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Baby Led Weaning Questions Lock Rss

Hi mums,

I've been researching BLW but was hoping someone who has done it could answer some questions I have please. Sorry this is a bit long but I'm hoping someone's bub is similar to mine and has tried BLW with success/not!

DS is 6 months this week and has been on solids for just over a week. He's been diving for our food since 3-4 months, and the day before I started him roll-tackled a pear I was eating and buried his face in it, poor starving little pet lol.... He sits unsupported, and is very stable in his high chair. I started him on rice cereal and purees, as you do...

He's a big boy, just over 10kg, and breast fed - having anywhere from 8 to 12 breast feeds a day, and waking 2-5 times a night. My main issue is that he's so STRONG he is constantly shoving things as far as he can down his throat and gagging on them - toys, his fingers, etc, etc. He also chews on everything he can get near his mouth, and has made his tongue bleed biting on and tearing a towel out of his mouth after a bath blink which I didn't even know was possible! This all has made feeding him a bit of an issue - he grabs at the spoon, and pulls it towards his face as hard and fast as he can. I'm worried he's going to do some damage impaling himself on a spoon as I'm feeding him! He does eat the puree, and loves it, but it gets a bit stressful for me when he's bashing his arms on his tray and trying to grab the spoon off me to gag himself with, and he gets quite frustrated even when his mouth is full.

So, I was thinking about changing over to BLW, but I'm a bit worried if he's got full control over the food he'll do damage himself? My questions are:

1 - is he likely to hurt/choke himself shoving food into his mouth the way he does his toys? Obviously I wouldn't let him near anything with a bone to start with. The gagging doesn't phase me (I'm so used to it!) but like everyone I do worry about choking when he doesn't seem to have much self-regulation over how far he puts things in his throat!

2 - what size and shape veges are best managed to start with? And what veges? Should I only start with ones that will puree in his mouth or can I let him at broccoli and things?

3- how do you give things like yogurt, custards and cereals when he's ready for those?

4- can you microwave the veges or do they have to be steamed? (probably a dumb question but the steamer's a pain in the a** to clean...)

5- can you pre-prepare any BLW food the way you can with purees? Currently I've been pureeing on the days after his "good nights" when he only wakes twice so on the days after the bad ones where I barely sleep I don't have to do anything other than defrost an ice cube!

Thanks if you made it this far and if you have any advice! I want him to enjoy eating as much as he did when he dive tackled that pear, and we love mess in this house roll eyes but most of all I just want starting solids to be fun for all of us!
Hi there,

Sorry, i don;t have much time. I have done blw with both of my kids. I think it would work well for you. Here is a site that may help answer your questions.

With yog, custard, soup etc you can give him a spoon and let him do it himself. You could preload the spoon for him if he needs to get the idea, but don't spoon feed him. I also just give a chunky piece of bread to eat soup with sometimes instead.

Start with things that are soft such as banana, avocado, that he can mush himself. You can steam or microwave or roast other veg if you like, I also gave raw stuff to chew on.

All the best with it!
hiya, i did it with dd and my only advice is big chunks that they can grab and hold easily, the smaller the item the easier to choke, i was told once that they will only bite off what they can fit in their mouth, so i used to give dd a whole peeled apple and she would nibble away at it, very successfully, otherwise yes the microwave will do the job, and enjoy!
Thanks for the website OC1246, that was exactly what I was looking for!

And fairygirl - did you cook the apple to soften it or just offer as is? DS is a major fan of slurping on my pears/apples so I know he'd enjoy that.

Thanks ladies, I'm looking forward to trying BLW out. It makes me feel even better that I won't be able to give him too much too quickly, as I had mixed feelings about the end of exclusive BFing even though he'd been screaming for solids for months. Especially since I only stopped his formula top-ups at 3 1/2 months - we only got 2 months of EBF, and I felt a little sad when it ended, even if DS was happy as larry!

Better go spread out my splatter mat under DS's high chair!
Well I just peeled a ripe pear and let him at it - talk about fun! He pulled it off the tray against his chest and slurped away at it for about 15 mins, had the time of his life. I'll definitely be continuing this, thanks girls.
Ugh, or I may just never wean him from the breast... Dinner was a bit of a disaster - soft cooked veges, yet he still managed to choke himself pretty badly on a chunk he bit off one of them and couldn't clear his own airway, I had to stick my finger down his throat and sweep it out. He recovered fine but I didn't! I don't think he'll be fed at all tomorrow, I'm not really sure what to do now, any suggestions?
Hi there smile

I'm BLW my bub. There is a difference between gagging and choking. Choking will be quieter and bubs won't be able to make noise as their airway has been obstructed. Gagging is dramatic, noisy and messy and usually resulted in my girl throwing up whatever was causing the problem.

With choking they will be blue and silent, gagging they'll be red and noisy.

Gagging is part of the learning process with eating and I'd say you'll get that at some point no matter which way you feed your bub. My girl has a shallow gag reflex and gagged a lot- anything that went into her mouth that wasn't a boob seemed to make her gag. That was part of the reason I chose BLW- that way she has control over what goes in. Early days anything too big would make her gag and throw up. This is what's supposed to happen, as it protects them from choking. I know it's loud, dramatic and scary, but if they are just gagging, stay calm, pretend everything's normal and wait a bit to see if bub can clear the piece of food for himself. I've heard the more you interfere with the gagging process, the worse it can become (don't know if that's true).

I used to just tell my girl she was doing well and hold her bib out in front of her to catch the vomit, lol, so lovely at the dinner table! She then continue dinner as normal. I'd be silently sh1tting myself, but let her get on with it. Occasionally, if she was struggling, I'd sweep the food out with my finger, but that made her gag, too <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='<_<' />

She's 9 months now and a great eater, she still gets too much in at times, but it's far less dramatic and she generally spits the offending piece out and has another go at it.

Do some more research on gagging and choking and brush yourself up on baby first aid- what to do if bub does choke. My best advice is to try and relax, it is all learning and gagging is normal. Some do it more than others- like mine smile My girl has been eating veg, fruit, toast, dairy and meat from 6 months and could manage a piece of steak with no teeth by about 7 months. Now she actually has a tooth, there's no stopping her, lol.

Good luck with it all, I know it's hard, but I find it a great way to feed bub, she's in control and eats what she wants, she joins in our mealtimes at the table, so is learning the social aspects, too and it's great when you're out and about. grin
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