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  1. #1
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    Default Baby Led Weaning

    It appears there are a lot of people who do not understand BLW.

    BLW is very safe.

    I have copied some information from Wikipedia (I do not think I am allowed to give a link, or am I?)

    BTW: This is not a debate thread. I started it so as not to continue interrupting another hubbers thread so rudely.

    I am not saying this is the only way, I am sharing some information so that no more misinformation about the safety of BLW is spread around and also to enlighten those (who wish to be enlightened) as to why many parents choose to do BLW - this is a just a general bit of info about benefits, how to, etc.


    The baby-led weaning (often also referred to as BLW) is a method of gradually weaning a baby from a milk diet onto solid foods. It allows a baby to control his solid food intake by self-feeding from the very beginning of the weaning process.
    Infants are offered a range of foods to provide a balanced diet from around 6 months. They often begin by picking up and licking the food, before progressing to eating. Babies typically begin self feeding around 6 months, although some will make a grab for food as early as 5 months and some will wait until 7 or 8. The beauty of this process is that it is tailored to suit each particular baby and their personal development. The 6 month guideline provided by the World Health Organisation is based on research indicating the internal digestive system matures over the period 4-6 months. It seems reasonable to posit that the gut matures in tandem with the baby's external faculties to self feed.
    Initial self-feeding attempts often result in very little food ingested as the baby explores textures and tastes, but she will soon start to swallow and digest what is offered. Breastfeeding is continued in conjunction with weaning and milk should always be offered before solids in the first 12 months.



    General information

    Baby-led weaning places the emphasis on exploring taste, texture, colour and smell as the baby sets their own pace for the meal, choosing which foods to concentrate on. Instead of the traditional method of spooning puréed food into the baby's mouth, the baby is presented with a plate of varied finger food from which she may choose.
    Contrary to popular belief there is no research supporting the introduction of solids by purees and in fact babies can become very confused when stage 2 foods are introduced (with lumps) unsure whether to swallow or chew.
    According to one theory, the baby will choose foods with the nutrients she might be slightly lacking, guided by taste. The baby learns most effectively by watching and imitating others, and allowing her to eat the same food at the same time as the rest of the family contributes to a positive weaning experience. At six months babies learn to chew and grasp and this is therefore the ideal time to begin introducing finger food.
    Self-feeding supports the child’s motor development on many vital areas, such as their hand-eye coordination and chewing. It encourages the child towards independence and often provides a stress-free alternative for meal times, for both the child and the parents. Some babies refuse to eat solids when offered with a spoon, but happily help themselves to finger food.
    As recommended by the World Health Organization and several other health authorities across the world, there is no need to introduce solid food to a baby’s diet until after 6 months, and by then the child’s digestive system and her fine motor skills have developed enough to allow her to self-feed. Baby-led weaning takes advantage of the natural development stages of the child.




    Safety

    Many parents are used to the idea of giving babies puréed food and to some, giving such a young child finger food might sound dangerous. However, according to a statement on the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative website (citation?), "there is little or no scientific basis for the currently-accepted method of offering first foods as spoon-fed purees and that more research into effective weaning practices is urgently needed". Babies weaned using the baby-led method are actually less likely to choke on their food, as they are not capable of moving food from the front of the mouth to the back until they have learnt to chew. In turn, they do not learn to chew until they have learnt to grasp objects and place them in their mouth. Therefore the baby's general development keeps pace with her ability to manage food.
    If a child gets a piece of food too far back in their mouth, they will often promptly clear it themselves by gagging or coughing the piece out. According to Gill Rapley this seems to be fairly common and not dangerous - it's simply nature's way of preventing any risk of choking.
    Food should not be placed in the baby's mouth for her. If the baby is unable to pick up and grasp the food, she will also be unable to cope with chewing and swallowing it. It is also very important that the baby is sitting up straight and well supported during mealtimes and never left unattended while self-feeding.

