Baby Led Weaning!

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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  Cadiva on Thu May 07, 2009 1:03 am

There's not a vast amount more I can add on the positive sides of BLW but I will just try and explain a bit about the choking/gagging reflex. A baby's gagging reflex is much closer to the front of their mouths than it is in an adult (it also slowly goes back to this over time which is why a lot of elderly people find eating harder as they age, the gag point moves further into the front of the mouth than to the windpipe and esophagus).

Allowing a baby (from six months old) to place food into their own mouths allows them to learn where their gag point is and a lot of people mix up this gagging with choking. In a normal baby the food won't have reached anywhere near the back of their throat before they gag and spit it out. My son James at 14 months will still now occasionally gag and cough to get out food that he either has decided he doesn't like once it's in his mouth or when he's shoved something like a carrot stick straight to the back of his mouth.

With BLW you can still give purees, there's nothing to say it's wrong, and with James that's what I did. He had a mixture of textures, tastes, food types etc but at every meal, even if it was a mushy one, I always gave him something to eat himself.

Gail Rapley's book explains things a lot better than I can do but the basic premise is that if your child can get it into their own mouths using their own hands/fingers, they are far less likely to choke than if you are putting something into their mouths for them. Part of the theory is that this is how a lot of people would have parented/fed their children in years gone by, they would have eaten the same food as everyone else in the family and would have been given chopped up bits at the age when they could start feeding themselves.

Fab load of information can be found here Baby Led Weaning

PS I still love Annabel Karmel's recipes and we still use those extensively as well as BLW.
PPS: Henri when I make mini pizza for James using pitta bread, I use my own chopped up tomato puree with no added salt or sugar Wink
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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  phoenix on Thu May 07, 2009 1:14 am

Henri wrote:I think mushroom has just basically outlined another of my main huge concerns with BLW. I worry that it's code in a lot of cases for 'giving children really age inappropriate food'

Hi Henri,

Not at all. BLW babies should be eating the same as the family meals but only when the family is eating suitably baby-friendly food. At first you wean with single items, like roasted butternut squash "chips" - chip shapes, not chips/fries. Later you can combine foods, the same as you would with traditional weaning. Home-made foods like spag bol or whatever are great, but a frozen microwave meal, not so much.

We don't eat huge amounts of junk food but on the days that we did get takeout I could easily fudge a meal from the fridge - a slice of chicken, a square of cheese, some veggies, a breadstick etc. (I managed to completely turn my baby off broccoli and cucumber, though, since we used it ALL the time lmao).

Oh and I have to admit - at first I did take a portion of, say, chili out for the baby before adding the spices, and would pick cooked onions out of food, it took me a while to be comfortable enough to just dish up a portion of exactly what we had. Even so, blw was easier and better for us than purees.

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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  mad_hatter252 on Fri May 08, 2009 6:56 pm

Hi I had never heard of BLW when i was having DS.

I think it sounds great but my main concerns would be if they were receiving enough vitimins and different nutrients. If you are giving a baby whole bits of food what if they don't like some of them or a lot of them?

The puree i used to make DS was always varied and packed with different types of veg, so even if he didnt like butternut squash or sweet potato i could 'diguise' it when making his puree with other veg in there which you couldnt do with BLW.

I would also imagine BLW to be quite limited until say age 1 on the stuff you can and would be able to give them easily. I definitely would not be giving my 6mth old a slice of pizza or chips.

We eat things like pasta veggie bakes and lasange which would be hard to give them? and i doubt a 6mth old would be able to chew there way through a slice of roast beef on a sunday.
I did used to give DS whole stuff but to supplement his puree which is what i think most parents do so i doubt theres much difference really.
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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  phoenix on Fri May 08, 2009 7:11 pm

Gah! Would you puree pizza and chips to give to your weaning baby? No? BLW babies don't eat that either! I didn't give my puree-weaned babies roast beef at six months either lol. (Actually, my BLW baby ate meat a lot earlier than the other two).

Whatever you puree, you can roast or steam instead. There is a huge range of stuff you can offer, the limit is your own imagination. The ONLY difference in BLW and puree is the presentation - it's the same food! With one child I might puree the pear, with another I simply peeled it and handed it over. They still both ate the pear!

As for the nutrients - at the very early stage babies (whichever method of weaning you choose) get most nutrients from their milk, so you have several months to assess how you are weaning and notice that - ok, she ate a lot of veggies today but yesterday she ate a lot of cheese so it balanced out. You just have to offer enough variety to ensure they eat sufficient for their needs.

truce?

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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  phoenix on Fri May 08, 2009 7:12 pm

Oh! And yes - pasta bakes and lasagne are PERFECT BLW foods Smile My youngest still eats lots of pasta, lol.

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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  mad_hatter252 on Fri May 08, 2009 10:24 pm

Lol at Peace i wasn't causing a war just airing my preconceptions of my concerns to BLW I'm sure it's great for some babies.

What sort of things would you take with you for their meals when your out?
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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  Moomin76 on Fri May 08, 2009 10:31 pm

The beauty of BLW is that you don't need to take anything out with you - there will almost always be something on a normal restaurant menu that you can share with your lo. As Phoenix said, pasta is a great BLW food, so are vegetables. My lo was always a big salad fan (and I'm not!) so I'd pass my tomatoes and cucumber to her. I'd give her bits off my plate that she could handle.

The array of foods which you can offer even to a young baby is vast. Being able to share our meals with my dd right from the get go is probably the biggest advantage of BLW for me. I work full-time and so sitting down as a family to a meal at the end of the day is extremely important to me. Preparing two different meals was never going to work for me when we're short on time in the evenings.
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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  EeeGee on Fri May 08, 2009 10:39 pm

Moomin76 wrote:Being able to share our meals with my dd right from the get go is probably the biggest advantage of BLW for me.
This is what appeals to me too.

This time around I have a toddler and no time to prepare all the purees like I did last time. Except evenings really, but that's mine and DH's "us" time, so I don't really want to spend that cooking, steaming, pureeing and freezing. It'll be lovely for me and my two daughters to all sit down together at mealtimes Smile

PS: Thank you all for the lovely feedback, this is sooooo helpful to me!
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Re: Baby Led Weaning!

Post  beadyeye on Fri May 08, 2009 11:09 pm

I never knew what this was until I had DD2. DD1 was weaned very early (9 weeks) due to reflux and having a huge appetite ( I did this under medical advice). I now know that DS was BLW but that was his choice, he wasnt a very hurgry baby and when it came time to wean him he didnt want the purees he wanted what we where having so he was accidental BLW. I discovered what BLW was with DD2 and I would have liked to have went down this route with her but she was another early weaner due to reflux (again with medical advice).

Some babies will BLW and other wont. DD2 is now strarting to eat finger foods but I still have to spoon feed her which I quiet enjoy doing but there are times when I feel that it is a bit of a chore. Since DD2 was big enough to go in her high chair for meals she has been at the table with us and eats at the same time as us. i have forgotten what a hot meals is like LOL
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