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Baby Linguine

I always think of these blog posts I want to write about but they always come to me when I am driving or in bed sleeping or some other inconvenient place. And then I try to email things to myself so that I can remember them, but by the time I look at it again, I’ve completely forgotten what I meant. But I really need to write more before my blog grows over. Like an ear piercing or a 90 year old vagina.

In an effort to blog more than just monthly updates on here, I’ve decided to share with the Internet how Baby-Led Weaning is going.

Not to be confused with baby linguine and LOLZ here is a story for you.

So back when Olivia was four months old, I was talking to my friend Amanda about how I wanted to do this thing called Baby-Led Weaning to feed Olivia instead of starting with rice cereal and purees.

Me: So I’ve been thinking about doing baby led weaning.

Amanda: Oh really? That’s sounds good! Do you have a recipe for that?

Me: Er-what? What do you mean a recipe?

Amanda, understandable confused: Did you say “Baby linguine?”

And then she sent me a screen shot later that day of a blog post titled Baby Linguine? and I LOL’d for a long time after that.

Anyway, baby led weaning. In short, it’s skipping purees and going straight to table food. That’s right. Sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, strips of NY steak. The best part is, babies don’t have to have to have teeth to eat this food.

(Which is a good thing, because my 8 month old has yet to cut a tooth.)

We started out at six months giving her avocado and sweet potato fries. We’ve are those people that do wait to introduce new foods every three days to watch for allergies, but she has now had strawberries, peanut butter, and eggs with no issues. Next week I am going to give her shrimp and then I think we have the major allergens covered.

Here are pros and cons of BLW:

PROS

~It’s cheap. Think about those containers of purees. They are what, a dollar each? I bought a pound of sweet potatoes, sliced them into sticks, roasted and froze them for a fraction of the cost. I’ve done this with squash, broccoli and asparagus. Each meal, I pull out what I want, thaw and heat them up and voila! Dinner. Also, BLW means you serve baby what you are eating and nothing is off limits except watching sodium and not giving them honey until one. And sure, foods that are packaged are probably not the healthiest but when Chris and I are eating, say, a pizza, I just pull out my frozen foods for her and she eats that. But tonight, I am making these Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas and she will be getting a wedge to eat. Easy.

~Lazy parenting. No slaving before or during dinner, spooning strained peas off your preshus baby’s face. We stick her in the high chair, get our food ready and then plop her meal down on her tray. We all eat together. (Which is a huge plus in my opinion, because I HATE cold food and I know I am a mom but seriously, I hate cold food.)

~It teaches them how to maneuver food around in their mouth. Babies are born with their gag reflex close to the front of their mouth and as they grow, it moves toward the back of their throat. This is a survival mechanism, so in the beginning your baby may gag as she learns how to chew. Gagging is way different than choking. It’s so important to learn the difference. Olivia has been doing this for two months now and in the beginning, did her share of gagging and some pretty gnarly ones too. But I always remained calm and praised her when she got it up and now she hardly ever gags. She chews and swallows like a champ.

~There are some studies saying babies who do BLW are less picky when it comes to food. We will see how Olivia turns out.

~It helps with social skills. Olivia loves eating with us. Looooves it. She likes to quietly munch her food while looking back and forth at each of us as we talk about our day.

CONS

~It’s messy. This is probably the biggest downside. Babies explore food by… well squishing it everywhere and OMG IS THAT LAST NIGHTS PESTO PASTA IN YOUR HAIR??? Dogs come in handy for this.

~It takes you being strong to handle the gags and be ready to step in if there is true choking. Chris and I took an infant CPR class and we mentally run through how we would intervene if she was choking. I had a friend who started out doing BLW but quit because she couldn’t handle the gagging. Yes, it’s concerning to watch. But I have to have faith that Olivia knows what she is doing and gagging is her body’s way of protecting against choking. And the thing is, babies can choke on all sorts of stuff, including purees and tiny toys. So don’t let that fear stop you. Infant CPR is a good thing to know regardless.

All in all, I’m glad I did this and stuck through it. It’s so much fun watching her try new foods.

And so in conclusion…

Here is a picture of mah babybee because SQUEE she’s so cute!!

Actually, unrelated fact. Today Olivia is 36 weeks and one day out of my body so we had to do a 36w1d in/ out photo:

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Jeremie Mullinix
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We started Willow on small bits of food just after 5 months. Avocado, squash, sweet potato (um, white ones? What the heck????). By small I mean like smaller than pea-sized, and mixed with pureed stuff of the same items. Since then she's gradually got to a point where she's about 85% finger foods and the rest puree (most of it stuff I make, but some from commercial jars.) She gets restless unless she can grab the food. She'll be 10 months in a couple weeks or so, and our grocery shopping experience AND eating habits have changed drastically. One sweet… Read more »

Jeremie Mullinix
Guest

We started Willow on small bits of food just after 5 months. Avocado, squash, sweet potato (um, white ones? What the heck????). By small I mean like smaller than pea-sized, and mixed with pureed stuff of the same items. Since then she's gradually got to a point where she's about 85% finger foods and the rest puree (most of it stuff I make, but some from commercial jars.) She gets restless unless she can grab the food. She'll be 10 months in a couple weeks or so, and our grocery shopping experience AND eating habits have changed drastically. One sweet… Read more »

Amie
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1. This makes me feel good because there isn't a tooth in site for Bowen 2. I have been afraid to feed him 'food' because I figured without teeth he couldn't chew it 3. confirmed my fear of choking 🙁 That is my BIGGEST fear so maybe I'll figure out a way to give him some softer real foods first. I LOVE how she is looking at you in that last picture, so funny!! Isn't this just the best age!! I mean you can sit them down with their toys and they are able to sit there all by themselves… Read more »

Jenny
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I didn't do baby led weaning with my first because I honestly hadn't heard of it yet. (So young, so naive.) I wasn't keen to try it with my second because I was terrified of him choking, but he MADE me do BLW. He hated purees and always snatched at what I was eating. The only way I could get him to try any solid food was to let him have what I was having. He gagged A LOT. It was horrifying for me. But we just kept on doing what we were doing and he turned into a champion… Read more »

JOY
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Love the 36w picture!!!

Heidi
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Gosh she's getting so big! We never did BLW. It wasn't for us but glad it worked for you! She's almost smiling in that one picture! Hahaha. She adorable!