My mother, as I many have mentioned once or twice, was very dubious about Baby Led Weaning when I first suggested it. She seemed convinced that my having kept her grandchild in one piece until the age of six months was largely a fluke, and that any further off-piste baby decisions would surely result in disaster. (Remember that Babybear had been sleeping in a hammock since the day she'd been brought home from the hospital, so my mother felt that she had paid her dues already with regards to toleration of her daughter's loopy childcare ideas.)
So I mention Baby Led Weaning and she tells me that I should go ahead so long as I don't mind Babybear choking to death, or words to that effect. Babies must have their food mushed for them, otherwise how will they learn to chew?
Now I know that there isn't a great deal of information out there about BLW even today, after all why would you be reading this godforsaken prose if you had a choice? But at least now more people are talking about it on websites like Mumsnet and others. A few months ago it felt like there was nothing but the excellent Yahoo users group and that spooky Dutch website… after that you were on your own, with just a vegetable steamer for company. No leaflets, no recipe books, no Annabel Karmel ticky-box calendars of weaning… nothing.
So there wasn't much that I could employ to fend off my mother's concerns, other than clear-eyed logic. It worked, and I am delighted to pass on my wisdom to you all.
Simply ask: “When did you start weaning your children?”
(In my case the answer to this question was an astonishing two weeks but really that wasn't my mum's fault, it was the midwives at the hospital putting Farex infant rice into my bottle. And yes, I do suffer from IBS thank you for asking.)
Generally, however, the British matron will reply 'three months', for that was the advice back then.
Now leave them to think about whether they spooned and spooned and spooned for, what, six months, before offering so much as a slice of toast? Didn't happen, did it?
Of course after three whole months of spoon feeding, women of our mothers' generation were only too happy to try finger food with their babies, it's just that they fondly assumed that their children had needed the three months of puree to get used to the idea. (Which was kinda true in a way, in that a three-month-old is incapable of self-feeding).
So when my mum realised that I was doing was my best to adhere to both modern WHO guidelines and copy her own shining example, she suddenly chilled right out about it, surprise, surprise. And the funniest thing is that I've now overheard her recommending baby led weaning to her golden girl grandma pals and she is proud fit to burst when she sees her grandchild eat her roast potatoes.