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My baby is not even here yet, and I plan on exclusively breastfeeding.<br><br>
With my oldest (now 6), I took the "traditional" approach and started cereal and mashed solids (from my plate, not much jarred food) when she got her first teeth (about 6mo) in addition to nursing on demand (until she was around 3yo and we cooperatively weaned).<br><br>
I really dislike spoon-feeding babies! And with my oldest, I see some self-feeding/regulating issues that I think may have been avoided if she had been in charge of feeding herself the whole way.<br><br>
So, mamas who skipped the purees and spoon-feeding, I want to pick your brains. Talk to me about your specific experience and how/why.<br><br>
Particularly if you delayed foods til around a year and then went straight to self-feeding finger foods, as that is kind of the way I am leaning, but don't really have IRL reference for this, as all the peeps I know go the 6mo route w/ cereals.<br><br>
TIA!
 

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We delayed until a bit over a year. It was partly my choice and partly that DS wasn't interested, though it was a bit of a twisty road. Here's the story...<br><br>
At about 5 months, much MUCH earlier than I had planned on even thinking about solids, he started grabbing food off our plates. He was very determined and obsessed. No one could eat anything around him without him having a total freak out. After about two weeks of trying to ignore it, I gave in thinking that he must he ready. I tried offering the softest, safest first foods recommended for BLW. No go - he seriously did not have the manual dexterity yet and still had a strong gag reflex. But the interest was definitely there. So I switched to purees and soups, etc, and he would have nothing of me prodding him with a spoon. We were both really frustrated. We kept up with things like partially mashed peas which he could fist into his mouth and just play with. That went on for about 3 weeks then gradually he kind of gave up and lost interest like it was a toy that had gotten old. Honestly, I was so relieved! He stopped trying to grab our food off our plates, and didn't seem to want much of what I offered him. By 6.5 mos, I stopped going to as much effort to prepare special food for him and decided we'd just put solids on hold for a bit, until his interest came back.<br><br>
He got his first teeth at 8 mos but didn't start eating much again until 13-14mos. By then his gag reflex was gone and he had enough manual control to use a small fork so we never revisited purees and other typical baby foods. He loves thick soups, yogurt, applesauce, etc, now that he can use a spoon himself (though ironically he now prefers when I feed him because he hates getting dribbles on his hands or shirt! it's too funny!).<br><br>
He's 17 mos now and has been eating full meals for about 2.5 months. This coincided with my milk supply dropping due to pregnancy so that could be a factor too.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk"><br><br>
DS is 5 months, and like pp super interested in food, but unlike Henry, he doesn't seem a bit likely to quit! he will take food from a spoon fairly well now - almost always an adult spoon, b/c I forget to bring a baby one with us to restaurants.<br><br>
he can hold things long thin or wedge shaped things, like fries, carrot sticks, lemons and kind of suck/gnaw on them. most of what I have that is liquidy - sauces, jam/jelly, potatoes, or mashed he sucks off my finger, or off a spoon. he doesn't eat really, it is all just tasting, which is what I figure it should be until he needs it.<br><br>
his EBM has recently increased from 4 to 5-6 oz.MIL is like, he needs cereal, he's hungry! I am like, no, he needs more milk, which he is getting! LOL<br><br>
FWIW, he already is trying to spoon feed himself; we do this maybe 1-2 times a week, and he always grabs the spoon out of our hand! or tries
 

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My guy is 7 mos, and has been super interested in food since about 5 mos. Like a pp said - he tries to grab our plates all the time.<br><br>
He's very much not interested in being fed with a spoon or eating anything puree-like. He wants what we're eating. So that's what I give him. Right now we're just working on veggies. But I'll pull a couple pieces out of the pan before seasoning it, or cook it a little longer, or whatever specifically so he can handle it. Last night I did steamed then stir-fried broccoli. So I pulled out a couple florets, steamed them a bit longer and skipped the stir-frying. He loved it. He loves roast veggies also - sweet potato, and asparagus is a big one for him, although he didn't like the Brussels sprouts. Today I gave him a jicama stick to suck on. He's just now getting teeth, so he can't really chew it, but he loves sucking on it (loves carrots, too).<br><br>
He's not really getting any nutrition out of it, but he's learning to get food from table to mouth and he's learning about different flavors and textures. Really that's all that he should be doing right now, so I'm good with it.<br><br>
He gets solids maybe 3 times a week. We're slowly increasing that as he gets more foods.
 

