You can read my first post on Baby Led Weaning HERE.
We are still using the Baby Led Weaning method, and loving it.
This was just today (10 mths)
Seriously downing some food, right?!
She has definitely started "chewing" even though she has no teeth besides the bottom two. Speaking of those bottom two shiners... she uses them to her advantage to scrape, tear, or gnaw food all the time. She is a great meat eater... which is something that I don't think Burke ate well until he was 1.5 years old. lol
She also has had a great pincer grip and excellent hand-eye coordination (if I may say so myself). I truly attribute it to this method!
With that said, I did question myself around the 8 month mark.
I'm not sure if it was because she stayed sick most of that month, if it was teeth coming in, or if it was the BLW method, but she struggled with solids around that time.
In my opinion, she started to get frustrated. To me, it seemed she was hungry for solid foods, yet couldn't manage to chew the big stick like piece of food I gave her. If you remember, she was doing GREAT with food... so why the problems now? It didn't click until around 9/10 months that maybe I should change the way in which I presented her food (tear/cut into small pieces or cubes for her to eat.)
Why the change you ask?
Well, I believe it was at that point that she got the chewing concept... but because I was giving her big pieces of food she couldn't actually chew and swallow them like she wanted. Because before this she just sucked the juices out of fruit or the food was soft enough to slide down her throat...
She started to get frustrated, and so did I, so I bought pureed food for about three weeks. :)
In addition to the whole foods I put on her tray, I also had pureed food in my hand to offer her.
It went well some days, and then others she totally hated the idea of me feeding her. She had learned to be so independent that she wanted to hold the pouches of food or spoon! ha!
Anyway, long story short... we are back on track for a number of reasons...
1) she basically despises puree's
2) I learned that she really just needed me to cut the pieces of food I was offering her into bite size pieces! (I think this is so important!) Once the pincer grasp is on point I think they are ready for the small bits of food. I'm not sure if I missed that chapter in the book, or why my common sense didn't click in... hahaha (I blame lack of sleep ;) but she does better when I give most of her food in pieces that would take chewing (chicken, pineapple,cheese, deli turkey, etc...) but some foods are still stick worthy (sweet potatoes, crackers... etc.)
What I've really learned... is you do what works for your baby!
I was dead set on the BLW method... and we've don't that for the most part, but we had to make some alterations. Babies are always changing, which means we have to adapt too. :)
All in all. Hands down. No regrets... I would use this method all over again.
I feel so comfortable throwing any food, no matter the texture or size, on to her tray, without the fear of her choking (appropriate of course... no hard foods like nuts, and grapes-unless they are cut up or I'm holding them for her to eat.)
I hope this helps those who are considering this method at an early age. I think she is and will continue to be a great eater because of it!