Tag Archives: baby-led everything

Cord Burning

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Used taper nubs from Stryder’s cord burning go in to make new tapers for this baby’s cord burning. ‚̧

While I was pregnant with Stryder, one of my family birth/unassisted birth friends mentioned cord burning. I became instantly fascinated by it.
Loving data, I went on a search for more information, and found this (now closed) site that detailed the process better than any other article I’d found, Sacred Severance.

When Stryder was born, I had made beeswax tapers, bought a wooden box, and had a placenta bowl ready.
It was evening, the warm light of a lamp in a corner the only thing intruding on us. We lit the candles and burned the cord, it happening just as the article describes. Stryder, though, was quiet. SO quiet. It was serene in the room and Daryl and I were so calm and relaxed.

Melody and Leela had their cords clamped, and for some reason, they both cried during it. It wasn’t hysterical crying or anything, but there definitely was not the same peace for them as there was for Stryder. And, postpartum, the girls were contented little babies, while Stryder screamed and cried until he was about 9 months old, most of the day, unless we could afford a craniosacral therapy appoinment – so I’ve seen (and read from other moms) that cord burning offers a peace-filled moment for the family that normally goes by so quickly you blink and miss it and hope someone caught it on camera.

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Cord burning supplies fully gathered.

This time, I am planning on cord burning again, but I have a deep calling to make this a more intentioned, holy moment for our child. I want a cord burning vessel that connects us to my family that cannot be here after the birth. I have made new taper candles, with bits from Stryder’s cord burning, so this baby and my last are connected in a small detail.

We have selected a beautiful birthday poem from a lovely book by Edward Hays, called Prayers for the Domestic Church. (I am altering the words a bit for it being the actual day of birth, not the anniversary, and the blessing is originally meant to be read at birthday cake time.)

 

Blessing Prayer for a Birthday

Lord of Life,

As we celebrate this severing, in honor of this day when “Little Baggins Baby” is Your gift to us and to the world, we ask of You a blessing.

Bless “Little Baggins Baby” and each of us with wisdom, the wisdom that You shared with Your clever son, Pablo Picasso, artist and lover of life, who said: “It takes a long, long time for one to become young.”

Make us younger on each birthday. Awaken within us the child who is so often asleep with shame. Open our eyes to wonder and awe; delight our hearts with amazement and playfulness.

(candles may be lighted)

May candles burn bright on these anniversaries, as signs of the fire of life that burns today, on this birthday, and on every day – for all days and all eternity in the heart of “Little Baggins Baby” and in each of our hearts.

Lord of Birthdays and Festivals, dance on our roof and join with us in Your divine mirth.

So be it. Amen.

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Saved Through Childbearing

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As the “guess date” for little Stryder’s arrival came close, I was as prepared as I could be. I was certainly anxious. I was grateful no one had been pushy about asking the “due date” (they’re not a library book or a rental payment) or if I’d had the baby yet…
You get ready enough for the baby to come, even when you are willing to let baby grow within momma as long as they need.

I’d planned a family birth after much research and soul-searching. It’s the most liberating, trusting thing I had done in awhile, to trust that God is in control and whatever comes is not to be feared.

I had been reading a book called The POWER of Pleasurable Childbirth, by Laurie Morgan. Many of the things she wrote have resonated deeply with me. I am grateful to have read this before, as I near the birth of our next little blessing, now.

The things that stuck out to me the most are these two quotes (italics my own):

I have come to advocate complete parental acceptance of responsibility in birth, and a certain degree of self instruction equips parents to differentiate between necessary and frivolous intervention in emergency situations. I’ve learned that even apparently minor decisions can have serious implications, so that no decision should be left solely in the hands of a care provider. Is it essential to remember that earthly “experts” just don’t qualify for the amount of faith so frequently placed upon them by the average modern parent.

and

While reading hundreds of birth stories, I noticed that something funny happens when a woman gives birth unattended. When there is only mom and baby in control, suddenly mom becomes accountable for the outcome. This can happen regardless of how the woman felt about birth before. The reason so many women forget to eat, drink, pee, poop, walk, dance, masturbate, un-loop the umbilical cord, etc. during an attended labor is that the have given up their responsibility for their birth to an outsider. When she is alone, however, a woman will find within herself the strength and wisdom to birth her baby just as she needs to. Choosing to birth alone certainly allows one to plan better than doing so accidentally. It is possible to choose to ignore one’s own inner wisdom too, which leads to the many dangers I have outlined so far and more.

