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#61 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post
I am sure you are all excellent mamas and that you are following the lead of your babies and needs of yourselves and your families with thoughtfulness and care.
Yes -- I am willing to bet that 99% of the moms on here (definitely including those who I've been going back & forth with on this thread!) are following their baby's lead... I think we ALL (or almost all, and at least in the early stages) are technically doing "baby led" weaning just with different definitions of what that is. Personally a lot of my defensiveness (not really defensive here, just discussing really) is due to arguing with more mainstream people outside of MDC... you know, the ones that feed their 4-wk-old rice cereal...

I also just want to make people more aware of the concept of BLW. When my son was 4 mos I hadn't heard of it and I thought I was "supposed" to feed him purees like everyone else. I actually made & froze a couple batches of purees but it felt so wrong to me (and by wrong I mean, wrong for my personal situation, not necessarily wrong in general)... then I did more research and was sooo relieved to hear about BLW but still skeptical & afraid to try it... so now, 7 months later (with the same batches of purees still hanging out in the back of the freezer untouched), I feel like I *need* to share this with others so they don't go through the confusion & anguish I did regarding the purees and early feeding! So I apologize if I came off too pushy/defensive/condescending -- totally not my intent!!!

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#62 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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BLW is something that could only develop in an affluent society where food is plentiful. If you have to kill, pick, or dig your food painstakingly out of the ground you can bet you are not going to let Junior spread it all over the cave floor, lol.
This is one reason I chose BLW for my children, b/c they are growing up in a society where there is 'too much' food constantly offered and marketed to them. Parenting is very culture-specific and the choices I am making for my family are based on our current culture (as well as biological design/norms).

For me, it is incredibly important that my children have a very well-established pattern of knowing their body's hungry/full cues and also that they not be given 'just finish your plate' 'just have one more bite' 'have another spoonful' messages that for me as a mom it is all too easy to give based on my particular personality and the personalities of my children- BLW provides a very firm boundary for myself as a mom to not fall into unhealthy food patterns with my kids.

I personally find it so freeing not to have to feed a child purees and just give them pieces of our food instead - it makes so much intuitive sense when coupled with breastfeeding (this didn't really connect for me until I read Rappley's book and then the ideas really came together for me).
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#63 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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Wanted to add, we really don't waste much if any food with DD and there isn't any 'smearing' going on (she's 11 months old). She only wears a small drool bib at meals and the only thing I have to wipe up are her fingers and mouth (and those aren't even that messy). I had a bunch of sleeved bibs that I don't even bother getting out anymore b/c they're complete overkill (even when she eats things like chili).

The way we do food is she gets a few pieces at a time and if they drop, we pick them up and give them back to her. If she eats them and wants more we give her a few more pieces. With soups/stews (like chili) I pick out pieces for her to eat like beans and meat and veggies, and I might preload a spoon with some of the sauce/broth if she wants it (she can feed it to herself, just not load the spoon).

The messiest thing she's done is when she has applesauce - it made me glad we don't do other purees because it was so gross to clean up and got EVERYWHERE. Totally different from her regular food (like now she's eating a whole pear and pieces of turkey for lunch).
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#64 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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The messiest thing she's done is when she has applesauce - it made me glad we don't do other purees because it was so gross to clean up and got EVERYWHERE. Totally different from her regular food (like now she's eating a whole pear and pieces of turkey for lunch).
YES!!! haha we gave him eat applesauce one day and it was ALL over him, his hair, the chair, etc. You should see the picture. What a mess! I've never seen anything like it!!! When he eats roasted veggies or crackers or pitas with hummus I just have to wipe his face & hands.

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#65 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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1) I think using the word 'puree' is confusing. Can we say spoon-feeding instead? I don't think I've ever given dd anything of a texture to be sucked off a spoon. Actually I doubt she would know how to do that - it's considerably more complicated than just opening her mouth and closing it around the food like she does now.
2) In any case you're not supposed to start solids until the tongue thrust is gone, whether you're BLW or spoon-feeding. Why are you conflating spoon-feeding with early solids?

My MIL learned all her baby care from her mom and her own MIL. I don't think she had a dr when my DH was a baby (he was born at home and did not get any shots or anything until sometime later in childhood). She is from semirural India; she did not raise her children in what I would call the developed world.

BLW is something that could only develop in an affluent society where food is plentiful. If you have to kill, pick, or dig your food painstakingly out of the ground you can bet you are not going to let Junior spread it all over the cave floor, lol.
1 and 2, sorry about the confusion, I wasn't talking about spoonfeeding as it is done by members of the MDC community, rather the various factors that can contribute to spoonfeeding in general resulting in more choking. Y'know "open wide for the airplane!" bzzz bzzz? Versus just holding out a spoon and letting the baby decide whether to close her mouth around the spoon.

