Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Babycentre has published a piece on BLW… hmmmmm

It's fine, y'know, basically just a crib from the crazy Dutch website piece that Gill Rapley co-wrote and of course it's good to have more information out there… but they do stuff it up at one point when they get their resident Health Visitor to comment on BLW. Why oh why do they let these people interfere..?

Here's the paragraph, entitled:

“Are there any disadvantages to Baby Led Weaning?

“Not all foods can easily be made
into baby-friendly finger shapes so your baby's diet may be rather
limited, unless you are very inventive. Helen Pegg, BabyCentre's health
visitor advises parents to include at least some mashed foods when they
starting the weaning process. This allows you to give your baby a more
varied diet.”

Mashed foods – what? Mashed potato? Cos that's quite easily turned into a chip-shape, I find… oh, you want more varied than broccoli and asparagus and mangetout do you? Well, let me have a think about that. I am pretty inventive, you know…

Well, one thing that it might be useful to know is that the babies only need the chip-shaped thing for about a fortnight after which in my humble experience their motor control develops at an alarming rate and they stick their little hands round anything they can possibly get hold of.

That's big flakes of fish, that's steak, that's pasta shapes, that's bread with home-made chicken soup spooned over it, that's apricot, pear and peach bum-cheeks, pieces of chicken, green beans, baby corn, that's meatballs, moon biscuits, rice cakes, cucumber, apples, as well as the nutritionally essential car keys and television remote controls. Oh for goodness sakes, I know a lot of those things actually come in a chip-shape (green beans and baby corn, I'm thinking) but I am truly at a loss as to which foodstuffs this woman was talking about. Trust a bloody Health Visitor to come in at the end and bollocks things up…

Okay, I'm really not kidding, I want a list of foods that cannot be cut or moulded in such a way that a child of, say 7 months, wouldn't be able to eat. For the first month let's assume that you are mostly doing carrots, broccoli, banana, potato, cucumber, cheese, pasta, that sort of thing. Not that I was, but then as I said I am very inventive…

Here's mine.

1. Couscous.  Unless I slightly overcook it so that it goes a wee bit clumpy in which case it's fine. Babybear loves it with roast veggies, by the way… must write that up one day.

2. Rice Pudding. Only because we haven't had it yet, really, cos it's been summer. Obviously it's a staple of most jar-fed babies diets regardless of the season (I got a jar of Cow & Gate Organic rice pud free from Ikea which has a best before of July 2007… Jesus wept…) so poor Babybear has lived a life without cream and sugar and rice so far. I might make some now that the weather is turning, I bet she'd wolf it down now but at 7 months it might have been tricky.

3. Lentils. Well, you could get inventive on their ass and make them into some kind of burger I suppose but I am prepared to give Helen Pegg HV lentils. Until 8 months-ish, in Babybear's case, when she was able to grab them just fine.

Any more for any more? I'm not taking the piss, I really want to make up a list and send it to Babycentre so that future BLWers can see the foods which this method so cruelly excludes from our babies not-very-varied-diet, at least for a while.

Okay, so I have posted our puny list of 8 things that babies can't have on the Babycentre website, along with a polite explanation of the demerits of their Health Visitor's astronomical gaffe. Much to my embarrassment, however, it turns out that Babycentre don't let you put paragraph marks onto their pages (they do before you press 'submit', the eejits) so now my reasoned argument against mashing food for BLWers look like the spittle-flecked rantings of a lone crazy woman…

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44 Responses to “Babycentre has published a piece on BLW… hmmmmm”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cottage cheese
    Baked beans
    Can't think of anything else at the mo.
    Seriously, what vegetables CAN'T be made into chip shapes?!
    Around here people seem to think crisps and chocolate buttons are appropriate foods for small babies… but then the adults don't really eat veggies so I don't think there's much hope for the sprogs!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm disallowing soup on the grounds that it can easily be mopped up with a piece of crusty bread and left to cool a little. Cottage cheese and baked beans I'll give you, although Babybear now eats both with ease at nearly 10 months.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, what are these people on? Aitch, I do hope you send what you've just posted on here to babycentre so that they can see how Ms Pegg has just undermined the whole point of doing BLW. I take exception with 'age appropriate' too, if your baby is 6 months (and they should be if you are weaning them) then (allergy prone families excepted) they can pretty much TRY any food you can think of (except the obvious no-nos of too much salt, sugar, fat + no honey and nuts – which should also be no-nos for those of us who are a little older!) I f you are BLW 'properly' ie letting the babe explore food, they won't manage to eat much of anything at the beginning and their digestive capabilities will develop along with their fine motor skills. A six month old won't be able to feed themselves a whole egg or a slice of bread etc so any allergic reactions should be correspondingly small.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We're just starting, so maybe I don't know enough about it yet, but… yogurt? Unless you just let them stick their fingers in it (which we do with oatmeal). Haven't actually tried it yet because we're waiting on dairy due to allergies in the family.