You know, I don’t really believe that the verse in Scripture that talks about “saved through childbearing” (1 Timothy 2:15) is necessarily spiritual OR physical. I think it’s emotional salvation. I could be wrong. I haven’t studied it in-depth just yet. Call me crazy, but in each of my births, I have found more liberation as a human being… as a woman, as a mother, as a wife.

Pregnancy places women into a strange emotional realm where we can connect more deeply, if we allow ourselves to, with issues we have been pushing aside/ignoring but need to be addressed.

I lived almost a decade with a husband (now ex) that abused me emotionally and with-held sex from me as long as he could… while he sexually, emotionally, and spiritually abused my daughter, his own blood.

I did not realize until the end of my pregnancy with Stryder, that I still willingly would place myself under great abuse and manipulation in the hopes that I will be helping the abuser “get better” because I loved them! That is truly messed up. When I realized that I was enabling a family member (not immediate) to abuse my family, I chose to put an end to it.

Stryder’s pregnancy enabled me to see that in many ways, I had hardened my heart to those I had known for a long time, as I had massive distrust issues after the criminal trial against my ex-husband. I saw how terrible I had been viewing… everyone (including myself)… and my heart broke. I began choosing love, intentional love, even when my mind screamed at me to distrust anyone and everyone.

Loving and setting boundaries for safety/health.

Pregnancy and birth, I have found, really can save women. Save her heart, her spirit, her mind… if she allows herself to take responsibility for herself, her baby, and her laboring. It comes down to that parental acceptance of responsibility… which will flow from wanting to be personally responsible to begin with.

Minimalist Baby Gear

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I remember when I was pregnant with Leela, a decade after Melody, looking up natural baby lists, minimalist baby lists. I wanted something different than what I had seen when I was pregnant with Melody and I felt compelled to have it all – the crib, the changing table (I laugh at this now… even non-crunchy moms end up saying that is their least-used item and they ended up changing their baby on the floor/bed/etc much easier), the wipes warmer, the diaper genie thing…

I began to realize I didn’t need that list to guide me, that I already knew the essentials and the luxuries I would appreciate. This is not a list for “anyone,” this is a list for me. Please don’t feel judged if you’re not a minimalist crunchy momma like me. ūüėČ

Now with baby 4, the list hasn’t changed, it’s just that we have most of it already!

Necessities:

 

Luxuries:

  • Diono carseat ¬†(I am one of the “diligent researchers” Guggie mentions, so, this is one of MANY things I have looked at in regards to toxins) – I put this in the luxury category because having a vehicle, while feeling necessary, is not a necessity to life
  • baby legs and/or split crotch pants for EC
  • 10 cotton diapers (I love our homemade, nearly free¬†t-shirt pocket diapers) and cotton inserts
  • 4 wool diaper covers (I use the same pattern as above, but stitch up the top)
  • Snappis or equivalent
  • small lambskin rug
  • 7 cotton shirts, not onesies
  • Moses basket – probably the bottom of my list, now
  • a few natural toys

 

What I don’t want taking up space in my home:

  • crib
  • playpen – we were given one and it contained toys and a blanket or two for about a month, sans Leela, when I put it in our storage and I am trying to sell it
  • stroller
  • lots of clothing, especially baby hats
  • plastic anything/flashy toys
  • many stuffed animals – these are the bane of my existence…. ūüėõ
  • changing table
  • wipes warmer
  • diaper trash container
  • baby swing
  • high chair and/or purees

Sexual Assault and Breastfeeding

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I once shared this piece on Facebook, a gorgeous painting reprint sent to me by my artist-friend, Kate Hansen.

Krista and Colum, by Kate Hansen

It’s probably my favorite of the series. I couldn’t contain my delight and just had to share her stunning work with others.
In response I was told by a family member,

“I know your stance on breastfeeding, and I respect you & your stance, could you please respect the people in your list that prefer modesty over this outright flaunting of it?”

