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Thread: Curious about Baby Led Solids

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default Curious about Baby Led Solids

    Alot of people talk about Baby Led Solids on this site, and I am very curious about it. I did read the info on this link. . . http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedseli...lw/engels.html. . . but I wanted to get some more feedback.

    My son is almost 3 months, but I want to start making a decision about when and what I want to introduce.

    I am to this for many reasons- it would be great to see him eat real food, and it seems more beneficial for his motor skills to learn to feed himself at his own pace. The thought of "forcing" him to eat really turns me off. . .and after watching my friend spoon feed her son just for him to throw it all back up, I was even more turned off (not that I think a BLS baby doesn't throw up lol). Also little kids hardly ever finish their food, so if they were eating something I also eat, I could conceivably finish it and not waste as much.

    I would like to make SOME things and freeze them in ice cubes, but I would probably buy a few purees for the harder to do ones (I hear green beans are hard).

    My questions- What are the benefits of BLS? Is it a well known thing?

    Is it realistic for a single mom who is a student? I didn't think it would be, but that link made it seem pretty chillaxed. It almost seemed easier?

    My family has probably never heard of this and might think I'm crazy. My mom assumes I'll do the rice cereal and then move on to the jars, etc. Which I might do some of. But I'm curious about this. What can I say to them? (when I'm home on breaks, etc) Are most pediatricians knowledgeable/supportive of this? I want to start when Connor is interested I think. I don't want to deny him if he wants to explore.

    There is no history of food allergies, so that is not SO much of a concern. Right now Connor mostly gets formula along with pumped milk. My breastfeeding story is in another thread (which can always use replies! lol)

    Since I'm sure the pediatrician will bring it up at his appointment in March, I want to know my stuff so I can have an informed discussion with them.

    What do y'all think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    What are the benefits of BLS?
    1. Easier. You don't have to sit there trying to get your baby to eat, fussing with a jar and a spoon. You just let him/her pick at a tray full of food and set his/her own pace. If the baby eats, great. If not, no worries! A breastfed baby doesn't actually need solids until around age 1.
    2. Cheaper. No jars of baby food to buy.
    3. Arguably healthier- the baby is allowed to determine when and how much he/she wants to eat. It's the logical continuation of breastfeeding, wherein the baby decides when and how much to eat.
    4. Fosters independence.

    Is it a well known thing?
    Here on this forum, yes. Elsewhere... Well, I don't know too many people IRL who have done it, though G-d only knows why not.

    Is it realistic for a single mom who is a student? I didn't think it would be, but that link made it seem pretty chillaxed. It almost seemed easier?
    It's so much easier than purees. Feeding a baby is work. You're always coaxing- "Open your mouth, sweetie!"- and spooning food into the baby, scraping food off the little chin, and worrying about how much the baby ate. (Is it worth putting the jar back in the fridge? Maybe the baby will eat another spoonful. Or maybe the baby ate too much- should you really have opened that second jar?) And then there's the clean up: purees spattered on the tray, floor, walls...

    Letting a baby feed himself is easy. Step 1: Put small pieces of soft food on tray. Step 2: Allow baby to self-feed. Step 3: Sweep remainder of food into the trash and wash tray.

    My family has probably never heard of this and might think I'm crazy. My mom assumes I'll do the rice cereal and then move on to the jars, etc. Which I might do some of. But I'm curious about this. What can I say to them? (when I'm home on breaks, etc)
    You're the mama now. Feel free to educate your mom about the approach you have chosen, but at the end of the day feel free to put your foot down. "My kid, my rules."

    Are most pediatricians knowledgeable/supportive of this?
    I don't think so. Most make the same assumptions as your mom, that you'll start with cereals and progress to purees. Some will question moms fairly intensively about what solids a baby is eating- "Is he eating cereal? How much cereal? How about jarred foods? How much jarred food? Etc." This is why a lot of moms just say "He's a great eater, loves his solids!" and leave it at that. There's no reason to over-explain your parenting choices.

