the place at all… this is a HUGE STEP, giving your milky little baby some food to chomp on. (I mean, it’s not, of course, and you will know that shortly but I well remember being where you are now and just thinking it seemed so bonkers to give my daughter real human food. I suppose it accounts for the popularity of puree even now that the age range has changed, there’s a clear logic behind transitioning from one liquid to another. (Although personally I definitely liked the idea that my children would learn to chew and spit out, and then swallow, rather than swallow first, chew later).
      I think if your child can sit well in a highchair, then that’s fine, but if they need support on the floor and have that wee tendency to collapse inwards a bit, then just don’t feed them anywhere but the chair at the beginning. And there’s your lap as well, don’t forget. Then you really know if they’re holding themselves properly. You’ll know what to do, to be honest, you’re the parents, you’ll have a feel for her like no-one else. It’s just it all feels very daunting now, because it’s so foreign.

    • Rah says:

      The thing with sitting is that they are sitting upright enough to keep their throat/neck/gullet clear – they aren’t slouching forwards or laying back – some babies can do that just fine on the floor at 6 months, some are happier in a high chair, some won’t sit anywhere but a lap (if you go down this route, cover yourself with a towel or other washable covering, this can get messy!)

  239. Bec says:

    Hi,

    My baby is 6 months old and we have been trying BLW for a few weeks now. He seems very interested in food; always looks at food and tries to grab it from us however he never puts it to his mouth. He will play with it and often screw up his face when he grabs it. We have been conscious not to put it to his mouth and we’re following all suggestions. Do we simply continue to be patient and hope one day soon he will eventually put it in his mouth??

    • Aitch says:

      Yes, absolutely. This is all a voyage of discovery for him right now, some babies squish away for a while, then lick their fingers and get the picture. Also, if you eat with him as well, this will be a good indicator of what to do. (Even exaggerate a bit with some amateur ‘food eating’ dramatics…)

  240. Rah says:

    Totally – maybe try ‘sharing’ a plate (tray, less fling-able!) so you both help yourself from his tray and he may copy what you do (or just ram it in in great fist fulls!) – babies ‘get it’ at different times, just like they learn to walk/talk/sit/roll at different ages – fear not, one day it will click.

  241. Kate says:

    Hi

    My little girl is 6 1/2 months old and she’s been having cereals and mashed up foods for a couple of weeks now…she’s super interested in everything we’re eating and the other day when we offered her a baby-sized rice cake she was delighted! I really love the idea of blw and am so keen to get the courage to launch into it but I must confess to being paranoid about choking. I have done a fair bit of reading on the subject and felt my concerns were simply ‘brushed aside’ by our health visitor (not very reassuring when you’re concerned and seeking an experienced person’s advice!) so would be very grateful of your experience and knowledge on this issue – plus hopefully some reassurance! The other day while she was merrily tucking into the rice cake I noticed a little piece had broken off and I must confess that I gently took it from her as I suddenly felt extremely anxious. My husband tried his best to reassure me and I know I was probably being paranoid but I struggle to get my head around how a little person with almost no teeth can manage to eat whole pieces of food! Would greatly appreciate your help! Many thanks

    • Aitch says:

      Well for starters it’s not in the slightest bit paranoid to worry about choking, it’s perfectly sensible. As with everything in life, though, it’s about managing what you can manage… so, have you done an infant resus course? TOTALLY recommend this for all parents (after all, kids will be putting things into their mouths long after this wee window of weaning closes). On 20th Feb I posted a great link on the FB page about infant resus, but i’m glad to say that other than a slap on the back with DD1 (apple… grrrrr) i’ve not used it on my own children.

