Re: Curious about Baby Led Solids
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.
What are the benefits of BLS?
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.
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 a well known thing?
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...
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?
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.
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."
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)
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.
Are most pediatricians knowledgeable/supportive of this?
Great! Watch for the following signs of readiness:
I want to start when Connor is interested I think. I don't want to deny him if he wants to explore.
- 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.
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.
There is no history of food allergies, so that is not SO much of a concern.
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.
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.
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