Baby-Led Solids VS Being-Very-Careful-About-What 1st-Goes-In? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 12-20-2011, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 5 1/2 months now and desperately pulling bowls and cups toward her and licking the insides... I haven't been stopping her but she has gotten a smidgen of bean chili and guacamole at this point, oh, and a bit of sparkling cider. She grabbed a sugar cookie, brought it right to her mouth, got really big eyes and went Mmmm Mmmm but I drew the line there. No sugar for first foods. I guess my question is: in theory, it sounds easy to me to carefully select her first foods (in a few weeks when she hits 6 months) but in just watching her gear up, I'm getting the sense that she's gonna want to eat what she wants to eat. Of course I would only put good things in front of/near her so she wouldn't BE noshing on sugar cookies but should I strictly stick with fruit and veg for a couple months, except for the occasional bowl lick? What if she wants a lick of Daddy's lamb chop? From a digestive health sense, how does baby-led VS more choreographed solids stack up? Makes sense to me that love of eating would be more fostered by the more baby-directed approach but????? 

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#2 of 18 Old 12-20-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Do you have any food intolerances or allergies in your familiy?  Has she been known to have unexplained rashes?  If not, then I wouldn't really sweat it. 

 

There are a few foods that should rightfully wait, but most are just fine for now.  I would wait on citrus for a while - reactions are very common just due to acidity level, often outgrown around a year.  I wouldn't sweat lemon juice in a marinade or anything like that, but sucking on an orange is probably out.  Grains, particularly wheat can be a big problem because they can't be digested until around 18 mos, which often leads to constipation problems.  I know most people ignore this one, but just keep it in mind if you start having that problem, and back off for a while then try reintroducing. 

 

As for the rest - offer what you're eating.  If dinner tonight is lamb chop, let her taste it.  She may do no more than lick it if she doesn't have a mouth full of teeth, though - so I wouldn't use a really spicy rub on it.  Avocado is a great first food, so I wouldn't worry myself about guac (although my guy hates tomatoes, and those would wind up on the floor).  Beans are great if they're tolerated - my guy loved maple-baked beans at that age.  Again, watch for constipation (oh and bean skins in the diaper are completely normal - they're indigestible fiber).  If you're having broccoli, offer broccoli. 

 

We started slow just because we do have a history of intolerances and he had a history of rashes.  But even so I never really cooked something special for him - I just planned to give him what we were eating.  We started with avo, asparagus, broccoli, etc.  He still hates avo, but loved the others for ages (not so much now).  When we noticed a reaction, we backed off what we'd been doing and started over, introducing one food at a time.  Eventually we wound up with allergy testing, but most kids don't get that far - one food at a time for the most part is usually plenty to pinpoint a simple reaction. 


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#3 of 18 Old 12-20-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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I can see both sides of the argument. When my babies were little, the "delay solids and give only breastmilk for as long as possible" movement was popular in this community, and there were several Mothering articles on it. The thinking was that the longer you give a child's gut to grow without exposure to solids and allergens, the lower the chance they would have in the future of developing allergies.

 

We waited until 6-8 months, and then started with organic fruits and veggies like squash, bananas, apples, pears, carrots, etc. By the time they were close to a year they were eating a broader variety of solids, including some items from the dinner table. It did work well for us, my kids have zero allergies, and are very healthy.

 

That said, I can understand feeding a child what mom and dad are eating from an anthropological perspective, and following the baby's readiness cues. But sometimes moms and dads are eating sugar cookies or take out food or sushi, and even though a baby might want those things, it wouldn't be appropriate.

 

 


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#4 of 18 Old 12-31-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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I've just given both my babes what we're eating - within reason - and been mindful that they do need some good sources of iron in the second half of the first year.
Why not give her some lamb? Meat is full of iron and a great first food. You can give her a strip to suck and chew on (BLW), cut it up into tiny pieces and finger feed or zip it in the food processor and spoon feed (although it's tiresome). Within a few months she'll get the pincer grip and be able to feed herself small cubes of anything.
With both kids I tried to make sure they actually ingested some iron-rich foods (organic ground beef cooked in the crockpot was a hit) then let them feed themselves things like chunks of soft avocado or banana and sweet potato fries. They always enjoyed gnawing on a piece of chewy bread, like baguette or bagel, a steamed broccoli spear or a green bean.
The only food I've every avoided is honey because of botulism. We have no food allergies in the family and both kids have enjoyed eggs, wheat and citrus from the beginning without any problems.

