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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Maternity moments: Baby-led weaning

The poor thing, formerly known as broccoli.
After our first meal experience so many of you suggested Baby-led weaning. It sounds really good and logical method, so I decided to give a try... 

The broccoli was never even near Mila's mouth. She picked it up into her little fist and just squeezed the life and fluids out of it like it was a sponge. She snarled to it. Then she decided to throw me with it. 

Well, we'll try this thing later again. She is now definitely ready to crab food, but the putting in the mouth -part needs some serious developing. 


43 comments:

  1. Hmmm...oh well, I didn't decide to like broccoli until I was a teenager. Now...I love it!

    Happy November!

    : )

    Julie M.

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  2. :) one of the biggest leaps of faith you need to make with BLW is that your baby will eat as much as he/she needs (and in any case, milk should still provide the vast majority of nutritional requirements until at least 12 months old). And as with adults, different babies have different tastes... my first loved carrots, sweet potato and pears most when he started BLW. My second (who is now 8 months old) prefers courgette, plums and bread sticks.

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  3. Maybe that means she's not ready to eat. Let her play with it - it's all part of the learning.
    My second daughter didn't really get into solids until she was 9 months old whereas my second daughter was 5 months.
    They're all different. Keep offering. :)

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  4. Meilläkin aloitettiin sormiruokailulla, sotku oli mahtava eikä ruokaa mennyt ensimmäisellä kerralla suuhun asti... Soseita syötettiin myös, mutta yritettiin usein tarjota myös jotain omin käsin syötävää. Tässä kuva meidän kuopuksen ensimmäisestä ruokailusta:

    http://patis.1g.fi/kuvat/jenni/kaikkea/miilajabataatti.jpg

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  5. My baby really loves brocoli, buth throwing, smashing and squeezing is just part of the fun of exploring food. Do not expect Mila to eat much at first, but, eventually, the day when she puts something in her mouth, chew and finally, swallow it, will come sooner or later... Enjoy the process in the meantime.

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  6. Well... I'm very happy to hear that you've given it a go! Really!

    What Mila has done it's absolutely normal. The big thing of BLW is getting to now the "materials", the consistence of food, its smell... and become friend with it :) It will take time until she manages to put something in her mouth, then proceeds the idea that that thing has a taste. Later in the months she will undestand that that stuff actually fills her stomach as well! It's just a matter of waiting and enjoying with her all her new discoveries.

    You might have read J.Rapley's book, but even you haven't I can confidently assure you that there is NO harm whatsoever in using salt as long as it is a moderate use. JR is very strict on that, but there is no need to be so.

    And my biggest advice is to include your baby at your dining table. Don't lat her eat by herself: eating has a strong social significance and she needs you as an example to follow.

    (Sorry Adele, I probably sound a bit patronizing, but I believe in BLW - more in the Italian way that is slightly different, I have to say - so much that I even set up the Italian website!)

    Wish you lots of fun meals with Mila!

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  7. I let my both boys to lean on their own: form the first spoon of solid food, the older boy, was suspicions. He really didn’t like new and unfamiliar taste, color, texture. It took me a while to shake of the old habits that the child at the age of 12 months should eat almost everything. At that age, the majority of his nutrition was my milk. And he was doing just fine: happy and healthy. At the age of 5, he is still very picky eater.
    The younger boy was completely different story: always curios, wanting something new. The food form him is fun, exciting, challenging. Always liked various textures, colors, odd combinations… And I did nothing different. They are just different as the adults are. So relax. Mila won’t starve herself. They are way smarter than that.

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  8. BLW is a really fun way to introduce solids, and also extremely easy! there is almost always something the little one can eat from the regular dinner the rest of the family eats. my daughter looooved spaghetti and whipped cream from start (and still does), and hated banana for a long time. my firstborn son was introduced to purées, but she refused anything that had any similarity to puréed food. he, on the other hand, loved broccoli purée, and he is still a big eater on the vegetable side.

    all babys are very different, but they do have one thing in common: they all think food is a fun toy :) it might take a bit longer than with the traditional introducing (dd not big on eating solids until she was about a year old) but it is fun. enjoy exploring it!

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  9. We are BLWing with our almost 8 month daughter... and I think it's absolutely fantastic. Early on many babies do just 'play' - but food is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, so that's fine - it's just a new squishy toy that they'll realise soon enough tastes quite nice! You definitely have to take a leap of faith and trust in your baby... we just kept offering whatever we were eating and within a few weeks Lydia was chewing and swallowing a lot. After 8 weeks she's now eating huge amounts, including small things like half blueberries, rice, sultanas, couscous, which she can pick up between finger and thumb.

    Babyled weaning is a fabulous way to introduce food... hope you and Mila enjoy it!

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  10. This stage isn't about ingesting food - if that happens, it is a bonus! First she needs to learn how best to hold it, what happens when you squeeze it, how to get the saliva moving and what to do with her tongue!

    Hang in there!