This really got my brain spinning. I just could not get the immediate comparison out of my mind, between breastfeeding and my experience in the horrific world of sexual abuse survivors.
From this, I wrote a Facebook note. At the time, I was still keeping myself hidden away from blogging, and it made the process that much more intense. The people that do nothing wrong must hide away! Those that brew perversion in their hearts should be shielded, protected, and let loose in their sin issues… it was deeper than the misconstruing family member could ever imagine.

The following is what I wrote, with only minor tweaks here and there.
Big notes in little print:¬†If you want to learn more about how breasts are seen/treated as solely sexual objects in basically only a handful of countries, take the time to watch¬†Busting Out, a very in-depth documentary on America’s unique beliefs.

If you want to learn more about how some Believers take a sane route, read this amazing article by a Christ-following Dad, Breastfeeding In Public: A Christian Father Speaks Up.

Need more thoughts? This is an epically in-depth look at¬†the Scriptures that mention breastfeeding; exegesis¬†and¬†all –¬†Breastfeeding and the Bible.¬†

Flaunting the human body for sexuality, according to the Bible, is sinful. Feeding our children in public is not “flaunting” and should not be made an issue of sin on the part of the mother/child – it isn’t in Scripture, and it isn’t “sin” in any other part of the world aside from 2/3rds of North America.

To attempt to make a woman and child feel “dirty” for an act that is not called so in Scripture (it is, in fact, called just the opposite), when we should be calling to righteousness those who are aroused by the sight (which IS called sin in Scripture, to allow lust to grow) is… very strange to me.

It’s bizarre to me that our culture has made many Christians legalists about the issue of our babies being¬†fed. It’s bizarre to me that Believers accept, condone and excuse our cultural up-bringing over God’s clearly written Word . Breastfeeding is NEVER called dirty, shameful, sinful, or any other negative thing in the Word. For a Believer to say it is dirty and an inappropriate public act, when there is NO Scripture that says that, is legalism. (Read Sarah Mae’s thoughts on what it is and is not, to be a legalist:¬†here.)
Actually, Scripture calls nursing women and children into the very fellowship that so often shuns them for “indecent behavior.”

“Gather the people; consecrate the congregation;

assemble the leaders; gather the children,

even infants sucking at the breast;

let the bridegroom leave his room

and the bride the bridal chamber.”

~ Joel 2:16

However, staring at a woman lustfully IS clearly called sin in Scripture… Or, an even more disturbing possibility, looking at a {shudder} child lustfully while they are obtaining nourishment is sin – clearly. Why is it not a bigger issue being addressed, if people are truly concerned that a man/woman could be aroused at the sight which God never says is sinful (breastfeeding), to be getting perverts away from mothers/children? Rather, we believe/say the mothers/children should instead hide away, act ashamed, cover with a tent.
We need to be making perverts leave, not the victims.

Our nation and it’s people often tries to make molestation and rape victims feel shame… “Perhaps what they were wearing was ‘asking for it.'”
If the victim’s or their families speak out about what happened, we try to shame them with how it’s “something private… and how humiliating to share it.”
We do the exact same thing to mothers/children who are merely having a time for nourishment. Perhaps if they just covered up a little more, the perverted wouldn’t have been so tempted. And how dare we talk about breastfeeding in public! We should be ashamed… it is a private thing and it makes others feel “uncomfortable.”
There is nothing in Scripture to support the view that breastfeeding should be done in secret, hiding, or as though it’s sinful in anyway. There is ample Scripture that says any man/woman who is aroused sexually for someone they’re not married to, is in sin. And should be called by other Believers to walk away from that behavior/thought life.

Perhaps I’m so impassioned about this because I DO see the bizarre comparison of making sexual assault victims and/or their families feel guilty/dirty/shamed/silenced (maybe if you just wore/acted/said¬† something different, the perverted wouldn’t have been aroused by you) and doing the same to breastfeeding families (maybe if you just put a tent over your baby, that pervert wouldn’t be aroused). And since I’m a part of both of those groups, I get to feel that full weight two-fold.