  5. Anonymous says:

    welcome yet another Jen, and yes, i'll allow yoghurt. although by about 8 months Babybear was spooning yog into her own mouth, but yes, at 7 months she didn't eat a lot of it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jen, just been nosy and clicked on your link because I thought you might be a friend of mine (yet another Jen)… how cute is your bubba! I especially like the little Tigers outfit… what a poppet ;-)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Bunny – we're pretty fond of her! There are a few more pictures of her in the BLW Flickr group, too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, we can't have bread to mop up our soup however it turns out soup can still be eaten in a BLW-fashion. Minky was not at all interested in the spoon tonight, so I fished the carrot, potato and leek out of her soup and popped it on the tray. She polished it all off.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Rice is about the only one I can think of – K just didn't like the texture in her mouth, I think, it would all come back out again for the first couple of months. But now she shovels it in no bother (specially if it's with curry!).

  10. Anonymous says:

    How about peas? okay they can manage them after a few weeks but not at first!
    And I think the best bit is this bit
    Breastfed babies do not need to be given water because breastmilk is a drink as well as a food.
    Really? Its a liquid that is also a drink??? no way! and also rubbish in my opinion…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    feel free to send them to me to post here, too. she's a real wee honey, although i must say i don't understand the significance of the Tigers… is it a sport thing?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Er, not sure why you say that's rubbish? According to the Dutch site with Gill's stuff on it:
    “This is why breastfed babies who are allowed to feed whenever they want for as long as they want do not need any other drinks, even in hot weather.
    This principle can work throughout the period of changeover to family meals if the baby continues to be allowed to breastfeed ‘on demand’. A cup of water can be offered with meals as part of the opportunity for exploration but there is no need to be concerned if he doesn’t want to drink any.”

    You don't need to give extra water if you're b/f on demand because of the “programming the next feed” aspect, though most people do start to introduce a cup around 6-8 months anyhow, for the experience if nothing else. So I'm not sure what you mean by “rubbish”? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Peas, good one. and now that i think of it, it took a while for Babybear to manage a sultana. (although i'm not sure that many purees are sultana-based, but you never know.)
    i'm not 100% sure what you mean about the milk either, although i do agree that the 'milk is a drink' is a bit of a 'durr'. Some BFers do give water from the get-go, at least one of my friends did, but then we started weaning in the height of summer and i think she was feeling a bit dessicated.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As a breastfeeder I have always been led to believe there is no need to give the baba water as my milk will quench her thirst and feed her. Read something about if they start having water you may not produce as much milk. I guess when you start weaning they will eventually start to need less milk.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was always told that breastfeeding would be all the fluid that Minky needed. Unless there was a heatwave. I'm not sure what the HV definition of a heatwave was. Mr Moomin suggested it was when The Sun had the headline “Phew! What a Scorcher!”
    Anyhoo, we introduced a cup at six months or something and offered her water with her meals. It did take me a long time to remember to do it with every meal. Sometimes she has some; sometimes she doesn't. I am totally relaxed about her refusing water even though I get a bit anxious about her refusing food (I'm getting better about this, promise).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for confusion!
    the baby brain kicks in, I inserted text and forgot to delete other text as had a bit of a rant, anyway, I meant the article itself was rubbish, it seemed to have a negative vibe….
    shall check my work before submitting in future…..!

  17. Anonymous says:

    :) It happens – glad to have cleared it up! FWIW I still forget to give water at nearly 12 months; tbh I'd rather she had milk anyway unless she's teethng and biting me!

  18. Anonymous says:

    i do that all the time, Rowan – we must learn how to use preview…
    i thought the article was a bit negative too, but then i imagine that babycentre might have ad revenue to lose if everyone takes up BLW.

  19. Anonymous says:

    preview? I'm lucky if I remember to post without getting distracted and wandering away from the pc….!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad that seawood says she forgets water, I always feel guilty when I forget to give Boomer water with her meal or tbhn if I really can't deal with another clothes change. God this blw thing is meant to mean less guilt or does it just change what you feel guilty about?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm indeed.
    I admit that in trying to avoid bread (although not religiously) I have been struggling to think of ways to give carbs without always resorting to spuds – Angelcake hasn't really been interested in picking up little bits or mushy stuff, so rice, millet and porridge haven't been an option unless I wanted to try shovelling it in, which I did not.
    On this theme, whenever I mentioned to my Mum or MIL about trying a new food with Angel (like meat), or contemplating ways of cooking or chopping something so that she would be able to hold it, invariably they would suggest “mashing it in with x,” and would need reminding that that was not the point,…

  22. Anonymous says:

    porridge pancakes!
    and if you overcook basmati rice a bit and leave it to cool after you've drained it then it forms into lumps, that's how i give it to babybear. you can do the same with couscous.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I thought this was okay generally, but another thing I disagreed with was about BLW being messy. I agree there is sometimes a mess, but no more than with purees in fact, giving sticks of babycorn is infinitely less messy than pureed babycorn would be ?? so I don't understand that

  24. Anonymous says:

    Lentils: mushy red lentils cooked with onion and carrot until quite thick can be spread on and sucked off bread, rice cakes etc!