    I want to start when Connor is interested I think. I don't want to deny him if he wants to explore.
    Great! Watch for the following signs of readiness:
    - Baby sits well without needing support
    - Baby has lost tongue-thrust reflex, and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue
    - Baby is ready and willing to chew
    - Baby has pincer grasp, and can manipulate small objects with finger and thumb. This is different from the palmar grasp, wherein baby manipulates objects using a whole hand sweeping motion.
    - Baby is eager to participate in mealtimes, and may grab for food or make mouthing motions when you are eating.

    There is no history of food allergies, so that is not SO much of a concern.
    Is there any allergy history on either side of the family? Specific food allergies are not hereditary, but the tendency for allergy is. If you or your baby's Papa are allergic to anything- pollen, animals, latex, etc.,- the chance that your baby could pop up with a food allergy are increased.

    Since I'm sure the pediatrician will bring it up at his appointment in March, I want to know my stuff so I can have an informed discussion with them.
    If you have a pediatrician who is supportive, go right ahead. If not, or if you suspect not, I suggest just keeping it to yourself. Sometimes an "unconventional" parenting choice results in a big old lecture. But remember that pediatricians are specialists in health, not in parenting. when it comes to parenting your baby, you're the one who knows more.
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    Mommal pretty much covered everything!

    See my signature for more links with info about BLS.

    I told people that we just skipped purees and went directly to finger foods. When explained that way most people get it.

    I've done BLS with both my LO and IMO way way less work than spoon feeding or making baby foods. By 13 mo baby was eating pretty much the same foods as everyone else which means I make one meal and not different meals for baby & adult.
    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
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    What great responses! It sounds very beneficial. And I really like the idea of him getting to be independent (with supervision). I think they are alot smarter than we give them credit for!

    What I don't understand is why more people don't do this? It seems cool! (And easy).

    My biggest concern is how to deal with my parents (the pedi I can deal with). They are a big part of why I can't EBF right now- watching him and giving him bottles when I could have easily nursed him, saying he is still hungry after 1 oz supplement, etc. They are WONDERFUL to us, but also haven't cared for a baby in 21 years and things seem very different now. How do I respond to questions like "is he getting enough to eat?" etc. Or I can just suck it up for the two weeks at a time I'm home for.

    And this is an embarrassing question on a breastfeeding forum, but right now he gets a good amount of formula (see other thread). Will he need more solids because of that? Are solids "better" than formula? Although who knows? Maybe by then our bfing problems will be resolved

    And thank you so much for the super informative responses

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    What I don't understand is why more people don't do this? It seems cool! (And easy).
    I think there are 2 reasons more people don't take this approach.
    1. No money to be made. Baby food companies have marketing budgets, and they're not afraid to use them!
    2. Old school recommendations about solids. Pediatricians used to really push early introduction of solids and rapid weaning from the breast. You can't accelerate the transition to solids when you're doing baby-led solids and the baby is in charge of how much he/she eats, but you can when you're spoon-feeding purees.

    My biggest concern is how to deal with my parents (the pedi I can deal with). They are a big part of why I can't EBF right now- watching him and giving him bottles when I could have easily nursed him, saying he is still hungry after 1 oz supplement, etc. They are WONDERFUL to us, but also haven't cared for a baby in 21 years and things seem very different now.
    Do you have other options for childcare? It sounds like your parents are undermining your chances of success.

    How do I respond to questions like "is he getting enough to eat?" etc.
    Birth to 6 weeks: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html
    >6 weeks: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html

    In general, the way to know if a baby is getting enough is to watch diaper output and weight gain. If they are normal, so is milk intake.

    Or I can just suck it up for the two weeks at a time I'm home for.
    I wouldn't recommend it. You're the mama now. You have to fight for your baby and your rights as a parent. It's harder when you're young, and your parents aren't yet used to accepting your authority. But draw the line now. That way you won't have to draw it in the future.

