Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

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Choking and Readiness

Dear charisma,

Hi there. I am hoping for some advice. My guy is 20 pounds at 6.5 months (exclusively breastfed). I have tried giving him some food slices a couple times. I tried at around 6 months and he gagged once or twice which turned into choking, and then he vomited a ton. I waited another week and tried some cooked carrots, which he did okay with. Then I tried pear again and he choked. I had to turn him upside down and whack him on the back. He is okay, but I am traumatized and feeling like a failure at BLS. He is big and strong, but not quite solid on sitting by himself. That is the only thing that leads me to believe I've started too soon. What advice would you give me? Is he okay to keep waiting for solids? I can't handle the choking and question whether I should just go the pureed route. I would love input, as I am getting pressure from a doctor to feed him cereal for iron. I really love the BLS concept. 

Needing reassurance in NY

Dear Needing reassurance,

I'd say that your little guy is just not ready yet. It's important to wait until ALL the readiness signs are present, including sitting up. Also, if your little one is 20 pounds already at 6 months, then clearly he's not lacking nutrition. Buttercup is 20 pounds at 20 months! Maybe this information will make you feel better: my chiropractor went to an infant nutrition seminar last year. It turns out that babies don't actually need anything besides breastmilk (exclusively) for the first year. I'm planning on waiting longer to start solids with this next baby (due in a few weeks). Also, the iron thing is a myth (see the FAQs for more about the iron myth and readiness signs. Doctors don't receive nutrition or breastfeeding training during medical school, and many of them don't stay current on the latest research. The iron in breastmilk is much more bioavailable than anything artificial you could give your baby. La Leche League also confirms that cereal is absolutely unnecessary (and potentially harmful to babies' long-term health). Also, remember that babies who are going to choke are going to choke on purees, too. In fact, purees could pose MORE of a choking hazard, since babies aren't sure if they're supposed to chew it or suck it back like milk.

Also, if you're worried about mess at other people's houses, you could try putting a towel down on the floor and letting him eat down there. Then you can wrap up the mess and tuck it away in your bag. Voila! Sometimes we had living room "picnics" just because I was too lazy to do the highchair thing. Doesn't work so well once they become mobile, though...

Hope that helps!


  1. Been a while since visiting the site and look at buttercup! So cute!

    My daughter wasn't ready at 6 months. I started my daughter at 6 1/2 months, had the gagging and vomiting. tried again at 7 months, then 7.5 months then at 8 months we had success. I just had to be patient.

    Love the site and really enjoy the questions and answers..

    congratulations on a new baby too! I had twins on April 1st, can't wait to start them on solids!