None of this is meant to sound rude.
I’m not going to stop posting about what I post about. So don’t bother asking.
I post what I do because I feel led to by the Father, not to make anyone feel comfortable OR uncomfortable. I don’t cater to human desire for me to quiet what I feel the Lord impressing me to share. I love Him, and I love people too much to be silent when He calls me to speak.

Changing, Amazing Grace, and Sexual Assault

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Oh, my spider-webbing feminine mind! I am lengthy, always, because of this. I wish I knew how to alter it, but then I always feel like the words and thoughts are lacking. Thank you, if you are willing to bear with me. In my mind, this all links together. 

I originally wrote this during Genital Integrity Awareness Week of 2014 for my old blog, and now that it is Genital Integrity week again, I thought I would share it again on this blog.

When I was pregnant with Leela, not knowing what gender my baby would be, I was a fence-sitter on the issue of circumcision. I remember saying something to a friend on Facebook about “how could it be so bad if God commanded it in the Old Testament?” I also questioned the hygiene of someone intact. Cultural (American) conditioning played a heavy hand in me, whether I wanted to admit it or not (and I didn’t want to admit it – hooray¬†cognitive dissonance).

I asked myself if I could stomach watching a circumcision video¬†(which should have been a big clue for me how I really wasn’t okay with it)¬†and decided that whether I could handle it emotionally or not, I needed to watch what it was like beforehand, if I was even remotely willing to do it to a son I carried for 9 months inside of me and was going to be fiercely protective over, as any mother¬†should be¬†with their children.

It was not a botched circumcision video that I watched. It was “normal.” (I don’t remember the exact video – there are plenty on YouTube, even videos created specifically for drs to learn how to “properly” circumcise. Any I have seen have been absolutely gut-wrenching.Elephant in The Hospital¬†has a brief, “safe” and average – not resulting in death – mutilation video) I couldn’t make it through even half of that video before I burst into tears. I paused it for a long time and sobbed. I made myself finish watching it, but I actually hated myself afterwards¬†(for ever being even mildly willing to do that to a baby or allowing someone else to do it to any of my children).

Thus began a silent and slow research journey until the birth of our second daughter. I knew then that I could not allow any future son’s genitals to be¬†cut. That was the only word I felt was “respectful” to parents who I still believed had a “choice” to do this with no medical reason, and so used it.¬†Cut. {frown}

Being unwilling to call this more than “cut” or “circumcision,” if you stick around, was me still having issues of cognitive dissonance.

Over the last couple of months, within my third longest pregnancy, I have been more tenaciously (as much as I possibly can) researching Scripture and information about circumcision. The more I learn, the more adamant I become against it. There’s no way not to be, for me.

Just as I cannot ignore my heart crying out when children’s genitals are violated through sexual assault, I can no longer ignore it when their genitals and minds are violated for the rest of their lives sexually¬†for “medically preventative” reasons. By “medically preventative,” I mean not currently there, such as amputating breasts when there is a family history of it, even though it is not in the patient (and even then, it’s an adult woman choosing it for herself).

I do mean sexual alterations via circumcision¬†quite seriously. This article was the first one I read, just weeks ago, where I finally understood even a little bit, how circumcision as done today makes sex¬†far¬†less enjoyable for a man than having an intact/full-of-nerves (and natural lubrication) penis:¬†Anatomy of the Penis and Mechanics of Intercourse.¬†Don’t worry, for those of you who are squeemed-out by actual pictures. It’s medical-textbook type drawings.

What seems worse about comparing these two things… is that when a child is sexually assaulted, we at least have understanding and allow them to grieve and mourn through-out their entire lives, off and on, as issues arise from the non-consent of someone messing with their genitals and sexuality.

However, male victims of circumcision are trained and conditioned (even if “unintentionally”) by their parents and American/mutilating society at large to think that what happened to them was necessary (even though there was NO medical emergency/reason at infancy to do this and non-circumcising countries prove there¬†very rarely¬†will be even into elderly adulthood), so they are almost looked down upon if they grieve this assault on their genitals as adults.

There is a reason that genital integrity advocates are so vocal – just as advocates for sexual assault victims became loud and “in-your-face” in the 70’s, 80’s and beyond – they were but a few, screaming against the masses who had whispered to children and women for so very long, that maybe their sexual assault wasn’t so bad, they should feel ashamed to talk about it, it wasn’t appropriate to share, etcetera.

