Please Stop Judging Me!

OK I’m going to be controversial here, but I’m just going to say it. Baby Led Weaning… NOT a fan!!

As you lovely regular readers will know I am weaning Josh, and I’ve been doing it with purees and the wonderful Phillips Avent Baby Food Steamer and Blender. Joy of Joys, I felt confident about weaning; I was steaming so the veg wouldn’t lose any of its goodness, it took just a few minutes each day, and most importantly, Josh was enjoying it! Added bonus, nervous Mumma here didn’t have to worry about choking. I thought we were off to a winning start.

So when I took Josh to be weighed the other day, I was feeling positive. I felt like I had it sussed, my boy was happily demolishing healthy foods, even the dreaded broccoli which pained me to make as I hate the stuff and it stank, and when he got weighed he’d put on weight just hitting the 20lb mark, and sitting perfectly on his little graph in his red book. But then with the help of a rather pushy and opinionated “advisor” (I’m sorry for the bitchy quote marks but I seriously was not impressed) my confidence was blown apart, as she asked how I was feeding Josh. I happily told her all about my fancy pants machine, the vast array of foods Josh was enjoying and she looked at me puzzled and enquired if I was also doing any Baby Led Weaning. I said no, I explained that at this point, with Josh only being just six months old, and my fear of choking, that I was happy with how we were doing and that we hadn’t attempted BLW.  She was NOT impressed. In fact she looked genuinely shocked at my response and quickly showed me the board behind her with many leaflets and posters about BLW and went on to tell me that my fear of choking was borderline irrational and selfish and that BLW was the most natural way to wean a baby.

judgement

Now as I am sure you’ve already cottoned on from my writing, I am very much my own person and won’t be pushed into doing things I don’t want to. But I have to say, this advice (!) kept popping up in my head, so I decided to brave it and I made the munchkin some soft carrot sticks. Even as I gave them to him and watched him sucking away on them, I kept thinking they could easily break and fly down his throat. It made me nervous and I just wanted to take them off him but I stuck at it . Josh wasn’t hugely bowled over by them and there was some gagging but I tried not to be freaked out by it and then gave him a bit more of his puree of sweet potato (God forbid!). Then I decided to try some banana. Ordinarily I’d mush this up for him and let him eat it with his spoon, as I do try to encourage him to feed himself. But today I followed the guidelines, sliced it up and gave him some finger food sized pieces to feed himself. He appeared to be quite happily mushing it in his hands and stuffing it in his mouth, then lo and behold my greatest fear happened.  I knew it was stuck in his throat because his beautiful little eyes bulged, he looked completely stunned and his face went a funny colour. Thank God I knew what to do and one swift blow to his back brought up the offending piece of banana and my poor shell shocked baby then proceeded to throw up everything else he’d eaten at dinner in what I assume was some sort of shock. He then seemed to realise what a fright he’d got and start to sob his eyes out. I too was a bit shaken and just held Josh, gave him some water and had lots of cuddles till we both calmed down.

So as you can probably imagine this has put me completely off BLW! Now having said that, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a stupid idea and no one should do it. I wouldn’t do that; I would never tell people how they should feed their child. Everyone is different, do what is right for you. But I have to say, for me I have not enjoyed that experience. And I pray you lovely readers will respect what I’m saying, and not tell me I’ve got no patience and am doing it all wrong.  Personally I found the whole thing tense, unejoyable and quite frankly not at all natural. Josh is six months old. He is going to rely on me, to feed him and look after him. I’m his mother!  I don’t want to rush to make him independent at this young age by feeding him things that give him an experience that scares him. I know that BLW has a great benefit of getting babies ready to deal with lumps in their food, but can I just point something out. Correct me (nicely) if I’m wrong, but I think BLW has only come about in the last few years. Which means I’m quite sure that the entire generation of us that are mothers at this moment where most likely fed pureed food, mashed food, soft food, as babies. And yet here we all are as adults, not suffering from this ; we all manage to eat regular foods every day. And I know Josh will.  If I chose to feed him soft foods to begin with and then ease in lumps, and do things at a pace that suits us, how is that bad. Why should I feel shamed for that.

