Moms that have done baby led solids

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My daughter is just over 7 months old. She doesn't have any teeth yet. I was unsure of how to start solids until the lactation consultant in my mom's department gave me an article by LLL on baby led solids. I loved the idea. It just made sense to me. At our 6 month appointment our (breastfeeding friendly) pediatrician was not very supportive of it. She told me horror storries of children that had to be fed by tubes because they rejected solids. Although she added that this is rare. My husband asked if we could try something so I offered some banana. She squished it in her fingers and that was about it. She got a very small taste and didn't seem to like it. Tonight we tried again. She wouldn't put any in her mouth so my husband put a tiny piece in and she gagged and made horrible noises. It scared my husband even though she wasn't choking. He thinks she should be on some sort of solid food even though she is still growing great and seems satisfied on breastmilk. I guess what I'm looking for here is your story on baby led solids so that I know I'm not going to harm her by starting solids when she's ready to pick them up and feed herself. How did your baby respond to eating solids the first time? Did they automatically take to solids or did you have to offer for several weeks after they showed all the signs of readiness?

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Courtney - posted on 12/23/2009

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Did it with both my kids. I followed a program called Baby Led Weaning that is popular in Europe. I simply would give my kids steamed veggies and fruits that were cut into large pieces while we ate our meals or large pieces of soft bread, meat etc that they couldn't possibly fit all in their mouth so they didn't choke on it.. If they ate some great if they didn't no biggie. They loved trees of broccoli and I gave that raw, steamed carrots. Neither child really ate much until they were about 8-9 months old though. Neither one got purees. I did try the pureed food with my first because everyone said you had to, but he hated it and let me know that so I stopped and never tried them with my daughter. My kids are n ow 2 and 4 years old and are wonderful eaters when my oldest isn't having a power struggle with his father that is. He still eats just about everything, but him and daddy have been have power issues lately and my son uses dinner time to really do that :(

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone. I've been trained in infant CPR although the gagging will probably always freak my husband out. I just wanted to make sure it was ok to wait because I don't personally know any babies who started solids this way.

[deleted account]

I am a huge fan of BLW! We started my son on solids at 6 months with purees and I soon noticed a problem. He wasn't letting me know when he had had enough. He would just keep opening his mouth for the spoon. I never fed him more than a full serving suggestion but it was still too much because he started taking less time at the breast. I didn't want my milk supply to start to decrease as I knew that breast milk (or formula) should still be the primary source of nutrition at that point and I really didn't want to give him formula. So I contacted a lactation consultant and she was the one who suggested BLW to me. Once my son was fully in control of what he was putting in his mouth, he stopped filling up on it and nursing went back to normal.
It really does feel a lot more natural. And there really is no need for purees at 6 or 7 months of age. Back in the day when people started their babies on purees at a much earlier age (2, 3, 4 months) purees made more sense. But a 6 month old is perfectly capable of feeding itself.
It's important to know that when you start BLW, gagging is almost definitely going to happen! It can be scary but it's really not a big deal . The reason it happens is not because the baby isn't ready for solids. The reason is because a baby's gag reflex is actually closer to the front of its mouth than the gag reflex of an adult. It's triggered a lot easier because of this. This helps the baby learn how to maneuver food around its mouth. Choking is often a concern but choking is actually quite rare. As long as there is sound coming from your baby, then everything is OK. It's silence that you need to be concerned about. When there's no sound, then that means that the airway is blocked and that is choking. You should never try to fish out the piece of food with your finger if your baby is gagging or choking. It could push the food further down. Here's a guide on what to do if your baby chokes...

http://www.babycenter.ca/baby/safety/cho...

My son is now a year and we have never had a choking incident. Lots of gagging in the beginning. But no choking.
Seeing your little baby gag is no fun, but once they get past that, BLW is so incredibly enjoyable! I really love how my son is right at the table with us and a part of meal time. We don't need to wait to eat our own food in order to feed him first. We all eat together as a family. Also, my son has a wonderful appetite and I can't really say whether or not BLW has anything to do with it, but he is not at all picky either.
I really can't say enough about BLW but I think I've already said plenty;) Let me know if you have any questions as I'd love to share and help out.

Rebecca - posted on 12/22/2009

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I follow baby led weaning and I love it! My daughter is now 7 1/2 months old and eats so many things and loves it. You have to do it when your baby is ready. If they are not grabbing at things you are eating and trying to put it in her mouth then she is probably not ready. Banan seems like a good food to give but is actually bitter so alot of babys dont really like it at first. You can offer things like toast crusts, apple slices or really any fruits (leave the skin on so it wont break apart), meats (you cook them how your would eat it then cut it into a piece about the size of your palm and let them gum/suck on it till they are done with it **steak or porkchops are really good), veggies can be cooked until soft-ish (you want them to be able to hold it without breaking) and cut into sticks. As with any foods you need to supervise baby while eating to prevent choking. Babys eating anything for the first time (purees or table foods) will gag when the food hits the back of the throat. This is normal. It is the babys way of protecting itself as they have a very sensitive gag reflex. Just allow baby to cough the food up and move it out of their mouth on their own or re-swallow the food. Never pat a baby on the back when gaging or coughing as this can make the food lodge in their throat. Just allow baby to do what they need to and assist if you deem baby is having difficultys. Have fun with it! Its really great to see your little one eating foods and not having to buy or carry around jar of "food".



Here are some really good sites:

http://babyledweaning.blogware.com/blog/...



http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/babyled...

Hannah - posted on 12/22/2009

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I am also really interested in doing baby led weaning with my second daughter.

She will pick up what we eat and have a suck and a taste of it, but doesn't really eat any of it, but at least ahe is learning to appreciate flavours and textures.

My friends baby is older, and he happily munches all sorts, even without teeth, and I am hoping that will be us someday.

I am also giving my daughter some purees too, as she likes them and without them she was feeding more than I could handle (up for hours at night, I couldn't keep that up!).



I have to say, if your daughter is showing the signs that you describe, then it seems to me she isn't ready for the idea of food. But if you keep giving her the opportunity to pick food up and try it when she wants to, then she will when she feels the time is right.



In my experience with my first daughter, they will want to eat, and if they don't there is no point trying to make them. Good Luck with the baby led weaning, I am excited about it too!

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