Help! Away overnight in 3wks - MIL babysitting but hates BLW!

(27 Posts)
u32ng Sun 29-Sep-13 11:18:52

My DH & I are away overnight in 3 weeks time, and so my MIL will basically be babysitting for a day & a half.

This was agreed when DS was about 4m, but now DS is almost 8m and we're well into BLW. However my MIL has made it clear from her comments (and one instance of giving me the 3rd degree) that she pretty much thinks BLW is a ridiculous way to wean, and that DS will choke with every mouthful. She's very much in the 'spoon-feeding, and get food into them' camp & is SUCH a fusspot/worrier about things. We gave DS spaghetti for the first time the other night & MIL made a comment about how SIL didn't give spaghetti to her boys until they were about 5(!). I think a lot of her reticence on the matter is borne from ignorance, fear & also the fact that it's so different from the way she did it & my SIL did it so therefore our way must be wrong.

How is DS going to be fed whilst we're away if MIL is anti-BLW???

AidanTheRevengeNinja Sun 29-Sep-13 12:49:33

Get her to watch him eat a few times to see how well he handles food. I can understand the choking fear, especially with a baby who isn't your own.

If this doesn't work, do a trial run beforehand and see if she can actually get him to accept a spoon. If so, great, one night of spoonfeeding won't matter. If not (likely grin ), ask what she suggests. You could gently suggest food he is very familiar with, soft and airway-friendly stuff.

If she is the type to forcibly spoon-feed I wouldn't leave him with her though.

u32ng Sun 29-Sep-13 19:37:24

Thanks. She has sat with him on quite a few occasions and each time I can practically cut the air with her disapproval! (Plus she makes the most annoying comments to him like: "oh, be careful there you've got a full mouth already" & "oh that's quite a big piece you've got there") She watches DS like a hawk, which is kind of against the BLW principles & I'm sure on some level that can't be nice for DS!

Yeah I suppose I could organise 'mashy' food for her to feed him then e.g. Mash sweet potato & these tasty courgette ball things; avocado/egg mash on toast; weetabix etc

She wouldn't forcibly feed him (DS would probably slap her hand away hard anyway hahaha) but I wouldn't put it past her to try to spoon feed.

Maybe I'll give her my BLW book to read too...

rootypig Sun 29-Sep-13 19:47:43

Is this a one off? If yes, let her spoonfeed him, if he takes a spoon. Two or three spoon fed meals won't make a difference. If he is like DD and recoils with horror from a spoon, let her try to spoon feed him, then leave her instructions on what to do because she is worried he'll starve grin.

Ultimately if you're asking her to babysit, within reason you have to let her operate in her comfort zone.

SpudtheScarecrow Sun 29-Sep-13 19:48:05

My MIL hated BLW when I did it with DS2 - she was terrified of him choking and used to leap out of his seat and at the slightest noise from him.

But having seen how good it was, by the time I had DD she was a complete convert and telling all her friends about this 'wonderful' way of weaning her DIL used! It did help that she heard something about BLW on Woman's hour so it had the R4 seal of approval.

I realise that's not much practical help but just wanted to say she might come round eventually. I think I'd do as you suggest and plan stuff that's meant to be mushy and not worry too much about it. I was really strict about not spoon feeding DS2 but with DD I was a bit more relaxed and sometimes 'helped' with things that were meant to be on a spoon. Neither made any difference in the long run I don't think.

SatinSandals Sun 29-Sep-13 19:49:48

It really doesn't matter for one night. Either he will take a spoon or he won't and she will have to give him something else. Just leave it to them to sort out.

NoComet Sun 29-Sep-13 20:20:55

I wish people lucky enough to have family to babysit wouldn't look for reasons to pick a fight.
Also I don't get a 100% BLW, it seems a very messy, wasteful and inefficient way of feeding a child and awfully dogmatic. I'm far too lazy for dogma.

It hadn't been invented when my two were babies. In any case food wasn't for fun for DD2 at 5.5 months it was a matter of life and death.

She fell totally off the graph being BF and totally refused to take a bottle, but she'd munch yoghurt and purée without very happily. So the consultant agreed we'd throw the rule book out the window and just let her eat what she liked.

Pachacuti Sun 29-Sep-13 22:15:33

It really isn't going to hurt if she tries to spoonfeed him for one night.

maillotjaune Sun 29-Sep-13 22:23:50

My DSis has done BLW recently and when she has left her boys with GPs overnight the baby was fine.

One set of GPs isn't convinced by BLW, and the other just dislikes the mess! Both gave softish food and supplemented it with some (unforced) spoon feeding and everyone survived.

I'm another one that thinks a bit of compromise is advisable if you'd like family to babysit.

dopeysheep Sun 29-Sep-13 22:34:36

You don't sound as if you like your MIL very much, almost gleeful when saying your DS would 'slap her hand away hard' Lovely.
She is worried her grandson will choke surely that is understandable? Can't you help her by sorting some easy things your child will eat?
I think she is doing you a favour and there should be some compromise.

dopeysheep Sun 29-Sep-13 22:39:21

"I wouldn't put it past her to try to spoon feed"

What is so terrible about this? What will happen if he is spoon fed for one night? I think you should relax a bit and give your MIL some credit. Either she is fit to care for him or take your DS with you.

mrsmartin1984 Sun 29-Sep-13 23:24:51

Oh course she shouldn't spoonfeed. If you have decided to BLW then that is how she should feed him. Tell her not to undermine your parenting. Stick to your guns. My DD is the same age and I would hate to see her force feed mushy crap.

