Thursday, March 3, 2011

Follow up re: BLW

Based on the comments I got, I realized there are a few things I neglected to add. First, something that I was originally really concerned about when reading about BLW, was the safety factor. Choking really scares me and though I've had infant CPR and first aid numerous times, I just assume never have to put those skills to use. So, when I read in the BLW book that babies' gag reflexes are actually further forward in their mouths than adults' are, I was intrigued (and hopeful!). I started watching baby E when he puts his hands and toys in his mouth. It does seem to be accurate. I don't think, though, that we'll know for sure until we try it. Please know, one should never give a baby food and then just walk away. One of the great parts of BLW, is that babies are included in the family meal. There's no more having to feed baby before you can eat, etc... You give baby food and they do what they do with it (explore, throw, eat, etc...) while you have your meal. Thus, it is essential that a parent always be there, just in case.

Also, some people have questioned what signs we will look for to know that baby E is ready to start with solid foods. First, baby E still has that reflex that makes him push things out of his mouth with his tongue. Until babies lose this reflex, which happens naturally, they are absolutely not ready for any kind of food. This typically happens around 6 months of age (though earlier in some babies, and later in others).

Next, sitting up. Babies need to be able sit unassisted. This is a safety thing - think how much more likely you are to choke if you're eating laying down; babies are no different. In fact, because they have much less experience eating than you do, and are not nearly as good at multitasking (thus are much more distractable), they're even more likely to choke when reclined. FYI, baby E is just starting to be able to "tripod", aka sit while leaning on his hands in between his legs.

Also, another thing we look at is baby's appetite. Is baby all of the sudden waking more at night to eat? Ha! Who would know with baby E on this one?! Okay, so is baby increasing number of feedings throughout the day? We haven't yet noticed this with baby E.

Lastly, is baby 6 months old yet? Previously, we were told that somewhere between 4 and 6 months babies were ready for food. Now, however, pediatricians, nutritionists, etc... recommend waiting until at least 6 months of age. Now, this, by no means, means that 6 months is the magic age. Just because a baby reaches 6 months, it does NOT mean they need or are ready for solids. Remember, breastmilk (or formula) should be the primary source of nutrition for the first year. 6 months is just the point where you start to look for signs of readiness.

Okay, I think that covers the questions, etc... If you have any more, feel free to fire away - I'll do my best to answer, or find you one.

Today's lesson - So, you know how women often start to lose their hair a few months after they give birth? You know, because while you're pregnant your body holds on to hair and you don't lose as much. Okay, so apparently, this also happens when you take birth control pills for a long time to induce lactation. I was pretty surprised to find this out. It took me a few weeks to realize what was happening, and I wasn't sure til it stopped a week or so ago. Not that most of you will ever have any need to know this particular lesson, but just in case...

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