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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, but I'll start here. I've seen a few times on this board moms mention something about (I think it's called...)baby-led feeding. Where you don't spoon feed when starting solids. Could someone please give me more information, including your experiences and what you feel the benefits are? I'm very curious. Thanks sooo much!
 

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For me it comes down to -when baby is ready to eat, then they can eat. Gerber has brain washed us into thinking we need jars and boxes of "baby food"<br><br>
Of course we don't.<br><br>
Also, when spoon feeding it's easy to overfeed. Also baby gets the message that eating makes mama happy.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Before Gerber, I bet parents still gave their babies solid food though, with their fingers, etc. I just can't think they would let them sit there. Plus, I bet there were some old-time mommas that wanted to get babies as self-sufficient as they could at feeding themselves, and get them off the breast so they could do more housework. I really don't think it is too much different from today. Just my two cents though.<br><br>
We don't give our baby spoons, just feed them fresh foods with our fingers. He loves to eat what we are eating!!!!
 

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We moved more in this direction with our older two but were all the way here by the time #3 rolled around. I felt more strongly about following his feeding cues and preferences (and so did he -- he's NEVER allowed anyone to put a spoon in his mouth, ever) he liked to self feed, he hated to be fed. So we didn't push it. I found that we were overall more relaxed about his feeding -- he eats a variety of foods, he's growing and happy. So... it works for us.<br><br>
I don't feel that purees and mashes are really necessary, if a child is ready for solids, they can eat what we eat, if they're not, they're not IMO.<br><br>
I found this article useful:<br><a href="http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedselintroductie/vast_voedsel/rapley_guidelines.html" target="_blank">http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedseli...uidelines.html</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jennybean0722</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7952065"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Before Gerber, I bet parents still gave their babies solid food though, with their fingers, etc. I</div>
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of course. A bite here and there. The difference with jars is the ability to shovel in a MUCH higher volume of food.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I just sat down to the computer to post a thread about this! DD is just about six months and is clearly ready. She lunges for everything at the table. Can those mamas who did/are doing baby-led feeding talk a little more about it? Did you just let baby grab anything? I have read the article linked to this forum [the Dutch one that give an intro, not the blog] Did you do ANYTHING special or just let baby share food? What about the idea about allergies and delaying introduction of certain foods [wheat, dairy, meats, citrus, etc]? I think the Dutch article indicates that if you and your family don't have a history of allergies, you can try foods and back off if the baby has a reaction.<br><br>
We never spoon-fed DS as he wouldn't let us, but I did control what kinds of foods he was introduced to. I am totally down with a more open approach, but my imagination is failing me. I would love to hear about what you do!
 