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#5 of 18 Old 12-31-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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I've just given both my babes what we're eating - within reason - and been mindful that they do need some good sources of iron in the second half of the first year.
Why not give her some lamb? Meat is full of iron and a great first food. You can give her a strip to suck and chew on (BLW), cut it up into tiny pieces and finger feed or zip it in the food processor and spoon feed (although it's tiresome). Within a few months she'll get the pincer grip and be able to feed herself small cubes of anything.
With both kids I tried to make sure they actually ingested some iron-rich foods (organic ground beef cooked in the crockpot was a hit) then let them feed themselves things like chunks of soft avocado or banana and sweet potato fries. They always enjoyed gnawing on a piece of chewy bread, like baguette or bagel, a steamed broccoli spear or a green bean.
The only food I've every avoided is honey because of botulism. We have no food allergies in the family and both kids have enjoyed eggs, wheat and citrus from the beginning without any problems.


As a vegetarian I am horrified at the idea of giving a baby meat. Maybe it's okay, but it just seems so hard on the system. If you're not a vegetarian, you may disagree. My daughter's first food was avocado. That's considered a generally good first food. My son's was the potato and peas from inside a samosa (no spice that I could tell.) Both loved those foods and ate a lot. 

 


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#6 of 18 Old 01-02-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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As a vegetarian I am horrified at the idea of giving a baby meat. Maybe it's okay, but it just seems so hard on the system. If you're not a vegetarian, you may disagree. My daughter's first food was avocado. That's considered a generally good first food. My son's was the potato and peas from inside a samosa (no spice that I could tell.) Both loved those foods and ate a lot. 

I'm not sure how I can respond to that. You think meat is gross. I don't. I think it can be a healthful food as part a balanced, largely plant-based diet and is an excellent source of iron and zinc. The LLL suggests meat as a first food and I read a randomized study in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition that the babes in the group who had beef as the first food had better zinc status (a key nutrient for growth) and greater growth in head circumference than those in the cereal group.
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#7 of 18 Old 01-03-2012, 05:44 AM
 
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DD started solids around 6 months mostly because DH was impatient. I don't think she actually ate anything for a while though. Her first food was an overripe banana because I read somewhere that they are similar in taste to breast milk. She probably worked on those for a few weeks before we moved on to something else. We did Baby Led Weaning and there is a great book with the same title that I highly recommend if you are planning on going that route. Once she was comfortable with food we would give her whatever we were eating for dinner and she was just fine with that. We still haven't given her peanut butter (per ped advice) but she has had fish (and could care less).

 

Kellymom has a great page on first foods, if that helps.


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#8 of 18 Old 01-03-2012, 06:33 AM
 
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As soon as they're interested was my philosophy.  Both girls became interested in solids around 6 months or so.  And I would give them little bits here and there but never made it a meal.  

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#9 of 18 Old 01-03-2012, 07:54 PM
 
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My dd is 6.5 months old now, and has been very interested in watching us eat for a month now. We started her on solids a month ago, baby spoons of congee or ragi porridge. She always grabs at whatever we're eating, but dh doesn't like the idea of letting her handle food in case she chokes on a small piece. I'm not really anxious to push solids in her mouth because I believe she'll eat when she's ready (mostly I give her solids because of in-laws pressure). Right now, she either shuts her mouth tightly whenever we give her ragi porridge, or spits everything out. She's just interested in playing with the utensils and getting her hands in whatever I'm holding. 

 

Dh lets her taste whatever he's eating-- rice, curries, milk tea, fruit, etc. So far no reactions to anything. To me it feels like a lot of work to introduce one food at a time, doesn't it make more sense to just let her try what interests her (within reason)?

 

She doesn't have any teeth yet-- does this affect what foods to let her try?


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#10 of 18 Old 01-04-2012, 08:23 AM
 
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My dd is 6.5 months old now, and has been very interested in watching us eat for a month now. We started her on solids a month ago, baby spoons of congee or ragi porridge. She always grabs at whatever we're eating, but dh doesn't like the idea of letting her handle food in case she chokes on a small piece. I'm not really anxious to push solids in her mouth because I believe she'll eat when she's ready (mostly I give her solids because of in-laws pressure). Right now, she either shuts her mouth tightly whenever we give her ragi porridge, or spits everything out. She's just interested in playing with the utensils and getting her hands in whatever I'm holding. 

 

Dh lets her taste whatever he's eating-- rice, curries, milk tea, fruit, etc. So far no reactions to anything. To me it feels like a lot of work to introduce one food at a time, doesn't it make more sense to just let her try what interests her (within reason)?

 

She doesn't have any teeth yet-- does this affect what foods to let her try?



It sounds like she might still have tongue thrust?  When you put food in her mouth, is she spitting it out (like you do when you don't like it), or is her tongue just moving forward and the food has nowhere to go but out?  If she still has her tongue thrust, then she's not really ready for solids yet... you're just frustrating yourself at this point because until the tongue thrust is gone nothing is going to stay down. If she just wants to explore them, I'd put her in a high chair, give her a small dish of cool congi and a spoon and let her play.  You might want to strip her naked first, but really the only bad thing to come out of that is the mess.  That's how they learn. 