And there we have it; the shame. The guilt. The bloody incessant pressure us Mums are put under. All I can say to myself, and to other Mums is do what is right for you! Some of you will thrive at BLW and have no fears about it, others will be like me and prefer the smoother texture of foods. I enjoy this cause Josh eats it well, he eats lots of it and we have a giggle while we feed him. I am not categorising anyone; most of my friends are doing at least a bit of BLW, and I would never judge them for it; if it works for you that’s great. But it’s not for me, at least not right now. However that should also mean that no one judges me for doing something I feel is right for me and Josh.

Be-Gentle-With-Yourself-Shannon

We have a lot of opinions pushed on us as Mums; breastfeeding or bottle feeding, co-sleeping or not, baby led weaning or pureeing; and there always seems to be something that is the current hot topic for people to have a strong opinion about. But I think the strongest opinion is always do what is right for you, do what makes you happy and relaxed. Babies are so in tune with us and they know if we’re not happy. If you’re happy and relaxed, baby will be too! This post is a plea to you all; don’t be pressured into doing anything you don’t want to, in any circumstance. I hate the amount of negative pressure there is put on women.

The choices you make are what makes you the mother you are. And my choices and the things I blog about are my take on being a Mum. I am a huge advocate on “each to their own” which, if you’re a regular reader you will know. This is simply my experience and my take on motherhood, not what I think others should do. So why should others judge me for the choices I make. As a mum, you know best.  And you should be the one to define motherhood in your own way.  I’m here to talk you through my definition of motherhood. MINE. It’s MINE. It doesn’t mean it has to be YOURS, nor do you have to remotely agree with it. But in turn, don’t judge me. Don’t judge each other. We are all in this together. As women and mothers we should support each other, and not pass judgement.

Do what is right for you and your baby and fuck those who inflict unwanted judgement on you. I for one won’t let anyone’s “impartial” advice push me to do things I’m not comfortable with.

Be proud of yourselves mumma’s & stop with all the hate. Mind your own business and just be happy for one and other. Stop with the judgement and simply spread the love. You’re great – you’re a mummy!

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50 Comments

  1. June 7, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    I must be lucky because my health visitor has been great and supported my decisions. I decided to formula feed a couple of days after trying to breastfeed my daughter. I just couldn’t get her to latch and she didn’t want to work for the milk when she was. I would probably be judged for my decision, but I don’t give a toss. My baby is happy and healthy and I made the decision to formula feed out of love and care for her. She had jaundice and wasn’t recovering very well because she was practically starving from the failed breastfeeding.

    I understand your concerns about baby led weaning and others should respect your decision. As long as your child is being fed and is getting the nutrition right for them, what’s the issue? There really should be less ‘mum shaming’ and more support.

    Good luck to you with the feeding. Keep doing what is best for you and your child.

    • June 8, 2016 / 9:42 am

      Thank you so much for a lovely comment. It wasn’t my regular HV to be fair, but it still bothered me a lot. Good on you for sticking with what you know is best. As Mums we know what is best for our babies xx

  2. June 7, 2016 / 6:26 pm

    I have the same fear as you. I hate the judgement it sucks. I started out exactly like you. And I’ve been gradually making the food less pureed, then just mashed and then cut up into pieces and he chews himself. Now he eats solids like we do I’m bite size pieces. It’s been slow but it’s worked for us. It must’ve been so scary when your little boy choked. Good for sticking by your instinct

    • June 8, 2016 / 9:40 am

      That’s what Im going to do chick. It was horrible and I’m going to stick to what I know! xx

  3. June 7, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    Oh my god I would have been so scared if that happened to my baby girl. It must have frightened the hell out of you. I was talking about weaning with my mum the other day and she didn’t even know what baby led weaning was and she’s reared 4 of us kids. I’m with you on this one when I start my baby on solids in a couple of months. She will be having mashed and purred food to start. I’ve got a fear of choking after I got a werthers original stuck down my throat when I was a teen. Xx

    • June 8, 2016 / 9:39 am

      It did I was really scared. Its just not for us! I’d rather have an enjoyable experience and have a relaxed baby who’s enjoying his first taste of foods xx

  4. June 8, 2016 / 11:04 am

    You’re doing a great job.
    As far as I’m concerned as long as babies are eating a varied diet and tasting different things, what does it matter how they’re getting their food?
    We are doing purees at the moment (most of which come from *gasp* jars!) and may move a little more in the baby led direction, but I wouldn’t judge anyone else for doing it differently to us.
    All babies and parents are different. It’s silly to expect everyone to do the same.