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If you want to skip baby foods, buy Baby Led Weaning book and then just let the baby determine how much and when to start eating. Worked so well for us!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Altair</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15379742"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you want to skip baby foods, buy Baby Led Weaning book and then just let the baby determine how much and when to start eating. Worked so well for us!</div>
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Thanks for the rec! I've never heard of this. I am putting it on my wishlist.
 

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i second the book although i have to admit i didn;t actually read it.<br><br>
not much to add as we are still in the middle of it. just that you do not have to wait until 12 months to do real foods. we always did table foods although i did start with spoon feeding, then realized it wasn't really necessary. now at 7.5 months she self-feeds both small pieces (we "practiced" with cheerios) as well as large chunky stuff BLW style.<br><br>
if they're ready, they're ready. we started just shy of 6 months when she grabbed a tray of meatloaf and pulled it to her highchair. it ended up being her first food. she was ready, she could chew, and she wanted it (had no teeth until recently, totally didn;t matter.)<br><br>
i love how she tries so much more variety when she self-feeds. just last night i offered her a bite of sauerkraut to which she made the "yuck" face. so i put some on her tray because that's what we were having and she picked it up and ate all of it. the next night she ate a bunch of eggplant caponata which she had previously hated when i had fed it to her.<br><br>
i do have some "baby-freindly" food (banana, sweet potato, beans, etc..) on hand for those times when we are either not eating at the same time or are not eating anything baby-appropriate (like salad or something...lettuce is really tough to eat.) she is also really good at bringing back up and spitting out food that she can;t handle whether the piece was too big or oddly shaped (i.e. flat noodle that didn;t get chewed well.) all that came naturally.
 

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one mama i know started with big baby-hand-size chunks of steamed sweet potatoes. her ds would pick it up, try to mash it (but it wasnt as mashable as a banana) then eventually get it towards his mouth. since it was big yet soft, he never choked on it or even got the entire piece in his mouth. she did that for maybe two weeks just at lunch time before offering whatever "soft" thing they happened to be eating at lunch/dinner ...
 

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BLW is just really fun. I like the book because it gives you some good ideas for foods, but basically you can give any of your own foods except of any allergens you are avoiding. The science on allergens right now is SO contradictory though, so I didn't worry about that too much.<br><br>
Some early favorites (6-8 months) of my son:<br>
- egg yolk<br>
- buckwheat pancakes<br>
- little cubes of grass fed butter<br>
- blueberries (some people wait on berries, but he always stole mine)<br>
- he'd never eat avocado straight, but he loves guacamole dipped homemade tortilla chips<br>
- spicy thai noodles (flat rice noodles, eggs, tofu or chicken, thai basil and chili paste and other spices)<br>
- any soups I made (especially butternut squash)<br>
- pretty much any meat in a long piece to suck/gnaw on (steak, chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.)<br>
- mashed potatoes to eat with his hands<br>
- any dinner I cooked. favorite to date is honey mustard cornflake chicken nuggets (yuuummmm homemade), white rice and greenbeans<br><br>
He REALLY likes foods that have spice/flavor, doesn't care for plain foods much.<br><br>
After 8 months his eating really picked up and I let him lead this. By 9-10 months I would put food in front of him 3 times a day while I ate and he could choose how much and when to eat. Then he was really liking plain yogurt mixed with banana, applesauce, string cheese, roasted veggies, almond butter and apple butter sandwiches (whole wheat sourdough toast is his favorite), any kind of pancake/waffle,french toast (so my job is to PACK it with nutrients), yogurt/frozen fruit/fresh spinach/flax oil smoothies, LOVES kale chips (wash and cut into pieces, wet hands with olive oil and touch kale to lightly coat, sprinkle with salt and bake on cookie sheet until crispy... 10 minutes? at 350)...etc.<br><br>
BLW is really easy and no stress and it's fun to watch them try so many new things.
 