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  11. Oh those precious milestones!! One day when Mila is much older and whining about eating meatloaf...AGAIN...you'll look back on this experience and truly cherish it. Hope you take loads of photos of Mila with food stains on her face coz they're a HIT at family reunions. :D.

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  12. A dear friend's first daughter (very picky) would only eat foods that were RED. So my friend put beets in practically everything. It worked!

    As a kid, I was known as the Bottomless Pit (very adventurous, good/healthy eater). The one time I was FORCED to eat something (by silly camp counselors), I threw it up. To this day, I cannot even look at wet prunes without feeling queasy.

    Food, at its best, is adventure. Thanks for sharing Mila's discoveries in this blog!

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  13. That's part of all the fun :) Being a clean freak, it really got to me a couple of times when me, my baby and the kitchen were covered in food. Deeeep breath in... deeeep breath out... :D She's 14 months old now and eats with us like an adult having skipped mashed stuff. No regrets so far :)

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  14. My 13 month old hates it too- tried everything- buttered, stir fried, cheesed... nope nope nope. Hopefully he will grow to appreciate it like his mama. Good luck!

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  15. I tried it a few times too and gave up. When she can hold better and actually don't slap the whole world with the piece of broccoli and somehow loose the piece in the waving, then that will be the time. In the meantime she loves her mashed stuff on a spoon. :)

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  16. I did BLW with both of my boys,and what you describe sounds much like their first experiences with solids. Now age 4 and 1.5,they are both robust eaters. No matter what the form of their first solids most first meals (and second, and...) are messy affairs with very little ingestion. Mila has made a great start.

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  17. My 3 kids weaned themselves between 8-11 months. We had lots of bananas on hand for feedings and other soft fruits. My kids weren't excited about veggies for the first few weeks. But I read somewhere that it may take over 17 introductions to a food before a baby will take it. So persistence became my friend. Now my kids will eat almost anything. Sure makes life easier! Keep it up, you're doing great!! :D

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  18. Oh, Elizabeth put EVERYTHING in her mouth. Then we started baby led weaning and introduced solids. It took her a full month before she ate anything. A rock, she'll put in her mouth, but a green bean, absolutely not. But I think doing child led solids was one of the best decisions we made.

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  19. Brocolli has a pretty funny smell - try foods that smell sweet, like breastmilk...bananas, squash, even an avocado might get a better response!
    -tanniah
    www.raisingstinker.com

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  20. Just realized I assumed you were nursing - totally by accident - sorry! If Mila is on elemental formula, which is tart, then broccolli is a good choice...if on formula, look for something that smells like its in the same family.

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  21. I love your description of the broccoli experiment and accompanying image! My son had the same reaction. I switched to special Organic Cheerio style and "Baby Mum-Mum" crackers and had much greater success. Think I'll try over-steamed peas, corn next to see if those work as well as Cheerios. Good luck!

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  22. Maybe someone has suggested this already, but bananas and avocados are great foods to start with

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  23. my 6th child decided she was a BOB (boob only baby). No cereal with breastmilk, no fresh steamed carrots, sweet potatoes, banannas, juice, milk, and never formula. Only boobs until she was 2 years old...at 2 1/2 she is still nursing, but now will eat several small snacks throughout the day. I thought she'd never start eating..

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  24. That's totally normal - part of BLW is getting them to know the foods by feel, texture, etc. It's not about how much gets in her, after all, BM or formula should still be the primary source of nutrition until she's one. Let her have fun!

    We're about 5 months into BLW, and a fair amount still ends up on the floor (and on us), but she eats so many things she wouldn't otherwise, and we love it.

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  25. How old is Mila now? The World Health Organization recommends only breast milk (or formula) until 6 months of age, and then you need to start with something pureed as smooth as can be. Mashed banana and avocado are GREAT first foods!
    And just to mention, my 18 month old has NEVER eaten a bite of brocolli. Pureed or whole, it's always come straight back out. Bleh!

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  26. love broccoli!

    and the picture just cracks me up)))

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  27. My kids only eat broccoli with garlic-lime-olive oil dressing. She might need more flavor...

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  28. my baby still hate broccoli everytime i offered it to him. he likes carrots and zucchinis though.

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  29. My baby would eat very tinny amounts of solid food when we started, but then one day she decided it was time and started eating three meals a day and some snacks! For us the change happened when she was 10 months old. Now she's one year old and eating a lot some days, not so much the others - we let her decide how much she'll eat, and make sure we offer food so it is there if she decides she's hungry. Even so, she still loves nursing...
    So be patient - it will happen for you too :)

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  30. Hey all, thank you for your comments! I'm happy to announce that Mila just tried to suck some cucumber stick and it went way better than the first experience with the poor broccoli.

    Tannia H Yes, I'm nursing. So your advice to try something sweet might be a good one. Although, she loves more veggie purees than fruit ones. But I'll give a try.


