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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard that some parents will let their little one decide the pace at which to start solids by allowing him/her to discover it themselves. I've heard that by doing it this way, it prevents frustration and hassle over having to spoon feed for months or years because they learned to feed themselves from the start. I'm very interested in this but not sure what it's really about. Do I make certain foods available within reach? I've mashed up banana and put it on her high chair, but she mostly just smooshes it in her fingers. I've also let her grab for foods and taste them herself, like the other day she grabbed a lime and put it in her mouth and seemed to like it and kept sucking on it. Am I doing it right? Does the fact that she doesn't seem interested in ingesting the banana mean she is not ready? I know of one friend who said one day her son just reached out and grabbed a handful of guacamole and ate it at six months.
Can you share your experiences?
 

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Heilsa!


For us: baby sits on lap, you eat from plate, baby grabs food and learns.
Later, I start giving them their own dish. Do you co-habitate with a dog? These not only are necessary for clean floors, but it also saves you the time of wetting a wash cloth to tidy up the babe post-meal.

In frith
:
 

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Yep, baby on lap or in highchair if you have one left over from other children...we usually let them either (A)grab/eat from our plate or put some on their table thingie and let them play with it...if they get it in their mouths great, if not great...just continue to do this until they "get it".

Of course, there are signs of readiness like:

-teeth
-sitting unassisted
-doesn't push food out with their tongue (this reflex needs to be gone before introducing solids)
-is using thumb and finger to pick food up, not palm of hand

My DD is 5.5 mo old and is nowhere ready for food, but she sure does try to grab it off of my plate!! Occasionally she'll get it, but then forget she has it and drops it on the floor.

Ditto the dog...ours has saved us LOTS of cleanups!! (I'll actually call him when there's a spill around the house!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you pre-prepare anything for her, or just let her eat it as is? For example, if I wanted to give her avocado, would I just slice it up first or mush it and give it to her? I don't know if it would work with her eating right off of my plate... we eat a lot of things she cant handle yet, like tonight we're having bean tacos. She can't chew yet... so do I just let her bite on it and not eat it?
 

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ummm well with avocado (GREAT first food btw!!!) I mushed it with a fork, squirted in some breastmilk and made a kind of paste they could pick up....if it was regular food, I'd chew it first (but this was waaaaay after she had been eating a while and I felt comfortable adding table foods).

Sometimes they are entertained just by trying to get it!! Ripe bananas are mushy enough for rhem to grab, etc...it kind of depends on the child's developmental/physical readiness...I would definately mush if in question!
 

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I do (and did) soft chunks of food (no pureeing) that she can mash with her gums. Avocado - I just cut it into small chunks. Same with cheese, most fruits, most cooked vegetables, etc. Meat I give in smallish pieces or shred depending on what's easiest once it's cooked. Scrambled eggs just get served. Breads/waffles/sandwiches I usually break into small pieces, but sometimes I'll just give it whole so she can practice ripping and tearing (she has ten teeth). She also eats some fruits whole (banana, berries, peaches, etc)

You'd be surprised what a baby can "chew", even without teeth, if s/he wants to.

We started with her just sitting on my lap and taking what she wanted, but she uses a high chair now. Easier to watch and talk with her that way.

The only thing she gets on a spoon is yogurt, and that's because she can't get it to her mouth and gets VERY frustrated. It's my indulgence of her.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nataliachick7 View Post
teeth are not an indicator of readiness. i know a 12 month old with no teeth that loves eating solids.
Teeth are an indicator of physical readiness - a good sign that the baby's digestive system is beginning to be ready to handle solid foods.

Now of course every baby is different. I had a babe who showed every sign of readiness for solids except teeth (sitting unassisted, grabbing at food, no tongue thrust reflex, good pincer grasp) well before we started solids at 6mo. We did a little bit of spoon feeding, but DS mostly self-fed and ate everything he could get his hands on. He didn't get his first teeth until he was nearly 10mo.
 

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We did lots of avocado and sweet potato at first, then moved onto lots of beans (kidney was best because they were big.) I learn that with my DS large pieces that he could hold the entire thing in his hand and bite off of was better than small chunks, he seemed to gag on the small pieces. Each baby is different, try both ways. I would just try some food for him once a week or so until he seemed to be eating some. Then I offered more frequently.
 

