Introducing solids - some questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-18-2010, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're starting to think about solid foods more now that DS is approaching "the second half of the first year".  With DD, we did the standard spoon-feeding of purees just after she turned six months (she wasn't interested in much until close to a year, so it was a struggle and a huge hassle I'd like to avoid this time around, now that I know a bit more about this whole issue).  UGH.  Thinking back to the stress of "oh no, she hasn't eaten much 'real food' today!  I hope she'll be ok!" nonsense drives me crazy!  

 

To be honest, I'm excited about offering DS some foods, but afraid he's going to choke/gag if I offer chunks.  He seems very interested (constantly trying to grab food from whoever is holding him, intently stares at people eating, etc), and he does sit independently, and he does pick up things to taste them.  

 

Should I offer?  And what should I start with?  If he gags, does that mean he's not ready yet or should I try smaller pieces?  Also, what good CLW books does everyone recommend?  

 


A + J = Miriam (November 2006) and Raymond (June 2010)
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#2 of 10 Old 12-19-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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I don't buy the whole 6 month thing - but I also don't buy the whole 'if they show all the signs = they are ready for solids'.  My son reaches just as equally to a glass of wine, daddys razor - as a piece of carrot.  Why offer one over the other?  Some people think that is a rediculous comparison.  Apparently babies can have iron stores for life - if they are exclusively breastfeed for the first 7 months.  So there is at least one good reason to hold off for a bit longer.  Then there is the fact that babies don't have certain enzymes in their guts to digest proteins until 9 months and starches until 12-18 months.  (if introducing these foods eariler - it is recommended that you pre-chew them a bit for your baby so that you pass on those enzymes to them when they eat them).  I would like to hold off for a year - but DS2 will probably be walking before then! lol...  He is nearly 8 months old now.  So idealy, I am going to hold off until 9 months.  Theres a lot less 'limited' then.  Once you start intoducing solids - the gut flora changes.  When the gut flora changes - the way they absorb/digest breastmilk also then changes.  Their bodies slowly start to rely more and more on other foods for nutrience as well as breastmilk.  Food before one - should be just for fun!  The longer you EBF for - the stronger BF relationship you will have - allowing you to breastfeed full term (with minimised risk to strikes and your baby/child weaning before they are truely ready).  So all good reasons to hold off on solids even longer!  If your baby is interested in being social (we are social creatures - being human! - after all!) - A good alternative for them at mealtimes to be allowed to play with a cup/bowl/spoon.  My son didn't like it - but a lot of babies seem to love playing and mouthing frozen breastmilk pops too!  hehe

 

Babies gag.  Gagging is good - not bad.  Gagging is SO not choking at all - and nothing close to it really!  It does not mean they are not ready - it may mean that they are not ready to swallow/digest food...babies are clever and can be pretty good at knowing what their bodies needs/don't need - but part of introducing solids is for babies to explor and learn about their feel and smell and taste ...not nessisarily eating/digesting/absorbing nutrience from solids (that is what breastmilk is for at this age - and largly for even past the age of one!).  Nor does it mean you should cut the food up into a different size/shape/etc.  They are simply working out how to move food around in their mouths.  How to use their tongue and teeth (if they have them - they don't need them by the way).  When they are ready to eat - they will do so.   

 

With a 5 year old son, I have a lot of tiny stuff and crumbs left on the floor in our house - DS2 has gotten ahold of these items many times and promptly gags them back out.  He is in control.  That is the great thing about baby-led solids ...it is baby led!  It leaves the baby in control - just like with breastfeeding!  He has yet to have anything come out in his poo - so he hasn't swallowed anything yet! lol

 

Here are some good links on BLW!  (CLW isn't what you are thinking it is - CLW is letting a child decide when they stop breastfeeding! :)) - You are thinking of what is called 'Baby Led Weaning' - or 'Baby Led Solids'.  Not full term breastfeeding.

 

http://www.tribalbaby.org/babyLedEating.html 

http://babyledsolids.blogspot.com/ 

http://babyledweaning.blogware.com/ 

http://babyledweaning.com/ 

 

This book is highly recommended:

http://www.rapleyweaning.com/ 


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#3 of 10 Old 12-20-2010, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for clearing up some of my misconceptions (or ignorance!).  Regarding the gagging issue, when I do eventually offer him some food, he'll probably gag the first few times (right?), so do I need to do anything about it?  Or just let him naturally figure it out for himself, and learn how to use his tongue and whatnot?  

 

Also, the past few days, I've noticed he's extra hungry and my milk supply seems to not be as plentiful.  He's always breast fed on demand, day and night, which works well for us, and I've never worried before.  This week, he's been nursing from both breasts at one time (he used to just do one breast and didn't want the other side, and then would have the other side two or three or sometimes four hours later).  Lately, he's doing both breasts every two to three hours, and is much more vocal and voracious when hungry.  He grabs and pulls me to him like he's starving!  I did notice that I'm not as "full" as I used to be (never get the engorged feeling anymore).    

 

I'm thinking it's either that he's not getting enough, OR that he's going through a growth spurt, OR that he's just more developmentally mature and able to communicate more (by grabbing, making different sounds, etc), or a combination of the above.  He's a good size (18 lbs 6 oz, and gaining nicely on his growth curve), so I'm not too worried, but I'm wondering if he'd be more satisfied with food?  At the same time, I don't want to jeopardize our nursing relationship or his nutrition...ugh, so confusing!      

 

I've put some BLW books on hold at my library, and am excited to read more.  I'm going to check out those links you suggested right now.  Thanks!


