Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

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

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

Poor Siobhan blubbing. (posed by model)

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

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

“Baby Led Weaning,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11 Responses to “BLW Diary – In which Siobhan frets then Gets Over It…”

  1. Benny says:

    Oh the joys of first children! I worried abut everything with my 3 year old when he was that age… Now my 10 month old just has to get on with it, I’m afraid to say!

    When they have tummy bugs, i offer lots of bland foods (toast, etc)… With teething its often juicy or crunchy foods that satisfy….

    When my gp mentioned puréed broccoli, I decided to smile and nod as though that was a serious consideration…. (believe me, it wasn’t…I can’t think of anything worse!)

  2. troglodyte says:

    I think all he needs is plenty of cuddles, water and anything he shows any interest in. Soon you’ll have the joy of ‘I can’t believe such a small person can eat so much food’ as he makes up for the temporary blip.

  3. Ana says:

    My little boy often cries when I put him in his highchair but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s excitement because as soon as he’s settled and there’s food in front of him he’s happy as Larry.

    He had bad eczema when he was about 4 months old (and started teething at 5 months which exacerbated the eczema) and I was advised (by a dermatologist) to introduce new things one at a time and leave a few days before introducing the next thing. This worked well and the only thing he seems to be intolerant to now is cheddar, although he likes the taste.

    I too, smile and nod at the GP’s advice which seems to be somewhat outdated and still in the feed ’em purée camp. Sometimes I think I should carry round copies of the BLW book and hand them out to people!

  4. Siobhan says:

    Well he’s a bit better now although I have now given him a right stinker of a cold – brilliant!

    He is still crying a little when he’s put in the highchair but he does stop when he gets what he wants..

    I’m finding that the timings are CRUCIAL – if he’s not hungry enough he gets pretty bored, if he’s too hungry he becomes very agitated and eats too quickly.

    Does everyone stick to set times for meals? It’s difficult sticking to them though when you’re out and about and have appts etc?


  5. carmel says:

    What a wonderful BLW diary, getting so much great information straight from the horse’s mouth (or even the baby’s…ha, ha)and so very interesting to read even if it is a long time since I was at the baby weaning stage. Something like this, then, would have given me much greater confidence. Well done for sharing this so beautifully, Siobhan

  6. Maz says:

    Probaly nothing at all to do with the food he’s been eating – babies get little upset tummies like us grown-ups, and have their off days too!!! Sounds like he’s having a wail (excuse the pun!) of a time experimenting with food – salmon flaked mash – yum. It’s great catching up and comparing on what others do – thank you.

  7. Claire says:

    You’re right.. timing is crucial. It’s fine to go slow though. Incorporate him into one meal a day, then add the others later.
    It’s lovely to read.. I remember feeling just as you do. :)

  8. Gallicgirl says:

    I found timing crucial too at first but after a while PG and I relaxed into it and it’s not so bad now.

    My mum puts it lovely “some days you’re hungry and some days you’re not – babies are the same”. If PG doesn’t want to eat, I don’t worry about it but make sure she’s offered lots of milk to make up for it.

    I hope your little one is feeling better and guzzling down his yummy breakfasts (lazy old toast or brioche here!)

  9. Jane K says:

    I feel your pain re: the BLW ‘ignorance’ from others. My mother is taking some convincing – mainly worries about whether bambino is actually managing to swallow enough and the food wastage. I also recently had an, almost, run-in with a self righteous new mum. She was horrified when I explained that we were skipping the puree stage and going straight to solids. She told me babies HAVE TO start with purees, then lumps and only then onto proper solids. She then tried to tell me that I was in danger of affecting my child’s speech development if I continued with BLW!! Honestly I’m normally a very laid back person but I could have lamped her for having the gaul to say that to me. And breathe…okay, rant over!

    • Aitch says:

      I think it’s fair enough, though, for grandmothers to worry about waste and whether they are eating ‘enough’, these are reasonable preoccupations. What’s hard is explaining that we are coming from it from a different angle, that we actively want our kids to stop eating when they want to *memories of being told to Clear Your Plate come flooding back* and that for the moment we are going to tolerate a bit of broccoli on the floor (and curtain, and table, and clothes). And I love meeting people who told me that any aspect of parenting HAS to be done a particular way, honestly, just let them keep talking and they sound dafter by the second. And that would include, imo, anyone who says that the only way is BLW… ;-D

  10. Nadeene says:

    I remember seeing the grandparents’ faces drop with incomprehension and incredulity as we demonstrated BLW and their kitchen floors disappeared under a layer of carrot and pitta bread. We were also facing a three times daily struggle in the high chair so I’m pleased to hear Siobhan and other mums talking about timing as as crucial factor; totally makes sense. The tantrums as the bib was being secured stopped when I realised that the milk gulped down 2 hours before eating was no longer needed!

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