Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Greetings from Kat


I’m Kat, proud mother of Millie. As Mel has said I will be posting my experiences of BLW here as Millie and I start solids (eek!).

So who are we? I’m a twenty-something girl from the South of England. Millie is my first baby and she was born in June. I hope that you will get to know us over the next few months as we share our BLW experiences with you so I won’t say too much here!

The important stuff:

Why did I choose BLW?

Ah, so many reasons! Firstly, it makes sense from a scientific point of view. Why would I feed a child solid food before its digestive system is ready to digest anything more than milk? I’m guessing that if you’re reading this you will have looked at the research already. :0) Secondly, emotional well being. I worked as a mothers’ help when I was at college and hated the trauma of cajoling and forcing food into babies, my favourite family waited until later and generally just gave the baby what the older children had. I was taught to overeat as a child and want to make sure I teach my daughter sensible food relationships. Also, I had issues with my milk which has led to some difficulties with her weight gain (I have only been two weeks without having to go to the weigh in). I realised she would take to this method when she started reaching for my food when she was in my lap (hilarious with melon slices!) Overall, I want to allow Millie to develop and learn whilst retaining her independence.

Where are we up to?


I terms of feeding for the first six months Millie has been fed breast milk. As I mentioned we had issues with my milk and to counteract this I had to express before feeding her and then top up with the expresso after I’d fed her. In short, she has not been ‘exclusively breast fed’ as I have been messing with the system. I have had some fantastic support from the NCT breast feeding counsellors in Winchester and would have been unable to continue as long as I have done without them. I have had to make the very tough decision this week that I will give her one formula feed per day. Basically, her weight is falling further away from her line and she will cross the 0.4th centile (bottom of the chart) in the next couple of weeks. I have to question that if my milk is not good enough to help her gain weight – what other nutrients is it missing? I’m sure you can empathise with my situation. We will be giving her HIPP Organic stage 2 as it is fortified with vitamins and iron. If any of you have any advice about this it would be most welcome!

The exciting bit – Food!

Millie started to copy me chewing and then tried to grab my food and pull it to her mouth several weeks ago. After I’d finished laughing, I started to think about how to allow her to experience food without introducing solids too early. I ended up giving her raw vegetable ‘chips’ to play with and chew on. This worked very well until she was ready to take solids as she couldn’t actually eat them but was happy to be joining in with meal times. In this last week I gave her steamed vegetables which went down so well I realised I had to get organised and make sure there was edible food at every meal. So this is where you find me: Monday was the first day of actual meals and Tuesday was the first day of actual poos! What did she eat? I steamed a range of veg for her to choose from and I think a little of everything went in if not down. Here’s we’ve made since Monday: Carrot, beetroot, butternut squash, sweet potato, celeriac, parsnip and courgette. More of the results in posts to come….

I have to say a massive thank you to Mel both for running such a fantastic blog but also for letting me add my experiences. We also have to thank Baby G who has given us the courage to go ahead with BLW even though Millie has weight issues. Without resources like this blog many women out there would have no support with weaning so thank you to you both again.

I hope I haven’t bored you all too much and that you’ll be back to read my first official daily entry….. ;0)


Kat x
PS - I'll work out how to post photos and add one later!


Kat said...

Is it wrong to give yourself a comment?

Kat: your writing is very small!

Jeasmin said...

Kat, Welcome and I look foward to reading about Mille. Gotta dash..have to go to work. Read more later and yes the font is too small and I had to really strain my eyes.


Kat said...

Phew - worked out how to change font size with help from DH. K x

Fiona said...

have faith. its worked really really well for us and people are surprised at how well our (nearly) Toddler Girl eats. we never had any weight issues and she is still bf so can't help there but sounds like your doing great with the steamed veg. we only offered 2 or 3 things at a time. thought it would be less confusing for her... take care x

Gez said...

Hi Kat,

Just a thought about your concerns about Millie's weight ... when you say that she is about to drop below the 0.4 percentile, are you using the charts in the red book?

You may or may not be aware that the World Health Organisation released new charts based on data from healthy breastfed babies throughout the world in 2006. They are currently being piloted in the UK I believe, and in my opinion it will not be long before they are adopted to replace the current charts, which are based on a cross-section of babies in the 1970s, when formula feeding was more prevalent. As you'll know, the growth curve for a breastfed baby is much gentler than for a formula-fed baby.

I have been in a similar position myself with my 8-month-old, who after a bout of illness started crashing through the percentiles. The health visitor advised formula, but once I'd checked his growth curve on the WHO charts I realised that his growth curve was normal and had only really suffered a blip through the illness. It's also easy to lose sight of the fact that the perfect curves on the chart are an amalgamation of data from many babies - an individual baby's is more stepped.

It may be worth plotting Millie's weight against the WHO charts and see if it makes any difference, if you haven't already.

WHO charts for girls:

WHO charts for boys:

An article from the BBC website here, which has some PDFs where the WHO percentiles are plotted against the current UK charts:

29 November 2007 15:24:45 GMT

Kat said...

Jeasmin, Fiona and Gez, thanks for your comments!

Gez, in response to your question about charts - my HV gave me the new BF charts to use and still her weight is dropping off. Sadly, it has been proved that my milk is rubbish!! I'm grateful you took the time to give me such good advice, it's nice to know there are people out there who have similar issues. I think the information you have put on here is really useful and I will direct people to this post should they have concerns.

Thanks again!

Kat x