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Thread: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

  1. #1
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    Default Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Hi! My baby is 7 m.o. and we've been playing w food for about a month. We're doing mostly BLW, though I do load up spoons for her to play with & eat from. We have some concerns about iron (she was 5 weeks early) so I'm trying to focus on iron-rich foods (split peas on a spoon). She loves managing the spoon and is enjoying food so far.
    My question is with regard to my husband. I think he's both uncomfortable with the mess of BLW and excited to finally be able to be in on feeding our baby! I can understand both of these. But he's starting to do the whole airplane-food business when it seems she's done playing. I'd rather her mess around with the food and stop when she's done. This is making dinner a little stressful. I don't want to be bossy. But I also don't want the baby to eat more than a few finger- or spoon-fuls.

    Anybody have any recommendations? (This isn't so much a baby question as a husband question, but you smart ladies probably have some ideas!)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jessicanewmom View Post
    Hi! My baby is 7 m.o. and we've been playing w food for about a month. We're doing mostly BLW, though I do load up spoons for her to play with & eat from. We have some concerns about iron (she was 5 weeks early) so I'm trying to focus on iron-rich foods (split peas on a spoon). She loves managing the spoon and is enjoying food so far.
    My question is with regard to my husband. I think he's both uncomfortable with the mess of BLW and excited to finally be able to be in on feeding our baby! I can understand both of these. But he's starting to do the whole airplane-food business when it seems she's done playing. I'd rather her mess around with the food and stop when she's done. This is making dinner a little stressful. I don't want to be bossy. But I also don't want the baby to eat more than a few finger- or spoon-fuls.

    Anybody have any recommendations? (This isn't so much a baby question as a husband question, but you smart ladies probably have some ideas!)
    Might you be able to get him to read the book "My Child Won't Eat"

    Is Daddy's behavior just stressing you out? Or is she getting stressed? Or is Daddy getting stressed out when she won't eat?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Well, the problem is that she will eat! Given the airplane strategy I think she'd go on eating forever! But I'd prefer to let her develop the skills on her own. But that involves a lot of food flying around the room! Dad is stressed out by the flying food. I'm miffed that he won't let her do it.

    First world problems.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Have you talked to him about WHY you want to do BLW? Maybe he just sees the downsides (mess) without seeing the upsides. In my experience, most people are a lot more familiar with purees and spoon-feeding than they are with BLW - I personally knew nothing about BLW until I started frequenting these forums.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    I am a bit of two minds with this. On the one hand, having introduced three kids to solids, first with starting oldest child the old fashioned way' on spooned in purees, second with second child refusing almost all food (hated purees) and not eating until he could pick food up and put it in his mouth and chew it himself (REALLY baby led) and the last, baby led by my design, I think BLW is easily the most natural way and makes the most sense developmentally.

    ON the other hand, it is a giant mess. Is it messier than other ways? Yes, I think it is, but I also think this would vary kid to kid. Also, at some point, the child WILL have learn to feed themselves, and at that point, there will be mess anyway. Anyone who thinks only a baby makes a big mess when feeding themselves needs to hang out with my 8 year old at dinner time.

    So I wonder- what about the mess is bothering your husband? Having to clean it up? Food strewn across expensive artwork or furniture? food on his work clothes? What?

    For me, the cleaning up is what gets me down. So if someone else offers to do the cleanup, that would go a long way toward changing my thoughts on whether mess is a big deal or not.

    For a fun way to "feed baby" that is baby led, what about a bit of food on spoon or finger (I personally think finger works better than spoon) and letting baby grab dads hand and bring it into her mouth? I did that with my daughter for things like yogurt and hummus, and it is fun, more fun than airplane, imo, because parent and baby are really working together and connected.

    FYI I agree about the book My Child Won't Eat. It will support your ideas about how to introduce food to your daughter. It's not really about how to make a child eat more. It's about what is normal when it comes to a child eating solids (or anything) and explains why spoon feeding esp with tricks like airplane to get the food right into baby's mouth to avoid mess is not necessarily a great idea.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 26th, 2014 at 12:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Also, at some point, the child WILL have learn to feed themselves, and at that point, there will be mess anyway. Anyone who thinks only a baby makes a big mess when feeding themselves needs to hang out with my 8 year old at dinner time.
    YES. My 8 year-old is a fairly neat eater, but she still wipes her fingers on her chair (nooooo!!!) piles unwanted bits of food on the table (whhhhhyyyy?!), spits unwanted bites onto her napkin and then just. leaves. them. sitting. there. (ewwww!!!). It's not like I haven't told her not to do these things. She just... Forgets. Because she's 8.

    And then there's my 4 year-old. We still have a tarp under her chair because she rains filth when she eats. Literally rains it.

    Time for dad to relinquish the idea that control is possible.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Their motor control improves quickly with blw and then it is not so messy. Of course we don't have carpets so clean-up is easy at our house, but long before age 2 we had lost the bibs and didn't need to sweep the floor under her chair after meals. I think a lot of this depends on the child's own interest in eating (vs playing with food).

    Is it possible your husband is going thru a phase? I mean, do you think he will get bored of playing airplane? Personally i am not into the airplane games, but is it worth getting stressed over if as you've said she's already had a chance to feed herself? I think the main argument against airplane feeding at that point is it doesn't teach baby to follow her own hunger cues…but I'm not sure there is really any evidence this is a problem. I don't see that it's a problem for her to eat a couple extra spoonfuls from airplane dad….but I do like Meg's suggestion about food on the finger.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Thank you ladies!! I think he's bothered by the mess just on principle. This is our first baby & he's 45 years old (I'm no spring chicken either at 36) & I think getting used to the general chaos of a kid has been a big adjustment for him. I think watching her "struggle" is also a challenge. Then there's the dog who doesn't see any of this as a problem, but will certainly be fat by the time the baby figures out that pincer grasp!

    Last night I tried pointing out how "focused" and "excited" (as opposed to frustrated) she was in doing it herself. The finger trick also worked really well! I think my husband liked that.

    I just hate being a nag & I feel like there are only so many times I can say "let her try it herself" before I'm slipping into that territory.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    [I think watching her "struggle" is also a challenge.
    I just hate being a nag & I feel like there are only so many times I can say "let her try it herself" before I'm slipping into that territory.[/QUOTE]

    This is an issue for us too. In general with everything (not food) I've found that over time my husband on his own has lightened up and allowed her to struggle more. It's like he realized it for himself when she was a little older and started saying "I can't!!" and we found that irritating, so we talked about how to encourage her to have perseverence and patience. And on the other hand I have lightened up too, and stopped being so obstinate about always making her try to do things on her own. I think we've kind of found a groove where we can tell when to encourage her to do it herself (e.g., when she's almost got it) and when to step in and help (e.g., when she is tired and cranky). IMO it is probably not worth nagging your husband about.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Disagreement w husband re:BLW

    Well, 7 months is really young. Not many 7 months old have mastered eating solids in any way, shape or form.

    Glad the finger trick worked! I liked doing that too. I have to admit, I had some special moments spoon feeding my oldest and rather missed that type of connection when doing baby led solids, which could be fun too of course but just different.

    If you don't want to nag, I wonder, how often this comes up? how often is your daughter offered solids, plus how often is dad there for the meal?
    If dad really wants to feed baby with the airplane, and this is like maybe once a day, I would suggest, give him a very very small bowl, and a very very small spoon, and let him go to town. Assuming baby likes it and it is not creating pressure for her, I think giving baby a very small amount, infrequently, with a spoon is not going to keep baby from learning how to eat baby led or create an issue for milk production. While dad does this, you can relax and eat yourself and read a book or whatever.

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