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Thread: baby-led weaning snafu

  1. #1
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    Default baby-led weaning snafu

    My daughter is 6.5 months old and we've just started experimenting with solids. The BLW approach really appeals to me, but it hasn't been going so well. When we eat dinner, often there is just nothing on our plates that I want to offer her at this stage. Or, like last night, we were eating broccoli and she became fixated on it. So I held out a small piece and let her suck on it, and then I pulled off a few of the tiny little leaves from the end of the broccoli piece and let her eat them off my finger. She loved this. I wouldn't normally offer her broccoli in any quantity as one of her first foods but she was loving it so I thought this small amount was OK. Well, about 5 minutes later she vomited. She has only spit up after nursing about 5 times in her life so that was kind of a surprise. I felt TERRIBLE. Was this just a totally inappropriate food to be offering her?

    Other times, like when I'm cooking in the kitchen, I've tried putting a finger-shaped piece of ripe pear or some tiny pieces of banana on her high chair try for her to lick and suck on. That worked OK. Or once I gave her some small pieces of smooshed winter squash and she kind of smeared it around her face and she liked that.

    But oftentimes, she's ready for bedtime basically from the time we walk in the door (she is in daycare full time), so we'll do bed before my husband and I even think about food. So it seems like frequently we don't get around to offering her solids.

    I've also made a couple of purees and frozen them--squash and sweet potato so far. This is really simple because I can just thaw out a piece. When I've fed them to her, I put a small amount on my finger or on a spoon and hold it out and let her grab the handle of the spoon and guide it into her mouth. She really seems to like this. I've been sending these to daycare with her the last couple of days also and they are giving her some cereal (rice or oatmeal) plus whatever puree I send (so far I've sent squash, sweet potato and some pears, all that I cooked and pureed in a food mill).

    I should say I LOVE her daycare teachers, and it's a very progressive school and they are happy to follow my lead on everything. When she develops more of a mastery of finger foods, you bet I'll be sending finger foods for her. But for now, I don't see how anything but purees would work at daycare.

    Should I even be sending the purees to daycare? I know she's ready for solids and she seems to like what I've given her so far (well her belly didn't like the broccoli) so I feel bad when we don't seem to get around to it much during the week. Maybe it's just a matter of us figuring out how to adapt our grocery shopping/meal planning habits to this new adventure?

    I guess I'm feeling a little lost here--when I try to practice BLW with her, I feel like I'm doing it all wrong and not getting it, but when I give her purees, I feel like a failure because I know the downsides of all that.

    I know that under one, solids are for fun, etc. So maybe I'm overthinking.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    You're over thinking. It's definitely not failing at BLW to offer purees sometimes. If that's what works at daycare, do that. I actually might try send more purees and ask them not to give her cereal (since it's basically just filler and there's little nutritional value to it).

    I think you're being too hard on yourself. It sounds like your BLW experience has been going pretty typically. They don't eat much to begin with, it's a crapshoot what they like and don't like. Just keep trying different things and you'll hit on a routine. Don't stress about it.

    As for the vomiting, my guess is that she got those tiny balls from the broccoli stuck in her throat and it made her gag.

    ETA:One tip I'd give you is don't feel like you have to give tiny pieces. It's actually better to give big pieces of food with 'handles' so they can hold on to it and suck on it without the whole thing going down their throat and choking them. So brocolli is fine, but give her a big enough piece that she can hold it herself and decide for herself how much of it she wants to put in her mouth. Cut the pear into long french fry sized pieces, split the banana in thirds lengthwise and let her have a whole long piece, cut a sweet potato (again) into long french fry shaped pieces and bake them and let her hold and suck on one. Things like that.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    I think you're overthinking. It's what moms do best, after all.

    Baby-led solids works really well for some babies. Purees work really well for others. And you can do a combination of BLS and purees. Iif that third option is what work for you, it's not a failure! It's the best of both worlds.

    Don't worry about the broccoli thing. Broccoli is a totally appropriate food for a young baby. When my kids were around 9-10 months old, I would give them a large stalk and let them gnaw the end off. They loved it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    Thanks! Both of you. I think you may be right, I think that the little broccoli particles might have made her gag and vomit. She was kind of gagging on it right before it happened and I wasn't worried about her choking because the little leaves were so tiny but I think they did tickle her throat quite a bit. I feel less bad about that now.

    I will try giving her bigger pieces of things that she can hold on to. I was a little concerned with the pear about choking because when she was working on it, a piece broke off in her mouth and it looked like something she could choke on. It was pretty ripe and soft but just kind of crumbly. I think a third of a banana could work really well, though, because it will get more smooshed up as she sucks/gnaws on it rather than crumble, if that makes sense. I'll try that next.

    Are cheerios OK at this stage? I'm not thinking of them as something so wonderfully nutritious, but I did put a couple of them on her tray over the weekend (carefully supervised) and she seemed to really enjoy concentrating on using her fingers to pick them up. But I wasn't sure if I should wait on that for another couple of months or not.

    Thanks for all this help. This encouragement is just what I needed, really!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    I had a hard time strictly doing BLW too. Effectively, we did purees until she was 7 months, then did a mix of finger foods and purees and now she won't tae purees or anything of a spoon except yogurt. I am not so sure that strict BLW is really the way to go, largely because of the amount of sodium in our foods and also the fact that everything is mixed to a certain degree when it comes from adult plates. So if food allergies are a concern at all, it may not be wise. What I often did was make food that was centered on her being able to eat it. If that didn't really work, I'd either take a little food for her out of the pan/pot/oven before adding salt, or I would use some of the individual ingredients and just give them to her (ex: I'd make butternut squash soup for my husband and I and she'd just have chunks of squash since she won't take things off a spoon anyway!) Now that she is older (10 months) she gets many things off my plate and she is much more able to handle them. Cheerios are certainly ok to help with pincer grasp! I give my daughter Purely Os by Cascade Organics as they have no added sugar and fewer ingredients in general/no wheat.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    We did fairly strict BLW with no purees and never had any problems with high sodium. I just didn't make high sodium foods. And like you figured out, you can pull bits and pieces out for baby before finishing the meal for the rest of the family. I didn't find it to be all that much more work. Like anything else, you take what works for you and your family and let the rest go.
    Last edited by @llli*still.here; December 12th, 2012 at 01:45 PM.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*still.here View Post
    We did fairly strict BLW with no purees and never had any problems with high sodium. I just didn't make high sodium foods. And like you figured out, you can pull bits and pieces out for baby before finishing the meal for the rest of the family. I didn't find it to be all that much more work.
    Likewise.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    I gave her the banana this morning in her high chair in the kitchen while I was getting her bottles and my lunch ready for work. She loved gnawing on it. I think that was a great way for her to learn about the taste and texture of a banana! Thanks for the tip. It worked really well. I will try larger pieces like that in the future.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    Glad it worked and happy to hear she enjoyed it!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  10. #10
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    Default Re: baby-led weaning snafu

    Actually gagging and vomiting are both parts of the BLS experience and are NOT cause for alarm. These are both self defense mechinisms that babies have in place to NOT CHOKE. If a child isn't ready for a solid and at 6months most babies are NOT ready to swallow food, it's NORMAL for them to either push it back out of their mouth with their tongues or if it get into their throat, throw up. This ensures the baby won't choke. So don't feel alarmed about that and don't stop just because that happens. My sons 1st favorite food was watermelon. He loved it and tried to swallow it several times before he was ready. It always came back up.

    Way too lazy for formula

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