  25. Anonymous says:

    thanks aitch – i'll continue to try various things. i thought i was on to a winner with porridge pancakes – and yes hub2dee, the recipe is genius! – but angelcake still tosses them over her shoulder no matter what i add…plain ones, cheese ones, dried apricot, apple,…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why do you say “that crazy dutch website” ??? I 'v read it more on here and don't understand, because I think it's a good website and that's not just because I'm dutch…am really curious why I read such a negative comments about it !

  27. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ellen! “Crazy dutch” is a sort of joky expression, usually said in a comedy exaggerated Dutch accent… it's meant affectionately and doesn't intend any negative connotations. So if you posted a message saying “Hi, I'm a BLW mummy and I'm Dutch”, you might get the response “Hi, you crazy Dutch mama!”
    I'm sure the rest of the website is great, I know it's a breastfeeding resource but unfortunately I don't speak or read Dutch. I tried translating it through BabelFish and it came back with “Welcome on the centre for udder feeding” which made me giggle!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I went and had another look at Stefan Kleintjes' website, where Gill Rapley's guidelines can be found. By viewing it through BabelFish, you can see the various sections (once you've stopped chortling at their horrible mistranslations!)
    I found a gallery of BLW phots with a real cutiepie. Have a look here for the first page. You can move forward and back by clicking on the links in the bottom right corner.
    There's also a DVD available, but unfortunately only in the Netherlands and Belgium at the moment from the looks of things. Maybe we could lobby for an English version!

  29. Anonymous says:

    oh don't worry ellen, it's not negative. there used to be a show on the BBC that had some 'crazy dutch policemen' in it, so i was just saying that off the top of my head. i'll change it you think it might upset people, but it's really just a dumb gag.

  30. Anonymous says:

    No you can get it here too. Here are the details…
    “A 17-minute DVD/video about baby-led weaning will be available from 1st November. It explains what BLW is, why it is a sensible and logical way to approach weaning, how to go about it, and the benefits it brings. It costs £25 and is available from Mark-It TV.
    It will normally be about £2.50 for a single copy in the UK.
    For the USA, the cost is approx $45 (US dollars), plus overseas carriage.
    To order a copy, simply phone, fax or email your requirements (number required, in which format – DVD or PAL video) to Mark-It Television, at:
    Mark-It Television
    7 Quarry Way
    BS16 1UP
    United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (117) 939 1117
    Fax: +44 (117) 939 1118
    A 30-day invoice will be dispatched with your DVD/video.”

  31. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your replies bunny & Aitch ! No, the text was not upsetting, I was just wondering… I think I miss sometimes the clou from a joke, because my english is still not perfect…So, I'm a crazy dutch mama hum :-) ?! Yes, that's a cutie indeed bunny, on udder FEEDING com !

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oh fab, thanks Aitch. The Weeble is well established in the old BLW thing now – french toast was a roaring success this morning – but my baby sister is due in June (by which I mean my younger sister is having a baby, not my 67 year old mum!) and I might get it for her.
    I know I shouldn't be so glib, but is this not the funniest DVD cover you've ever seen!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, Bunny, shall have nightmares about a giant, disembodied boob looming at me.
    Anyway (she says, working herself into a self-righteous tizz), why do all these guides persist in showing you a SIDE view of the latching on when everyone has to peer at what they're doing from above. It doesn't help!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hoi Ellen,
    How gaat het?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Hi Morv,
    Met mij gaat het goed.
    Wat leuk ! Kun jij een beetje nederlands praten ?
    Waar heb je dat geleerd ?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Ik kan maar van het Nederlands slechts spreken! Ik bestudeerde in Groningen één jaar maar al Nederlanders spreken het uitstekende Engels – and I'm pretty lazy!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Nu pronkt u enkel met!
    (I think that means “Now you are just showing off!” ;-) but BabelFish is so random, it may well mean “your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries”…)

  38. Anonymous says:

    nice holy grail reference! – my dutch was pish so I'll just stick to the badly spelled Engels.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Ik ben onder de indruk Morv (= I'm impressed Morv)! En jij spreekt ook al een aardig woordje Nederlands Bunny (=and you speak also quite a word dutch Bunny)! Wow !

  40. Anonymous says:

    From the Independent:
    In other news, The Weeble has a new favourite food; asparagus. Yes, we is posh too ;-)

  41. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, meant to link that!
    Click here

  42. Anonymous says:

    Great to see some validation in a “proper” newspaper! Not that we ourselves need it but the more its written about and people might stop looking at me as if I'm a loony giving an 8 month (next week) baby a “real” cheese sandwich to gnaw on.
    On another positive note MIL had Euey last week and met up with one of her grannymates who brought along her 14mnth old grandson. At lunch time the other grandmummy produced a jar of mush explaining her grandson just wouldnt tolerate lumps while my Euey tucked into chickpea burgers and mango with a VERY proud Nanny expolaining loftily about BLW!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Well done Bunny. Article is great. have mailed it to all the folks I keep harping on about BLW to!!!
    My Baba also loves the green fingers!!! Nice with cream cheese on the end too. Tried blueberries too – not so impressed. They are really quite tart.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I thought you should know there is a brand new (today) post on this article asking about FF. I thought you and some of the others here would be able to answer her as I know there are a few FFers here who did well with BLW.

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