 

As for giving her tastes of everything, if it's literally just small tastes, any reaction would have to be pretty severe for it to be visible.  And again, if she still has the tongue thrust, the food may not even be entering her system. 

 

Teeth - doesn't really affect it.  It'll affect whether or not she can chew something up, but she's still capable of gumming something and extracting the juices.  The leg bone of a chicken or the bone off a pork chop or rib with just a bit of meat left on it is a great teether at this age.  Just make sure any cartilege is removed (on the chicken bone) so she doesn't choke on it. 

 

Again, if you don't have a history of reactions or allergies/intolerances in your family, there's really no reason to do one food at a time unless you start seeing reactions.  Then you start again from scratch with one food at a time until you figure out the cause of the reactions.  We had to start over several times and finally have allergy testing to figure out what was causing DS' reactions, because it wasn't just one thing.  But I was cautious to begin with because of his history of rashes, and my history of food allergies. 

 

HTH


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#11 of 18 Old 01-06-2012, 03:45 PM
 
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My thinking is this.

 

I got a bit of a belly.  Too much chocolate, baked potatoes, and Taco Bell.

 

Scarlett turns 6 months on Monday, so this weekend I should blend up as much Taco Bell and chocolate as possible.  She'll develop allergies to them and therefore remain fit as a fiddle!  Sound right?

 

 

But seriously, here's a Q - if we give her a little organic banana, does that "open the gates" to solid food, like where she'll need it or want it all the time and it'll permanently change her gut / GI track?  Mom thinks so, but I'm not convinced - I think a few "baby sized" bites isn't going to rock her world or make her dependant on solid food from here on out.  She's been 100% breastfed, which everything I've read seems to say is a good idea, but - (a) I want to have the experience of feeding her, (b) she's going to move to having more solid foods at some point, even if it's months off, and (c) bananas are good for you.

 

So what'daya all think?

 

 

 

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#12 of 18 Old 01-06-2012, 05:26 PM
 
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Scarlett turns 6 months on Monday

 

But seriously, here's a Q - if we give her a little organic banana, does that "open the gates" to solid food, like where she'll need it or want it all the time and it'll permanently change her gut / GI track?  Mom thinks so, but I'm not convinced - I think a few "baby sized" bites isn't going to rock her world or make her dependant on solid food from here on out.  She's been 100% breastfed, which everything I've read seems to say is a good idea, but - (a) I want to have the experience of feeding her, (b) she's going to move to having more solid foods at some point, even if it's months off, and (c) bananas are good for you.

 



Yes, solid food will permanently change her GI tract (specifically the flora in the tract).  It will not make her need it or want it all the time though. 

 

Has she lost the tongue thrust I mentioned above?  Has she developed a pinch grip (the ability to pick up something with fingers and not whole hand)?  These are 2 of the signs of readiness for solids. 

 

You didn't mention if she's interested - tracking your hand as it travels from plate to mouth, grabbing for food, trying to shove everything she finds into her mouth, etc.  If she's not doing any of that, then she's not ready.  If she's grabbing for food, give her something to grab that you're okay with her eating.  Chances are the first few times very little of it will wind up in her tummy.  It may take days or weeks for her to figure out the coordination needed to both get it in her mouth and get it down her throat.  Let her work it out.  That way you get to feel like you're having your time, and mom doesn't have to freak out about how much solids she's eating (it is very easy to over feed solids when spooning purees into a baby's mouth).  I will say though that avocado may be a better first food than banana.  It's less sweet, and it's not constipating. 


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#13 of 18 Old 01-06-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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Well, we have our morning coffee together every day, of course, but aside from that (and putting anything she can get her hand on in her mouth, but only to taste, she's not making concerted efforts to eat.  She has become (in the last couple weeks) fascinated at watching mom and me eat, though.  We haven't given her the chance to eat anything herself (that we can help!)

 

I guess since Monday is 6 months, we'll try letting her "taste" just a smidgen of the organic banana.  Thanks for the feedback!

 

 

 

 

PS - no, she doesn't really drink it!

 

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#14 of 18 Old 01-06-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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She doesn't have much tongue thrust anymore. She definitely did when we started, although she also swallowed some solids; I saw ragi in her poop!

 

The tongue thrust seemed to have disappeared in the last couple of weeks. These days she opens her mouth pretty wide if she's in the mood for food or likes the taste of something. Her poop was mucusy when we started, and now has changed to smellier and thicker in the last few weeks. She used to poop 5 times a day, now it's maybe 5 times a week in much smaller quanities. 

 

She is at that stage where she puts everything in her mouth.

