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Discussion Starter #1
is there a baby led weaning support thread? not that i need a whole lot of support... just wanting to chat with like-mindeds. we've been doing BLW for two full months now (baby just turned 8 months old today) and it is going GREAT. he is gaining so well. he loves to eat. eats a TON of fruit. and vegetables when i have them. i'm just feeding him what he seems to like, what he can reasonably devour and what i have on hand. he eats soft salsbury steaks. he loves pears, and goes through at least 2-3 pears a day! he can eat whole bananas with very little waste. i'm so impressed, and it has even had a positive effect on my 4 year old daughter's eating habits (ie, when i tell her that her baby brother is winning the race for eating the banana first, she redoubles her efforts to go ahead and finish her fruit, etc.)<br><br>
anybody else doing BLW care to discuss how it's going for you too?
 

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you read my mind! I started BLW a few weeks ago, and I'm not really sure how I feel that it is going. We have only introduced a few foods, and I'm having trouble deciding how to present them. I steam veggies and fruits to soften them up, buy my 7 month old ds seems to bite off chunks and then gag on them. Are they too soft? Am I better off not steaming them and giving them raw? (pears and carrots...)
 

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mommy92109 -- have you read Gill's book? It's very helpful in figuring out what to do.<br><br>
Anyway, in general, one of the things that BLW involves is getting rid of our assumptions that food for babies has to be super-soft. Especially when they're just starting, the point isn't to get food down their throats and into their bellies -- it's for them to explore tastes and textures with their mouths, while gradually learning about biting and chewing at the same time. So it should be food that requires gnawing, rather than stuff that just falls into mush.<br><br>
So I would cook 'crisp' veggies like broccoli or carrots until they were fork-tender but not mushy when DD first started. I wouldn't give raw carrots to a beginner -- a large piece could get bitten off and they wouldn't know how to chew it yet. But raw pears would be fine.<br><br>
The gag reflex is there for a reason, if he's gagging on the chunks then it's doing its job and you don't need to panic. It's there to keep him from choking while he learns to manipulate the chunks of food in his mouth, so it's virtually bound to happen while he experiments (part of experimenting is making 'mistakes'!)<br><br>
But again, at just 7mo, I wouldn't worry about making food soft enough that they'll actually get it into their bellies... DD loved to suck on chicken and gnaw on broccoli and mash everything up with her fingers, but it wasn't until 7.5-8mo that she really started to INGEST food on purpose.
 

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I did read the book, but I need to go back to read certain sections again. I'm really not concerned with ds ingesting food into his belly, but I am concerned with him taking huge chunks and choking. I've noticed that he sticks the "chips" of food pretty far into the back of his mouth and then bites, usually getting a large chunk, and then he panics, and sometimes gags (I keep reminding myself that he is gagging, not choking! but it's still scary!) I'm very new to BLW and I want to completely trust in it, and I know that I should, but I'm nervous! That's why I'm glad you started this thread, and I hope more people reply and get the conversation going in different directions.<br><br>
So, I guess you answered my question about how soft to make food. I knew not to make it too soft to be mush, but I wasn't sure how soft to make it so that he could actually gnaw some to get the texture. I will try a raw pear next time, and maybe whole? The "chip" shape lent itself to a huge bite being taken off. Maybe a larger piece would be better so that he can suck and gnaw instead of getting a whole big bite in his mouth?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i'll write more later, but quickly... we've had great luck with nice, ripe pears. also bananas. he eats them whole!
 