(I know several adult survivors, who as children in the 50’s and 60’s, told a parent about their sexual assault, and were ignored or told they should be ashamed to talk about such things. What the crap??? Praise God for advocates mostly dismantling that garbage.)

Where victims are made to feel as though they should not question what happened to them, I pray there are “crazy,” loud, non-stop people out there, who tirelessly work until victims are allowed freely to speak, without shame, if they need or want to. God help me if I am not one of them.

For me, this issue has become as important as helping secondary survivors of sexual assault.¬†Why should it not be?¬†Both are about adults asserting authority and control over children’s genitals. Both issues are justified in the minds of the people who assaulted (or asked a dr to commit the assault on) the child’s genitals, regardless of what they know to be respectful to¬†any¬†human being’s body.

When I could recognize this – that this all comes down to adults asserting authority over a child’s sexuality/body against their protests or without informed consent – that those are intricately, inseparably linked in both medically unnecessary circumcision and in the sexual assault I advocate against… I could address the cognitive dissonance I had been feeling, deeply, about this issue. I was able to call this a mutilation, an amputation, and a sinful, hateful act against children. Because asserting power over a child’s body, justifying it, in both of these “situations” is¬†evil.

This morning, thinking deeply about a circumcision conversation I had yesterday in which some said that circumcision is not a salvation issue, I was thinking about grace. I opened the Word and the focus became God’s grace given to us. His blood offering extending grace, hope, freedom, and radical change to anyone who wants it. The same grace and love we are to extend to everyone.

Then, after reading this Scripture (all of Galatians 5), I went online to research it a bit more in depth and found an amazing article (What the Bible Really Says About Routine Infant Circumcision), that I want to share bits from later. I had not taken notice before, of the wording in several Scripture verses, of New Testament Followers of Christ’s view on circumcision. I am highlighting things here that I took note of when reading through this article:

“Paul did not believe in freedom to choose; he believed in freedom to obey God.¬†

~Gal. 5:11 ‘But if I still proclaim circumcision. . . then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.’¬†¬†

First there was circumcision and animal sacrifice; then there was the cross. If you hold on to the former, you render the latter worthless.

~Gal. 5:12 ‘I wish that those who are pushing you to do so would¬†mutilate¬†themselves!’¬†

Have you ever heard Paul so intense about anything? Mutilation is¬†his¬†word. And it will come up again.”¬†

~Phil. 3:2 “Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the¬†mutilation! For WE are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put NO confidence in the flesh!”¬†

Paul has three things to say about those who would still practice routine circumcision after the ushering in of the New Covenant and the final sacrifice made by Christ.¬†First, he calls them dogs, the lowest of insulting terms in those days. (Dogs were not yet domesticated as household pets and they ran around wild in packs eating garbage and annoying the livestock.)¬†Second, he calls them evil workers. Scripture is clear: maiming an individual, outside of a direct order from God, is evil and morally unacceptable.¬†Third, Paul minces no words; he calls unordained circumcision what it really is – mutilation. This is the second time Paul uses this term. Ironically, those who speak up for children today are often labeled ‘extremists’ for using this same word.”

It was kind of wild to me, because the words used by Paul are harsh – one of them being an exact word I was just “chastised” over using a few weeks ago, by a Believer (the word they said I was mocking God and/or His people with was¬†mutilation)! Had I taken note of it before, I would have promptly shared those verses that use the words I’ve been using already so the person may be less likely to “guide” any other Followers in this area, incorrectly.

This wording, which could be called inflammatory, mocking, and insulting by many, is then followed by how we should be loving one another! Clearly, speaking the Truth of circumcision is not inflammatory, mocking, or insulting, nor is it unloving. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. It is LOVE to speak the truth about circumcision, even if it is needed to be said harshly.

All of this led me to thinking about the movie, Amazing Grace.

William Wilberforce accepted Christ and could no longer stomach the excuses being made about the enslavement of other human beings and acted, ¬†tirelessly. So tireless was he, that he made himself sick, to prevent the atrocities happening to fellow human being’s bodies and spirits.

