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Baby led weaning
Can someone please spell it out for me???

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#1 cherubcheeks

Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:33 PM


Calling for an experienced BLW mum to please shed some light on how to do this?

I have read the blog that says just hand them a lamb chop, but I am so scared of baby choking.

My LO is 6 mths old and I am very keen in allowing him to feed himself.  Can you please spell out exactly what you fed you little ones as their first foods and how did you prepare it?

Is it a chip size piece of steamed carrot?  Or little chunks??  So confused and scared of choking.


#2 Feral timtam

Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

I cut the food into pieces about the size of their fist or slightly smaller. That way they are big enough to pick up but small enough for them to manage. They are also big enough that they MUST bite bits off to swallow. I'd also offer just one or two pieces at a meal, say a broccoli floret and an asparagus spear.

I started out with over steamed vegetables, then moved on to really tender meats like chicken and slow cooked beef strips. My kids didn't get anything with bones until they were old enough to stop throwing them on the floor, but that's only because we have pets!

#3 CallMeFeral

Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:59 PM

Banana is a brilliant first food, as it's really soft naturally, and already kind of hand sized.
Also not as messy as lots of other things - you peel down about an inch of the skin (leaving an inch of banana exposed) and then cut the hanging skin off so it's flush against the side of the banana - your bub will be able to hold it by the part where the skin is on, and gnaw at the exposed bit...

#4 Pupalumps

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:14 PM


Edited by Pupalumps, 10 April 2012 - 03:29 PM.

#5 Guest_Hoggle_*

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

Yep pretty much just put food in front of them and let them pick it up and eat it

#6 cherubcheeks

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:27 PM


OK - so just hand him a banana or a good chunk of broccoli and let him bit whatever size he likes?

Just so nervous of him choking, but everyone swears by this BLW.   Will give it a go tomorrow and see how we go.

Thanks so much and please keep the suggestions coming!


#7 Rosiebird

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

What's the advantage of BLW?
How do they eat rice cereals/yoghurt etc?
Do you stew fruit like apples before offering them or do you let them gnaw on raw fruit?

#8 Green Door

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:47 PM

I have just started my 5mth old on some solids, I have been spoon feeding him, I did with my other two children also. I was always worried more food would end up on the floor then his mouth . I have never tried BLW

#9 ubermum

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:56 PM

There is many advantages to BLW. Motor skills for one. Motor skills of both the hands and the mouth are developed. Mouth motor skills are utilised in speech so getting them started early gives them an advantage.  Eating is also a learning experience when you do BLW, kids are learning about colours, textures and shapes of food. I have found a big difference between my first child who was spoon fed and my second child who was BLW. My second child is much more willing to pick up a new food on her plate, look at it, feel it and taste it. My spoonfed child is more likely to say "I don't like it" on sight. Now that they are older, my spoonfed child has improved, but this is by following my BLW child. People are always quite amazed at the variety of foods my children will eat and also how adventurous my BLW child is.

I never offered rice cereal to my BLW child, I think it tastes like crap. Instead we did roasted pieces of pumpkin, sweet potato, avocado, banana and steamed apple slices as first foods. Hard foods like carrots and apples were offered steamed to reduce the choking hazard. I did feed yogurt from a spoon, but would put a second spoon in the bowl and it wasn't long before she was self feeding.

#10 Pupalumps

Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:00 PM


Edited by Pupalumps, 10 April 2012 - 03:29 PM.

#11 Riotproof

Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 21/02/2012, 06:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's the advantage of BLW?
How do they eat rice cereals/yoghurt etc?
Do you stew fruit like apples before offering them or do you let them gnaw on raw fruit?

There are quite a lot of advantages.. but the main thing is it is a lot easier. By the time you have 8-9 month olds you can really just dish up a little of what you're having, before that you might want to use just components.. steamed carrot and cooked chicken strips for example.

Rice cereals aren't really that nutritious as far as I'm aware. For yoghurt, you give them a loaded spoon.. it doesn't take too long before they get it. My son didn't really have many spoon foods because he has dairy allergies, but when I made a concerted effort to offer him soy yoghurt often, it didn't take long for him to get it.

For harder fruits like apples, you could steam apple wedges in the microwave and cool first. I only did that for the first few months, and then I just gave him a whole apple.. sometimes starting it if necessary.

Good little article here http://www.babyledweaning.com/some-tips-to-get-you-started/

Also, banana stains suck. Only feed banana when you don't like the outfit or it's warm enough to strip off or in one of these http://www.sillybillyz.com.au/products/eat...e-baby-bib.html

Gagging is a concern at first, but there is a difference between gagging and choking. Gagging is good.