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ok i have a few minutes now. the idea with BLW is that they learn how *not* to choke by experimenting with real food. how do you think people survived before the age of blenders and purees for babies. when a baby is ready, he or she will help themselves. the only "rules" we follow are that 1) baby feeds himself. you don't put food in his mouth, only he does that. 2) always watch him closely while he eats. be ready to intervene if he's truly choking, but gagging is a good sign, and not the same as choking. gagging is when he's getting the food out of his way; choking is when the food is preventing him from breathing. if this happens, be ready to turn him over on your arm and apply firm but gentle blows to his back between the shoulder blades. his head angled down so as to expel the food causing him to choke. this probably won't happen though. 3) also, big pieces only, not small pieces. nothing small and round such as whole grapes, etc.<br><br>
we've done slices of whole apples. right away he was able to suck/gum the pulp out of them. leaving usually the skin.<br><br>
asparagus, whole. boiled down slightly to make it tender.<br><br>
squash slices, also boiled to tender. he had a field day with these when he was just starting out. much easier than apples, and he was sucking the pulp out of those and leaving only the outer skin.<br><br>
nowadays he's into saltine crackers.<br><br>
i don't think i've mentioned, but he has no teeth yet! doesn't stop him.<br><br>
he gets very excited when he's in his high chair. if i don't bring food fast enough, he starts hitting the tray in excitement.<br><br>
sweet potato patties. he got a little frustrated however when these were served too warm (you know how potatoes hold their heat? it wasn't burning hot, but still too hot for his liking. he made very frustrated noises and it took awhile before he was ready to try those again.)<br><br>
don't know if it goes without saying, so i will also mention that i try to nurse him *before* every feeding. and i don't give a sippy cup or a bottle (or a pacifier for that matter). all of his sucking is done at the breast. i hope to continue to nurse him for a long time. i do offer a plain cup with water sometimes (although this is a lot of work, you have to sit there and continuously offer sips... and meanwhile he wants to grab and dump. i make DH do it when he's around.) more often i try to give him very juicy fruit to make sure his poops stay soft.<br><br>
he does poop a ton. seems to poop almost every time he's in the high chair.<br><br>
i've learned (finally) to strip him naked except a diaper before every feeding.<br>
BLW is extremely messy.<br><br>
when he's done, he puts out his arms and makes a certain noise, looking at me. i pick him up holding him away from me (as i can't be changing my clothes 3 times a day too) and take him straight to the sink to wash up from head to toe. then it's time for a fresh dipe, followed by a little floor time with sister while i wash up the high chair.<br><br>
it's all just so much work, the high chair stage. but at least i'm having fun giving him foods! versus all of the work of sitting there trying to coax him to open his mouth for spoonfuls of puree... how boring!<br><br>
my daughter, who just turned 4, had her well child visit with the pediatrician. the ped. asked Ellie if she helps to feed her brother, to which DD replied, "no he feeds himself." the ped. was surprised, and said, wow that is an advanced skill. i didn't tell her that we're BLWing. but i do tell other people that i talk with on a daily basis. most people have never heard of it or considered doing it. first time parents are usually aghast, and comment about worrying about choking. but older people and those who had multiple children are more often "on board". my dad told me that i'm doing it exactly right. that felt good to hear from him.<br><br>
oh, and strawberries. we have no food allergies in our family and i was feeling safe about it so i went ahead and introduced strawberries right from the beginning. he loves them. he eats them every single day. we are just about to get our own crop of strawberries in the yard, and i am so looking forward to him and his sister sitting outside eating them fresh off the vine.<br><br>
so, all in all, we are having a lot of fun with it!
 

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i don't get the whole blw does not = purees thing. i feed my baby the purees because she loves them and she loves cereal (which i wasn't happy about). she is doing some self feeding, but she also likes me to help her with the spoon because she gets frustrated. i follow her cues and let her decide what she wants, how much, when. i feel like i'm listenening to her and that is our version of baby-led weaning. she didn't get the 'food is for learning right now' memo <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> she wants to eat!
 

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UPDATE:<br><br>
I gave ds a very ripe pear in quarters tonight so that the chunks were much bigger, and he did great! It seemed to dissolve in his mouth as he gummed it, rather than him biting off large chunks like he did last time. Thanks for the encouragement and info ElliesMomma and tankgirl73! I'm feeling more comfortable now, and boy is it fun and amazing to watch ds eat (unless he's gagging, that is...it's going to take me some time to get used to that!) He managed to eat almost the whole pear! Of course, if it goes the way it has been going with the other foods we have given him so far, in 24 hours or so we will see lots of pears in his diaper!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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congratulations, mommy, on feeding him that ripe pear. pears we go through veryvery quickly around here. and bananas too. i told my DH to never walk past bananas in a store, always pick up more, we are going through 2-3 bananas and 2-3 pears a day around here currently.<br><br>
i planted about 60 percent of my garden over the weekend, and am looking very much forward to feeding baby straight out of the garden, like his sister eats. tomatoes, spinach (i'll probably soften the spinach - so it won't be straight out of the garden, but still), squash, broccoli, cauliflower.<br><br>
has anyone had much luck with feeding cheese??
 

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I would really love to join this group!<br><br>
We have not jumped into it yet, but I'm working up to offering DS some food. He'll be 6 mo this month. He has been reaching for my food for some time now, and seems to be getting pretty upset sometimes that I keep it away from him. He can also drink breastmilk out of a little cup (not a sippy, a real cup) all by himself. He LOVES his cup. He has got his pincer grasp. He is not sitting unassited yet though, so I am waiting for that. And to be honest, I'm a little sad that soon he wont be exclusively BFing anymore.<br><br>
We still need to get the BLW book and read it, I need to do that soon! Also need to get a highchair probably.<br><br>
Is there a concern with giving strawberries early that I should know about??<br><br>
I am planning on starting him out with bananas first. Then maybe avacado and pears.<br><br>
I saw a 'mesh feeder' in a store the other day, does that just ruin the whole point of him feeding himself, or are they good to use starting out? He does not have any teeth yet.<br><br>
We'll be jumping in soon!
 

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If you decide you don't want to strip him naked they sell really nice Bjorn smock bibs on amazon. I bought one with sleeves and then a crumb smock bib that has no long sleeves. I love those bibs, I mean really really love them. They cover him all the way to his legs and catch food. I particularly love the smock bib the most because it's nice with saucy foods and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i tried the mesh feeder with my first. it's an OK concept, i guess, but difficult to keep it clean IME.<br><br>
and yes i think it does blow away the concept that babies can be trusted with the food they put in their mouths. you need to follow some common sense "rules" to prevent choking. i listed some in my PP above, also forgot to note that it's important that they are sitting upright (not slouched and definitely not reclining) when they eat.<br><br>
there is a "learning curve" for self feeders (BLWers). but within a month or two they are eating like pros, whilest all of the other "mush" eaters are sitting there with mouths open waiting for mom or dad to give the next spoonful, yours is happily handling his own big pieces, and learning hand-eye coordination, having fun at the same time.
 