    Mom who asked how old Mila is now and told about WHO recommendations.. She's little bit over 5 moths, but she's huge baby and growing fast so in Finnish maternity clinic they recommended taste portions of solid foods in this age, even though I'm really nursing her full time. When she was just 2-3 months old I thought I'll be nursing her long time without any additional food, but in her 4 month she started to be so jealous and curious when we were eating, so it felt natural to start solid foods in age of 5 months. Like many of you said before, babies are truly individuals.

    Thank's for cheering, we'll continue our combo with 90% nursing-BLW-some purees.

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  31. Playing with the food is part of the baby's "learning to eat" program. Touching, squishing give them an idea about texture, consistency etc. Keep offering it to her!

    Just delurked to say I used to love your "daydreams" photos and I am sorry people started stealing them. I will definitely buy the book if/when you decide to come out with it!

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  32. Mila 1 - Broccoli 0 - Mom cleaning (OH YEAH)!!!

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  33. Adele, I've not posted before, but have lurked loving Mila's adventures for a while.

    We started BLW at 5 months too, for exactly the same reasons as you have. Our baby (Bea) is now 7 1/2 months and she has only really just begun properly eating the food as opposed to tasting/playing with it (and we have the dirty nappies to show for it - bleugh! Don't hope for Mila's appetite to increase too soon!).

    But what I LOVE about BLW is that Bea is so adventurous in her tastes - she loves anything with garlic, enjoyed spinach curry, likes figs, plums, pears, gherkins, pretty much anything you can name she has tried and mostly liked (except bland old egg!).

    SHE gets to choose what she eats as each mouthful - and she definitely chooses - carrot carrot, chicken, parsnip, carrot, carrot, chicken, chicken, chicken, parsnip, carrot, parsnip... I love that she is choosing independently how she is going to enjoy her meal.

    It also has the bonus that at sociable mealtimes the adults don't have to take turns feeding her (with our dinners going cold) as she is enjoying the meal with us, and her manual dexterity has come on in leaps and bounds (she enjoyed peas this evening for the first time - actually getting them in her mouth!)

    Stick with it! BLW is not for those who like their baby to have constantly clean hands, or who want a quick meal (our meals can easily take as long as an hour at present!) or who want to get as much food into their baby as quickly as possible. But it's great for independence for both of you, and it's less bother as far as I'm concerned than faffing with purees and such, and it means that you can eat out with no hassle too.

    Mila may have enjoyed the cucumber a little more as it is slightly firmer to hold but is also quite juicy if she gnaws it, so is quick to reward. I know lots of people are suggesting banana - I found it a nightmare in the early days as it disintegrates so quickly when babies don't understand how much pressure their little hands can exert!

    My suggestions would be ripe apples, pears, and plums - either whole or in sticks, but keep the skin on as it'll keep the structural integrity better, and if Mila's anything like Bea, she'll eat the flesh and spit out the skin in any case. Strips of meat are good too, but she'll be unlikely to be able to anything but gnaw and spit them out again for a while (she'll still get the nutrition though). Babies also seem to like different textures - buttery toast for example, or breadsticks, popcorn, or an empty ice-cream cornet - Bea seems to enjoy things she can crunch - especially if they then start to soften in her mouth so she can eat them!

    Enjoy the BLW adventures - it's so much fun watching your baby's explorations with their senses!

    xxx

    Amber

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  34. My little man around Mila's age loves sweet peas :-)

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  35. Our daughter (and then two grandchildren in turn) was a food player-thrower for a while. Though she could really down applesauce (a huge bottle of our home-made applesauce that we canned ourselves) at one sitting. But most of her food either she wore, we wore, or became short-lived artwork on our walls. After the first time, we learned to put down plastic under her high chair. It's all normal, Mom. You're doing a great job.

    - David

    Top 10 Aloe Vera Juice Benefits
    Holistic Nutrition and Health

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  36. I tried that method for a while with my now 7 month old because that kid wouldn't swallow anything! But i found putting it in the mesh bag that is made for babies worked really well, but was super messy. We did it for a few months because still he didn't want to swallow anything bigger than milk. But finally at 7 months to the day he decided he liked mushy food enough to swallow. It's a slow process that feels like it takes forever while you're in it, but really in a few months time you're baby goes from only milk, to milk and also all kinds of mushy foods. All my kids like broccolli but didn't until they were about a year old. Good luck!

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  38. try a banana! my 10 month old loves broc but still throws it on the floor. It's a game one for her one for the floor. it's all about play with your food not how much they eat. have you read the book "Baby led Weaning" but Gil Rapley? excellent stuff!

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  39. Poor broccoli! I would recommend large sticks of corgette, boiled (about finger size). My 10m old loves it, even cold!

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  40. New foods have to be offered to a child 13 times before they will eat enough to decide whether they like the food or not! This statistic is from a child psychology/behavioral study. So...be patient and keep introducing those veggies to Mila!

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  41. i still want to do that to broccoli when i see it appear on my plate....

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