      Regarding getting your head around it all… remember the teeth are there, they’re just under the gum line, and boy when they start to come through they are SHARP. And as long as the food is nice and soft, they use their tongues to mash it up, as well as gums. What they do to begin with, is mouth and spit out, then as they get better at that, they start to swallow. With purees, it’s the other way around, swallowing just as they have done with milk, then they learn to chew. It’s really a choice you’re making, at the end of the day, as to what order you want them to learn to eat in. I liked the idea that they’d learn to control the food before going on to swallow it, but if you’re more comfortable with the other way around, go ahead, do purees. BLW is only fun if you’re finding it fun, and if you’re feeling anxious and unhappy about the method, why put yourself through it? Choose something YOU are happy with, and your baby will be happy too, I’m sure of it. Good luck, whatever you do, and remember it’s only food… ;D

  242. Alyssa says:

    I am very excited that I have found this website. I was talking to my mother about how my daughter refuses to eat pureed baby food. Yet she constantly is trying to eat our food ( She just turned 6 m.) My mother told me that she use to just give us a slice of sliced food that was well cooked. I was appalled! That is not how the pediatrician, and all the “baby food” Companies and my friends seem all feed their children baby food ( they started their children at 4 m though or younger)The more I thought about it what my mom told me makes sense. and I am very excited to try this. I had just a couple days ago decided I would just breast feed for a month because she was not intrested in “baby food”
    Also for the people that think this is something new. My mom did this for me and her mom for her which was in the early 1900′s so it was not a fad that came in in the 70′s

  243. Jen says:

    Just picked up on this BLW as my 8 month old is closing his mouth and becoming difficult to feed. I’m thinking maybe it is because he wants to feed himself! He has eaten little chunks of banana, avocado and cereal puffs. I want to try this – I won’t have a more difficult time because I didn’t’ start before 8 months? Just looking for some encouragement!

    • Aitch says:

      Consider yourself encouraged! Look, your baby isn’t giving you any choice in the matter anyway, so it’s a done deal. He’s clearly capable of eating by himself, which is great, so just go for it. Steer clear of raw apple, it’s choketastic, and cut up grapes and cherry toms, keep an eye on salt, but apart from that, the world’s yer lobster.

      • Jen says:

        thanks so much! its been 10 days and he is making progress! its hard not to fixated on the “quantity” he eats – when so many gives you amounts he should be consuming each meal :) thanks again!

      • Aitch says:

        It is, isn’t it? Try to remember, though, that a baby’s stomach is about the size of his fist… so given that he’s getting milk as well, there’s not that huge pressure.

  244. Becci says:

    I have loved reading all about BLW on your site – thank you for all the great advice and words of wisdom! I have question though – my daughter is 6 months and has just started solids. I have done a few purees, which she seems to like. She loves sharing food with me though – a couple of times I have let her ‘mouth’ an apple or pear that I am eating and she holds on to my hands for dear life! I should say I have been extreemly careful with this and not given her either to eat on her own. I have tried her on some cooked carrot sticks though and banana but these invariably end up on the floor. Sometimes without ever having made it into her mouth. She did go as far as sucking some sweet potato puree off a carrot stick today… My question is whether I need to choose one form or the other and stick to it? You make a good point about them learning to chew before they learn to swallow and I am wondering if i am potentially confusing her by mixing the two…?

    • Aitch says:

      Well I personally think it’s best just to follow one method, but that’s because I think that BLW is really really great for parents and children, but what do I know? I’m really just a mum, so i’m afraid you will have to decide that for yourself. However, what I’d say is that if you can manage to maybe do a bit of reading on infant resus so you can build your confidence and just jack in the purees, then at least she’ll be more in control of what and how she eats in the future. (Don’t worry about the fact that she’s dropping stuff at the moment, it all comes, she’s only 6 months old). If she’s able to control her eating, including not eating much, the idea is that it won’t be a battleground for the future. (That’s the idea… i can tell you from experience that it’s still a button they press, though. The good thing is that it doesn’t provoke quite the reaction in you… ;D)
      But equally, don’t forget that ‘normal’ weaning is saying mashed food and finger food as soon as they can manage it nowadays anyway, so if it makes you happier, then go for it. You’re the mum, you totally know what you’re doing. :D

  245. Muffymomma12 says:

    Just starting out and curious as to what I shouldnt give him. Can he have everything I eat? Im very afraid of choking and giving him the wrong sizes of the foods. Love this site!

    • Aitch says:

      It’s very sensible to be concerned about choking, even more sensible to see if you can pick up an infant resus course locally, or at the very least read about it online before starting. If i had my way, of course, everyone would know about it, it’s a great parenting skill and makes everyone safer. You can, within reason (salt, etc) give him what you’re having from the off, but personally i started with steamed veggies for a week or so. Ricecakes, toast as well, simple things. The ‘wrong’ sizes might be trial and error, pinkie finger sized to begin with, but after that he’ll show his own preferences. Mine didn’t like ‘strips’ of steak, for example, they liked chunks, but I’ve seen other mums saying they used thinner pieces. You’ll soon find out which he prefers.