    [edit] Basic principles

    The basic principles of baby-led weaning are:
    • At the start of the process the baby is allowed to reject food, and it may be offered again at a later date.
    • The child is allowed to decide how much she wants to eat. No "fill-ups" are to be offered at the end of the meal with a spoon.
    • The meals should not be hurried.
    • Sips of water are offered with meals.
    • Initially, soft fruits and vegetables are given. Harder foods are lightly cooked to make them soft enough to chew on even with bare gums.
    • Food given is free of added salt and sugar.
    • Food is not cut into bite-sized pieces as these are difficult for the baby to pick up and handle.
    • Food is offered in baton-shaped pieces or in natural shapes that have a 'handle' (such as broccoli florets), so that the baby can get a good grip and chew one end.
    • Foods with clear danger, such as peanuts, are not offered.
    Last edited by stellarella; 06-01-2008 at 16:35.

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  3. #2
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    Thanks Ella, hopefully people will understand it a bit better now.

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    Sheer Bliss is offline new username time?? this is toooo friggin hard, and NOT Bliss!!!
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    Good idea to get the basics accross! Hopefully it will stop some of the arguing backward & fwd with all the posts.

    TBH I think (After reading some of the previous posts) is that people have started out with a bad attitude towards BLW because of the comments that have ben negative towards feeding with a spoon (esp comments in regards to spoon feeding contributing to obesity). And for those that introduce solids before 6months, it's hard to imagine as their baby porbably was not ready to eat in this manner when they chose to start solids.

    I chose to start DS on purees at 6months, but can understand the benefits of BLW - he is starting now to reduce the purees and have more finger food (9months). It's one of those choices like cloth or disposable that is for the parents to decide what is best for them - having ALL the information is a big part of that decision. Hopefully now with this info, people can understand where you are coming from when you say BLW!

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    Thanks for the info.

    my son was never into spoon feeding - the food just used to flop straight back out of his mouth

    If I mashed up a banana, he didn't want any but he would happily chew on a "nana" as he calls them.

    I always found broccoli to be good. He would eat the soft bit at the top of the tree. That's always fun cleaning off later when it ends up in his nappy

    Now, he is able to feed himself with a knife and fork and spoon YIPPEE!

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    I don't understand the whole 'concept'. To me it's just common sense?

    I also think the Baby Led Weaning is a strange label for it seeing as it's about solids not breastfeeding etc, it makes it confusing as to what it's about.

    But anyways i'm all for baby/child led anything

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    Thanks Ella

    I really don't know why it got to be such an issue in the other thread. Oh well. Misunderstandings in cyber space I guess.

    I like to think about what happened in the old days when a mother had 5-6 kids, and they started solids at several weeks old *shudder*... do you think that they would have continued with mush foods for 8 months +? No, I highly doubt it.

    This blog has some great information and links if anyone is interested http://babyledweaning.blogware.com/

    Oh, and a video of my gorgeous 9mth old DD eating an apple BLW style! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s5NbUpX8DE

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    Quote Originally Posted by V8 View Post
    I don't understand the whole 'concept'. To me it's just common sense?

    I also think the Baby Led Weaning is a strange label for it seeing as it's about solids not breastfeeding etc, it makes it confusing as to what it's about.

    But anyways i'm all for baby/child led anything

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    Well to some people it is common sense, to others it is a whole new concept.

    Weaning just means the transistion from drinking only milk to eating solid foods...it isn't only in relation to BFing, it is just the transition from liquid to solid diet and as we know it can happen over years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikis84 View Post
    Oh, and a video of my gorgeous 9mth old DD eating an apple BLW style! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s5NbUpX8DE
    Ikis, I was just feeding DS watching your clip and he stuck his head up with the biggest smile on his face and was talking to your little girl he was so excited and when it stopped he looked at me like.. 'Mum? Where did she go?'

    It was priceless!

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    I've deleted some off topic posts here. Please note that this thread is for information about baby led weaning, not for a debate on the topic.

    Thanks.


 

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