Introduction of Solids: Baby Led Weaning

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Cooking, FUN TIMES, Health and Fitness, LIFE, New Mom Experience, PHOTO

I am so excited to be writing this post.

Other food posts:

Toddler Mealtime | Vegetable Soup | Baby Solids: What we cook  | Baby Solids Gear

Baby Led Weaning ( BLW) has been one of the most fun, relatively stress-free experiences so far, if I can say so, being only over a month into it. But I feel like it’s only going to get better from now on.

{high chair is by Boon Inc}

First of all, for those who are unfamiliar with the term Baby Led Weaning, it has nothing to do with stopping breastfeeding the way the word “weaning” is in American English. I believe the name took roots in Britain where weaning simply means “introduction of solids”. However, introduction of solids does spell out an EVENTUAL weaning from the breast, hence the name.

{Just fyi, as of right now I am planning on breastfeeding for as long as Alexis wants it and I can manage, with two years being the goal on my part}

I first learned about BLW on one of the blogs I used to read when I was pregnant ( can’t remember which one, otherwise I’d give a huge shoutout to it for introducing the concept into my world). The idea seemed… well… unconventional, interesting and the arguments FOR it made sense to me immediately.

Instead of giving purees, you basically let your child explore, play with and eat real whole foods or finger foods so that small hands could easily pick it up. According to the book, 6 months old babies ( as long as they are truly ready for solids, which is a good guide to go by, even for pureeing  parents) are perfectly capable of and very interested in feeding themselves. They want to copy you, they want to explore new tastes and textures and they can do it pretty sufficiently.

My first reaction was “Won’t she choke?” Other than that, it seemed like a really cool concept. I held off making a decision until closer to 5 months. At that point, I was still intrigued by the idea, but I figured in order to do it right, I had to get all the information. So I bought the BLW book on my nook and started reading while rocking Lexi to sleep. When I was done reading, I COULD NOT WAIT to get started. At 5.5 months, Alexis has completed the checklist of “readiness”, but I was waiting till 6 months anyways.

That was until one morning when she was a week or two short of 6 months, while sitting in my lap, she reached out, TORE a peach out of my hands and bit into it. She had been interested in our food for a while, and reaching out to try and grab it, but this whole “I’m gonna take your peach and bite into it, and then chew it” made me realize it might be time to start slowly sharing food with her. Every time we’d let her eat, she’d go for it with so much gusto, it was contageous!

At first it was all done while sitting in one of our laps, which was pretty difficult. One of us had to be holding her and catching food, while the other eats. It was not the family affair in the way I had hoped it would be. A lot of food ended up on the floor because we just couldn’t catch it with our one free hand.

Then the high chair arrived, which made our life 10 times easier and a whole lot of fun.

Before her teeth popped out, it was pretty stress free. All she’d do is gum on both hard and soft foods, getting the juice or the soft parts of fruits and vegetables out. She enjoyed it quite a lot too.

Then the teeth came out and the biting started. This is where I started doubting the whole “let her eat grown up food” bit under the pressure of my husband ( who didn’t read the book, therefore was freaked out by the idea of her choking). She would bite off bigger pieces that she couldn’t manage so well yet and then start coughing. This would send Andrew into panic mode, telling me to grab food out of her mouth and “never give to her again”. It’s not that I wasn’t a bit freaked either, but the book covers this specific topic of choking and gagging and coughing very well and I was prepared for it a little more.

To quickly explain, according to the book, coughing and gagging is a completely normal natural response to simply having food in their mouths at that age. In adults the trigger for “choking”, and hence coughing from it, is in the back of a person’s throat. For infants of 6 months, though, that trigger is in the middle of their tongue. So when they bite a piece that is a little too big, they start coughing as if they are choking before they even had a chance to move the piece back into the actual “danger zone”. During these beginning months, they learn to bite proper size pieces, not stuff their mouths, chew, swallow, move the food around in their mouth, which, apparently, are all very complex movements. By the time that the coughing trigger moves back where it belongs ( nine months if I am not mistaken), an infant who has been fed non-pureed foods has learned to handle foods safely enough to be able to chew them up, or spit them out if the bite is too big. This way, most babies who were BLW’ed don’t ever need their food cut up in small pieces for them (except for choking hazards like grapes, cherries etc), and they enjoy family meals from an early age, because you feed them what you are eating ( with some modifications in the very beginning).