Many¬†others, even those who called themselves Christians, called him crazy, extreme, disruptive to their¬†British¬†way of life, they certainly called him “against his country” (whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean/hold sway for a Christian who holds a different Citizenship altogether), and even that the belief that slaves should be freed was “dividing the Church.” Frankly, many people who said they were fellow Christians were downright hostile and hateful to his proposal that we treat black people as equal to whites, and no longer take ownership of their bodies and violating their spirits – the ones that Christ freed. (This same garbage “Christian” protection/defense of slavery happened in America, as well.)

It’s clear in watching the “cozy afternoon” ship scene, where William has people of high influence stop in front of a stenching slave ship, that these people are experiencing extreme levels of what therapists/psychologists today call cognitive dissonance. They are horrified, tears in their eyes, close to vomiting, and some of them are shaking. They are all at a breaking point in their belief systems and they must choose to either match their actions to the knowledge/belief that slaves were treated horribly, or they must turn away completely and deny the humanity of the slaves so they could go on living comfortably – living in denial. (Here’s an interesting video¬†on watching cognitive dissonance played out in a “small” way.)

Yet, this is what many would do. Turn away and live in denial, because it’s too uncomfortable to face the truth of slavery.


This led me to thinking of the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures. They often did extreme things, said extreme things in order to snap God’s people to attention. I mean it, I am pretty sure had I been around them, I would have thought they were insane. Cooking food over feces, ripping clothing and wailing, and “worse.” The people who claimed they were God’s people and loved Him – they called these prophets things like nuts, heathens, and more. Admonishing the prophets who were being commanded by God to shine light on the disturbing things God’s people were doing, using far less disturbing analogies… telling them to be silent, or just a little more “discreet” about what they were doing. This post, linking to direct Scripture about these prophets, is pretty great:¬†The Crazy Prophets of the Old Testament

Yet, even still, when God’s people shout out, sometimes in extreme ways against most certainly¬†more extreme actions/sin, the bulk of the people who call themselves His, say, “It’s too much! Chill out! You are trying to change and destroy a way of life for us that we are used to! That makes us uncomfortable!”

When will we learn?

Whether it is empowering ourselves over black people’s bodies and spirits (or any shade of melanin) for slavery, over women’s and children’s bodies for sexual gratification or dominance, asserting power over a child’s body for medically-non-existent issues while pretending we’re somehow sparing them from an unknown, or any other issue involving someone else’s temple – these are clearly salvation issues.

Christ came to do away with violence and bloodshed by offering us salvation – yet many of those who claim to be His, still¬†want it. And they want the people who can no longer ignore these atrocities to be ashamed of speaking about it, to be more discreet, to never be extreme in response to the more extreme sin of ignoring His salvation and freedom. Our bodies are His – we are to care for them as the Temple, and treat other’s bodies the same way.

For this, my heart has been broken for weeks on end. I can’t ignore the hypocrisy any longer, and I have been desperate in prayer, words, and action, to work against this tide of cultural conditioning within the Church.

I pray I can find more to do, just as I have continued praying about doing more to help sexual assault victims and their families.

Baby’s Solid Starts

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This morning, Melody asked if she could feed Stryder some hard boiled egg with Siracha sauce. It prompted me to share a letter I wrote to a friend one time, when they asked me how I go about giving solids to my littles.

I am¬†an avid researcher when I set my mind to something. One of my main aims in life is to¬†honor God by taking the best possible care of¬†my family¬†member’s¬†temples, just as we care for our¬†minds and spiritual¬†life.¬†Caring¬†for¬†my first daughter’s¬†health¬†started me on a healthy living¬†journey¬†and childhood nutrition¬†continues to be a passion of mine¬†because of all that I have learned.

Feel free to ask questions, and absolutely don’t take my word for it. Research, research, research! I love sharing information because my goal isn’t to convert people to “MY” way, but to remind folks constantly that there are always alternatives to every area of health than what we’ve been trained to believe for the last 50 years, and it excites me to get people empowering themselves by researching.


I’m going to give you information that I’ve gathered together and gotten the best guidance from¬†when it comes to starting babies on¬†solid foods.