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My kids have never liked baby food and I thought they would love my homemade purees-not!. I just cut up whatever the family is having into little tiny pea-ish sized pieces. If they want to feed themselves so be it. I don't think I will even bother to get any baby stuff for my newest. Oh and I always tell DH to not make food spicy when first feeding baby. You would think that wouldn't have to be said, but my DH loves spicy and thinks jalapenos simply add flavor.
 

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Our son will be 10 months old tomorrow, and we've used what I guess could be called a mixed approach to feeding. We have never used jarred baby food (or any purees (unless you count occasional apple sauce)). For the most part, we give him baby-size pieces of food on his high chair tray and let him feed himself. Obviously, we don't give him things that could be choking hazards, but we feed him things like baked sweet potato, peas, beans (mashed/cut in half), banana pieces, peeled grape pieces, tofu, cheese, bits of bread, other soft/cooked veggies, cooked rice, hummus, bits of meat, Cheerios, etc. etc. He started trying veggies/fruits at 5.5-6 months (but did not show much interest beyond tasting until around 8 months). We waited until about 7-8 months to give him grains, until ~8 months for tofu/meat, and until 9 months to give dairy. While we mostly let him feed himself, we have spoon (or finger) fed him at times (examples: giving him mashed up banana the first few times he had it, feeding him when we are out and it would be an inconvenient time for him to get messy, feeding him something very runny like yogurt). Sometimes he would seem to prefer that we put the food in his mouth (would lean forward with an open mouth rather than reach for food when we try to hand it to him), but this is less frequent now. That said, he would/will often grab at the spoon, we sometimes load the spoon then hand it to him, and we always watch for his cues regarding whether he is full or wants more (he is pretty clear about this!).<br><br>
We did not follow one particular book or approach, but rather tried to follow our son's lead and also do what seemed simplest/most "natural" (I mean in a go-with-the-flow sense). Good luck!
 

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We didn't do purees or "babyfood" with my daughter (now 3.5), and we're not offering them to our youngest (now 8.5 months), either.<br><br>
My youngest started showing a lot of interest in food at about 5 months--"chewing" with us while we ate was the biggest one, but of course she was also grabbing, et cetera. She was sitting up independently, had two teeth, and was VERY interested, so I decided to let her begin "playing" with some food occasionally when we were eating. Avocado, diced into very small pieces, was the first thing I offered. She played more than she ate--while she could pick the pieces up, she usually dropped/lost them before she got them into her mouth. She was interested, though, and tasted the avocado off her fingers.<br><br>
Now, almost 4 months later, she's tried a lot of different foods, but where nutrition is concerned, I would still consider her exclusively breastfeeding. But she experiments and plays with foods now, and tastes them--they just aren't an appreciable part of her diet. I don't offer her food at every meal--mostly just when she's "asking" for it (if she's happy *not* to participate, I usually don't offer).<br><br>
With my 3.5 year old, we waited longer--until 8-9 months--to even introduce anything. She was beginning to "actually" eat solids around 12 months. I expect it will be similar with this baby.
 

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When dd was 6 months old, I decided to give her a *try* at her first solids. I took a very ripe banana and mashed with my fork and gave it to her on my finger. No spoon, no processed baby food, just a try of food. Well, she pushed it right back. So I didn't offer for a week or so and would periodicaly try. And she balked. But I didn't sweat it because she was breastfed and healthy.<br><br>
Around 8 1/2 months, when she perfected her pincer grasp she picked up that smudge of banana off her high chair and LOVED it. She wouldn't take anything by spoon, she wanted to feed herself. So I just gave her food about the size of a cherrio and she picked it up, and ate and ate and ate. It was so easy!! I gave her bits of avocado, banana, and other foods she could pick up. I never bought a single jar of baby food AND I never made my own baby food with her either. I just gave her bits and pieces of food off of my own plate. It was so easy.<br><br>
She finally did let me help her eat by spoon things that *must* be eaten by spoon like yogurt and oatmeal around a year. She's a healthy and a great eater at 5 years old. I did NOT take this approach with my first child. I was more persistent in making him eat, and fed him by spoon. He's now my picky 8 year old, although he IS getting better. I am now pregnant and will definitely be taking the more laid back approach with this babe that I took with my second child!
 
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