Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

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Lessons Learned

BLS Lessons LearnedStrikes: the second-most frustrating things for mothers (next to sleep issues). They leave you feeling so helpless and bewildered. I mean, what do you do when your child just won't eat? There are three kinds of strikes related to the introduction of solid foods that I want to talk about.
  • Nursing strikes: Nursing strikes often happen before the introduction of solid food. While they are perplexing to say the least, they become even more confusing when you throw solids into the mix. You think, "Am I giving too many solids? Do I cut back on solids to make her want to nurse more? Do I give her more solids to make sure she doesn't starve to death?" Buttercup went through one of these phases two weeks ago. Fortunately for us, we have an extensive network of "been-there-done-that" moms we can use as a resource. Between asking around and reading every forum in the universe I came to this conclusion: you should not offer extra solids. This could lead to premature weaning, and I am definitely not okay with Buttercup weaning before one year. What we did do was to identify which nursing sessions were the least successful for us, then tweak our solid meals accordingly. For example, Buttercup suddenly refused to nurse before her morning nap, so I stopped offering her morning breakfast cereal. After a few days she started nursing again. Ultimately, I think we'll never know why babies go on nursing strikes, but with perseverance they usually come around within a few days.
  • Food strikes: In all my talking to other moms about introducing solid foods (purees or BLS), it seems like just about every baby goes through a phase about a month after successfully starting solids where they just don't want anything but their milk. For us it happened exactly at 7 months. After packing away the meals, Buttercup suddenly started only eating a bite or two before playing with the food. Prior to age one babies aren't depending on solids for nutrition anyway. So, just relax, follow baby's cues and keep making healthy food available without pressure to eat it.
  • Specific food item strikes: Apparently, it's really common for babies to suddenly start rejecting some foods that they previously liked. Who will ever know what's going on in those little noggins? Don't despair, though. Just because your little one turns up his nose at carrots (or in our case avocado) one day doesn't mean that he'll never eat them again. Offer the rejected food periodically and don't force the issue. By letting your baby maintain control over what goes in his mouth you are making him more likely to enjoy different foods, even ones he's previously rejected.

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