First, make sure¬†your little one¬†has the signs of readiness for eating. It really is important they are all there! I know its difficult to wait; we’ve been told breastmilk “isn’t enough” at the 6-month mark, but its simply not true. Whether you feed¬†them¬†before¬†their¬†guts are ready or after, I promise you’ll get lots of cute, messy pictures! Just because a babe is reaching for something doesn’t mean they need it. They’ll also reach for a pile of dog poo if its close enough! ūüėČ All the signs need to be there!
Here is more about the signs: http://www.theweaningtimes.com/about-baby-led-weaning/#readiness

Second, giving a baby rice cereal is a bad idea. The reason the human gut shouldn’t have rice before 18-24 months is because it is a grain. All grains are difficult/virtually impossible for humans to digest at this age, producing the effect of tearing at our little guts. What that means is no grains, even gluten free grains, until about 2 years old. That includes oats, sorghum, buckwheat, rye, barley, wheat, rice, and more.
There’s more about not doing infant cereals here:¬†http://www.foodrenegade.com/why-ditch-infant-cereals/#
A decent list of grains: http://www.our-food-recipes.com/list-of-grains.html

Third, in ‚Äúmodern” America some doctors will say that the first foods to introduce to baby should be “low allergen” foods, foods which tend to be bland and not very nutrient dense, but the truth is, as long as you add in the high-allergen foods one at a time and watch for reactions in the following few days, there’s no reason to limit what they’re having aside from grains. In fact, a lot of babies that have a wide variety of foods offered early on (this means we need to be a good example and not be picky, too), are less likely to be picky later on! When Leela was out with us at about 9 months old, she¬†loved a bit of spicy BBQ ribs when we went out. ūüôā
More on nutrient dense food here: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/nourishing-a-growing-baby
More on encouraging thankful (eating a variety of food) eaters here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9646449/ns/health-childrens_health/t/experts-seek-debunk-baby-food-myths/#.UUp0kByNNAt

I take a little bit from “baby led weaning” that makes scientific sense, a little bit from Nourishing Traditions that makes scientific sense, and a little bit of what I’ve found works for us outside of that. I’ll give you a typical meal in-house, and in parentheses I’ll note how that’s different from either method.

I waited to let Leela¬†start on solids until all the signs of readiness were present (Nourishing Traditions gives an arbitrary age, but every baby is ready at a different age, and it does the gut damage to give solids before ready, even if pur√©ed), and will do the same for Stryder. I try to time nursing babies before a meal so when they are eating solids, they can eat with us, but that doesn’t always happen. I nurse from both breasts for as long as they want. Then, we have a beeswax canvas that gets laid down¬†on the livingroom floor, where we all eat, and they sit upright next to me in the middle of the beeswax canvas (in baby led weaning it is not recommended to let them eat outside of a high chair, but reading body alignment information, we try to sit on the floor or use exercise balls as much as possible – Katy Bowman of Aligned and Well has me convinced!¬†http://www.alignedandwell.com/katysays/), with someone’s leg behind them for extra¬†support in the beginning stages. Forced sitting is also not good for humans.
They eat off my plate, I make sure there are big hunks for them to gnaw on, and Leela was always content (because NT recommends starting solids so early, most everything is mashed/pur√©ed according to their guides). Sometimes I had to chew food up for her, which is also okay. Chewing food beforehand actually aids your baby’s digestion AND gut flora, whereas using a baby¬†blender doesn’t add the beneficial bacteria that your spit does (not mentioned in either BLW or NT that I can recall). What I usually chew is smaller bits of food like lacto-fermented sauerkraut. As humans begin eating solid foods, they need to continue to build good gut flora ‚Äď through healthy bacteria, which is found in lacto-fermented foods and beverages. Such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, condiments that have been lacto-fermented (ketchup, jam, mayonnaise…), etc. This maintains and/or heals gut flora. I highly recommend lacto-fermented vegetables at every age of solid-food eating (including adulthood).

When she was done, I cleaned her up and then wiped off the beeswax canvas with some natural cleaner.
Done!

Prepare for the smelliest poop you’ve ever smelled in your life! ūüėČ


Here’s a few more random sites about the topic of feeding baby solids.


I hope this starts you well on your researching journey!