Which, incidentally, is how I fed Indian food and other saucy dishes to my dd until she could manage a spoon better. Her first real success with a spoon was with a plate of daal.

I take food away when throwing starts, and I serve her from my plate so there's no problem with finishing her food.

If you have to kill, pick or dig your food, would you go to the extra effort to mush it into a pulp? For every type of food? I think the baby versions of every food out there is the sign of affluence.

eta: I don't actually see the way traditional cultures handle the introduction of solids to be very significant as an argument for or against BLW. What I find to be the best argument for either BLW or spoonfeeding (as done by MDC mamas not as often done in the western developed world) is "it saves me time and effort and my kid likes it." Since neither method will kill or starve children when done mindfully.

I'd bet that someone who didn't plan to BLW would be more likely to have a child choke on a chunk of food, just as someone who didn't plan to cosleep is more likely to end up with the baby wedged into the couch.
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#66 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
My son was the exact same way but we pretty much held off on solids to 7 months or so (aside from the occasional self-feed he snatched before we could stop him!) because we wanted more time for his gut to mature...
Well, whole nother topic - but honestly, this I don't quite understand. It makes sense to me that the baby would be behaviorally interested in food at the time when he is physiologically ready for it. Why prevent him from having food if he wants it? It seems like a lot of effort.

Perhaps you are concerned about allergies or celiac as so many MDCers seem to be (I'm not bc neither are in my family)? There is this MDC myth that the longer you prevent your child from having solid food the less likely he is to have food intolerances. I do not think this is true, and if anything I suspect that delaying too long will take the child out of the optimal window for avoidance of allergies/celiac, which seems to be something between 4 and 7 months - exactly when most kids show solids readiness behaviorally.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1181823

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1181498


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In general the whole purpose of spoon-feeding IS to start solids earlier. If you just wait 'til baby is capable of self-feeding (around 6-9 months) then there is no reason to spoon-feed. FWIW, I still don't see any benefits to spoon-feeding, maybe you can share some??

I'm not claiming any enormous developmental benefits for spoon-feeding (I don't think there are any for BLW either - kids have plenty of opportunity to learn about motor coordination with targets other than food). As sapphire_chan said, "it saves me time and effort and my kid likes it."

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#67 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Oooo, now we're doing readiness signs!

A fun one I recently heard of that makes perfect sense and fits in with my observations of Lina, is that you'll start encountering a biley-smelling spit-up if they spit up or smelling bile on their breath when they burp to indicate that the stomach is producing acid and preparing to digest.

Funnily enough, we offered solids right at 6 months. She spent a week playing with the things we offered with mild interest. At the end of that first week of solids we drove up to visit relatives for dinner and I read Rapley's book on the trip. Which convinced me to *not* make a special plate of food for her and instead just let her take as she pleased from my plate if she felt like eating. She went from having had a few nibbles of broccoli and a smear or two of avocado to eating a fourth of my lasagna and all of my fruit.
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#68 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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Well, whole nother topic - but honestly, this I don't quite understand. It makes sense to me that the baby would be behaviorally interested in food at the time when he is physiologically ready for it. Why prevent him from having food if he wants it? It seems like a lot of effort.

Perhaps you are concerned about allergies or celiac as so many MDCers seem to be (I'm not bc neither are in my family)? There is this MDC myth that the longer you prevent your child from having solid food the less likely he is to have food intolerances. I do not think this is true, and if anything I suspect that delaying too long will take the child out of the optimal window for avoidance of allergies/celiac, which seems to be something between 4 and 7 months - exactly when most kids show solids readiness behaviorally.
Well I'm not overly concerned about allergies or celiac. My reasons for delaying had more to do with his ability to digest food properly etc. I could go into all the reasons but kellymom kind of sums it up nicely without me gathering a million links for you!

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...ay-solids.html

Also, keep in mind that just my baby was showing active interest in solids (and all other signs) doesn't mean he necessarily was ready for them physiologically. He also shows intense interest in the can of beer DH drinks each night, in my computer mouse (ARGH!!), in his toothbrush (he screams if you take it away -- but he doesn't have a single tooth!) and lots of other things he has no readiness for.

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#69 of 79 Old 01-11-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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We do baby led spoon-feeding. lol. Either purees (just because they're easy) or food from our plate that's mashed or in small bites. With the spoon, I get the food on the spoon, and wait for ds to grab my hand and direct it to his mouth. He sometimes holds on to the spoon, and eats off it and licks it. (I got a spoon with a ring handle- he really likes it). I NEVER put the spoon in his mouth without him directing it there. It only goes as far in his mouth as he puts it. I basically just hold it so it keeps facing the right direction.
He mostly plays with the food at this point (6.5 months old). Whoever said that BLW made a mess- I can't see how it could be more of a mess than ds makes with mashed food!