So while I know the rationalizations for why it’s completely normal for babies to cough/gag, it’s still scary at times.

Luckily in the last week or so, she seems to have gotten the hang of manipulating food  and she hasn’t coughed or gagged once. At the same time, we also try to avoid foods that could be hard to deal with. A few things that didn’t work out  in the beginning were baked potato strips, because they were too hard on the edges and she kept biting pieces off. I’ve stayed away from bread or crackers for the same reason. Anything that seem like it could get stuck in her throat, I am very careful with regardless.

As far as other foods, we won’t be doing meat or dairy, since we don’t eat that ourselves. I am not keen on introducing her to soy yet. We aren’t holding off on anything out of fears of allergy ( no family history, pedi told to go full steam ahead), though. Out of animal products, I think we will do eggs and fish, though I am waiting a little bit since there are still plenty of fruits and vegetables to introduce.  Obviously, no salt (except for in very small amounts in restaurant food- I check their sodium content online), no honey.  We are holding off on tomatoes and onions because they seem to give her reflux through my milk when I eat them ( and then also gave me heartburn when I was pregnant). We’ve made soups: split pea, spicy chickpea and squash, letting her grab the spoon and attempt to put it in her mouth herself. It took a few days of utter mess but she finally got the hang of it and will put a pre-loaded spoon into her mouth the right side up and in.

I have to say that Alexis was REALLY good at handling food from the very beginning. From the day I realized she was ready, she’s been grabbing and picking up foods like a pro, very surprisingly so. And she is getting better at it, the more she does it. She mimics us and makes the chewing motion. Or squashes the softer foods in her hand and then puts them into her mouth.

The following are the stages that she’s gone through while doing BLW:

{these are not official stages, just the ones I’ve noticed her go through}

Week 1: Eager to grab food and put it in her mouth. Eats with pleasure and interest

Week 2: Lots of gagging as she learns not to bite off more than she can chew (literally)

Week 3-4: The appearance of object permanence. She would pick up her food,  bring her hand outside of the highchair, and release the food. Then she would lean over to see where it went. Rinse and repeat. At that point very little ended up in her mouth, if any.

Week 5: Shake, shake, shake, shake it! Arms flying everywhere, plates and food follows. She picks up her food, starts shaking it and then drops. Or windshield-wipes everything off of the tray in an excited motion.

Week 6: Squishing stage. Everything we put on her tray goes through the “squish test“. She tries to squish the food as hard as she can, then eats what’s left in her palm. Strawberries crumble, cucumbers don’t, which causes her to try and squash them even more. {see below: 2nd row, 1st pic on the left )

{From top left: Damage after a strawberry fight, drinking out of a glass in a restaurant, eating split pea soup at CPK, having more strawberry fun, eating veggies at Bonefish Grill, Guacomole Hummus make up}

Week 7: Eating again using the “squish”, pincer grasp or conventional methods. No gagging, lots of chewing and spitting large pieces out. She’s really gotten the hang of it. Not well enough to let her eat anything, but good enough that most soft and hard finger sized foods are completely manageable.

We don’t give her juice or water on regular basis since she is breastfed, though she loves drinking out of a cup and adores water. I let her drink out of my cup whenever she sees me drinking but it’s usually once or twice a week, no more.

The following are the foods she’s tried and she loves everything, partially because she determines what to eat or not and how much, but the stared items are the her favorites:

Cucumber*, zuccinni*, squash*, sweet potatoes, strawberries*, peaches*, plums*, apples, kiwi*, bananas, pears, avocado*, potatoes, mushrooms,  raddish*, eggplant,chickpeas (mashed), split pea soup*, brocolli soup*, brocolli, red* and green pepper, avocado hummus*, mango, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries ( cut in small pieces), grapes (cut in small pieces), carrots, and more.

We also tried this amazing recipe for Avocado Pear Popsicle from Pinterest. I loooooved the taste of it, but Lexi was completely freaked by the cold. She didn’t get the concept of holding it by the stick and kept trying to grab it with her hands. I think I’ll give it a few weeks and try it again. But it was still a lot of fun watching her reaction.

