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Thread: Baby led solids, anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Baby led solids, anyone?

    My son will be 6 months old soon, so I'm starting to think about solids and how I want to introduce them. We won't be starting right away as we're about to move to a new town--I don't want to wonder what the problem is, stress or new foods. But I'm a researcher in personality, so I have to read about stuff for a while before I do it.

    Does any of you do baby-led solids? By this I mean, letting LO eat his own "bites" of food from a whole piece of table food (for example, a whole banana or a big chunk of avocado).

    If so, how did you decide to try this? Have you stuck to it? Do you ever feed purees, too? Does your LO have trouble with gagging (or, more likely, do you have trouble with your LO's gagging)?

    Experiences, stories, advice are all welcome.

    Thanks in advance!
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    DISCLAIMER: I copied and pasted my old thread from starting baby led solids because I'm too muddle headed to actually remember how it went. James is 11 months old now and will eat ANYTHING! Mainly crud he finds on the floor

    ...We started James (7 months old tomorrow) with steamed sweet potato at just over 5.5 months and I too had (initially) read about the french fry shaped presentation. To me, that didn't make sense. I thought anything soft we gave him was going to be smooshed to pieces if it was that small and he'd never get it into his mouth to even taste. On another site, I read about offering baby fist sized chunks and that seemed more sensible to me, so we went with that.

    What a let down. He was more interested in the plate. He did taste the food but the plate remained a bigger draw and I don't think he ate even a molecule!

    Attempt #2: About a week later, we tried him with a chunk of banana...it was like trying to grab a bar of soap for him, much too slippery! When he did corner it, his far from delicate grasp squished it to pulp. So we got another chunk, a good 4 inches long, still in the skin and peeled back 3/4 of an inch of the peel and trimmed it with scissors. While this method was definitely better for him to grasp and he tasted it a few times, he still wasn't overly enamored with this whole eating lark. Lesson learned...don't try BLS with a slightly grumpy tired baby.

    BTW, if anyone has a fool proof method of removing banana stainsl, I'm all ears

    Attempt #3: A week or so after that (we were in no hurry) we gave him a quarter of a pear (sliced lengthways, unpeeled) in his new high chair. He was VERY impressed to the point the next day's diaper actually had little lumps of pear

    Here he is chowing down...





    Since then, he's had apple (raw, unpeeled, slightly smaller than quartered lengthways), steamed green beans (enjoyed but just removes the inside, outside too tough), more banana (now loves it), peach (slimy and difficult to hold but tastes good), broccoli (loved it surprisingly)



    butternut squash (completely disinterested), avacado (LOVES IT). There are probably one or two others but I'm old and sleep deprived so my memory's failing me. One problem we do encounter is, while feeing him only organic foods, they tend to be seasonal (or frozen unsuitable mush) so he may have to wait to try some fruit/veggies.

    What we have found though is it's lots of fun. Even when he manages to gum (and two teeth) off a big chunk and gag on it, it's so short lived and we are enthusiastic and positive in our encouragement of him when his works it to the front of his mouth and spits it out, that James loves his forays into food now.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jewelsf View Post
    2. When did you start offering your child solids, and how did you come about the decision that he or she was ready to begin exploration of solid foods?
    We decided to start him on solids for the reasons that you're noticing...he was hugely curious about food and eating in his presence had become like having a poorly trained dog He was watching every forkful from plate to mouth and back again and grabbing. He was also sitting unaided and had great hand control.

    The best of luck when you guys get there and my top tips would be:

    Baby fist sized chunks work really well as do chunky long pieces.

    A high chair is a must (for us anyway) it means you can just plonk the food directly on the tray and let him have at it.

    Banana stains permanently

    Don't try and feed a tired baby.

    Be competent and confident about being able to deal with choking, although it has to be said, everything I've read about BLS is true. When James bites off a big chunk, he gags momentarily and his tongue wiggles around like a demented snake working it to the front of his mouth...and he succeeds every time and spits it out!

    There must be more but this is long enough already!

    ADDITION: Here's a month or so old update on how he thrived. He's not fat, just insulated (he's been fat since a couple of weeks after he was born):


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    5,036

    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    You can check out this thread to see my journey through BLS. http://forums.lalecheleague.org/showthread.php?t=49124

    Basically, the start-up was a little scary, but within a week or so, she was a pro and now at about 6 weeks in, there is very little she does not eat. As of tonight she is no longer vegetarian; she had her first chicken.

    Canteloupe, honey dew melon and watermelon were great first foods in addition to baked sweet potato, banana (yes, it stains terribly!) and avocado. Already I've forgotten so much, so please read through that thread.