    And this is an embarrassing question on a breastfeeding forum, but right now he gets a good amount of formula (see other thread). Will he need more solids because of that? Are solids "better" than formula? Although who knows? Maybe by then our bfing problems will be resolved
    No, giving formula doesn't alter your baby's needs in terms of solids. Until a year, breastmilk or formula really will meet all your baby's needs (So says my pediatrician). And breastmilk or formula are both nutritionally superior to solids because they provide complete and balanced nutrition. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates all in one tidy package. A bowl of cereal or jar of puree will have plenty of nutritional value, but it won't provide a balanced meal.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    166

    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    Hey sorry I didn't have time to read all the responses. I just wanted to let you know we did baby led solids beginning at 11 months. But she was ready around 9 or 10 months. She's always fed herself and doesn't like to be fed by anyone. Our doc was annoyingly paranoid about it and scheduled an extra checkup but her iron levels are great and her weight is still great. Just make sure you keep your supply up and nurse on demand.

    Oh and don't even bother with people pressuring you. This is your kid.

    Last edited by @llli*lovepickles; February 5th, 2011 at 12:01 AM. Reason: error

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    Although it can be frustrating to deal with grandparents who interfere with the bfing relationship, they probably give higher quality care than a non-relative in a DCP, and are more cost-effective, and your baby is certainly benefitting from family bonds over passing the day with strangers until her parents pick her up.

    Hmm, how about giving them the nappy count checklist every day and approaching it like a problem to solve.
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html
    Click the link below if LO is older than 6wks for the older baby checklist.

    Also, every page you can think of, highlighting sections, from the index
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index.html including the link that behaviour has nothing to do with getting enough milk. The standard is checking output, which you've done above.

    Finally the LLL material that shows that breastfeeding is the #1 health contribution you can make to your child's health: immunity, brain and vision devleopment, etc. It's all under 'why breastfeed?' sections like that.

    Truth is, once LO is not in your strict purview things will happen that you wouldn't do. My crèche is good but they do things I wouldn't do. My husband even does the same. But Madeline is not harmed by this, it's normal that different people = different experiences, and I do better as a person and mother by working out of the home, so I accepted the situation.

    We started BLS at 6mos and it is my favourite 'babysitter' with Madeline sitting happily at the door to my corridor kitchen, happily feeding herself, while I put together a meal safely without her underfoot. I daresay it's been a sanity-saver.
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  8. #8
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    Just to clarify, the grandparents aren't my DCP (that would be WONDERFUL!) as I'm away going to school. But I'll be going home for spring break and Connor's 4 month appt is then. So it's temporary, but I'd like to have a very compelling argument should the pedi be pushing it.

    Is there a book you recommend? My theory is that books seem more reliable than internet things.

    And I read the German (Dutch?) website pretty thoroughly, and it said that there are less risks of choking if the baby is regulating what he is taking in. But just to be safe, is there a baby heimlich manuever? Would they teach that at an infant CPR class?

    Thanks for the responses though! I am excited about this, and excited that he will get to play and eat at the same time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    I think BLS as a theory is unusual outside this forum and similar places. I think the practice is very common with second children. Parents get less worked up about starting solids with subsequent children, and seem to often just offer appropriate table foods. At least, this is the case with the grad student parents I've talked to.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katia11 View Post
    So it's temporary, but I'd like to have a very compelling argument should the pedi be pushing it.
    I wouldn't bother arguing with the pediatrician. You'll be in and out of his/her office in what, 30 minutes or so? If the pediatrician pushes solids, just say "Okey-dokey." Spend the rest of your appointment talking about things that actually are concerns of yours, and then go home and do as you please with respect to solids.

    Arguing with your parents... Sigh. That's harder. But again, "I'm his mom, I'll do it my way, thank you!" is probably the best approach.

    Is there a book you recommend? My theory is that books seem more reliable than internet things.
    I'm not sure anyone has written the book yet! I wish they had, because then moms wouldn't have to defend themselves using arguments from the internet.

    But just to be safe, is there a baby heimlich manuever? Would they teach that at an infant CPR class?
    Yes and yes.
    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!"

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