Things I love about  BLW:

  • No stressing over intake. She eats- great, she doesn’t – that’s fine, too.
  • Letting the baby control the portion and size
  • No pureeing, minimal work
  • Eating together as a family
  • Letting her explore and have fun
  • Being able to eat almost anything at a restaurant
  • Very laid back in approach and attitude to solids.

Things that I don’t like:

  • Choking fear
  • Lack of studies/research ( the biggest issue I had with the book is the use of the words “anecdotal evidence suggests…”. I would have liked to see studies, but I realize this is more of a lifestyle choice than a “BLW vs puree battle” that would necessitate studies and proof)

I was always intrigued by BLW, but it wasn’t until I saw that Alexis was ready that the decision to go the BLW route  solidified. It really helped reading the book. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone about to introduce solids, regardless of whether you want to feed purees or go the BLW route. It has a lot of great ideas on how babies should be fed, how to avoid food struggles & unhealthy relationship with food, etc. Like I said, the book lacked backing by studies, but it made so much sense that it was almost negligible ( aside from the annoying “anectodal evidence suggests…”).  I think it’s more of a lifestyle choice, like I said previously. BLW might appeal to some people and others might totally freak at the idea. It IS messy, no doubt about it, and there’s food waste. I know the book tried to downplay that aspect, but the truth  is that’s just how BLW is. And depending on how good your baby with manipulating food, it can make your uneasy sometimes. If those two things don’t bother you, then it’s an awesome way of introducing food to your baby. Really a lot of fun for both baby and mama. At this point, I can’t even imagine having to puree something ( I do puree soups, but that’s it).

 

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Comments (68)

  • Verna

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    We’re doing a somewhat modified version of BLW this time and I love it!! The gagging freaked me out at first but she quickly got over it and now she hardly has any problems at all! She’s a great eater and loves all veggies!! I wish we would have done this with Garrett.

    Reply

  • Pixi

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    We’re BLW, too. Our son is only a few weeks older than Alexis, so a lot of your experiences ring really true for us, too. Q’s favorite foods of all times so far is squash (roasted with a little cinnamon) and pears. In lieu of crackers, etc., we do give him rusks. They’re very minimally processed and they give us something easy to hand him at restaurants if he’s gunning for my bread, etc.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      How does he do with crackers? I’m just worried that it’s such dry food and so easy to choke on? I’d love to give her some once in a while.

      Reply

      • LeAnne

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        we gave rusks at first too – they dissolve much more quickly than a regular cracker. You could also start with a softer cracker like a town house – I think we waited for wheat thin style crackers until about 10 months or so.

        Reply

          • Anne

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            Mum mum are another option. Thy have an organic version.
            After my daughter rejected purees (texture maybe) I started doing BLW. My pediatrician, in fact, suggested me to do it. Since then my daughter started to eat, and it was easier for me just to give her the same we eat (including dairy and meat as we are not vegetarians). The only things we waited to introduce after the year was honey, seafood (including fish), peanut butter and eggs.

            Reply

  • Josey

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    We LOVE BLW so much as well, and it’s fun to see other bloggers writing about it more and more. We started at exactly six months and now at nine months, there is rarely a piece of food on the floor – she eats everything on her plate and more!! It’s amazing how much food she gets down, and since I pump when I’m at work 4 days/week, I’m also noticing how much less she is nursing during the day (based on how much supply is going down – I get maybe 6 oz instead of 12oz from 9-6 now). The grandparents were a little freaked out by the concept (as were many of our friends who came over for dinners), but they are all pretty much converted and amazed now b/c they see how much Stella loves it and how great she is at eating really anything!

    At any rate, thanks for a great post on this. I tried to explain BLW a bit on my blog as well, though not as extensively as you, so it’s nice to have a resource to point the doubters to. :)

    Ps – we have never really had to worry about choking with Stella. There was gagging here and there, yes, but if you watched closely, you realized it was gagging so that she could move the food to the front of her mouth, not choking, and that is a huge difference.