    Tofu is a big hit with both my little ones. Frozen peas are a big hit right now. She's eating whole wheat bunnies and a lot of other stuff. She has even had peanut butter twice.

    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    I always cut things up small for them to eat.
    like the size of thier little finger.

    the only thing I ground up was meats that were too hard to cut with a knife.

    their little tummy is about the size of their fist so they realy cann't eat much food.
    so a small serving of what ever we were eating was fine.

    we don't have food allergies in our family if we did I would be much more careful at how I introduced foods.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,160

    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    We've done BLS and it's been a lot of fun. Basically the baby is in charge of feeding him/herself and you don't force purees on them. All of the info you find on the web says to cut into 'fry shaped' pieces. We started out that way but for some reason my son always thought food shaped like fries was a toy.

    Once I started cutting up his food he ate it up a lot better. It's a lot of touch and go- one day seems like they will try everything then the next they will throw it all on the floor or play with it. You have to have a lot of patience for BLS.

    Don't expect your child to really eat much for a while- mine has finally started swallowing some food around 10 months but it's not consistent quite yet.

    Do follow the allergy guidelines and offer the same food for 3 days before moving on. (no dairy, soy, fish, wheat, chocolate, sweets...) Some good first foods are of course banana, avocado, and some even use turkey as a first food. Really whatever floats your boat on that one.

    You just have to find what works for your particular LO. Every baby is different- some like mushy foods, some like crispy foods, some like it shaped like peas... some like it shaped in bigger pieces. BLS is LOT of trial and error.

    HTH and enjoy this milestone with your child.
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    I did BLS from the start. I decided based on the research and I never peeled, cooked or pureed anything. We believe the research. Which says that not only can a child be trusted to deal with stuff they get into their own mouths, but also that your are more likely to have actual choking issues if you spoon feed or break up bites of things and put them in your child's mouth because then YOU and not your child is making the decision.

    We did however alway but into french fry shaped pieces. Yes there was some gagging and some puking. These are nature's defenses against actual choking. It's important to remember that choking and gagging are not the same thing.

    My son was eating 3 solids meals a day and two snacks by his 1st B-day. He is a great eater and it save me much in the way of pressure and time.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2,538

    Question Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    How do you handle BLS with a lo who spends days with a caregiver out side the home?

    we have a SAHM who watches my lo and she is very supportive of BF and such, she's also super nice... anyway i had hoped to do BLS, my lo will be 6 mo in 1 week and we are giving him his first meal this weekend.
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    1,864

    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    We started when he was 6 months old, with avocado. He wasn't terribly taken with it, but LOVED it mashed with banana and breast milk. We did some purees (applesauce and prunes), and he loved baby oatmeal. He's almost 13 months old now and eats a wide variety of things (he had spaghetti for the first time last night). There are times he prefers for us to feed him with a spoon, and we do. It's not a big deal; whatever works for you is exactly right!

    As far as giving him food, we just cut it and put it on his high-chair tray. Then he either ate it or didn't. When we give him yogurt or applesauce we give it to him and give him utensils. He usually uses his fingers, but he tries out the utensils, and sometimes hands them to us to feed him. Gagging happens, and it can be unnerving, but it's never been a big problem.

    Whatever you decide to do, have fun!! It's a lot of fun to see them learning and trying new foods, whether you do BLS or not.
    Last edited by Thomas's Mum; April 23rd, 2008 at 08:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    8,272

    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lidarln View Post
    How do you handle BLS with a lo who spends days with a caregiver out side the home?
    We did BLS from the start. We started after DS turned 6 mo and took it slow. At the beginning we only did new foods on the weekends and only did solids once a day (usually in the afternoon / evening).

    It took DS a while to decide he really wanted to eat. Lots of exploring and putting food in his own mouth, but not alot of actual eating until he was more like 8 or 8.5 mo old.

    We didn't send ANY solids with DS to day care until he was more like 9 or 9.5 mo old. I only sent foods that I was confident that DS had "mastered" - things I knew he liked to eat and was good at eating by himself. We saved all new foods for when he was at home with us. The day care providers thought I was totally nuts and kept pestering me about when I was going to send in jars for DS. I just kept patiently saying we're not doing jars with DS - he self feeds. They were really skeptical - until I finally sent in foods and they saw how well DS did at feeding himself and the variety of things he was eating.

    My take on it is that the care providers are working for me - so even though they may not agree with doing BLS or never seen it before, they are to follow my instructions. If needed - put things in writing with your care provider.
    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)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
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    Default Re: Baby led solids, anyone?

    Thanks so much, everyone. My DH and I are really excited about doing things this way. I'm enjoying the stories, tips and photos. Keep 'em comin'!!
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

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