    • June 9, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment hun. I agree – just do what is right for you and your baby. I hate the pressure inflicted on us when it’s not necessary. As long as you’ve got a happy healthy baby, that’s the main thing xx

  5. June 8, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    You’re doing the amazing job 🙂 As long as baby is eating healthy things and enjoying their food, does it really matter how it arrives. Everyone’s different and this insistence that everyone has to do the same thing and that only one way is right is just daft.

    • June 9, 2016 / 9:29 am

      Thank you so much hun. I agree, everyone is different and that goes for every baby too xx

  6. June 8, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    The same thing happened to me with Youngest. Oldest I did do more baby led weaning because I just had a feeling that she would be ok with it. However, Youngest was very different but I bent under pressure from the Health Visitor gave her a tiny bit of banana and the same thing happened causing me to panic until I managed to clear airways. I never did it again. I think that sometimes we just have to learn to trust our instincts more. Mother’s really do know best! #Bloggerclubuk

    • June 9, 2016 / 9:27 am

      It’s a horrible feeling isn’t it – that panic! But yes, you’re absolutely right, Mums know best. I will certainly stick to trusting my instincts xx #BloggerClubUK

  7. June 8, 2016 / 9:45 pm

    Oh Fi, I couldn’t agree more. It very much depends on the baby I think – Emma, my little one, was pretty bad with lumps so BLW was never going to be a go-er. But the judgement from our health visitor as well was shocking – why do they do this? Interestingly we had a 12 month review recently where you had to come with a questionnaire filled out with Emma’s capabilities, I was dreading it as she does not remotely sleep through, her eating is hit and miss. But the HV was super lovely and said she didn’t even need to look at the questionnaire as she can tell she is healthy. That’s the right response, and in my opinion one you need to hear at the 6 week & 6 month reviews when you’re still finding your way with everything. Always remember no-one knows Josh like you do (and Sam), you’re doing amazing xxx #bloggerclubuk

    • June 9, 2016 / 9:26 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment honey. It is so hard when you are given such pessimistic view points; it makes you doubt yourself, which you shouldn’t do as a parent! What works for one parent, may not work for another. I agree chick the judgement we get is shocking at times. xxx #bloggerclubuk

  8. June 9, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I think you’re doing an amazing job – Josh is your baby and just because there are different methods of doing things doesn’t necessarily mean that one way is right and another is wrong – they are just different. When I had my eldest I was going to do BLW and the dietitian advised against it – because of her heart condition, it was more important to ensure that she got the calories from the food and so we went down the puree route. We did do a bit of BLW weaning although I’ll be honest, my general view on it is that it is a lot of mess for very little food going in. Second time around, there were no barriers to just doing BLW but I was much more comfortable going for a mixed approach. My two both now eat well, eat a variety of things and yes we’ve had battles and picky moments but I think that would have been the case however we approached weaning. It drives me mad when people create issues out of things that really don’t need to be made issues of. #ablogginggoodtime

    • June 9, 2016 / 6:46 pm

      Thank you so much for commenting hun. xx #ablogginggoodtime

  9. alisonlonghurst
    June 9, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    TOO BLOODY RIGHT! HEAR! HEAR!…I started reading your blog, as a mum of 4 now tween/teenage daughters and thought: what the hell is this they’re talking about now: BLW…you what?? Then you wrote: I bet this is a new thing and there are kids who weren’t BLW’ed who can eat normally and I wished we were chatting about this over a coffee and I could reassure you that yes, it’s just another load of bollocks that is fed to new parents, to undermine their gut instinct and that turns them into paranoid wrecks. I’m with you on the fear of choking too. Daughter 1 choked on a part of a prune stone, when I had lovingly prepared prune puree for her with my hand blender, like a good mummy. After that, jars seemed almost more appealing! A great blog and good to link up. Alison #ablogginggoodtime

    • June 9, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment honey – your reassurance is much appreciated!!! xxx #ablogginggoodtime