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    Very cool post, this info will be so much fun for Lexi to look back on! I was wondering how you are approaching the 4-7 day rule? That’s a lot of food to be introduced in a month and a lOt of mixtures, if she has a reaction to something how will you know which food it was? We don’t follow the 4-7 day guideline extremely strictly, if baby wants to try my food I usually give him some but try to keep track as much as possible. Also, I want to recommend the book super baby food by Ruth yaron. So many fun recipes for toddlers and good info for anyone starting with purées. I completely agree with you as far as the benefits blw can have as far as setting up positive associations with food and family meal time, we were considering doing it ourselves but feeding LO starchy foods has been a blessing for him since his reflux was so bad so the amount he intakes is important to us right now. Once again, love the post thanks for covering it and im glad it’s going to well!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      You know I don’t really do the 4-7 days. I don’t believe BLW concept lends itself to doing it. If we had ANY family history of allergies I’d be more concerned. Luckily, she’s had no reactions so far.
      It’s so easy to jump to conclusions too. Like she had strawberries for the first time and 2 days later got a rash on her trunk. I instantly jumped to STRAWBERRIES! Though in the back of my mind I knew that a reaction “usually” shows up right away and she’d have a rash on her face too. Then my husband reminded me that we had run out of our favorite lavanila lotion and used a different one on exactly the parts where she broke out.
      Voila!
      We’ve given her strawberries since then and sure enough it wasn’t them.

      Also an interesting concept is introduced by BLW. A lot of times babies won’t eat foods they are moderately to highly allergic to. So by doing BLW, and letting the baby feed herself you might avoid foods that are allergens for her.

      Reply

      • Amanda

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        Very interesting! I totally believe that’s possible, avocados always grossed me out ( which is seriously the only food the idea of has ever repulsed me) finally tried eating them and it turns out to also be the only food I’m allergic to lol. Odds are good she won’t be allergic to anything and you probably pay close attention so I’m sure all is well just didn’t know the blw approach to the rule.

        Reply

  • Rachell @Adventures of a Wee Brandon Lee

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    Do you think there is any advantage/disadvantage to doing a combination of both purée and BLW? With my son being in daycare while I work I don’t think they would be very open to the BLW concept but I would love to try it at home with him. He isn’t showing any interest in food yet so I don’t see us doing this soon but was wondering if heard/knew of anyone doing both?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      The book actually touches on that. I dont remember what it said exactly but I’m sure it’s possible and people have done it. The only issue i would see is the fact that babies eat differently when it comes to purees vs whole food. Purees get sucked up to the back of their mouths, food gets chewed in the front. So they would probably be confused at first? Maybe try doing chunkier purees?

      I’d recommend you read the book and see what works! It’s all trial and error for us mommies!

      Reply

      • K

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        I love BLW! We had some troubles though. We started at 6 months and DS was a pro. He was eating everything. Then at like 7.5 months he stopped. He would scream and scream (he was getting 6 teeth). They finally all came in after 6 weeks, but he had refused to eat solids that entire time and I think he was scared they were going to hurt. We went to his 9 month appointment and the Dr. stressed solids since DS is super small (He had dropped weight percentile signifigantly). We tried purees for one week to get him to realize food was okay (and not painful) and then he was back to eating table food. Now he eats like a pro at 10.5 months. And he eats EVERYTHING.

        I don’t think BLW caused his weight drop or anything but it was really hard to just trust that he would pick up eating again on his own, and as you can see I eventually gave him purees for a small time period. But, at least it worked and I still really love BLW and plan to do it with our next kid, who hopefully won’t get 6 teeth at once!

        Reply

    • Camille

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      We did a mixture with our daughter and never had a problem. (But we started solids a bit later, she wasn’t interested until 7 and a half months or so.)