      • Muffymomma12 says:

        Thank you for your response. We have taken a infant cpr class, I’d just like to be informed on portion size. I will do more research and try more foods. I love your site.

  246. Hadas says:

    Thanks for all the info on this site, BLW sounds really great, but still seems a bit scary… My daughter will be 6 months in a week, and we started yesterday by giving her steamed carrot sticks. Yesterday was fine, she just nibbled at it and maybe ate a tiny bit. Today she shoved half of it into her mouth, and ended up swallowing a ~2cm long piece. She sort of made noises and started crying. It was quite clear she wasn’t choking (made noises and was breathing the whole time), but it defenitely wasn’t pleasant for her, and I was really scared. Is this normal? It doesn’t sound like gagging, since she didn’t spit it out.

    • Aitch says:

      Maybe she just swallowed more than was comfortable for her? This is a learning experience for her, she’s not daft, the idea will be that next time she’ll know not to do that. You, on the other hand, just learned that she can swallow 2cm or so of carrot at a time without choking (although the noises sound like she could have gagged a bit) so perhaps that’s comforting for you? Hopefully it will make her a wee bit more cautious next time, though.

  247. Dana says:

    Very useful posts, thank you all!
    My baby is 7 m/o today, but was born 2 months premature. Does anyone have any experience with BLW and premature babies? I am still BF.
    When she was 4 1/2 months old, she started chewing her hands every time we ate (we’ve always seated her at our table in a Stokke Newborn Set when we ate), so I felt tempted to spoon-feed her some home-made purrees (we tried cooked carrot, broccoli, beatroot, potato, and fresh apple, pear, banana – individually purreed). She was so enthusiastic about it that she was getting hysterical but got extremely constipated within 2 weeks and a nasty eczema flared up. The doctor said that some babies have this problem and just need to be helped through it, and simply gave me anti-constipation meds for her, but I find the whole thing a bit strange. I did some reading, decided to stop the solids immediately without giving meds, and give her more time. The eczema went away and the constipation disappeared as well. I have recently discovered this lovely forum with all the suggestions. I would like to BLW, I find it a healthy approach and wish I had read about it sooner. I do have a few questions I could not find the answer to yet (appologies if it had been discussed already, I did try to read everything but may have missed some replies). How do you make sure the baby gets enough fluids? Do you give water every time you give solids? Has anyone had problems with baby constipation when they started BLW, and if yes how did you solve it? I welcome all suggestions, I am a bit reluctant to experiment blindly on DD. Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi, my baby is now 9 months old and was also 8 weeks premature. We were told to start him on solids early as he had reflux so tried at 5 months actual age and he wasn’t interested, we took a months break and at 6 months he ate pureed food for a week or so and then started refusing. We then switched to BLW, he has only in the last two weeks really started eating something – before then it was just playing. We didn’t limit his milk at all (still waking up at midnight) and he throws a little cup of water around at lunch time (I doubt much goes in). He hasn’t ever had a problem with constipation (probably because the amounts going in build up so gradually?). I was also super nervous experimenting on a prem, but he has been fine, he has almost caught up in weight and his doctor is very happy with him. He is still on multivitamins and iron though – so perhaps check with your paed?

  248. Mrs D says:

    Hi

    I have an 8 mth old girl who is very active and into putting everything in her mouth – but doesn’t really like food. I have tried puree and she doesn’t like it (mouth clamped shut most of the time!) – but when she east any chunks as soon as she gets even a small bit in her mouth she throws up the last milk she drank. SHe isn;t a particulrly keen milk drinker and had really bad reflux when she was little. Not sure how to proceed although she does like chunks of food – she just throws up everytime she gets anything in her mouth. Interestingly though she likes shoving everything in her mouth – wooden spoons, toys etc and generally doesn’t gag on these. ANy thoughts – is this normal?!

    • Mrs D says:

      Meant to say the ‘chunks’ or bits are from BLW!

