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Old 09-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
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Tell me about BLW

So DD is 5 months and we're planning on trying to start solids at 6 months or so. I've never heard of baby led weaning until I checked out this board, but I'm really intrigued.

What is it exactly? Do you never give pureed foods? I'm so nervous about choking. Any book or website recommendations? Thanks!!

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Old 09-29-2011, 09:23 AM   #2
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Re: Tell me about BLW

I have the same questions. My LO is 4.5 months, so it's not too long for us, either.

If you don't mind me adding a few questions, since I think it fits into this thread...

My doctor said to introduce foods one at a time and wait three days inbetween in case there is a reaction. Does this really not matter? If your child has a reaction, how will you know what it is?

Also, DH and I are vegetarians and plan on raising our children as such. We aren't the healthiest of eaters, so if we do this, I suppose it will force us to eat a bit healthier. Do you all make meals for the family from scratch every night? We often have things like tacos (with soy "meat"), frozen pizza, soy "chicken" nuggets, and we eat out a lot. Probably things we wouldn't want our baby eating. We both work, though, so it's hard to find time to cook. Is anyone else in this boat? Has this forced you to eat healthier? Would you still give your LO soy "meat" or frozen pizza, just because you're eating it?

I hope I'm not hijacking. I thought these questions fit the threat well, so I didn't want to start a new one.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: Tell me about BLW

DD is 8 mos and we've done BLW since 5.5 mos, so while I think it's great we are still in the process... maybe take this with a grain of salt.
The idea is that baby food and purees are not necessary for babies around 6 mos, since they can sit up, grab the food, and get it to their mouths on their own. Also, spoon feeding the "normal" way might mean you are giving solids to a baby that's just not developmentally ready for them, for whatever reason. BLW is also supposed to make kids "better," more adventurous eaters and reduce mealtime battles later on (we'll see about that).
If you are seriously considering BLW I would recommend that you pick up a copy of Gil Rapley's book as it goes into the science/history behind baby food, gagging vs choking, etc. Some people have said that the BLW cookbook is even better but I haven't read that.
Long story short - hand baby a piece of food and see what they do with it. If they eat/gnaw/suck on it, great. If not, that's okay too. It's a much more gradual approach. DD started at 5.5 mos with frozen cucumber and banana - they were supposed to be for teething, but we realized she was eating stuff pretty quickly (o how I miss ebf poo). 2.5 mos later, we have lots of fun introducing her to new foods. In the past week she has eaten:
fruits - chunked apples, pears, peaches, etc
veg - green beans, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, peas, avocado, to name a few
beef stew which I had made in the crockpot - big hit, sent leftovers with her to daycare and they were AMAZED.
She enjoys sushi (california rolls) and kimchi (korean style spicy fermented cabbage), black beans, and hummus - all things that babies wouldn't typically be "allowed" to eat, or expected to enjoy. We allow her to explore on her own, eating if she chooses, and she constantly surprises us with what she enjoys.
No purees or baby food necessary - not even the crackery things. She does eat cheerios but so do lots of adults :grin: For example, one afternoon my parents took us out to lunch. I got a lunch that included salad bar and I just held my plate in front of her (so she didn't launch it at other diners) and let her pick. She ate black beans, mushrooms, hardboiled egg, etc. No little jars to bring along, I didn't have to ignore my food while spooning stuff into her mouth, etc. She had a blast.
Re: waiting to introduce, definitely a good idea if you suspect allergies will be an issue. But we have just charged ahead, with the idea that we will cut off all solids and be more careful if she shows allergic tendencies (did have to cut out bananas and rice crackers for constipation reasons). Most peds still recommend waiting 3-4 days between introductions but I just smiled and nodded at that part.
Our ped said that after 6 mos, just don't give baby honey or obvious choking hazards (whole nuts, hot dogs, popcorn etc). Aside from that, she said, "have fun. This whole nonsense of delaying foods doesn't prevent allergies, it just means you don't FIND OUT about the allergy until the kids is 2 years old. Fish, eggs, meat, dairy - all fine. Just no honey or obvious choking hazards."
I generally give her bits of whatever I'm eating, also partly because at this point, if i eat in front of her without sharing she gets REALLY mad Now if I was eating McDonalds, I would maybe slice her an apple, but if we're eating homemade hamburgers? She gets a baby burger, cooked well done.
I definitely do not make elaborate meals from scratch every night, sometimes I just share toast and fruit with the baby before she goes to bed. Then DH and I break out the ice cream
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: Tell me about BLW

Ok we fed DS BLW style starting at about 5.5 months, I am also vegetarian and we are raising DS veggy so I can answer some of your questions.

First I never bought any books I used common sense and the internet We watched for the signs DS was ready for food, siitting unassisted, a good pincher grasp and no tongue thrust, and started to offer foods. We started with Avocado, it was not a hit, I think he still had a little tongue thrust, we waited 3-4 days and offered banana, he wasn't sure on the texture, then we started to offer other foods one at a time. In pieces he could hold and bite/suck pieces off of. He ate all types of fruits and vegetables. Some we cooked some we offered rare. We did feel comfortable occasionally offering applesauce, soup and yogurt, by spoon. It wasn't that we were against purees I just didn't see the point. The idea is very modern and just not neccessary.

As we got through more and more foods, I started to offer DS food from our plates, sometimes I would clean off some of the spices if I thought it was going to be too much, like curry off a potato. But mostly we just started to offer what we ate more and more.

I believe partially thanks to BLW DS is a very adventrous eater even at 2. He likes to try new things and has had little issue with choking or gagging since he was just starting. He rarely gets specialty foods cooked just for him, unless what we are having is just too far out, but more and more he eats the same thing we are, which I love. I also love how much more convient and money saving BLW is. I bought fruit for DS, we never bought baby food or snacks, the real thing just seems easier and better.
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