      Reply

  • Jessica

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    Sounds like you all are having a lot of fun with solids! We do a mix of BWL, finger foods, and a few purees, and our little girl also loves to eat all kinds of fun food(her favorite things are, randomly, eggplant, black beans, and squash). And wonderfully, so far (at eights months), she hasn’t been a thrower of food (knock on wood). She tends to be pretty delicate with eating, amazingly, and we rarely have to give her a bath after. I know this might be quick to change, though, ha! One of my favorite videos is my daughter at 4 months, GRABBING my water glass in a restaurant with both hands, lifting it up, and taking a big sip! She loves to drink water, it’s like the biggest treat ever, it’s a riot.
    If you don’t want to do crackers or bread, but want to try some grains, we’ve had a LOT of luck with plain, whole grain puffed cereal (like this: http://www.kashi.com/products/kashi_puffs_origina or this: http://www.arrowheadmills.com/product/puffed-kamut%C2%AE-cereall)which is very minimally processed, organic, and small enough that there are no choking worries (and great for working on that pincer grasp!) and great to take out on trips (I find it’s a good alternative to Cheerios).
    If you’re looking for more books on feeding, this is a great one: http://www.amazon.com/Child-Mine-Feeding-Love-Sense/dp/0923521518 I know that since you had some experience in modeling, you probably saw a lot of girls with eating disorders – I know that since I’m raising a daughter as well I spend a lot of time worrying about the balance between encouraging healthy eating and not encouraging disordered eating – this book is a WONDERFUL resource for that, how to get your baby/toddler/kid to eat healthy, diverse foods without giving them a complex about food or eating.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Your suggestions are always so helpful!
      What about giving her cereal with almond milk? You think that would work?

      Lexi has been going crazy over water! It’s so much fun to watch her drink out of a bottle.

      I’ll check out the book.

      Oh btw, black beans- how do you serve them for her?

      Reply

      • Jessica

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        Oh, I don’t use milk with the cereal – I just give it to her dry, on the table. One of my new “tricks” is to stick her in her highchair and put out a bunch dry cereal and organic peas and it buys me SO much time while I cook in the kitchen, since she has to carefully pick up each little piece and get it to her mouth! She will work and work for ages until she’s eaten every little bit on the table that she can reach. :)
        With the black beans I cook dry organic bean beans overnight in the crockpot with just water (I would never give her any canned food (soup or beans, for example) because they have SO much sodium) which is no work at all, and the next day I give them to her warm, either by themselves, or with a little bit of spices (a tiny bit of cumin or paprika) and avocado with lime juice mixed in, a version of “Mexican” food for babies if you will. Next I’m going to try the same mixture with some well cooked green bell pepper and mango (a sort of mango/black bean baby “salsa”!). I can see Mexican, Asian and Indian dishes working really well for baby meals, since they are so veggie-heavy.
        I also like the beans because I’m trying to give her more protein, rather than so much fiber with all the fruits and veggies. I know you all don’t do dairy, but our girl LOVES the local, organic plain full-fat Greek yogurt I’ve been giving her, and fermented food is so good for you. Beans would be a good protein-rich source that is vegan (we’ve also been giving her homemade hummus on homemade bread strips, and it is a BIG hit as well).

        Reply

      • Megan

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        One of Vivien’s favorites has always been black beans. I buy the organic from a can, and soak them for a few hours to get the nasty syrup off, then I give them to her and put the rest in a tupperware. Vivien also loves crackers- I give her saltines when we are in a restaurant so keep her busy. She also loves Mum Mums. I started cereal @ 4 months, and purees at 6mo at the recommendations of my pedi to bump her weight up. But now that she’s 10 months, we’ve basically been doing BLW because I’ll give her slices of fruits, etc. Last night she ate spaghetti.
        Love the pics, such a fun time!

        Reply

  • Audra Fry

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    I so wish I would have read the BLW book. I decided not to go that route with our now 9-month old because of the choking fear, and now seeing that the book addresses that makes me mad. Oh well. She is now completely on finger foods, and does great at it, but I am certain that she could have done it from the get-go. Maybe next time!

    Reply

  • LeAnne

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    We did BLW and it worked great for our son. I tried purees first but he never liked them – he is not the kind of kid who will sit still and be spoon fed! My husband also freaked a little at first, but now he agrees now that it was a great choice. Also, I think it encourages children to try lots of different kinds of food and prevents picky eaters. My kid will eat anything you give him! And, if you are using BLW and you child rejects a food, I found that if we wait a week and try again he may very well decide he likes it, so don’t think because they reject something once, they will never eat it. I also find it fascinating what he chooses to eat – for one meal he will eat mostly carbs, then another meal he wants more dairy or meat, then later he will stuff his face with veggies – it isn’t like an adult getting rounded meals. From what I have read, that is fine, all that matters is that they get a good variety by the end of the week. As far as the mess – you really need a dog 😉

    Reply

  • Erica Castillo @Mi Todo

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    haha I didn’t know there was an actual term for this. I’ve been letting Eva handle fruits and veggies ever since she started reaching for mine.