    • Aitch says:

      Well… to be clear I’m not medical in any shape or form, I’m just a mum but it does sound like a bunch of annoying things to contend with…
      Is she unusually gaggy? Well, a bit, but there are plenty of people whose babies were v gaggy and then it ‘clicked’ one day, so fingers crossed that day is coming and she’s in training with the wooden spoons etc. The awkward thing for you is that she’s not too keen on milk either, and who can blame her if she’s been refluxy? Did you have a read of the info on gagging and also reflux on the site? Certainly the mums of refluxy babes that I know have given purees a bit earlier than usual and some found that lumps made the reflux worse. Gah, this is A Real Bother for you… how’s the baby’s weight? (If it’s fine etc etc I’d maybe just not bother so much about the solids for now, you know…)
      I’m going to direct the FB and forum lot on here, see if they have any ideas or more relevant experience.

    • Jessica says:

      We had the same issue with our prem (see comment in response to Dana) – he gagged and threw up with BLW with every meal (terrible reflux aggrevated by fruit), and he had always been a bad feeder – when he was a tiny baby we really struggled to get enough milk down to get him to gain weight at all. But, now at 9 months he’s stopped gagging so much, and seems to manage a lot better. We give him a little bit of milk about 45 min before solids so that he isn’t starving and angry :) but more afterwards, which seemed to minimise milk vomits.

    • Louise says:

      I have an 9 month old who was (and still sometimes is) exactly the same. I found very thin soups were a good way to get nutrition into him – the colder the better. A tomato consommé slushy is his #1 fave. He likes to suck on frozen bananas and a tomato cut in half (I skinned them at first but don’t bother anymore). I also put his hairbrush in his toy box, apparently that can help desensitise an over-active gag reflex. I’m sure things will get better soon!

      • Aitch says:

        How interesting, so chewing on a handle-shaped thing helps, does it? Makes sense, and of course they’re totally in control.

  249. Rebecca says:

    My son was the same way. I spoon-fed him for like 2 weeks before he figured out that he could clamp his mouth shut and refuse. So, we started baby-led weaning. He was really sensitive to textures, so he would throw up a lot in the beginning. He eventually stopped, but it took a while. I found it helpful to feed him solids first instead of milk. That way even if he was gaggy he wouldn’t puke up milk. Try some foods with different textures. My son loved the taste of bananas and avocado but he gagged too much on them in the beginning.

    • Aitch says:

      Oh yes that’s such a good point re bananas, Rebecca, mine weren’t much for vomming but they definitely found banana very gaggy indeed. (And it made them constipated as well… all in all a highly over-rated weaning fruit in my opinion). Good thought about the food before milk, it’s very obvious of course but everything BLW says to do the opposite so I didn’t even think of it. Thanks so much for stepping in!

  250. Shye says:

    Hi there Mrs D –
    My youngest son (now 2 1/2) was a nightmare as a baby. He wouldn’t breastfeed from 6 weeks, took dairy free formula but threw up most of it until he was almost 1, didn’t eat whether I put it in front of him or fed him by a spoon.

    I hate to say it, but it wasn’t until he was 23 months old that I could put food in front of him and expect that he would eat it.

    Because he was my 2nd, I was more relaxed than I would have been if he was my first but I still found it highly stressful. My best advice is keep trying and try your best to relax. Some kids just take longer to get to terms with food. He did always prefer soft foods – shepherd’s pie etc – but was never reliable. He now eats more than my 4 year old.

    Good luck. xx

  251. Jo says:

    My daughter is 6 1/2 months old tomorrow and we started foods around a month ago. We were slow to start giving her some finger foods which she enjoyed sucking on and over the last few weeks have increased the amounts of food we’ve been giving her. I’ve been pureeing fruit & veg and also giving her finger foods. I initially thought I’d go straight down the blw route but think I got impatient and started purees in the hope she’d eat more. She likes finger foods and has good hand mouth coordination. I now try and sit her down 3 times a day to ‘eat’….. However…. I’m not sure she is enjoying it at all… She has started whining when I put her in the high chair and whines more when i put her bib on her. When I give her purees she occasionally opens her mouth but mostly she wants control of the spoon. The purée then often does get to her mouth but not before being spread all over the face first! What is the best thing to do? I’m concerned I am putting too much pressure on her and that of I continue down this route she’ll only resist food more. Should I just go back to straight blw with finger foods which she tends to prefer and not worry about quantity? I know I shouldn’t worry about how much she’s eating but it is hard when she’s still not sleeping through.

