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Thread: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

  1. #1

    Default Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    I know I keep posting, and I am sorry I am so confused and am not more confident about this, but I was very very excited about baby-led weaning (sounded a lot easier and made more sense than purees and spoon feeding, especially for my handsy-control freak son) but every day dh and someone else I talk to looks at me like I am crazy and says that babies dont really work like that because they need to learn how to chew and they arent ready for things and they need iron and if they were really supposed to start feeding themselves there would be something they could eat on their own with iron in it, etc etc. First of all, how much extra iron do they need? Secondly, does blw really work or am I just wishing on a star that someday he will be getting what he needs from solids instead of playing? He is starting to swallow some of the foods (he has been getting avocado lately and enjoying what he can actually get in his mouth) and not gagging on it all the time, but my hubby keeps telling me that he doesn't think it is a good idea and that it isn't scientifically based (because a lady that was a health visitor came up with it and our health visitor isn't necessarily the brightest bulb in the box). I guess part of the problem is that dh is a phd student doing research, so he is at home all day with me and baby (useful yes, but hard in other ways) so he is always around to tell me what I am doing wrong.... I am just crazy or is it all going to work out? The thing is that ds is sooo much happier feeding himself- way more interested in the food. BUt I keep getting these blank stares from hubby and family and friends who have just weaned their 11 month old on home-made purees....

    Married and sealed to Randall 12~28~2002
    Mother to William Randall 10~13~2006

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    the only thing that I ground up for my last two babies was meat and they are still alive, at 5 years old and 3 years old.
    IT's hard sometimes to go againts what the rest of the world seams to be doing. With solids there realy is no right or wrong way to do them.
    Many cultures treat the introduction of soilds in diffent ways.
    And if your hubby pushes and wants to feed baby with a spoon its not going to hurt baby. I wouldn't do it my self, too much work. Maybe when he sees that he'll get the point.

    dr sears has some good info on his web site about iron,
    the iron in breastmilk is beter absorbed then the iron in foods.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    Yep - absolutely, it's working for us.

    We started offering solids to DS when he was 6 mo old, and he didn't really "take off" with eating until he was about 8.5 mo. I think it was a combination of us finally offering foods that DS likes (he didn't like most of the typical baby first foods), and DS being developmentally ready to do a lot of self feeding and really get into eating.

    The first food that we offered that DS actually was excited about eating (I think this was at about 7.5 mo) was sweet potato. I bake (or microwave) in the skin, cool, and then scoop some onto DS's tray. It's a huge mess but he was shoving handfuls into his mouth and couldn't get enough.

    Since babies are "supposed" to start to be moving to finger foods somewhere around 9 - 10 months .... I figure it's not a big deal that we spent a couple months where we skipped purees and LO mostly played with his food. Now at 9 mo our DS is doing great with self feeding and people (including our pediatrician) are very impressed by his finger foods skills. One day it really "clicked" for our DS - he rarely gags, has good pincer grip, and good dexterity getting food into his mouth (although food still ends up on him and the floor).

    People also thought we were a little crazy, but I feel totally vindicated that DS has taken to a baby led solids approach. I did get a little bit of "you're crazy" from my mom, but apparently I was a very independent minded baby who insisted on self feeding at 8.5 mo (much to my mom's frustration) so I just kept reminding people that my DS was taking after me.

    Here's a good resource with info about vitamins and minerals in various veggies and fruits:
    http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/vita_min.htm

    If you're worried about things like iron - if your LO is ready to self feed things like cheerios (we actually give DS an organic version that doesn't have wheat), most cereals are fortified with iron, zinc, etc.

    Also - I found the baby led posts by "DJ's Mom" to be very helpful with specific tips and advice. Maybe search for some of her posts in the solids section (you can search by user name in the advanced search)?
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    2,700

    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    It's going extremely well for Peter. Last night he had halibut with us at dinner! I didn't have to do anything special for him, I just gave him some flakes from my plate. It's so easy! He's not 100% interested in eating right now, and I only give him solids once a day, usually with us at dinnertime. BLW is just so easy, and it's so nuce to give Peter something to do while we eat our dinner. No more eating one-handed! So far he's tried:
    Carrots
    Brocolli
    Sweet Potato
    Halibut
    Salmon
    Mandarin
    Pears
    Banana
    Avocado
    Black Beans
    Special K (DH )

    It's so nice for DS to be able to pick up his own food and eat at his own pace. It gives him the opportunity to really discover the different textures and flavors at his own speed. We do give pureed oatmeal every now and then too, so he'll be used to a spoon if we ever have to spoon feed him. But, I have to say that after doing 2 weeks of spoonfeeding only (before discovering blw), life is so much easier now!

