Killing my baby with BLW

6 years ago I was a first time mother to a 5 month old baby girl and living in the south of France. I didn’t have a clue how to even begin weaning, so I looked online and discovered Baby Led Weaning (BLW), it sounded perfect – no making up tons of purées, and none of this letting my food go cold while I feed the baby.

I embraced it fully with L and even translated Gill Rapley’s report on it for our “nounou” (childminder) to help her understand this crazy Rosbif* and her strange English ways. I was so excited about it but I totally wasn’t ready for the backlash that this decision would receive. I am very lucky in that Hubs was 100% behind me and our nounou accepted this and “fed” L this way without trying to talk me out of it.

L's first BLW meal

L’s first BLW meal – 6 years ago

However this support was not universal and I had to lie to my paediatrician (in France you see your paediatrician every month when you have a baby) and tell her we were weaning with purées. Wherever we went I got shocked looks, negative comments about my parenting, including one woman who asked me “are you trying to kill her?” when L was happily feeding herself courgette batons at 7 months old! Fortunately I’m pretty bloody-minded and we carried on and I’m so glad I did, from L’s earliest age we’ve shared mealtimes as a family and she understands the importance of meals as a social occasion, and now eats pretty much anything (even though she’s never had a huge appetite and prefers playing to eating!).

With C this time round, it’s 6 years on, we’re living in the UK and no one seems in the slightest bit shocked by BLW, which is a relief after having to fight so hard to do it last time. We’re only on week 1 of C’s weaning but it’s much easier this time round, maybe because I know that it’ll all be fine, maybe because I don’t have to hide the way we’re weaning or be embarrassed or apologetic for it, or maybe because things just tend to be easier second time round. Or maybe it’s simply a case of BLW being more acceptable 6 years on, as I can’t comment on how it was in the UK 6 years ago. Whatever it is I have to say that BLW is the way forwards for this family, and no, I’m not trying to kill my kids!

C's 5th meal

C’s 5th BLW meal – this week

*We call them Frogs, they call us Rosbifs.


15 Responses

  1. I think it might be a time thing, when I started BLW with Meg four years ago it seemed like it was still a fairly ‘new’ concept here. I got a fair few raised eyebrows and negative comments, nothing to compare to “are you trying to kill your baby” though, that’s just outrageous!!

    Glad you are finding it easier this time round. BLW is fantastic, I tried purees with Meg for about a week and after staying up until midnight making various concoctions I soon gave it up!

    Interesting post though, wonder if anyone else had the same?

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Yes, it did shock me a little. I was tempted to reply “yes, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do!”

      I had another international friend in France who also did BLW and who had lots of similar comments, that was a couple of years ago now, so I’m not sure France has embraced BLW yet!

  2. We started off doing baby led weaning in France at 6 months and it was not accepted AT ALL. Our nounou wouldn’t do it, anyone that was feeding out daughter would cut and mash stuff up and we got so much stick. The Paediatrician told me I was irresponsible and that it was du grand n’importe quoi.
    Everything was going swimmingly until she was about 9 months and I had a sight problem and nearly lost my sight in one eye. It was a very stressful time and we caved to the purées as we couldn’t face anymore battles than the one we were dealing with regarding my health.
    I really regret it now; my daughter is a really, really picky eater and will currently only eat broccoli, spinach and green beans, fish fingers and small pasta 🙁

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I really feel for you, at least our nounou accepted my crazy ways! I guessed my paediatrician wouldn’t so I lied to her. I hope your sight problems have eased now and that bit by bit your little one broadens her taste buds. Interesting to see that I’m not the only one that experienced BLW this way in France. I’m loving that it’s so much easier and more accepted this time round in the UK.

  3. Mummy in Provence (Ameena) says:

    Haha to lying to the pediatrician. OMG. I had to tell her, “yes, I puree the chicken so it’s “lisse” *gag*” whatever! People would stop and stare at BiP at 8 months old gnawing on steak!

    From my experience kids don’t sit at the table in a restaurant until they are 2+ and until then the dog get’s the seat before the kid does! Which explains the lack of high chairs until recently in French restaurants (except IKEA and Flunch!)

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I couldn’t decide whether to tell the truth or not to the paediatrician, then I saw the reaction I got in general, so decided this was one time that honesty is not the right way!

      It’s true what you say about small kids in restaurants, I hadn’t really thought about that before.

  4. Gcroft says:

    Hi, I live in the UK and started BLW with my 6 month old last week but she hasn’t shown much interest. I’ve decided to leave it for a few days and start again. None of the mums in my baby group are going with BLW, but I’m hoping to stick with it.

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      C is 6 months and 1 week old, we’ve been doing BLW for just over a week now, and she wasn’t overly fussed at first but she’s getting more into it now. I think it depends how hungry they are and how curious they are – C is curious but not overly hungry. Don’t stress it is the key I think, maybe your baby isn’t totally ready to wean yet? None of my baby group here is doing BLW but I have lots of friends here with slightly older children who did BLW. I think like everything (breast vs bottle, washable vs disposable nappies) it’s a question of what works best for you and your baby. Good luck with it!

  5. Gcroft says:

    Spot on, I don’t think she’s ready for weaning. She was born 3 weeks early and I suspect this could be a factor too. No rush is my mantra. She’ll eat plenty when she’s ready. Love the blog btw!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      That makes sense. I’m not sure how much we need to wean C now, she eats but it’s more of a fun/play thing than anything she really needs at the moment.

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂

  6. Paristockholm says:

    Hello! I am a French mum raising my kids in Sweden and am doing baby led weaning with my youngest. It’s been a month and she’s doing great, but we’re going to be in France for two weeks and am looking for resources in French I could give my family and my in laws so that everybody is confident feeding her if they have to. I doubt she would take purées anyway! Any useful link you could think of? Looking forward to the nice comments in cafés and restaurants…

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I didn’t find anything that helped sadly, I got a lot of negativity, so your best bet is a thick skin!

  7. oceane says:

    Any chances you would post the translation of the reports you made for the nounou so French mum like Paristockolm or I, could have something to show other skeptical? Thanks in advance

  1. 12/06/2013

    […] the early months of just milk, through to what foods she’d been introduced to each month (although I did have to lie about doing baby led weaning!). Whilst that is possibly overkill it did at least give the French health service an overview of […]

  2. 07/10/2014

    […] many other benefits. I’ve written about our experience of BLW if you’re interested: Killing my baby with BLW. If you’d like to know more I would recommend this baby led weaning website (a version of […]

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