    • Aitch says:

      Oh, but you’re asking on a page called Babyledweaning.com, Jo, so you know that the answer you’re likely to get is… don’t sweat it, go back to BLW, give her the control and try to keep your head out of it. The sleeping through thing is a pain, but it’s also a bit of a myth (as we know to our cost). They’re just not really designed for it, broadly-speaking. Have you seen the forum, up at the top of this page? What about going on there and asking those kind, kind people for some support while the sleeping thing is calming down a bit? The very best of luck to you, lack of sleep is sheer misery, I really feel for you.

  252. Cynthia says:

    Maybe this is a silly (already explained answer), but I have to ask: Is choking not a concern with BLW? That’s why I’ve always used the pureed stuff first… Is this method teaching them to ‘gum’ their food since they can’t chew w/o teeth? I really like this theory, I just worry about choking babies…

  253. Samantha says:

    My sister in law is doing this approach with her baby…..I have to admit that I am skeptical. Their baby is 6 months old and I think it’s completely bonkers that they are feeding him large chunks of chicken and steak. He gags and spits out EVERYTHING he eats. I’m a speech pathologist and versed in pediatric swallowing. I see the value of feeding a baby soft foods that they can grasp, but large chunks of meat – how is this a good idea?? Please enlighten me. I a worried!

    • Aitch says:

      What exactly are you worried about, can you explain? The baby is only learning yet, there’s no pressure to eat huge amounts, so the spitting out is all part of him learning how to chew. Think of it as with BLW they learn to chew before they swallow, with purees they swallow before they can chew, does that help?

  254. Jude says:

    Just wanted to drop by and say how much I enjoy and find helpful your pages. My wee one is almost nine months and we have been mostly doing BLW. (Breakfast is always a rushed affair getting us all out of the door and to school) so the boy has a mixture of wheetabix shovelled in his mouth with a fist full of toast and marmite on the side. But thank you for all your wise words and witty responses. They have really guided my partner and I through this.

  255. Holly says:

    I have a quick question, I am REALLY interested in starting this but i have already started purees..is there a special way to transition? or do i just jump into it? Thanks for your insight :)

    • Aitch says:

      I think you’ll know what to do, really, as it will probably depend on how much puree your baby is eating at the moment. Why not transition over a few days, making sure there is milk by the bucketload should the baby want it. Does that sound like something you’d be comfortable with?

  256. Anca says:

    Dear mommies of the world,

    I have one essential question if you have the time to answer me. I read in the book that there is no actual hazard of choking and that it is more probable from the mush. Still I started today my baby on carrot. I cut it in long slices, hard enough to be grabbed but soft enough to be munched. He is very good at coordinating himself. He first started sucking them and afterwords “chewing”, but he seemed to be choking. He has strong gums (not yet teeth)and he managed to cut little pieces, but he had difficulties in swallowing. Nothing happened in the end, but I sat there scared to death, expecting from one moment to another to do the heimlich. Did I do something wrong? Was the carrot too hard? Did you have a similar experience?

    thanks a lot and have a good evening1

    • Aitch says:

      Are you super-sure he wasn’t just gagging on it? If he got over it himself, it probably wasn’t a choke, really. Gagging is quite alarming to see for the first time, though, granted, but as you saw, babies are good at sorting that stuff out for themselves if you can bear to leave them to it. Well done, and don’t forget he’ll get better at this really quickly, he needs to learn to control the food in his mouth as well as out of it.

  257. AJ says:

    I am reading about this for the first time. I am a first time mom with a 10 month old baby. He right now eats jarred baby food. Is it too late to try this method? He has 2 top teeth and 2 bottom
    He’s great at feeding himself crackers and Cheerios etc but I have to purée his food because if there’s chunks he pulls them out of his mouth. I’d really like him to get past this

  258. Jo says:

    Wow what a refreshing change this website is! Really enjoyed reading other parents comments and all of your very level, non-judgmental replies Aitch.

