Questions about baby-led solids
There is a theory that BLW actually decreases the risk of choking. In small babies the gag reflex is triggered much further forward on the tongue than in older children and adults. So a baby will gag well before the food is near their trachea. The theory is that spoon-feeding may override the forward gag reflex because food is sucked off the spoon and deposited at the back of the mouth. Unfortunately there is no formal research on this yet.
Have you seen the BLW website yet? It has guidelines for safe BLW. Making sure your baby is always seated upright is important. And I always modified foods which I considered a particular hazard, cut grapes in half etc.
My little guy is 7.5 months old, and we've been introducing solids for about a month now. We're doing BLW - just giving him chunks of foods to play with and sometimes gnaw on. He was sitting really well unassisted (in his high chair) before we started introducing, and he's an early teether (8 teeth already!), so that probably makes a difference too. But it's been really good for us. We give him slices of apple, mashed up sweet potato, almond butter on a little wooden spoon, raw carrot, celery, cucumber…and probably some other things I'm forgetting. He's sometimes interested and other times not, though he always loves the almond butter! Choking was a concern for us, especially since he can easily bite off pieces with all those teeth, but so far nothing serious. He does gag occasionally, and has even spit up a couple of times because of it, but it seems that he's learning how to move food in his mouth, and we've never had anything really scary happen. Letting him take charge of his own eating just makes sense to us.
I'm also wondering why you caution against this. The most current recommendation is that allergenic foods need not be delayed: http://www.jaci-inpractice.org/article/S2213-2198(12)00014-1/fulltext. I've also read (though I can't remember where now) that delaying introduction may increase the change of allergy.
Is there some other reason to wait on nut butters?
About the BLW, I was a really big fan of the mesh feeders! Whatever we were eating, I would put some in the mesh feeder and let the baby have at it! Or, I cut up our food pretty tiny and let him feed himself. I'm too much of a worry wort to give him big chunks to work with. Plus my LO insists on shoving the whole darn thing in his mouth, so very scary!!
Not because of allergies but bc it is a thick sticky glue like substance that can plug up the throat. The pp said her 7.5mo eats almond butter. Maybe that baby won't get a wad of it stuck in the throat but another might. Just be careful and make sure your little one has had practice with safer foods first. And for sure never walk away if your small infant is eating something of that consistency!
Yes, concern about the consistency definitely makes sense! I should have added that the almond butter that I give him is the kind that you have to stir, so it's really oily and runny. It literally drips off a spoon. I don't think I'd give it to him if it were the consistency of "regular" nut butters. Sorry - should have made that more clear! :)