SatinSandals Mon 30-Sep-13 05:51:42

You would think that adults never ate soup, yoghurt, shepherds pie etc! I enjoy them all and don't think of them as 'mushy crap'! I even like to mash a banana. BLW means that it is led by the baby, the mother is giving foods and the baby decides whether to eat it or not. It will be baby led with MIL , she will offer food and the baby will decide whether to eat it or not. I don't think that some of you who are so evangelical about it can have tries to get a spoonful of something down a baby who doesn't want it? You can't! It is one night and it doesn't matter one jot. Weaning is short, it is to get them to eat family meals and the method is unimportant and has no bearing on future eating habits.

SatinSandals Mon 30-Sep-13 05:53:35

Apart from the fact you can't control when you are not there! It takes new parents a while to realise that! Grandparents can just say listen and nod and then do their own thing. You won't know! Relax.

u32ng Mon 30-Sep-13 07:26:26

A few clarifications:

I actually like my MIL and we get on very well - we are just having a clash of opinion on BLW. I am very grateful she is babysitting for us.

I am not anti-spoon feeding in any way it's just that DS usually tries to grab what's on the spoon anyway and really enjoys feeding himself. I won't have a hairy canary if MIL wants to try the spoon. Doing mushier food seems like it will be a good way to meet her halfway on this anyway.

rootypig Mon 30-Sep-13 07:36:28

Hairy canary grin

Seriously though OP, you have backtracked rather on your original OP. I am not anti-spoon feeding in any way....so what's the problem? confused

specialsubject Mon 30-Sep-13 11:45:26

just for one night? Free childcare? Where's the issue?

he's hardly going to starve.

u32ng Mon 30-Sep-13 21:26:24

Rootypig No I'm not anti-spoon feeding, I just would've have preferred a consistent approach to feeding DS by keeping the baby led going (also being the first time we're away overnight I thought the less change to routine the better). However I'm seeing that for one night it's not worth the hassle & will just tell MIL to spoon & see how she gets on.

woodlandwanderwoman Mon 30-Sep-13 21:52:15

Pick your battles. Sounds like the issue here is more that she is resisting doing things YOUR way, I get the frustration of that but can think of many more potentially contentious parenting style clashes you will probably have with gp in the future (specifically when DS is able to wrap them round his little finger speak for himself) ... Save your energy and patience for then.

For now, do what's best for your son, not what the book says, which is to diplomatically find a middle ground that you all feel comfortable with.

As for the whole blw purist crap (if people can say it about methods our parents used for years then our parents are entitled to say it about ours...) I would love to flash forward twenty years and see whether our DC will ever be able to tell the difference around the dinner table!

woodlandwanderwoman Mon 30-Sep-13 21:55:16

To clarify, my last point was just in response to the mushy crap comment above, I actually think there is merit to both approaches and it's up to each mum to pick what works for their family

MortifiedAdams Mon 30-Sep-13 21:59:14

If she was going to be looking after him regularly, for a few full days per week, it would be worth getting concerned over. For a day and a half? Nothing to fret over. Let her offer a spoon of mush. He may eat it, he may take the spoon off her and use it, or he may well turn his nose up and grab something off her plate

It is one single lone night.

SatinSandals Tue 01-Oct-13 05:21:42

Quite true woodlandwanderwoman, if you fast forward twenty years your children will not only not be able to tell the difference, but will look at you as if you were completely batty to be bothered. It does not matter.

stowsettler Tue 01-Oct-13 14:25:05

Isn't BLW just that? The child chooses what and how to eat? I am doing BLW with my DD, but that frequently means spoon-feeding her (when the food requires it) because that's what she wants. Granted, she often takes the spoon from me and feeds herself, but she regularly just opens her gob and expects food to magically drop into it.
I really don't understand the militancy regarding spoon-feeding babies. In fact it really pisses me off that people can be so offended by it.
That comment is NOT directed at the OP by the way.

mummybare Tue 01-Oct-13 14:39:59

We did BLW with DD and tbh, she went through phases when eating mushy stuff (porridge, yoghurt etc.) - grabbing it with her hands, wanting us to spoon feed her, taking the spoon and feeding herself - now (17mo) we have a mixture of her wanting us to put it on the spoon so she can grab it hmm, wanting to grab the spoon and feed herself and, very, very occasionally, using the spoon herself.

One day won't undermine the healthy attitudes to food you are instilling. I would, however, try to all eat together as much as possible, so MIL can see your DS enjoying real food in a family setting. She'll come round wink

SatinSandals Tue 01-Oct-13 21:14:41

BLW seems to mean that the baby has no choice at all unless it happens to fit mother's choice. They have no hope of getting anything mushy or sloppy, however much they might prefer it because, for some odd reason, it isn't on offer. A balanced diet should have a complete variety.

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