    My son is 25 weeks now and I have been weaning him for 4 weeks… NEVER intended to wean him early, but after almost 5 months of constant screaming every evening (he had colic and suffers with reflux)I caved and started weaning, within 2 weeks when he started to properly take food, the hours of screaming each time, completely disappeared?! For this reason, I have been spoon feeding to relieve the reflux, but along side of the spoon feeding I put pieces of food on his high chair table, and as time has progressed I have done this more and more, I was nervous at first when he was gagging but am feeling better about it, so hopefully I can progress to more finger foods. He can sit up unassisted and seems happy in his high chair and is also good picking up small bits between finger and thumb… I’m just getting a bit stuck for what to give him…. can I just plonk some normal rice down in front of him? I just want to add more foods than just fruit and veg which is what I have been giving him so far. Any pointers? Many thanks, Jo x

    • Aitch says:

      rice might be tricky for him to pick up until he gets his pincer grip, unless he’s super-talented. (BUT OF COURSE HE IS! :D) From around now you’re talking family food, i think, so long as the family food is unsalted. Do you think he has any allergies or anything like that? Poor kid, reflux and colic, nightmare for both of you. have a look here for some reflux stuff on the site.

  259. Judith says:

    Thank you! I’m going to ikea today to pick up one of these high chairs. I’ve been letting her self feed with banana and her high chair is so hard to clean. All those nooks and crannies.

  260. trisha says:

    thanks for the informational site! i scrolled through all the comments, but didn’t find the answer to my question:

    my 9-mo-old son loves to self-feed, but he holds the spears so tightly in his fist that anything slightly mushy or slippery either gets squished or slips out of his hand before he can eat it.

    he will pick up a spear of avocado with his fingers, then move it into his palm and before he can jam his fist in his face he’s chopped the top off by squeezing too tightly. when he opens up his hand to see where it went, he just becomes fascinated with the goop now all over his fingers.

    how do you keep your babes from mashing the banana, avocado, etc while holding the strips? and how do you keep strips of mango from shooting out of their hand when they grip it too tightly?

    thanks!!

    • Aitch says:

      banana, when i gave it (which wasn’t that often actually as mine found it v gaggy) stayed in the skin, avocado would have been smushed like you describe so went on toast… mango i gave them on the skin and they would leave it behind. some people use crinkle cutters or breadcrumbs to increase grippiness but that always sounded like hard work to me. ;D

  261. Sally says:

    This is the most helpful and sensible advice I’ve read about BLW, thank you!

  262. Kim says:

    Hi, love the website! but since I have 2 others causing havoc (putting it politely) in the school holidays I havn’t really had chance to read all the replies etc so I have a couple of questions re size of food (have been doing the puree thing for a week or so and getting fed up with it). Can I let loobyloo have cheerios (she is 6 and a half months) and sweetcorn (thinking tuna pasta bake for tea – my other 2′s favourite)? she is always reaching out for food so think she will be well up for BLW! Also, where do you stand on things like curry? nothing too hot – a nice tikka masalla or something. kim

    • Aitch says:

      oh dear… school hols havoc here too so i’m only just getting to this now… i take it you’ve solved this problem by now? for the record… my children grabbed fusilli pasta at that age, but couldn’t have picked up sweetcorn, so they didn’t eat it. curry-wise, mine had dahl on rice with yoghurt but they are total wimps and basically are only now really enjoying curry, so that’s going to depend on the kid, i think.

  263. Andreea says:

    Hi,
    I love your tips and explanations for BLW!! You mentioned not worrying about them skipping meals because they’ll get the calories from milk. I need your opinion on this. My 11 month old now never liked mushed food so at 51/2 6 months I started him on regular food. he had 4 teeth by 6 months and choking never freaked me out so I gave him what I was eating. The difference between BLW and my son eating regular food was that I fed it to him. I’d let him eat food that could be picked up with his little fingers regularly but I’d say I did most of the feeding. So this is my question to you : is it too late to let to start BLW with my son ? And my only concern that I couldn’t find an answer to is the skipping meals part. Since he’s so close to being one year old is it ok to not pick up the spoon myself and feed him when he doesn’t want to eat his own food? Baby and skipped meals freak me out :) Thanks again for your amazing post

    • Aitch says:

      oh you are nice, thanks.
      sooo, basically i’d say yes, it’s too late, in that BLW is really a ‘from six months’ thing. but you’re a clever woman, you already knew that. ;D
      it’s nice timing, though, to let him feed himself more and more, and to do that consciously. i’d ease him into it, i think, to give him more control. and the skipping meals thing… well, mine are ancient now and still eat less or more according to their appetites. i’d rather they do that, i think, than ate when they weren’t hungry.