    Peter gags occassionally, but has never choked. This really suprised me at first. I love blw and highly highly recommend it! Tell your DH to come on here and post his concerns and we'll respond to his worries....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    1,197

    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    I think it depends on the baby too. If you have a baby with good appetite baby-led will work because the baby will actually eat what is in front of him. For my baby it is not working (not that spoon-feeding or BF for that matter is working). When I put stuff in front of him (like little pieces of meatballs, cooked carrots, string cheese, bananas, cooked green beans, watermelon...) he takes a couple of pieces with enthusiasm and then starts playing with the food and throws it on the floor, smashes it on to the tray etc. If I let him feed himself he will end up eating lunch the size of a pea. So, if you have a baby with good appetite I think it can work and there are plenty of iron-rich foods babies can eat themselves like shredded chicken, beef....

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    What does your husband and all your friends with the blank stares think human babies did before Gerber?
    It absolutely works and if your DH really thinks about it he will understand why. It's pretty logical.
    Also there ARE plenty foods that do have iron in them. Watermelon is a GREAT one. So is spinach.
    My son is 16months old and he has never had a puree. He has gagged a few times and puked up something once. But he was eating 3 solid a day with 4-5 things in each meal by 10 months old and started using utensils regularly at 14months. It works. And long before there was processed cereal and jarred food and I'm quite sure in the scarce indigenous tribes that are left in the world it still works.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7

    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    thanks to everyone for your support and all the info. I will take a look at the info on iron... My hubby and I came to a concensus on this- we will give him the fingerfoods that we are sure he wont choke on- avocado, banana, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, etc. EVery other day we will give him something that has been suitably mashed and perhaps mixed with bm, things that I think even if they were cooked to death he would still struggle with like broccolli, carrots, asparagus, things with long fibers.... That way he can still feed himself, and we can still give him some of the foods we think he will like without worrying about him choking... there is nowrong or right way, but at least this way will cause fewer marital disputes.... atleast now he is way willng to do a lot of the feeding himself!!! :0) I guess he feels kind of bad that I kinda went nuts...

    Married and sealed to Randall 12~28~2002
    Mother to William Randall 10~13~2006

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Post Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    I'm glad that you and your DH came to an agreement about how to approach solids that you're both happy with! Sounds like a good solution.

    Looking at your signature, I'm thinking your son just recently turned 6 mo? It's a good time to start introducing solids, but there's no rush for him to be eating alot of solids yet and for some babies just don't get into eating solids until a little later.

    Since you are concerned about choking - here's a good thread to read (I also "bumped" it): http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=14604

    Our DS did alot of gagging early on, and still does occasionally when he manages to cram too much food into his mouth. Gagging can seem very dramatic, but its ok and part of the learning process of LO figuring out how to manipulate & control food in his mouth. Now he's quite good at things like eating all the soft parts of greenbeans and then spitting out the stringy parts.

    If you can take an infant CPR class and learn what to do is LO chokes (which is an obstructed airway) - I highly recommend it!
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    thanks for the bump, I have looked at that post before, I think I need to look at those links for cpr classes though. Yes, ds is 6.5 months now, and the only reason why I am interested in starting him on solids is jsut because he is so big for his age, I figure his body is going to need something a bit more substantial than bm to grow off of. But he is taking it much slower than I would have expected him to, and he doesn't show a lot of signs of being overly hungry from only being bf, and I am glad for that. I am in no hurry to wean him!!! WHen I first started him on solids I was a bit naive and stupid and gave him some chicken (bad idea) and he gagged/choked and then projectile vomited... hence the paranoia with choking...

    Married and sealed to Randall 12~28~2002
    Mother to William Randall 10~13~2006

  10. #10

    Default Re: Does baby-led weaning really work or am I crazy?

    I guess he was gagging because he was coughing the whole time but he turned really really red....

    Married and sealed to Randall 12~28~2002
    Mother to William Randall 10~13~2006

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