  10. June 9, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Ahh I didn’t really like BLW weaning. I was steaming and pureeing veg like you are probably until Leo was about 9 months and then he started eating the same as us just chopped up small. I bet it was such a scary for you and Josh. .so glad he’s ok. Your health visitor doesn’t sound very supportive at all. I agree you should do what is right for you and baby, people should mind their own business. Judging others doesn’t make anyone look good. Good luck with the weaning, I’m sure he won’t still be eating purees when he’s 30 so don’t worry!xx #blogginggoodtime

    • June 9, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Thank you so much lovely. It wasn’t my regular HV but still disappointing she was so pushy xx #ablogginggoodtime

  11. June 9, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    Guilt and judging – inseparable from parenting it would seem. I try and take a leaf out of Amy Poehler’s book with her motto, ‘Good for her, not for me! ‘ #stayclassy

  12. June 9, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    When my girls were younger there was no such thing as baby led weaning….They have grown up fit and healthy and eat normally….I think it’s just another thing to put pressure on new parents. It’s your baby, your choice! 😀

  13. June 9, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    You know your baby best and shouldn’t be judged for your choices, as long as your baby is happy and healthy. BLW worked great for us, but we didn’t have much of a choice, since the Popple pretty much refused to let us feed her – she’s very willful! We had a lot of gagging in those early days but no choking, thankfully – just LOTS of mess. #ablogginggoodtime

    • June 12, 2016 / 10:07 am

      Absolutely – we just have to do what we feel is best for a little ones. Thank you so much for your nice comment xx #ablogginggoodtime

  14. June 10, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    oh I hear you hun. when both my boys were little I didn’t meet any health visitors at the baby clinic who ever offered me any helpful advice or support. not to say there aren’t some fab ones out there I’m sure there are but its horrid to be judged, made to feel guilty or that you are doing it ‘wrong’. sending big hugs are you doing YOUR BEST #stayclassy xx

  15. June 11, 2016 / 8:26 am

    I’m a huge fan of BLW, I used this method to wean my son and he took to it really well. I guess it has been around since we were children in some ways it’s just it was called finger food and was done alongside purées whereas we didn’t use any purées. And I do feel like it’s more natural as that’s how it seemed when my son did it and I figured humans haven’t always had food processors so we must have done it at some point in history.

    HOWEVER, just because it was the right method for us I completely understand that it’s not for everyone and would never judge another mum for not doing it, or only partly doing it. Like you say, there is way too much pressure on mums these days and I’m sick of being told what to do, especially by health visitors etc. Whether that be re breastfeeding or co-sleeping or weaning.

    Only you know what is right for your child so stick to your guns and do what you know works for you X #ablogginggoodtime

    • June 12, 2016 / 10:05 am

      Thank you so much for your comment honey. I am glad it worked for you and I am sure it does for many mothers. As you say, following your instinct is what is best. xxx #ablogginggoodtime

  16. June 11, 2016 / 11:35 am

    oh bless you sweet – you have to do what is right for you and your bubba. advice is great but at the end of the day you need to go with your mamma gut as that is the best advice of all. Glad little man is okay.

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove

    • June 12, 2016 / 10:04 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment honey. xxx #triballove #ablogginggoodtime

  17. maryfoster11
    June 11, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    When I first went to a talk on BLW (yes i went to the talks because I didn’t have a bloody clue) I was horrified at the idea of baby led weaning! This lady was smiling and telling me that should just give my child an apple! To not even cut it up! WHAT?????? That would not be happening! Then she suggested that if i have a dinner like… lasagna…I just put some on a plate! NO way! The mess! I did purees for ages and finally gave in about about 9 months and gave finger food! But i still stay away from grapes, apples, curries or food with loads of sauce! (The mess!)

    At his 10 month check that was one of the first questions.. ‘are they eating what you eat?’ I felt so sorry for one lady who said no, because her baby was so premature and was so nervous about giving hard food to her, as she was toothless baby, and slightly under developed! The health visitor jumped immediately and said that there was a chewing window and she had missed it!! I felt for her so much!

    Do what makes you and your baby happy! PLease!