#12 bikingbubs

Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:52 PM

BLW is so much easier than pureeing everything, and its amazing to watch their skills develop too!
Just make sure everything is soft enough for them to chew, and big enough to be able to bite off but not too big so its unmanagable.
DS is a BLW baby and he is quite the handy eater these days original.gif Took him a while to get the hang of it, but there is no rush for food before the age of 1 anyway!
Dont freak out about the choking thing - their gag reflex is an amazing thing!

#13 Soontobegran

Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:06 PM

OP, weaning should not be stressful for you so whether you BLW or wean the 'old fashioned ' way your child will almost certainly be fine.
For me I didn't BLW as it wasn't 'in' back then but the fact that I made up different meals for them at first did not have a negative effect on their fine motor skills or their ability to eat a wide range of textures, tastes and sizes of foods.
By age 1 they were all proficiently eating by themselves and mainly eating what we ate but at times I made them different foods because I didn't think what we were eating was suitable.
I see all the 'advantages' of BLW that are spoken about and am perfectly fine with the concept but the fact is that most of us were not BLW and we have no issues with the ability to eat.
Try and relax and enjoy this stage of your baby's development.  Do what makes YOU comfortable.
The important thing is that your baby is sitting upright in a supported position to eat. Those gums, whether they have teeth or not can chew and that gag reflex will stop your baby choking.

#14 Lokum

Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

They get to eat nice food! If you like food, and want your baby to like food, them give them things you would enjoy.

I know kids who were fed pureed spag bol (blerrrrhhh) and pureed potato/pumpkin/zucchini. What the hell is that? No texture, no distinct tastes, blurred sense of smell and a friggin' awful colour. And it's not necessary! You could give them spag bol, or those vegies separately, roasted, boiled, steamed, stir fried etc

Why puree food? The only reason is to shovel it into the mouth of a 4 month old who's probably not ready for food anyway. Eating is developmental - your need for a wider variety of food is matched by your developmental ability to eat it. So if your kid doesn't pick up food and eat it, they're not ready and don't need it (barring SN or some developmental problems.)

People think the BLW child eats so little compared to the baby bird who gets 3 TBSp shovelled into them, but pureed food actually looks like a lot more than it is. Which you know if you stew 2 apples, or make mashed potate - one potato looks like less than one potato mashed.

Letting them eat for themselves respects the child, gives them a chance to learn and enjoy, and means they're more likely to sit up and behave in a restaurant - because they're busy eating too! They get socialised to the communal role of food.

Plus they learn portion control and the feeling of stopping when you're full. THEY decide when they're full and stop eating, instead of you pushing them to finish one more spoon of whatever goop you've got in the little pots you have to carry around.

When DS was 7-8 months old we'd take him out for lunch and  there was always something he could eat - bits of deconstructed sandwich, rice, tempura vegies, cucumber sticks and other bits of stuff from a salad - whatever we were having. He ate a whole duck drumstick in a Peking Duck restaurant aged 9 or 10 months, and could strip a chop in no time. And this was with about 4 teeth or less.

He got the fibre from all the nectarines he ate as a 6 month old, the lessons learned from biting off an appropriate sized piece, moving things around in his mouth (which helps with speech) etc. Which for me was far preferable to a pouch of gloop (pouch food is not food. Children are not invalids!) and cheaper than that commercial stuff.

He could also drink from an open cup from about that age - we used little medicine cups, then switched to expresso cups.

At 19 months old, he will eat almost as much as me when we go out for Indian - and we don't order him anything special. Same with Korean and Japanese. He's travelled in 3 different countries with quite different cuisines when I didn't have the luxury of making him something special, and he had as much fun as we did in trying new things.

He's still a toddler and some days eats nothing but peanut butter (licked thoroughly off the toast, not from a spoon, LOL) but in general, he's a happy, balanced, adventurous eater.

PLUS, as a parent, you get relaxed about food. You let them decide, and it's very liberating. You don't have to worry, or try something different, or try 500 things until they eat something. You respect their right to eat or not... and you learn to accept that they will not starve, and they will eat a balanced diet over the course of a week or month (but not every day or every meal), and they will put on weight - so there are no food battles.

Who's got time for that anyway?

#15 Soontobegran

Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE (Lokum @ 21/02/2012, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They get to eat nice food! If you like food, and want your baby to like food, them give them things you would enjoy.

Plus they learn portion control and the feeling of stopping when you're full. THEY decide when they're full and stop eating, instead of you pushing them to finish one more spoon of whatever goop you've got in the little pots you have to carry around.