  264. Do you taste the Kale in the smoothie at all? In other words could I sneak it into my kids smoothies?! I have a son who is picky, but he loves my smoothies and I’m always trying to through all the healthy stuff I can in there!!

  265. Kennedy says:

    Are cheeses and dairy ok to give to the baby. Like string cheese?

    • Aitch says:

      Sure, so long as you don’t have any reason to think there will be a dairy allergy. but what about aiming high on the cheese front, though? mine seriously loved mature cheddar, which is cheaper than those string cheese packs, and more likely to be around the family dinner table.

  266. sarah says:

    so my 5 1/2 month old was LOVING my sweet potato/pumpkin/apple purees for a week…..now she has totally gone off it and every other puree i have tried! :/ i even mashed a banana for her while i was eating the rest..she wouldnt take the mash but when i put the banana to her mouth she started munching it like crazy with her gummy mouth! SO…im thinking this baby led weaning may be the way to go with her!
    my question is what kind of foods are safe to start with? is it the same as when you are pureeing? they say no meat or grains untill 7-9 months? i was eating vegemite toast yesterday and she was loving sucking the vegemite off it! lol
    Is there any foods to steer clear of? can i get a list anywhere?

    Thanks! :)
    Sarah

    • Aitch says:

      I’d say apples are tricky tricky, because of the way they break up, and definitely grapes, cherry toms etc need to be halved. Little round things, such as blueberries, are better squished a bit as well. Apart from that, it’s really your call. As you’ll see on the site, some people have strong feelings about what should be eaten and when, and others just let them at healthy family food from the get-go. If you have a list from pureeing that you are happy with, stick to that.

  267. Steph says:

    Totally glad i come across this site, blog is great! I’ve picked up some really useful advice and its great to hear i’m not alone when it comes to some of the things i’m going through with my LO! I’m a mum of three and honestly at this minute in time feel like a brand new mum all over again! My oldest is 12 and the two LO’s are 17 mths and 6 mths, its the youngest who has turned my world upside down, she is a very happy wee soul but has been a little more demanding than the other two, mainly when it comes to feeding. All three have been formula fed and from the start she has been unsettled with milk, we learned quite quickly she has reflux and once we started treating it things did get a bit easier, however she’s still fussy with it and isn’t in much of a routine when it comes to the amount she’ll take. She is still insisting on a bottle at around midnight which is the only full bottle she tends to take, making it difficult to cut out. With all that in mind i decided to start weaning her, (later than the boys) I was advised to wait until she was 6 months before introducing solids as they thought her digestive system was still quite immature. As with the other 2 I started with simple rice and puree’s and initially as Sarah above, she seemed very keen but now she’s not even opening her mouth. I’d only ever been told that you start weaning with puree’s so when i read about BLW i thought maybe this is what she needs. My two main concerns are, as she doesn’t really take much milk i feel its vital she starts getting some food in her and as her dexterity is still immature will she get enough? Also she can’t yet sit unaided (far to busy exploring commando style!) and is quite small so when i sit her in the highchair her wee chin sits against the tray! I tried a cushion but she wobbles about to much and also never sits still which doesn’t help! Any suggestions? I’m sorry to go on, i just feel like a fish out of water, i know every child is different, my boys were different from each other too but this LO is different in nearly every way its thrown me big time!!

    Thanks, Steph

  268. Steph says:

    I have just read Eleanor’s piece about reflux and BLW and its answered a lot of my questions and allayed so many fears. This website is brilliant, I never normally comment on blogs or ask for advice because i’m always worried about all the conflicting opinions that frequently pop up. This site is full of great advice and friendly posts that make you want to read on :) Cheers!

  269. Zoe says:

    Brilliant and helpful. Both the initial post and all the comments. Im now feeling a little less overwhelmed by weaning in general.