    • June 12, 2016 / 10:04 am

      I would have gone too if there had been any But I totally agree with you and taking it at your own pace is exactly what we must do. We are the ones who know our babies the best. That is awful what that poor lady had said to her – ridiculous! Thank you for such a lovely positive comment xx

  18. June 12, 2016 / 4:32 am

    It seems to me like there are lots of new trends in taking care of a baby that no one used when we were being raised but are being treated like a must now. I had never heard of baby led weaning until I started reading posts from parents in the UK. My pediatrician has never mentioned and in fact encouraged me to start giving pureed food at 6 months and discouraged me from feeding solid foods because of choking. Sometimes I really think people make these things up so they can judge others. I promise you there probably millions of people who were not BLW as kids who are brilliant at eating normally. I’m sorry you had such a rough experience.

    We have a really picky toddler but he eats enough and is gaining weight. Our pediatrician looks at him and says “he’s perfect” “you guys are doing a great job”. Because he looks healthy and is meeting every one of his milestones. I think you have to do what is best for your family and not worry about what other’s think.

    Thanks for sharing! #stayclassy #TribalLove

    • June 12, 2016 / 10:00 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely and positive comment. I am definitely sticking to purees for now and we’ll progress as I see necessary. As you say we have to do what is right for our babies. Thank you again for such a lovely comment xxx

  19. June 12, 2016 / 9:57 am

    Just popping back again! Hope you are trusting your instincts more 😉 #KCACOLS

  20. June 12, 2016 / 10:49 am

    Oh poor you and Josh. Just shows that you know best. We are not doing BLW, we are purées all the way because that’s what I think Freddie is ready for. I don’t think this will mean he will be a child who can only eat mush, as you say, we have all turned out OK. You stick to your guns and do what’s best for you xx
    #KCACOLS

  21. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    June 12, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    Right on!! How we manage our children is up to ourselves to use our best judgment as mothers. Baby lead weaning wasn’t a big thing when mine were weaning. I’d be too worried about choking too. Thank goodness you knew what to do & your baby was ok! I agree with you – we shouldn’t judge each other. We have to do what’s best for our own families. Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK

  22. June 12, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    We stopped seeing the health visitor just before weaning and I’m so glad we did! We didn’t really do one way or the other – she had purees and lots of Ella’s Kitchen pouches and then just bits of toast and fruit every now and then. No judgement from me lovely, the fear of choking is massive when you start weaning and I remember feeling so worried about it myself. Do what works for you and what you are most comfortable with! #KCACOLS

    • June 12, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      Oh and for all the comments you get about “they’ll only eat mushed food” etc, SB never stops eating all sorts of foods haha!

  23. June 12, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    AH I so agree!! I have the same extreme fear of choking so I’ve avoided BLW with every child – luckily my health visitor has never even asked about it (Shes quite airy fairy bless her, I dont think she knows what day it is…) but I have felt the pressure from other mums for sure!!

    MY baby, my rules.

    ~KCACOLS

  24. June 14, 2016 / 9:33 am

    I’m a huge fan of BLW as it worked so well for us first time around (we’ll have to see with the impending next one!) but I’d never judge the parents that purée etc… Think it’s awful that a health professional was so judgey with you, especially when the norm seems to be purée and BLW isn’t as common?! Grrrr! #KCACOLS

  25. June 14, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Popping back again for #KCACOLS I’m still not a fan of BLW it would just scare me too much! When we start in a few weeks time it will be with puree food. My fear of choking scares me too much for BLW.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

    Rachel xx

  26. June 15, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    I am going through exactly the same thing!! All of my Mum friends are talking about this and saying how great it is – well most of them are anyway – but I completely disagree. I am very scared of him choking, I kind of know what to do but not really. Now that I’ve read this, my beliefs are confirmed haha! No, but seriously I have given him a cucumber because I felt this would be safe as he’s not strong enough to break the hard part and he just sucked on the soft/watery part. He is also just six months old so I may wait to give him a banana…if I do it again. I only tried the cucumber at a BBQ with friends who’s babies were doing the same thing. Anyway, I like how you are doing what you need to do for your baby, I am going to follow suit. : ) Thanks for the inspiration and joining us over at #StayClassy!

    • June 16, 2016 / 7:57 am

      Absolutely – stick to your gut instinct! I feel it’s a bit of a trendy thing to do at the moment but like you the fear of choking terrifies me! It’s just not worth it. Go with what is right for you xx #stayclassy

  27. May 6, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Yikes. This sounds scary. I’m not sure I get this at the moment but I’m sure I’ll be feeling the pressure when I get there. Loved your mantra. Will apply it in other areas too. X o x o x

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