As soon as he has his pincer grasp, we'll give him bite sized pieces- pea sized, I read, was ideal.

I'm not in a rush for him to eat much. He's not a huge nurser, and I want him to keep nursing plenty.

We tried BLW with steak fry sized pieces of food, and ds bit of choking hazard sized chunks. Dp is super paranoid about kids choking on food, so it was just more than his (and my) comfort level could handle. So we went to the next best thing we could think of- mashed foods, with him in charge of everything that goes in his mouth. We could have just waited for foods until his pincer grasp, but he seemed very interested in food, so we let him try it out.

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#70 of 79 Old 01-12-2010, 02:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Also, keep in mind that just my baby was showing active interest in solids (and all other signs) doesn't mean he necessarily was ready for them physiologically. He also shows intense interest in the can of beer DH drinks each night, in my computer mouse (ARGH!!), in his toothbrush (he screams if you take it away -- but he doesn't have a single tooth!) and lots of other things he has no readiness for.
OK, but beer cans, computers, and toothbrushes have not been around long enough for humans to have evolved specific adaptive responses to them, whereas food has.

Kellymom is a great resource for practical advice but as I mentioned above, they're a few doughnuts short of a dozen in the scientific reliability/logical reasoning department.

Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
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#71 of 79 Old 01-12-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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OK, but beer cans, computers, and toothbrushes have not been around long enough for humans to have evolved specific adaptive responses to them, whereas food has.
That might be true but I started (blw) solids with my lo when she was showing signs of readiness and was 6 1/2 months old and everything I gave her made her have a reaction. I think just because she was showing signs of readiness does not mean she truly was. We are now back ebf and will reintroduce solids when she is around 9 months. Funny, now that she's had solids and her reactions, she shows no further interest in eating.

I think that just because a baby is developed enough to show meaningful curiosity and "readiness" does not necessarily mean that their body has caught up and is truly ready. Its a bit more complicated than that.

I loved blw though and will use it when we offer solids again.
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#72 of 79 Old 01-12-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Whew. That was a long thread! I have been wondering about BLW. I always assumed that you DIDN'T WEAN (you know, allow the baby to decide when they are done nursing!?) I had no idea there was an entire dogma of food and such.

I will admit that DH has been giving DS non nutritive food (crackers to keep him quiet etc) Which I am not a fan of. I prefer to make a meal, put it on a plate (whilst holding the plate to the table) and sit at a table (that isn't in front of the TV) and let him eat. Mostly while I am eating.

I don't want DS to "eat off my plate" because I eat things that aren't appropriate for him. Like nuts and dairy.
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I'd bet that someone who didn't plan to BLW would be more likely to have a child choke on a chunk of food, just as someone who didn't plan to cosleep is more likely to end up with the baby wedged into the couch.
You will have to explain this more. I feel like I understand, then I don't all at the same time. We never planned on cosleeping, but it happened that way, (and we haven't suffocated anyone yet, however my back always hurts in the morning!) And I wanted to delay solids for more than 6 months, then the cheese stealing started. Babies play by their own rules, you can make all the plans in the world, they couldn't give a rats tush less about them!

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#73 of 79 Old 01-13-2010, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Whew. That was a long thread! I have been wondering about BLW. I always assumed that you DIDN'T WEAN (you know, allow the baby to decide when they are done nursing!?) I had no idea there was an entire dogma of food and such.
The term "Baby Led Weaning" is from a book of the same name written by authors from the UK - the term "weaning" is used a bit differently there than in the US. It infers that the mother is beginning to introduce food, other than breastmilk, to the baby.

From the book Baby Led Weaning, "Weaning is the gradual change that a baby makes from having breastmilk or formula as her only food to having no breastmilk or formula at all... this change may take several years..."

I, too, did not know about this whole BLW thing... I have been reading the book and trying to figure out how I feel about it. There are a lot of positives for sure, but I just have to decide what is right for our family. I am not a fan of jarred baby food, but I never really questioned the whole idea of purees before - it just seemed the 'right' thing to do... but I have to say that DD seems to enjoy having a large chunk of banana that she can 'chew' on! She really seems delighted with herself when she gets a piece off!!

