Saturday, 3 March 2007

Should BLW also stand for Brave Ladies Weaning?

So, you have read the Rapley guidleines, and you think that BLW is for you.

You have either picked a day to start, or had one thrust upon you - but is that really the end of the story. As I have answered more and more queries on the subject I think I can say NO!

So why is BLW also brave ladies weaning - well here are some of my thoughts.....

1. It is a real leap of faith to offer your lovely baby food and then have them eat little or nothing. It is hard for some of us to trust that our babies will eat when they are ready, and that if they are not eating then it seems easy to think that maybe we should give a little puree to "encourage them" etc etc.

I think a lot of these sorts of pressures come from the old advice of weaning at 4 months, and earlier. If at 6.5 months your perfectly healthy bundle isn't eating food then the world at large seems to want to know why. It seems a common question as you approach 6 months "is X on solids yet?" the research I have done shows that until ONE YEAR OLD the milk you give is the main source of calories and nutrition for your baby. SOlid food is a learning exercise in tastes and textures.

2. Your mother in law (and possibly your mum) will think you have gone mad.

I have found this one easy to deal with - just show them your lo eating away happily and they soon chill out about the whole thing. I have also found that muttering that "baby rice has the same nutritional content as wallpaper paste" also works quite well! (not that I have ever eaten either!).

It seems my MIL is now happy thinking I am mad as a resulyt of the bf, the cloth nappies and the baby sign!

3. Your mush feeding friends also think you are mad

This is especially true if they are the ever evil "competative mums"!! I have never struggled with this one as George eats about as much as 3 babies at most meals, so I would love to hear how anyone has fended off friends with concerns over your starving baby!

4. Your HV has no idea what BLW is

I also found this one quite easy to deal with. I don't think I have ever followed any advice from my HV or found her to be in any way useful! I guess I was lucky that another midwife from the same baby centre is very pro-BLW. I guess the answer is just research as much as you can - finding this blog is a great start!

I think that you must just follow your instincts on this one - if you think BLW is right for your baby then go for it. The research is credible and done by a very reliable and reputable woman - and just remember - there have been NO tests on feeding mush to your baby!

5. There are no books to guide you

I actually found this quite liberating! Saying that though, I found that having Aitch's blog was a god send. I didn't follow her pattern of introducing food, but just knowing what sort of things she had tried gave me the confidence to try my own thing. I hope this blog will do the same for you.

I am now really shocked to hear about the "weaning plans" you can get in the peddlers of mush books....on tuesday introduce carrot, and give carrot for 3 days...etc .....etc...etc. Whilst, as Rapley says, you should not throw your common sense out with the blender I would find this sort of schedule highly patronising and limiting.

But, I have decided I am becomming a bit of an old hippy these days!

So, to sum up, I guess we are all "brave ladies weaning" - we are out there trying something new(ish!!!). Keep strong ladies, and trust your babies.


Mel x