    Reply

  • Irina

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    I wonder how BLW works for those parents who do not stay home with the baby. My daughter is in day care 5 days a week and it is unrealistic to expect the daycare staff to do the BLW with her. at home we do a combination,but I really only have time to do this over the weekend (that is when I introduce new items). does the book give any tips on this? So far all the positive comments I read on blogs come from the situations when one of the parents stays at home to take care of the baby.

    Reply

    • Anne

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      Our DC has a BLW approach too. They give the babies (6 months +) similar food to the rest of the children unless you specify the contrary. My daughter learnt to use the spoon there

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    • Meegs

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      Our daycare was actually fine with BLW. Just talk them through it and see what they say!

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    • Josey

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      I am not a SAHM and we do BLW. My daycare provider doesn’t seem to mind at all. I send with tupperware with pre-cut pieces of food for her to give Stella, and I’d say if takes her LESS time to feed Stella than the other children b/c she doesn’t have to spoon feed her each bite.

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    • LeAnne

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      We were the first to ask our daycare to do BLW (and cloth diapers!) and they have been great. They tried every food I sent, and if there was something that made them uncomfortable, they just skipped it. I always had some extra non perishable snacks in his cubby in case they wanted another option. I think there were maybe 2 things they didn’t want to give him, but otherwise they were great. You just have to keep the communication going and address any concerns with plans I think :)

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    • Me

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      You only have time to hand your child pieces of food from your plate over the weekend?

      Reply

  • Pretty_Petunia

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    You mention that there isn’t a lot of research around BLW, but I don’t know that there’s a hell of a lot of scientific research that supports feeding babies purees either, I think it’s just one of those things that evolved and has now been capitalised on by the baby food industry so has become the norm.

    With my son, I did BLW but introduced foods that I knew to be less likely to cause any kind of allergy to start with (pear, potato, rice etc) which negated the waiting time, and avoided things like strawberries, kiwi fruit, citrus etc until later on, which worked well. He also didn’t have any dairy until he was over 12 months old.

    I made my own rusks using gluten/dairy free organic bread which I baked slowly for a couple of hours in the oven, then stored them in a jar. There was no issue with choking because they turn out pretty hard, and the can’t actually bit anything off, it’s more a ‘soaking off’ process using salvia (mmm!). I just cut slices of bread into strips, baked, and voila, cheap and you know what’s in them!

    Reply

  • R

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    Just wanted to say that if that’s a raw carrot I would be extremely careful. We did BLW with my son as well and finally just started allowing him to have raw carrots at 2 years old since I had heard they are dangerous, and what do you know? A few weeks later he choked so bad on one that he turned blue and ended up vomitting. It took over a minute (seems like not long but in that moment it seems like an hour!) for him to cough and choke/vomit it up. Scariest moment of my life! Just wanted to let you know so you could be extra careful.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Yes! Thank you! Someone already brought to my attention that carrots are dangerous in the previous post, so I won’t be giving them anymore unless I steam them.

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      • tarynkay

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        Is the no raw carrots thing just b/c of the choking hazard? I’ve been giving our son full-sized raw carrots to teeth on. He just gnaws around them and hasn’t tried to bite off chunks, but he’s definitely eating tiny pieces of raw carrot. Is that unsafe, do you think?

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I think they are referring to baby carrots. I’ve never seen anywhere that the could be a problem and Lexi handled them really well but it’s better be safe.

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          • Me

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            Carrots in general. I remember being 5 and almost dying from a carrot that got suck in the back of my throat. They just don’t break up well in the mouth and flakes of carrot stick to the tongue.It’s sometimes more the inability to catch their breath after a panicked choking episode. Steamed or cooked carrots only, and if people do make their own purees it is recommended that you do not use the cooking water in the blender as it has high concentrations of nitrates.