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My ds is 8 mos old and has been totally self feeding. By this I mean sometimes he's allowed to suck on something I have or smear his fingers around in some mush on his tray, and other times I'll offer him tiny bits of mushed up food on a baby spoon and he takes the spoon from me and decides where the food goes (sometimes in the mouth, sometimes not). He actually won't let me spoon feed him, he always wants to take the spoon himself. That's fine, it saves me a lot of time and we can all enjoy our dinner together, feeding ourselves (I just periodically offer him more food on the spoon). THis seems to work out pretty well. DS has been sitting in a Fisher Price booster seat (like a high chair but much smaller, just attaches to a regular chair but he still has his own tray). When he's sitting in my lap, I end up totally covered in food and he always tries to grab my plate which makes it really difficult for me to eat anything. I think everyone just figures out what works for them, there's really no "right" or "wrong" way to do it, just make sure your baby doesn't choke on small bits of food and let him/her enjoy the different tastes and textures available.
 

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Peaches are good. I eat half so my dd can use the pit as a handle!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tsfairy View Post
Teeth are an indicator of physical readiness - a good sign that the baby's digestive system is beginning to be ready to handle solid foods.

Now of course every baby is different. I had a babe who showed every sign of readiness for solids except teeth (sitting unassisted, grabbing at food, no tongue thrust reflex, good pincer grasp) well before we started solids at 6mo. We did a little bit of spoon feeding, but DS mostly self-fed and ate everything he could get his hands on. He didn't get his first teeth until he was nearly 10mo.
DD2 didn't have teeth for 13 months, DS2 is 9 months - no teeth, loves self-feeding. Babies cut teeth very differently and it is in NO way related to digestive track. There are babies who cut teeth at 3 months. It varies widely and should never be considered a sign.
 

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Do some googling for "baby-led weaning", there are quite a few good sites out there. The first has already been mentioned. Wikipedia even has a useful entry on it. tribalbaby.org has a section on it. And there's a yahoo group for support from other moms. A few more:

http://www.abm.me.uk/weaningresearch.htm
http://babyledweaning.blogware.com/
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/sta...abyledweaning/

We've just started DD6mo using B-LW. She hardly swallows anything, but loves to chew on her food, look at it, play with it, taste it, explore it. It's really all about discovering taste and texture rather than nutrition anyway, so it doesn't really matter how much actually gets inside her.

So far she's tried broccoli, asparagus, apples, chicken, carrots, potatoes, watermelon, and rutabaga. The veggies are steamed or roasted until soft but NOT mushy, and the apples are just plain old raw apples.

The whole idea of B-LW is that you do NOT have to mash foods up or pre-chew them or mix them with breastmilk. Those things had to be done in the past, to 'trick' a baby that was really *too young* for solids to swallow them by making it more similar to breastmilk. But now that we know to wait until 6mo, they're developmentally old enough to eat *real* solids. Solids that are actually solid. Heh. No trickery or camouflage involved.

Here are some pics of DD with her food:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovecat...7600330803313/
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Those are great pics tankgirl, thanks for sharing! DD loved the peach... she rolled it around, played with it, sucked on it and licked the juice off of her fingers. It was hard to get a pic of her actually sucking on it because I had to use the web cam built into my mac.. currently saving up for a cam because my old one was broken.

Those sites are all very helpful. I didn't know that I didnt have to mash things up, which is a huge relief! We've let her play with food before like bread rolls and just let her drool all over it. Are there any specific concerns regarding choking?
 

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Is 4 1/2 months too young to start? I'm not expecting her to eat anything, just chew/suck and explore. She's really started paying attention when we are eating anything. I'd like to get her up in the high chair and "eating" meals with the family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh and another question: do I start with only feeding her one type of food for a length of time? I know I've heard the advice to only give them one type of food alone for a week to single out allergies... on one hand, this sounds unnatural to me while doing baby led feeding, but if I don't do it how can I track down what she is allergic to?
 
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