As you can tell from the post title this is stemming off of something that was said to me either directly or indirectly. I will not take lightly to someone calling more or less to my face my informed decision to parent a certain way stupid or moronic or even dangerous, I may not agree with everything someone else does as a parent but I will not attack them for what they do that they believe is best or right for their family so do NOT treat me that way or you will possibly become a subject in my blog. There is a reason that I research things, there is a reason that I listen to my intuition and follow my mommy gut. We are designed to parent a certain way, the way that our ancestors did, the way that comes natural, not the way that society wants and think we should, their way is not always natural or good for us.
When you start bad mouthing a parenting style and saying shit about it you better be able to back it up! Saying that you have researched it and not being able to back it up means little to nothing. Shit even reading just one article about something means shit, one biased piece of writing easily ruins everything.
Baby Led Solids
So first off what is baby led solids (bls)? ~ Its mainly letting your child lead the way with foods the way that nature intended them too. In essence bls means no purees, no ice cube trays of homemade purees, no food processor to puree or baby friendly a food, no potato masher (although it can still comes in handy), no baby rice (not good for baby anyway and void practically all things healthy, will post a link below with more info and links about this), no weird fruit and veg combos (after all some just sound out of this world and gross) and NO spoons just baby hands… just you, your child and the rest of the family eating food that you enjoy together.
You offer an age appropriated baby (6+months) soft or soft-cooked table foods that are cut or slightly 'mashed' into small easy for baby to handle pieces or slices. Just sit either the cooled off cooked or raw food to baby in a bowl or on a highchair tray (never leave baby unattended and always watch for hunger cues) and let baby do the rest, you should not force baby to eat it or put any of it in babies mouth, baby is to be in 100% control leaving baby to decide when, what and how much to eat. Babies will learn to trust food and be more open to exploring different foods since they are not being forced to eat it.
Make sure baby is ready for solids ~ babies should NOT have solids before the age of 6 months (delaying solids), especially if baby is exclusively breastfeed due to that anything other then breast milk can ruin the stomach (virgin gut) of a baby leading to problems later in life.
- Baby MUST be able to sit up unassisted
- Can easily grab small items and bring them to their mouth
- Knows how to chew on said things (watch your fingers if baby has teeth!)
- Baby is constantly interested on food others are eating (not a true sign but most sites list it)
- Baby's tongue thrust (reverse swallow or immature swallow) relex is gone
Cant a baby choke on solid pieces of food? ~ Most the info and research that you will find on bls shows that the associated risk of a baby choking using this method is less then that off spoon feeding a baby. Its based on the research that a baby that is taught to eat solids with this method learns to chew sooner and thus is able to learn to move food from the back of the mouth/throat sooner and with intention to move it. A baby fed with a spoon and with purees will most likely suck the food into the back of their mouth/throat and not know how to deal with that and thus choke.
BUT gagging is part of learning to eat with both solids AND purees. Gagging is a normal response to learning this new step in eating and allows the baby to be able to move the food that they can not swallow away from the back of the mouth/throat. Gagging = normal and good, you will know when baby is gagging cause baby will not be affected much by it, maybe watery eyes. You will know when/if baby chokes, baby will panic and look scared.
Why wait till 6 months? ~ By delaying solids till at least 6 months of age you are reducing the change of your baby having food allergies. Roughly around 6 months of age (or older) a baby's tummy starts producing a protein that protects the lining of the stomach and prevents allergen from being absorbed into the body.
What about baby cereal? ~ Did you know that the iron in baby rice cereal is only 10% digestible and that the iron in breast milk is 70+% digestible? Iron fortified cereals for babies only started when formula companies could not get digestible/absorbable iron to put into their formula. One study has even linked baby cereal to diabetes.
Are purees bad? ~ Store bought baby food was 'invented' in the 1930's, although purees are not "bad" for baby think about they did before the 1930's. Most baby foods are over processed and full of preservatives, sugar, salt, etc... Purees only teach baby to swallow so when they do start eating more solid foods they want to swallow instead of chew and choking will happen making baby more afraid to eat. Also baby isn't in control and cant just stop when they are full, they wont be able to eat as much or little as they want or at their speed. Too many solids will also interfere with formula and breast milk intake which needs to be 75+% of babies diet for the first year.
What about the mess? ~ No worst then feeding a baby purees. Learning to eat is just a part of learning and the mess has never really bothered me but some tips:
- Strip baby down to only their diaper
- Use a bib (although we only used them with out first and have not used one with our second)
- Cover the floor, they sell plastic mats/covers to lay under tables and highchairs, you can also use old flooring
- Expect the mess and have fun.
That is what I know about it and have learned about it. So simple yet people tend to make it harder then it has to be. I find it so much simpler then buy and feeding with a spoon, pureeing foods and remembering if the left over in the fridge is still good or not.
BLS Photo Bomb!
you have been warned lol
~ Sources ~