            Reply

  • brooke

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    So- you were very diligent in publishing your weight gain and determined to lose it quickly- did you? and how?d
    and, when are you planning for #2?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Ohhhkay, that’s a bit off topic, but I’ll go with it, :)

      I’m 4 lbs over my pre pregnancy weight at this point and have been since about 3 months PP. I have done zilch for my weight loss and unless I start working out with Lexi (it’s too hot for her right now to go jogging), I probably won’t lose the last 4. I’m ok with my weight, I just really need to tone up BADLY!
      No plans for number 2 as of yet.

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      • Corinne

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        That last 4 lbs may very well be the weight gain in your chest. 2 lbs per boob. I have 3-5 lbs that are sticking around too and I fully believe that’s what it is.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          That’s possible! There’s no doubt, though, that I am not even close to as thin as I was before pregnancy. I need to tone and work out and get back to my healthy lifestyle before I had Lexi. Only then will I have the body like I did pre-pregnancy.

          Reply

  • Ana kharlam

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    Sadly the only 3 people that I knew that did blw for longer than 3 mos, all ended up with kids diagnosed with failure to thrive and extremely picky since they were spoiled to choose what they want to eat instead of the parents doing their homework and offering nutritious meals.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I honestly don’t believe that. Unless the parents didn’t do it right.
      You don’t ask babies what they want to eat- you make the food you think is appropriate and varied and they choose how much of it to eat.
      In any case for the first year, solids dont make up even 1/3 of calories needed. It’s all BM or formula.

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      • Melissa Whittaker

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        Yes, this. Those parents weren’t doing it correctly if they weren’t choosing nutritious options. You don’t let the baby have free reign in the fridge, you make the foods and let them decide how much to eat. If you’re taking them to McDonalds (don’t get me wrong here, I love me some McDonalds) and saying you’re doing BLW and the baby doesn’t thrive, it isn’t BLW’s fault, it’s yours for picking crappy foods.

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    • Josey

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      Seriously?! I don’t believe this either. Breastmilk calories are still by far the majority of my daughter’s calories, and after 3+ months of BLW, she has jumped from the 60% to 90% in weight (20#+ at 9 months). Not exactly failure to thrive.

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    • lara

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      I absolutely cannot believe that for the life of me. This is, in fact, one of the most [edited out] comments I’ve ever read. It makes no logical sense at all. We’ve done BLW since my daughter was 5.5 months, and she is absolutely thriving and will eat absolutely anything. BLW doesn’t mean that the baby is going to the pantry and picking out Twinkies. I still make the meals. For dinner today, we had salmon and peas/carrots. Yes, she chooses what of that prepared meal she wants to eat and how much she wants to eat, but nothing about what you said makes any sense in any way.

      Not to mention that for the first year of their life, even after starting BLW, the child is still getting the majority of nutrition from breast milk or formula. Food is for fun and learning for that first year. And by the time they are a year old and solids become their primary source of nutrition, both babies that did the traditional puree route and babies that did BLW are doing mostly table foods.

      I’m sorry, I keep reading this comment and shaking my head at the [edited out].

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      • lara

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        (This is in reply to Ana)

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      • lara

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        Didn’t I just say “idiotic” and “idiocy”? Why were those edited out?

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Yes, you did and I prefer that there’s no name calling on my blog even when we disagree with other people. Nothing personal, Lara! 😉 Just don’t want negativity here.

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    • Anne

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      Dont agree with this. They don’t choose what to eat, they eat what they are served.

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  • Melissa

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    your husband sounds just like me… i am FREAKED out of babies and choking! And I know it’s irrational, and that gagging is totally normal and not the same as choking, and all that good stuff, but i still just can’t get over it… so we do a little bit of both (purees and finger foods), and it works for us. maybe some day i’ll get over the fear of my children choking… maybe. :)

    oh and the popsicle pictures? priceless.

