Thursday, July 10, 2014

Starting Baby-Led Weaning (& a recipe)

Guess what?! I suck at blogging. Maybe it isn't my forte. Maybe...? No, it's definitely not. My time management skills seem to be lacking. But only because there's a little person who is quite the time suck these days and he's much cooler than blogging. Sorry guys!

So why am I here about to blog if I suck so badly at it? Well, that's a great question. It just felt right. Owen is napping and I'm listening to music and sipping my daily iced coffee. All those circumstances make for great blogging time. However, I feel by just typing the words, I send signals to Owen in his sweet slumber to wake up. Don't do it, child.. stay asleep for mama!

Okay, so updates... Owen is pretty much an adult now. 6 months and a half months... He eats normal people food (well he practices.. he's still an avid milk drinker though, in case you needed to know?) We have decided to skip the purees and do Baby Led-Weaning (what the heck is she rambling on about...?) I know, I must be crazy... But hey, being a parent rocks because I get to raise my child whatever way I want.

Anyways, I have had lots of people ask me how BLW works and I figured this would be a great blogging opportunity. Let me start off by saying, I have absolutely no problem with mama's who decide to feed their babies purees. That is what they choose to do and if that works for them, then that's okay, too! We are all parents and we get to make those decisions for our children.

I decided to do BLW because I'm a weird mom, some would call me "crunchy". I wouldn't say I'm at that point, just yet, but I'm getting there. Haha. Anyways, BLW... it's the idea that your baby is able to eat normal food from the get go. It makes meal times much more enjoyable for the family instead of having to feed the baby something else, while everyone else is eating. BLW lets your baby take control.

They (who are these people anyhow?! The American Association of Pediatrics, or simply, AAP) recommend you wait until your baby is 6 months because that is generally the time when your little one is able to sit up without help and bring things to their mouth without missing. It's also when their digestive systems are geared up and ready for solids, which is the most important part. Now, you may be like... well what about cereals?! Feeding your baby cereals is absolutely unnecessary! It has little to no nutritional value for your baby. The only thing that your baby needs for the first 6 months of life is breast-milk or formula. Again, if you feed or have fed your baby, cereals that's totally okay, I'm the odd one out!

Now you're probably wondering how babies eat solids without teeth?! Babies gums are incredibly strong (if you've ever had a your finger gnawed on by a teething baby, you know this..) and they can mash foods up pretty well. There are some foods that are going to be harder for babies to eat, so you're not going to be able to give your baby a raw carrot and expect him to eat it, sorry! But, you will be able to give your baby soft foods and they will be able to eat it. Foods that Owen loves right now are avocado, peaches, cucumber, baked zucchini, bell pepper, and toast. He has even sucked a piece of steak dry; again, he can't eat it but the juice of the steak is high in iron which is amazing for babies!

Here's a video of Owen eating solids for the first time! It's in fast-forward mode but it's hilarious to watch.

So here are some pointers that helped me immensely:
  • If you don't have a history of any food allergies, you don't have to wait to offer wheat, dairy, or  egg products but if you are concerned, discuss with your pediatrician first
  • Nuts, honey, and peanut butter should be delayed until after 2, or after discussion with your ped
  • Cutting fruits & veggies into fry-sized pieces with some skin on helps your little one be able to pick up and grasp them easily
  • The first couple weeks to a month of BLW it's more of getting to know the food and playing with it, your baby doesn't realize that it's food, so allowing more opportunities to "play" with the food will allow your baby to quickly realize that its food to eat
  • Gagging and choking are two VERY different things, babies gag VERY easily as their gag reflex is right at the front of the tongue, so naturally, when a piece of food is on it, they will gag, the more opportunities that babies get to eat, the more their gag reflex will adapt and move back 
  • If your baby is gagging and you are worried, don't be afraid to offer a little sip of water to help wash the food down for them 
  • Brush up on baby CPR and print out step-by-step instructions to put on the fridge or somewhere nearby, this will ease your mind in case something does happen
  • Try to limit salt intake to little to none; if your baby does have something salty (like ham) just make sure they up their fluid intake
  • Never substitute a meal for a milk feeding and remember "food before one is just for fun." Babies still need all the condensed nutrients that breast-milk and formula offer until they are one; around 9 months they will naturally start eating milk less and solids more but milk will still be the primary form of nutrition 
  • BLW is MESSY! Buy a high chair that is easy to clean! 
  • Don't overload your babies plate with foods, they will get overwhelmed easily, start by offering just a couple pieces of food
  • Do what works for you, BLW is very lax and doesn't need to follow a bunch of exact times. We try to have breakfast every morning right now and that is what is working for us. If lunch or dinner work for you, that's great, too!
  • If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! There is probably a bunch of stuff I'm leaving out and I'll edit as needed.
With all that said, I wanted to share a waffle recipe that Owen & I both love and eat on a regular basis.

BLW-friendly Blueberry Waffles
// makes about 3-4 depending on how much batter you use

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose, do what works for you)
1/2 cup oatmeal (we used quick cooking)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp olive oil (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, could all be substituted)
1/2 cup milk (coconut, soy, almond, even breast-milk can be substituted)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of water (if your batter is looking a little thicker, you can put a bit more)
& blueberries to top when baking, I put about a 1/4-1/2 a cup per waffle

I usually just put all the ingredients into my magic bullet and give it a whirl. But if you don't have a mixer, just combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined, then add your wet ingredients and mix until no longer lumpy. Pop about a 1/2 cup of the mix into a griddle or waffle iron and cook about 2-3 minutes. Let cool slightly (for baby) and cut into thick strips (again, for baby) and enjoy! These are super healthy for you and baby and can be whipped up relatively quickly.

Baby-Led Weaning has worked really well for us, but I absolutely understand that it doesn't work for everyone. I just wanted to share these tips for starting BLW. These are the tips I wish I knew when I started and I thought I'd share with other moms who might be wondering the same things.

Thanks for reading!


update //
I just received a comment from an anonymous person telling me that I should be careful about what I post on my blog and that someone should call CPS if they know what's good for me. I am really offended for someone to think that I would ever even think about endangering my child! If you do not agree with BLW, that's 100% OK, but don't come on my blog and threaten me. Just because it is different from what you would do, doesn't make it illegal or wrong.


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  2. I don't have a baby, but I think its fascinating to read about how much you are learning. Your baby is beautiful, and I thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with the rest of us.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much & sorry for such a late reply.