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My baby's been grabbing food off the plate since she was four months old (seriously...she's always been ahead on her physical milestones and behind on her verbal). She is now 9.5 months.<br><br>
Benefits:<br>
She eats as much or as little as she needs. We don't get hung up on "Oh, well, you're supposed to finish this jar" or "Oh, too bad, you can only have half of this jar." And she eats a MUCH wider variety of foods than you'll find in "baby food", generally what we're eating unless it's something she won't touch (like hot wings. But she will eat homemade spicy salsa. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ). Yesterday she had about two bites for dinner - just wasn't hungry. Today she had about a third of a cup whole wheat spaghetti with organic garlic-tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. When she finished THAT, she had two halves of a juice-packed pear that I'd cut into easier to hold chunks. Earlier she had half a banana (I just give her the whole half and she bites off what she wants), a couple of bites of jalepeno hummus on a pity, and about 15 organic peanut butter puff cereal pieces (no flames...there are no allergies in the family, and she has bitten peanut butter sandwiches before when I was looking the other way with no reaction). And I don't remember what breakfast was. I don't force her to eat; I just present her with the opportunity, and she eats or doesn't as she wishes. I do, however, watch her whenever she eats in case she does choke (say, if she bit off a large piece of banana and then suddenly swallowed it without chewing for whatever reason).<br><br>
Also, believe it or not, it's a lot harder for babies to choke on "real" food. Baby food has such a liquidy consistency AND parents tend to spoon it too far back, so Baby's natural reaction is to suck it down like milk. And then they choke. A baby who is ready for solids will put the (real) food in his mouth and use his tongue/gums/teeth (if any) to mash the food down. If the piece is too big or hard or tough, he'll just spit it out. Generally, babies won't get the whole hand-mouth coordination and lack of tongue thrust (automatically spitting out anything in their mouth) until they're ready for solids anyway. I let our baby grab anything she wanted if it was "safe" (small and soft enough), or I'd cut it into those pieces for her. To be honest, I've let her try everything when she asked for it. The only thing she hasn't had is shellfish (we don't eat much in our house, so, there hasn't been an opportunity). All the other big ones (dairy, berries, peanuts, chocolate, fish, wheat, egg) she's had. I know I'll get flamed for this, and that's fine, but I don't really believe that delaying certain foods if you don't have allergies in the family is really going to do much. I don't advocate giving a two month old a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (obviously), but, if your 8 month old sneaks a lick of strawberry yogurt...well, oh well. I know someone allergic to apples, and that's one of the first things all the "good" parents give their kids...applesauce.<br><br>
Real food also tastes better. Would YOU rather have regular home-baked sweet potato or watered down sweet potato puree? Exactly.<br><br>
It's a lot more convenient. Wherever we go, I can usually find SOMETHING she can eat...(tomatoes from my salad, grilled chicken breast, some bread or fruit). I don't have to worry about toting along a jar, and a spoon, and bowls, and all that. I do tend to bring along a bag of a healthy cereal, or some raisins, or diced cheese pieces when we go out if I'm not sure where we're going will have anything, but, I've yet to end up someplace where I couldn't find food for her.<br><br>
I will admit we keep gerber puffs in the house. She loves them (I'm also known to snack on them....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> ), and if she's getting very impatient while I get our meals ready, I just throw a few of them on the tray and they keep her happy. Otherwise, she hates baby food, and even anything of baby-food consistency (applesauce, oatmeal, etc.) She's an odd duck. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much for all the info!! As I get a chance to really read all your posts and the links, I'm sure I'll have more questions. But this is great for me to get started with. Thank you, Thank you. Keep it coming.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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For anyone who's interested, I also found this website today. Lots of good info. <a href="http://www.tribalbaby.org/babyLedEating.html" target="_blank">http://www.tribalbaby.org/babyLedEating.html</a><br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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We never did jarred food. Both of my kids started with small chunks of avocado, pear, banana, sweet potato...soft foods like that. They generally preferred to pick them up themselves, although sometimes if the food was too slippery they'd get frustrated and want help! [real] Oatmeal was another standby...they'd shovel it in with their hands, plus it was very spoon-friendly when they got to that point.
 

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Yikes, where did my post go?<br><br>
Anyways - what I was trying to say is that when we started BLW with DS2 at 7 1/2 mo he gagged MAJORLY. It scared me so we backed off for about 2 weeks. When we tried again he did MUCH better, of course he gagged every now and then and it is part of the learning process but it was much better the 2nd time around. I just don't think he was ready despite him grabbing at my food (well he always grabbed at everything, still does!), being able to sit, having the coordination to get the food in his mouth by himself, etc. I guess what I am trying to say is if you try it and it seems as if your DC isn't ready yet try going back to BM for a few weeks and then try again. Sometimes babies may seem ready even though they aren't. Good luck with BLW it is something we really enjoy and plan to do with any subsequent children!<br><br>
SJ
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mashenka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7953145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just sat down to the computer to post a thread about this! DD is just about six months and is clearly ready. She lunges for everything at the table. Can those mamas who did/are doing baby-led feeding talk a little more about it? Did you just let baby grab anything? I have read the article linked to this forum [the Dutch one that give an intro, not the blog] Did you do ANYTHING special or just let baby share food? What about the idea about allergies and delaying introduction of certain foods [wheat, dairy, meats, citrus, etc]? I think the Dutch article indicates that if you and your family don't have a history of allergies, you can try foods and back off if the baby has a reaction.<br><br>
We never spoon-fed DS as he wouldn't let us, but I did control what kinds of foods he was introduced to. I am totally down with a more open approach, but my imagination is failing me. I would love to hear about what you do!</div>
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She can take anything except citrus fruit ( gives her red rashes on her face) and spicy hot food, hard food that's edgy, or if it has too much salt. I am fine with this because I don't force the food onto her. When we use a spoon, I hold it in front of her and wait till she pushes my hand to her mouth.
 
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