I think it rather unwise to suggest that this can't happen when you wean your child the 'old fashioned ' way.
Portion control?  A non BLW'd baby stops eating when they are full too.

#16 moomin mamma

Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:41 PM

We never "spackled" the baby's mouth.  We preloaded spoons, plenty of finger food, a fork for her.  I have a video of when she was about 8 months stabbing bite sized bits of fruit and putting them into her mouth.  She ate what we ate.  Started at 6 months.  Gave her "vegie peeler shavings" too.  Bananas are great.  Made a mess, but she loves her food, and we have had the advantage of being able to eat as she eats, so it is social.  And it was great to take her out to restaurants, as she was eating at the same speed as us, and we didn't have to entertain her much.  And we just gave her what we had on our plate.  No problems!  (Though watch salt levels....)

Major problem we had, was in emergenies/when travelling, she wouldn't touch jar baby food of any sort.  8 months old, in the middle of Europe, eating sandwiches and fruit for lunch!

As for choking, I've heard (and I guess experienced) that babies have a quicker reflex and start coughing quicker.  Somehow the "choke reflex" is further forward.  As long as you are sitting along side your child, or have them parked next to you as you are preparing a meal I don't think you should worry too much.  I had her out of her chair 2-3 times and thumping on her back.  You can't keep them on liquids until they are 18 years old.

#17 blenheim

Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:48 PM

We did a bit of both and it worked just fine - DD is just over 2 and happy to eat anything (except potato - I think it's a texture thing).  DS is nearly one and prefers to feed himself finger food but is happy to have yogurt on a spoon too.

Don't stress, remember that food is for fun before one.

#18 Riotproof

Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 21/02/2012, 09:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it rather unwise to suggest that this can't happen when you wean your child the 'old fashioned ' way.
Portion control?  A non BLW'd baby stops eating when they are full too.

STBG, the idea is that they learn how to determine they are full.. it displaces some ideas of "just one more spoon" or even eating your plate before leaving the table. My parents are very mainstream and I know I had to eat everything before leaving my chair. There was some flexiblity as in since I didn't like corn, I could have more peas and etc, but I didn't have control.

Since the guidelines are now to start solids at 6 months, there is no reason why a healthy, normally developing baby cannot be started with fingerfoods straight away. If people continue to use 4 months as a starting point, then yes, I can see a purpose to pureeing food.

#19 Rosiebird

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:00 PM

I've read all the links/articles, thanks. It looks really interesting. The only problem is that DH and I usually eat spicy or highly flavoured foods most of the time eg. spicy chicken fajitas, stir-fry heef and vegies in sweet soy, enchiladas etc where the meat and vegetables are cooked altogether in a baby-unfriendly sauce. So we would have to cook separately for Imogen anyway.

It is definitely something i want to do but I'm not sure if it is going to be quite as easy in my family.

#20 Froger

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:00 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 21/02/2012, 05:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's the advantage of BLW?
How do they eat rice cereals/yoghurt etc?
Do you stew fruit like apples before offering them or do you let them gnaw on raw fruit?

The main advantage for me was that I could basically just give my babies the same food as what I was eating. No, I didn't give rice cereal or yoghurt. I just gave them normal food from the beginning, including raw fruit. Obviously I wouldn't be giving a baby cakes, ice cream, chips etc - just normal healthy food (we don't generally eat stuff like cakes and things anyway). I found that my babies were remarkably good at eating for themselves. I also wouldn't be giving rice cakes as a pp suggested, as I don't think there is much nutritional value in rice cakes. This is also a reason I detest rice cereal - IMO I really think it is devoid of nutrients and I always think my kids are better off with vegetables or meat, rather than eating some manufactured rice pap with a few artifical vitamins added back in.

I use those cheap IKEA high chairs with no padding as they are easy to wipe down, plus put a mat on the floor under the high chair. There is a bit of mess, but I think it takes less time to clean up than what it would take me to make special baby food.

ETA: just saw your last reply rosiebird. I eat spicy food and my kids coped fine with eating what I did. I did breastfeed though, so maybe they already had a taste for the spicy food.

And instead of cooking separate maybe when stir frying just add the sauce after cooking the veg and meat and taking some out for your little one. Things like that are easy to make baby friendly without having to cook a whole separate meal.

Edited by SarahM72, 21 February 2012 - 09:05 PM.

#21 Riotproof

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:08 PM

Rosiebird, salt is the main concern.. so if you're stirfrying, do as Sarah suggested.. take a wee bit out and then add the sauce. Chilli is not a huge deal, just don't offer a vindaloo.