  270. Patricia says:

    The idea of BLW seems very natural to me. But then again, so does the purée. There’s a reason why babies open there mouth when we kiss them… it’s an instinct to receive food previously chewed by us (it’s called premastication – a bit like a lot of animals do regurgitation to feed their youngsters – and it’s still currently done in some cultures). We really should be doing both, BLW and purées (and kissing our babies a lot), to get the best of both. BLW is great for the development of babies and the purées is the easiest way to make sure they get all kind of foods (the one they can choke on or too difficult to chew) and so the most nutritional benefits. And it’s not even that they exclude eatch other, so why have to choose? The bigger the diversity of food and ways to eat, the best for the children.

    • Aitch says:

      Personally, I live in a part of the world where food resources are not only not scarce, they are dangerously abundant, so for me the reason to choose to let my children feed themselves is so that they can control their own appetites from the beginning. Mine just didn’t need my help to meet their nutritional needs, they really could manage most foods. And of course before long they were feeding themselves soups (dipping crusty bread in it from 6 months) so they weren’t deprived of a puree texture, if that’s what they needed. Couldn’t agree more about the kissing, though… ;D

    • Melinda says:

      Soon will start weaning again this time with twins and feel more confident on BLW than with my first one. We started with purees and lot of work organasing and making them. Now I don’t have the time for doing purees :) will do what feel natural and easy hope to have everyone happy :)
      Love this, great communication and interesting way to know of others experiences good or bad just to learn from them.
      Big thanks.

  271. Jessmite says:

    Can you give me tips how to apply BLW without having high cair?
    I can’t afford a high chair, but I’m interested to let my baby pick his fresh veggie n’ fruit by himself :)
    Can a baby who hasn’t able to sit down by himself start BLW?
    Thanks

    • Aitch says:

      I’d especially wait until they can sit confidently by themselves if you were thinking of doing it with the baby on the floor… but if you could scrape together a few quid then the absolute BEST highchair for doing BLW is the Ikea Antilop which is only about £12. That’s if you’re anywhere near an Ikea, of course. Other than that, I guess sitting on your knee would be okay, but it would be HARD i think to separate yourself from their feeding and not get a bit hands-on. Good luck!

  272. Amanda says:

    I want to do BLW (in about 3 months or so, when she’s ready) but what is the rule about meats? We eat a lot of meant in the family, but I’d always be worried about choking. Chicken I can boil, so should I skip steak or pork chops? What about size and cut of meats?

  273. Smiler says:

    After I gave my baby some food for tea (first time) she wanted breastfeeding and when I put her on she bit me. She has bit me a few times before but I’m just wondering if she was confused? Any tips? I had fed her before but she loves to nurse whenever she can!! :)

  274. Kate says:

    She may be just trying out her new skills? Something in the mouth = chewing? Unlikely after just one time though. My 10 month old goes through phases of biting which I’ve never linked to BLW just her either trying to get my attention (it works) or when she’s v tired she sometimes bites down. When I remember to not just shout and pull her away I actually push her onto the boob which forces her to release.

  275. Farheen Fatima says:

    My son is 5 1/2 months old and the doctor said to start giving him solids and said to start with Single Grain Rice Cereal. Is that okay?

    • Aitch says:

      Yes and no, I mean if you’re doing BLW then the idea is to wait until 6 months and then let them self-feed proper family food, starting perhaps with steamed veggies? But if you’re not doing BLW then it’s up to you what you feel like doing. As a general rule, though, BLW and rice cereal are pretty incompatible.

  276. Iwona Wroblewski says:

    So I know the guidelines say to wait till lo is 6 mo. old, but my son is only going to be 5 mo in a week and he just STARES at us while we’re eating.

    Today I was holding him in my arms and having a banana. He just kept grabbing my hand and pulling towards himself with mouth wide open. So I gave in and let him have it. He first started to suck on it and then he started shaving pieces off of it with his gums and then totally doing the chewing motion with his gums! I sat him in his high chair and gave him a piece but he couldn’t manage to pick it up – it was too slippery. I picked it up and he started again pulling my hand towards his mouth and feeding himself that way. Is that ok? I don’t know what to do, I was planning to wait another month, but he seems ready to me…

    • Aitch says:

      What about splitting the difference and giving him a spoon to play with for the next couple of weeks? The 6 month, of course, is a guideline, but there’s no harm in getting a bit closer to it?

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