Can I Use the Baby-led Weaning Method to Introduce Solids into My 6-month-old Child, Regardless of H

I run a daycare and am astonished how little advice most doctors give parents about feeding their child now: Mine was very much involved.However he was neither a nutritionist nor a dictator! He advised, we discussed, I made choices.I think baby led weaning is amazing. Those tasteless jarred purées we spoon into baby's mouth didn't even exist until the middle of the last century. Babies, however, somehow survived long before Gerber.Still your pediatrician may have some legitimate concerns. The problem is that he finds it easier to tell you not to do it than to educate you about it.

Please educate yourself! It's important. There are so many sites out there. And when you do a search add the term 'safety'. I've been surprised at what some parents brag about feeding their kids. They talk about trusting the baby to eat without choking. Perhaps we should also trust them to cross the street? Parents were invented for a reason.Things NOT to offer include honey and anything a baby could choke on. Offer very small pieces, starting with soft foods. There's no need for a blender but don't hand your infant carrot sticks either! (you can give baby raw carrots if you grate them finely and each mouthful is very small.) So much better than that watery carrot mush!) Don't hand them a chunk of steak to gnaw either (I seriously read a comment by someone bragging about doing that.) Many cultures still feed babies small bits the mother bites off and puts in baby's mouth with her fingers. This works too. They are already sharing your germs, believe me. And vice versa.And consider what kinds of foods you are giving the baby. When a doctor starts you with purées, the majority of a baby's diet (aside from breast milk or formula) is fruits and vegetables. In 35 years doing childcare I've seen far too many parents go from sending a jar of carrots and another of bananas for lunch straight to macaroni and cheese or a baloney sandwich with no vegetables at all when baby food has been outgrown! Don't give the mush. Do give the same foods- mostly fruits and vegetables, some protein, a little grain and no added sugar. Keep salt to a minimum- but other seasonings are fine! Garlic, onion, spices, etc. Little ones love hummus and it's so healthy! Avocado is a great early food too.Do introduce foods slowly and watch for an allergic reaction to anything new. Don't avoid commonly allergenic foods- such as peanut butter (when old enough not to gag on it) or strawberries. New studies indicate that introducing them young actually helps prevent allergies! Just go slow- especially with strawberries, pineapple, oranges and tomatoes. These foods are also allergenic , but even a baby who isn't allergic may suffer a painful diaper rash from the acidity. Do offer them, but start in tiny amounts and see how baby does.

Finally no matter how much he likes his new foods remember that 'food before one is just for fun'. The idea is to open up his taste buds to new experiences and learn to adapt to the flavors and textures of healthy food and to develop a positive relationship with food. However breast milk or formula must be a baby's primary food for the first year, so make sure yours is drinking the appropriate amount before meals.

• Related Questions

At some point did you start retaliating against the narcissist in your life and dishing it back? And if not, how did you prevent yourself from doing so?

Yes I did and it worked.When I was 11, my widowed mother married a man who had courted us with love, enthusiasm and kindness.I was the oldest of four and we were still young enough to believe all fathers were alike. We had lost our beloved father, and were very excited to be getting another one.

Unfortunately, immediately after the marriage, his real personality emerged; that of a narcissistic, womanizing, manipulative husband and step-father.In truth, he didn't really even like us.What follows are just a few of the many examples of his craziness:We weren't allowed to begin eating a meal unless he was sitting at the table. He liked to make us wait and I would often have to leave for a babysitting job without dinner, leaving behind a full meal on the table while he sat behind a closed door in the bedroom with my mother.When we went on an outing, by some unspoken but clearly understood rule, we couldn't get out of the car until my step-father did. After reaching our destination, we would sit in obedient silence in the car waiting for the permissive click of his door handle.

I asked to borrow the car once and to my surprise he readily agreed. However, when it was time for me to leave, I discovered I couldn't actually go anywhere because my request hadn't included the car keys.After I left home I rarely went back. However, in 1977 our first family reunion was planned for everyone's convenience at my mother and step-father's house in Florida.

My husband and I drove from California in our Ford Econoline van. The first night of our visit my step-father announced that there was a local ordinance against parking "trucks" overnight in a residential drive-way.He told us that, to avoid a parking ticket, every night of our week-long visit we would have to move our van from their drive-way to the parking lot of a grocery store a mile away and then retrieve it each morning.

I was 33 years old. I had been gone from home for 15 years and from the very first moment of that visit I realized I was no longer afraid of him.What had been frightening and intimidating now just seemed ridiculous.I told him I didn't think Florida would try to extradite me from California for a parking ticket and we left our van, which remained unticketed, parked in their drive-way.

It was August in Florida and the heat and humidity reflected the time of year. Although he was a physician and could afford it, he said it was too expensive to run the air conditioner. Counting adults and children, there were 17 people staying in the house and the only relief from the heat was their swimming pool. The inside of the house was like an oven.I asked how much a week's air conditioning would increase their electric bill, took up a collection to cover it and handed him the money. The air conditioning was on for our entire visit.

The last night of our reunion we all planned to go out to dinner. We gathered in the living room, except for my mother and step-father who remained in their bedroom with the door closed.I knew from personal experience and the stories of others, he was capable of staying behind that closed door for hours; long after restaurants had closed and appetites had been replaced by disbelief and rage.

No one had ever spoken up to him, including my mother.Between siblings and spouses there were 10 of us. We waited silently and obediently in the living room for several minutes.

Then without even thinking about what I was going to do, I stood up, walked to their closed bedroom door, knocked hard and said loudly, "We're leaving, we'll meet you there." With that, we all got into our respective vehicles and drove off.Almost immediately after we arrived at the restaurant and were seated, my mother and step-father showed up, sat down and quietly joined us.

Apparently I had taken all the fun out of his hibernation by removing everyone who would be inconvenienced by it.That reunion was 42 years ago, but I will always remember it as the time in my life when repeatedly speaking up and refusing to be intimidated released me from the fear and powerlessness I had felt since I was 11 years old.My post about my real father: Ginger McKay's answer to What's the most impressive thing your father did?.

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