Cutting a few sticks of carrot and sticking in the microwave while you make dinner is doable, and then as skils increase, you can just offer bits of the same as you're eating.

I do recommend the book. It explains things much better than we could. I would have so loved it if my GP had a clue what BLW is.

#22 ubermum

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 21/02/2012, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is definitely something i want to do but I'm not sure if it is going to be quite as easy in my family.

It doesn't take much longer to put a portion for her aside and quickly stir fry it first. You can also rinse foods off so that they get some of the taste of what you are having but not as strong.

#23 Rosiebird

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

She's certainly been getting plenty of spicy food through breastmilk! One of my friend's mums was horrified to see me eating Thai curries and then feeding Immy - she told me I was going to have a dreadful night with her crying. She slept like...well like a baby!

I didn't think about the salt content of the stirfries, that's a very good point. I'm a little *ahem* critical when I see babies eating salted potato chips but I completely didn't think about stirfries  ddoh.gif

That's a good idea to quickly cook some meat and vege first. That wouldn't be any extra effort at all. DH and I love food and trying new cuisines so I want Immy to enjoy food too.

#24 Tesseract

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:19 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 21/02/2012, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've read all the links/articles, thanks. It looks really interesting. The only problem is that DH and I usually eat spicy or highly flavoured foods most of the time eg. spicy chicken fajitas, stir-fry heef and vegies in sweet soy, enchiladas etc where the meat and vegetables are cooked altogether in a baby-unfriendly sauce. So we would have to cook separately for Imogen anyway.

It is definitely something i want to do but I'm not sure if it is going to be quite as easy in my family.

You will be fine! Honestly, this is us too, and DD is now 11 months and has only ever fed herself. It is honestly One of the best decisions we have made so far. It is stress free, fun and easy! We can take her anywhere and just feed her what we are having.

Initially when we cooked stir fries, pasta sauce etc we would just make sure we threw in some finger sized pieces for her. Although now at 11 months she has a refined pincer grip so can manage any size fine and we don't have to bother with this anymore. She eats curries. Ok so I don't do a blow your head off vindaloo, but chilli is no drama. She LOVES strong flavours, the stronger the better. Sweet soy no problems (just watch the salt content). People are always shocked at what she likes, falafel, harira, cumin, salmon, sechzuan stir fry, she scoffs it all.

Get the book. It is a really good read and will explain everything and allay your fears. Baby-led weaning by Gill Reapley. There is also a cook book (which you don't really need because honestly you don't need special recipes),it it has an abridged version of the method of baby led weaning at the start, including a page on chocking which I made my mum and MIL read because they were freaking out, after reading that they were fine original.gif

#25 greenthumbs

Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:23 PM

Hi cherub cheeks  original.gif

We've only just started BLW - it's only been 3 weeks.

We started with steamed / lightly boiled vegetables - broccoli, zucchini, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato.

I just cut them in big chip sized pieces. So cut the zucc in half across, then in quarters lengthwise. I left the skin on the zucc so it wasn't too slippery. He loves zucc and seems to suck the flesh off rather than biting at the moment. He does 'chew' it or at least move it around his mouth a little. Other stuff like carrot, pumpkin etc, he bites bit off moves it around a little in his mouth and most of it just falls back out.

I cook chunks of steak about 4cm x 6cm - these seem to be a good size for him to hold and he just sucks on them - but loves it! I will soon give him some soft stewy meat, I just wanted to make sure he was actually starting to get the hang of chewing first.

I've given toast with hommus, chunks of fruit - watermelon, peach, pineapple, banana in it's skin.

I've given a little yogurt, but I would use a spoon, and put a little on his lip then he took the spoon, and I continued by using a second spoon and put a little on it and he would take that one off me and drop the first one and just continue that way. Not sure he got any in his mouth, but yogurt is a good facial isn't it  happy.gif

Regarding the choking, there is a big difference between choking and gagging. Gagging is what they do when they've stuck their fingers too far into their mouth. Choking is silent and absolutely no air is getting in.

Gagging is what you may see quite regularly. I was so freaked out by it too. Before my own, I could never be around babies eating as any gagging had me panicking.  But I feel much more comfortable now having seen it in action. He gagged quite a bit at first, now not so much.

Have a look at youtube and search for BLW eating, BLW feeding, BLW gagging. There are some video's of bubs gagging and it made me feel better having seen it before I fed my little guy.

Good luck whichever way you go. And as pp mentioned, go with what you feel comfortable with. It should be enjoyable either way  original.gif

FYI when you get started, be prepared for mess! Oh my god, the mess  ohmy.gif   biggrin.gif

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