A + J = Miriam (November 2006) and Raymond (June 2010)
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#4 of 10 Old 12-20-2010, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another question:

 

1. There seem to be many foods on the "forbidden" list for babies and kids (i.e. dairy before age 1, wheat before age 1, etc).  How does one reconcile this with BLW when we offer bits of regular adult food that everyone else at the table is eating?  As an aside, I've noticed that infant rice cereal (which we avoided with DD and plant to avoid this time around as well) contains "milk solids", and am confused.  


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#5 of 10 Old 12-20-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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notes2.gif  I just came on here to ask that very question.

 

We are BLW and I highly recommend the Rapley book. DD still doesn't eat much and we don't give her much. Maybe we're up to about 5 or 6 different foods. She'll stay tuned in for sweet potato, pear, apple, avocado...cucumber. We don't give her food every day yet, either. I try to be conscientious about what I'm offering... we won't do rice cereal either, and I think we'll avoid wheat, citrus, nuts, dairy til after a year or more.  Oh and eggs.

 

I also fed my older child purees, and what a hassle!! I did it because you know, that's what you do I thought. Looking back it all looks so much like force feeding I'm a little horrified, because she didn't like it at all.

 

ETA I think you reconcile blw and feeding what's on the table with an older babe... it's when they are ready. My DD is very much not ready at 7 months and we are happily nursing away.

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#6 of 10 Old 12-20-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpeace View Post

Another question:

 

1. There seem to be many foods on the "forbidden" list for babies and kids (i.e. dairy before age 1, wheat before age 1, etc).  How does one reconcile this with BLW when we offer bits of regular adult food that everyone else at the table is eating?  As an aside, I've noticed that infant rice cereal (which we avoided with DD and plant to avoid this time around as well) contains "milk solids", and am confuse 

 


 

 For us it has meant just being selective about what we give her from our meals. We are limiting dairy (she has had a little bit of yoghurt in a soup for example but no chunks of cheese) and avoiding meat and grains at this stage (probably until she is one). We just pick bits of fruit and veg from our meals. One night, my brother made us a roast dinner and J had the sweet potato and ordinary potato. When we have a salad she has cucumber , avocado and tomato. THe other night we had Thai takeaway and she had a snow pea from DHs stirfry. She is still eating what we eat in the sense that we are not preparing special or different food for her, we're just not giving her every single thing we have on our own plates. The only thing we do specially is, sometimes cut things differently for her. Watermelon I cut for her in long sticks rather than bite-sized chunks for us.

 

I think this is completely in the spirit of BLW. We are offering food not feeding her. The food is "as it comes" not mashed or pureed specially for her, we don't encourage her to eat more, we just put the food back in front of her if it gets away lol.gif  I don't think BLW is about offering all foods all at once it's more about the slow exploration of tastes and textures and having a chance to learn the skills associated with self-feeding. The idea of feeding babies what we eat ourselves is more about not preparing special food than about giving them a roast with all the trimmings at their first meal IYKWIM.

That's my take on it anyway.

 

I will say though that we have not been especially careful about spacing out new foods. J has tried about 13 things plus a mixed vege and lentil soup in the 3 weeks since we started solids with her.


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#7 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I did notice that I'm not as "full" as I used to be (never get the engorged feeling anymore).

 This is normal - and its nice isn't it...to not be (as) engorged anymore! :) hehe  My son - at 6 and a half months did that (feeding on both sides) - when before I was having to heavily block feed to super oversupply!...  It doesn't mean you are not making enough milk for him.  Boobs work by supply and demand.  The more your baby demands - the more they will supply.  He could be going through a growth spurt (sure sounds like it).  Eventually your boobs will catch up with his demands (it took 3-4 days for me) and you may well be back to feeding one boob at a time.  (I am back to 6 hour block feeds and he is 8 months old tomorrow - so one boob is plenty for him for a good portion of the day and he isn't a small baby either - he had a great start in life at 12lbs 4oz at birth! lol - Oh and my boobs are only a size B...  )...Boobs are pretty amazing things! 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
but I'm wondering if he'd be more satisfied with food?

 No he probably wouldn't really be.  I mean, if you swallowed some rocks, your tummy would probably feel a bit 'fuller' for longer.  But that wouldn't solve the 'problem' at hand.  Breastmilk has much more fat and calories in it than any solid food you could offer him - so your milk is what satisfies him for longer - more so than any food.  Food at this point will just be empty calories in comparison to breastmilk.  Does sound like a growth spurt.   

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. There seem to be many foods on the "forbidden" list for babies and kids (i.e. dairy before age 1, wheat before age 1, etc). How does one reconcile this with BLW when we offer bits of regular adult food that everyone else at the table is eating?

 The longer you wait - the less this is a problem! lol  But, if you do introduce solids before a year - and say, your family is having spag bol for tea...you could just offer your baby the veggies in the sauce and avoid giving pasta.  Or you could put aside some of those veggies fresh - before you have cooked them - and offer them up when you all sit down to eat.  With DS1, I just learned to seaperate and set aside for a bit. 


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#8 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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Those should have just been 'quotes' ...I don't know how it turned out like that! lol 


Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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#9 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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#10 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpeace View Post

Another question:

 

1. There seem to be many foods on the "forbidden" list for babies and kids (i.e. dairy before age 1, wheat before age 1, etc).  How does one reconcile this with BLW when we offer bits of regular adult food that everyone else at the table is eating?  As an aside, I've noticed that infant rice cereal (which we avoided with DD and plant to avoid this time around as well) contains "milk solids", and am confused.  


We do BLW, and I just give her stuff that I am making already. So if my husband and I are having chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes for dinner, for example, I will save a chunk of potato before I mash it and I will put aside a few green beans. Easy peasy.

 

Don't do rice cereal. It's totally useless. Even the old argument that it's good because it's fortified with iron is not necessarily true, as the body can't absorb iron fortification as well as it absorbs iron from food. Part of BLW is skipping cereals and purees altogether.


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