 

My dh doesn't want to let her play with food because he's worried she might accidentally bite off a small piece and choke. Would it be okay to give a piece of banana or roti/idli (rice cakes) and let her play and gnaw on it?

 

 

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It sounds like she might still have tongue thrust?  When you put food in her mouth, is she spitting it out (like you do when you don't like it), or is her tongue just moving forward and the food has nowhere to go but out?  If she still has her tongue thrust, then she's not really ready for solids yet... you're just frustrating yourself at this point because until the tongue thrust is gone nothing is going to stay down. If she just wants to explore them, I'd put her in a high chair, give her a small dish of cool congi and a spoon and let her play.  You might want to strip her naked first, but really the only bad thing to come out of that is the mess.  That's how they learn. 

 

As for giving her tastes of everything, if it's literally just small tastes, any reaction would have to be pretty severe for it to be visible.  And again, if she still has the tongue thrust, the food may not even be entering her system. 

 

Teeth - doesn't really affect it.  It'll affect whether or not she can chew something up, but she's still capable of gumming something and extracting the juices.  The leg bone of a chicken or the bone off a pork chop or rib with just a bit of meat left on it is a great teether at this age.  Just make sure any cartilege is removed (on the chicken bone) so she doesn't choke on it. 

 

Again, if you don't have a history of reactions or allergies/intolerances in your family, there's really no reason to do one food at a time unless you start seeing reactions.  Then you start again from scratch with one food at a time until you figure out the cause of the reactions.  We had to start over several times and finally have allergy testing to figure out what was causing DS' reactions, because it wasn't just one thing.  But I was cautious to begin with because of his history of rashes, and my history of food allergies. 

 

HTH



 


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#15 of 18 Old 01-06-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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My dh doesn't want to let her play with food because he's worried she might accidentally bite off a small piece and choke. Would it be okay to give a piece of banana or roti/idli (rice cakes) and let her play and gnaw on it?

 

 

That's why I suggested the congi - there are no hard bits to choke on.  You really have to do what you're comfortable with.  I never did spoon feeding with my DS - just gave him bits of soft foods to feed himself... chunk of banana, chunk of avocado, chunk of (cooked until really soft) broccoli.  I go for something big enough that they can't fit the whole thing into their mouth - it's easier for them to hold onto, and since she doesn't have teeth, she's just going to gum off little pieces anyway.  You have to be attentive when they're eating at this stage, because they can even choke on spoonful of puree if it goes down wrong, but that's not a reason to not let them try (IMO).  I wouldn't give her anything hard to chew on unless you're sure she can't break a chunk off (or you can put it in a mesh feeder bag), but soft foods aren't nearly the concern. 


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#16 of 18 Old 01-07-2012, 06:18 PM
 
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What about water? When do you start giving a baby water? How do you know whether or not baby needs it?

 

My dd still nurses every 2 hours so I'm assuming she doesn't. But she does take in solids (purees) a few times a day. 


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#17 of 18 Old 01-08-2012, 07:48 AM
 
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You can offer water at this point, start teaching cup use.  But you don't need to push water so long as she's nursing every 2 hours.  I'd give her a small amount with her meals so she can get the practice, and as she starts eating more solids she'll probably show more interest in it.  Until she falls off the nursing schedule or starts eating solids to the exclusion of nursing, it's not usually a concern. 


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#18 of 18 Old 01-08-2012, 09:11 AM
 
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Hmm, ScarlettsPapy, pity about that belly.  Surveillance cameras have you at the drive thru of a White Castle last night at approximately 11:00 EST...I'm hiding the blender.

 

I always started my babes (14 years ago) on fruit and added cereal later, in very small quantities.  After a brief intro to og *brown* rice cereal, I moved on to veggies.  My sister recently followed the nurse's advice at her pediatrician's office and started with barley cereal (no problems), then moved on to rice cereal.  Her poor 7 month old has a hemorrhoid now after being unable to poop for days on end, with straining, crying and a purple face!  She is actually mad at me that I didn't talk her out of it!  I told her to give applesauce.  She said they told her to start with veggies because baby wouldn't eat veggies if she introduced sweet fruit first. *duh.gif  Apple sauce seems to have helped.

 

Anyway, I have always been of the camp of introducing solids as late as possible, and as a professional I have always advocated that position.  ScarlettsPapy is in a big hurry because he wants to be able to feed her (and get it on video).  I let him give her a bottle at three months (pumped milk, of course), so I'm not sure why he needs to give her banana, but here we are.  SCARLETT HERSELF is starting to show an interest, so we'll see what she does with a little banana in her own hand tomorrow night.  If she spits it out, we will wait a month.  My older dd tried bananas this way at 7 months, spit them out, and liked them much better at 8 months.

 

And yes, we have both occasions on a video cassette somewhere.


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