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  • ElleJay

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    I would LOVE to try BLW if I have another baby. I haven’t researched it at all, but I feel like if I had done it with my (now almost 3 year old) guy he wouldn’t be so picky with foods. He basically lives off of bananas and mac and cheese. & that’s interesting about babies avoiding foods that they are allergic to with BLW, I wonder how that works? My son wasn’t allergic to fish and had eaten it up until about a year ago when he suddenly became allergic (no family history of the allergy). I wonder if we had done BLW with him what would have happened…

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I don’t think BLW prevents allergies. But it’s just that babies naturally stay away from smth they might be allergic to (according to BLW)

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    • Pixie

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      Allergies can sometimes take time to develop. The person may not have a reaction or just a small reaction the first time and it will intensify every time the food or allergen is introduce. BLW wouldn’t have helped any. It sucks that he is allergic to fish because they put it in the oddest things sometimes.
      And I think that certain kids are just more finicky than others despite BLW. i have a nephew that was BLW and a great eater but turned into a finicky eater.:/ Never know with kids!!!!!!:)

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      • ElleJay

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        I’ve noticed that too, something contained fish or fish oil and it was totally random that you wouldn’t think it would be in, & he ate some and was totally fine.

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  • kris

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    I would give her water with every meal now. Not a lot, but a few sips. Helps head off any constipation that is caused by the new foods. A couple ounces will not interfere with the BFing relationship. Just my two cents from experience.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thanks, Kris!

      They actually recommend water supplementation for formula fed infants only. For breastfed infants, the best hydration and constipation prevention is on-cue breastfeeding.

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    • Cleo

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      I agree with Kris about the water I have to say. I was (still is!) an avid baby-led weaning fan with my almost-2 year old son who is still breastfed to this day. So big fan of breastfeeding too, like yourself. When we first started with BLW, I still believed in the no-water rule and my son ended up with intestinal blockage, necessitating a visit to the ER after 2 days of ZERO appetite and losing 4lbs in 2 days. And all he had was a few mouthfuls of watermelon and banana!

      After beginning with solids, our babies need a little bit of water each day to help move things along their digestive system and to help their kidneys get rid of the additional sodium consumed. As you would probably know, breastmilk has a good amount of sodium in it and once you add other sources of sodium to their diet through fruits and vegetables and seasonings, they need a little bit of help with some good ol’ H2O. We were in a tropical country with hot, humid weather all year round and the water was great to help with the hydration. Note also that at that time, I was still breastfeeding every 2-3 hours round the clock but like I mentioned, water is actually important part of their diet with solids. I’m not saying a litre a day. More like an ounce or two in a cup throughout the day, a few sips with each meal.

      BTW, BLW rocks. My little boy eats EVERYTHING and ANYTHING we put in front of him without a fuss, and will choose fresh vegetables and fruits over anything else all the time. So you’re doing a wonderful thing for Lexi :)

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      • Cleo

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        Oh and I wanted to say that I have access through a library database to a number of scientific studies and articles that focuses on BLW and its relationship with obesity and health and such so if you really want to read scientific stuff to back up BLW, I could send them to you. Just saying 😉 I’m a nerd for research too.

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      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        Hmmm, that’s interesting! I guess I’ll have to look into it a bit more. She does breastfeed every hour or so and I watch her pee color for signs of dehydration, but her BM has slowed down lately. Thanks for the tip!

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  • Camille

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    We did BLW with our daughter, love it! The only bad part for us was all the people freaking out telling us she was going to choke and die.

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  • Krysta

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    OMG gorgeous photos and such a beautiful baby!!! I just found your blog and love it!

    I have a feature on my blog about baby led weaning, maybe you’d like to check it out…

    afairytalecomesalive.blogspot.com

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  • Clare

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    I love your BLW post! We’ve been doing it for two months now and all think its the best thing ever. Our daughter is pretty sure of what she wants so I was eager to avoid mealtime battles which it totally does. Sometimes she eats, other times she feeds the dog!

    We also have the Boon high chair which is a godsend, especially with BLW. I can’t imagine cleaning one of the oldstyle ones down after a good spaghetti soaking!

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  • Elena

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    Hmm, so because of the choking hazard it’s too late to introduce BLW at the age of 10 month?.. :(

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  • Marissa

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    My daughter and I love BLW! She will eat almost any food that you give her. It is amazing!

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