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I'd like to join you. We've been doing BLW since DS turned 6 months, about 2 weeks now... loving it! I do feel like I might be being too cautious about what foods to give him, but my older DD suffered from constipation from her first bite so I'm trying to avoid constipating foods (like rice), as well as things that will set off DS's reflux, and most likely allergens (DH has a lot of allergies, though DD doesn't seem to have inherited any... but who knows about DS?).<br><br>
I've really been impressed with how well he can hold things like a stick of slippery cucumber or an slimey apple slice. (Both foods he seems to really like.)
 

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i'm in<br>
we've been doing baby led solids for just over a month<br><br>
ds2 loves apple slices, toast with butter, rice pasta (done in soy sauce, fish sauce garlic and cilantro), whole wheat pasta with carbonara sauce, bananas, pears, asian pears, mango, sweet potato, avocado...lots of different things<br><br>
also do load spoons with oatmeal and apple sauce and he's good with the spoon. wish i had known about this with ds1!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Xavismom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394429"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is there a concern with giving strawberries early that I should know about??</div>
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a lot of people hold off on strawberries and other berries over concern for food allergies.<br><br>
we did not, however, and have not had any problems. in fact, strawberries are one of his favorite foods.<br><br>
on the subject of allergies, my former MIL told me that her son refused to eat bananas. just refused to eat them. everybody said that's crazy all babies like bananas. then her husband sorta force fed him bananas when she was away. lo and behold, they wound up in the emergency room with the baby looking like he'd been beaten, he was so swollen up from an allergic reaction to bananas.<br><br>
i think that goes to show that babies really *DO* know what they can and should eat, and the inately know what not to eat. interesting, huh?
 

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I have a question. People talk about giving their lo large pieces of apple or cucumber and letting them 'gum' it. But what if your baby already has teeth? Isn't there the danger that they will bite off a piece too big for them to handle? Should you treat babies with teeth differently from the 'gummy' babies?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Aufilia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15397383"><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'd like to join you. We've been doing BLW since DS turned 6 months, about 2 weeks now... loving it! I do feel like I might be being too cautious about what foods to give him, but my older DD suffered from constipation from her first bite so I'm trying to avoid constipating foods (like rice), as well as things that will set off DS's reflux, and most likely allergens (DH has a lot of allergies, though DD doesn't seem to have inherited any... but who knows about DS?).<br><br>
I've really been impressed with how well he can hold things like a stick of slippery cucumber or an slimey apple slice. (Both foods he seems to really like.)</div>
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I have noticed that every time my ds eats, he doesn't poop for two days. When he was EBF he was very regular and pooped every day. We have only given him bananas, sweet potato, avocado, and pears. At first I thought it might be the bananas, but I gave him a pear 3 days ago, and he pretty much ate the whole thing, but he hasn't pooped since. (I haven't given him any more solids either.) Is this normal?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mommy92109</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15402216"><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 have noticed that every time my ds eats, he doesn't poop for two days. When he was EBF he was very regular and pooped every day. We have only given him bananas, sweet potato, avocado, and pears. At first I thought it might be the bananas, but I gave him a pear 3 days ago, and he pretty much ate the whole thing, but he hasn't pooped since. (I haven't given him any more solids either.) Is this normal?</div>
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are you giving him water in a cup? i think bananas, avocado and sweet potato can all be constipated. the pears are the opposite. give more pears. also try asparagus, strawberry, kiwi, other "juicy" fruits *in quantity*. my son also loves bananas, but i try to balance that out with more "succulent" fruits and vegetables.<br><br>
to the PP who asked about babes with teeth. i think the real secret is just to watch them carefully. they learn their own limits with food so they don't choke. it's a survival thing!
 

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I would like to join.<br>
My son is 7 mths and we just started solids. The only thing he will eat is apple slices. He gums them or I put them in the mesh feeder.<br><br>
He has wrinkled his face at every other food. Like the texture and taste on his hands surprise him and kind of tick him off. Not the "playing and exploring taste and texture" I had pictured AT ALL.<br><br>
I'm surprised about how bummed I am. All the babies around me are slurping up purees left and right. I have offered my son purees as well, thinking maybe pure BLW is not for him. He's not into it.<br><br>
Hearing about all these babies chowing down concerns me even though I know "all things in time"<br><br>
Hearing well meaning Grannies telling me what a "fussy, picky eater" I have doesn't help either.....
 

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tonight for dinner Shawn ate 1 whole banana, 2 whole strawberries, 3 broccoli cloves, 4 whole asparagus and 1 perogi. yes, there were "crumbs," but not many!<br><br>
not to brag, but i am proud of his eating!
 
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