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#74 of 79 Old 01-13-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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You will have to explain this more. I feel like I understand, then I don't all at the same time. We never planned on cosleeping, but it happened that way,
Did you decide that the baby wasn't happy in the crib and deliberately decide that it would be better for him to sleep with you? That's intentional co-sleeping. Versus being so terrified of having the baby in the adult bed that one gets up again and again and again until falling asleep exhausted on the couch with the baby. See the difference?
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#75 of 79 Old 01-13-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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OK, but beer cans, computers, and toothbrushes have not been around long enough for humans to have evolved specific adaptive responses to them, whereas food has.
However there are plenty of other things that have been around forever, my baby is 7.5mths, we are BLW, but whatever she can reach she puts in her mouth, doesn't matter if it's a modern invention, food or otherwise, eg. teething biscuit or eraser, or if it's something that's been around for year, eg. carrot or twig, all of them go in her mouth, there doesn't seem to be any awareness of mummy putting it in her mouth therefore it's ok for me, it's more mummy is using it therefore I want to put it in my mouth.

For us BLW is actually less wasteful than purees, I rarely prepare anything just for her, if we are having cooked carrot, she gets cooked carrot, if we aren't then I might cut up a raw baby carrot to offer her, or give her a small piece of something that's available, but not being eaten by others at that meal.

I usually put things directly on the table in front of her, usually from my plate, but she doesn't have free access to my plate, it's just a practical way of transporting her food from the kitchen to the table.

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#76 of 79 Old 01-15-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Did you decide that the baby wasn't happy in the crib and deliberately decide that it would be better for him to sleep with you? That's intentional co-sleeping. Versus being so terrified of having the baby in the adult bed that one gets up again and again and again until falling asleep exhausted on the couch with the baby. See the difference?
ah! See, I knew I knew what you were saying! I was just confused. As always.

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#77 of 79 Old 01-16-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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We do baby led feeding. I didn't with my first, because I didn't know about it at all, so we did the whole feeding her thing. Then with my second a friend told me about how her kids fed themselves as babies and I was intrigued. I looked and researched it and it made perfect sense to me. So, I did it with my son. He had true interest in food at about 8.5 months. Having done both parent led feeding and baby led feeding, I found the latter to make so much more sense for my family....and it was soooo much easier! Now, I'm doing the same for baby #3, who started wanting food at about 9 months.

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#78 of 79 Old 01-19-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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For:
-purees are unnecessary
-why teach a baby how to eat pureed food only to transition them to "real" food later?
-spoon feeding is boring
-its important that he learns how to self regulate his food to meet his appetite

Against:
-its a little messier
-my MIL thinks he is constantly on the verge of choking to death
This is us! DD did BLW because, frankly, it's the easiest and most productive method of introducing solids. Same reason I cosleep and practice extended BF. I try not to make this mothering thing harder than it has to be, for me the simplest options are usually best.

My MIL is the same way. She would cut everything up super small even when I assured her that my 10 month old was totally capable of handling an apple wedge, orange slice or piece of pizza. While I do think some babies are chokers and others just aren't, I give credit to BLW for teaching her how to handle bites of food from the very beginning.

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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
To date, I've done 2 needed finger sweeps (both in the first two weeks of introducing solids) and tried to do like 5 more when she was totally fine.

Now, at 16 months, if she looks like she's having trouble (e.g. with the empty gel capsule from the fish oil capsules I can just hold out my hand or hold her over a trash can and tell her "go ahead" and she'll plorp it out)
We say "big bite" and out it comes. Now she says it to her dad and I when we have a mouthful

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BLW is something that could only develop in an affluent society where food is plentiful.
Agreed. Isn't that why the average duration of human breastfeeding on the planet is four years?

For real, though, my DD is awfully neat with her food. I intend to BLW with DS once he's ready though I may start with veggies alone. DD's first consistent food was steak fry-sized apple slices and she now has a wicked sweet tooth.

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#79 of 79 Old 01-20-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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I did BLW with my first two (#3 isn't old enough yet) and it felt really natural and successful. Since we eat only whole foods, however gourmet the meal, it was easy to keep bits of all the ingredients aside for them. They gnawed happily and I offered tastes of the compiled meal.

Things I noticed:
DS1 started on solids at about 12 mo, DD2 began at 5 at her own screaming insistence. DD2 never put anything but food into her mouth and managed her bite sizes and chewing very well. At 3 she still liqifies her food before swallowing. So much healthier than DS1 who had a harder time with bringing the too big pieces back up, tried to eat many non-food items and chewed poorly. At 7yo I'm still working with him on chewing his food more before swallowing it so that he can digest better and consume less.

DD2 is much more willing to try new foods and know when she is hungry/full.

When DS was an infant most of the reading I was doing suggested delaying solids til 12mo. I encouraged him to bf and missed his solids readiness signs. With DD2 I couldn't ignore her signs even though I thought she was too young. She seems to have a much more natural, healthy relationship with food.

I also noticed that DS suffered with teething, and I never knew when DD was teething.. just noticed new teeth when she would let me inspect. I have no idea if letting her gnaw on veggies whenever she wanted was the reason for this, but my hindsight gut feeling is that it was related.

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