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The Truth About Baby Led Weaning | My Response to Steve Harvey

By now, many of you have seen my Steve Harvey segment on Baby Led Weaning. If you haven’t…here it is…

I could critique myself a lot and tell you I talked too fast in the first segment or said “so” too much, but oh well! If I get the chance to be on TV again, I’ll do better! For now…I think I did pretty damn good! 🙂

My response…..

I have a few apologies to start. My first apology is that I have been missing on this blog recently. Sorry about that.  It took a lot more time to prepare to appear on Steve Harvey than I anticipated!  There was travel time to Chicago, packing and prepping to be gone, the dress and jewelry, etc.  I’m also extremely blessed that my photography business is taking off and I’m super busy!!

My next and most important apology….I feel the need to apologize to the Baby Led Weaning community. I felt awful from the moment I stepped off stage and felt like the segment did BLW a disservice!  I have since had to come to peace with the fact that it’s done, it has aired, and there MUST be good coming from this. I believe things happen for a reason.  I see this happen in my daily life.  I believe something good will or has come of this segment.  I hope I will find out what that good is someday…soon.

My motivation to spend two days away from my family was to get the word out about Baby Led Weaning. I wanted at least one person who hadn’t heard of it to hear about it, think about it and research it. I do not feel that BLW was presented well on the show. I do not believe that it was explained well. It was made to be “extreme parenting” and seemed the focus was on chicken legs, ribs and choking dangers rather than an honest debate or informative segment including both benefits and warnings.  Needless to say, I don’t think Baby Led Weaning is Extreme Parenting at all. No rice cereal. No purees. Just real food. Steamed…really, really steamed in our house to start. That’s not extreme…it’s natural.

Hindsight is 20/20. After each photo shoot, I think of shots I wish I’d taken. After a job interview, I think of better answers to the questions asked. After this segment taped, I thought of all the things I wish I’d said.  [I was super surprised when the segment ended….I thought there was more discussion left!] But, after really considering what happened, I realize I said the best things I could have said. What good would it have done for a mother (me) to list benefits of Baby Led Weaning (see below for benefits) to counter a pediatrician who say it’s dangerous and can cause brain damage and death?! I’m comfortable with how I handled the situation and my only wish is for more time and more discussion….oh and a different pediatrician!!! 🙂

Pediatricians. A quick word from Tori on pediatricians and doctors in general. I haven nothing against doctors. We need doctors. But, I really really really appreciate doctors who do their homework on nutrition and preventative medicine!

  1. Most doctors have one semester or less of nutrition education in medical school. Think about that. One semester or less on nutrition, which his preventative medicine.  I wish there were more nutritionists and life & wellness coaches working in doctor’s offices to be referred by the doctor. I’d love to see a prescription for a nutritionist instead of or along with a prescription for medicine!
  2. I researched BLW and never found a doctor speaking out “on the record” that Baby Led Weaning is dangerous. I have not found any links to BLW and danger. As with all food and children/babies, there are precautions, but nothing specific to BLW. Actually, it may be LESS dangerous to start feeding babies solids earlier…..[read Baby Led Weaning for full details on benefits check back because I’ll post more on that in a couple days!]
  3. Dr. Lisa Thornton used scare tactics. She did not share research. Or studies. It was like a bad sales tactic.  We can name a case of a baby dying or becoming brain dead from a fall down the stairs, off a bike, from choking on grapes and cherry tomatoes [btw, these are the most dangerous foods for kids under 4 years old] at 3 years old…but that shouldn’t scare us away from feeding our children! It means we have to be smart and researched in order to keep our babies and kids safe! 

Research. Do your own research. Make up your own mind.

Choking and Gagging. So, choking and gagging are different. Gagging and coughing is not choking. It occurs as a baby or child is learning how to swallow & where their gag reflex is in their mouth.  The gap reflex actually occurs pretty far forward on a baby’s mouth/tongue in order to prevent babies from actually choking on foods.  [Thanks God for this design!] The main choking hazards are actually grapes and cherry tomatoes! So, beware of objects this size with this type of casing. Do you know what to do if your child is choking?  Do your research before you feed baby anything so you can be aware of the risks and alert to watch for problems.  I always keep a close eye on her while she’s eating and don’t leave the room in case she does choke, since I believe if she were really choking she wouldn’t be able to make a sound to alert me!
***Please read the books listed above if you are thinking about trying BLW. Read the books before trying BLW. There are many tips to keep your baby safe that I have not covered here!***

Check back this week for more posts on:

  • Holly [on the show with me] gives her response!
  • Baby Led Weaning – Your Questions Answered!


Michele - I don’t think YOU did a poor job here at all. YOU have nothing to apologize for. You had no control over how they chose to present this and that he really didn’t listen… the showed wanted to make it extreme. I don’t know anything about The Steve Harvey Show, but my initial reaction would be to suspect many topics are treated in similar fashion.

You did great, you represented the community well, and you look great too!

Aitch - You did brilliantly, well done. As it happens over here in the UK one of my friends is a consultant paediatrician working in ER (we call it A&E) so seeing babies having accidents all day every day… he thinks BLW is great and both of his kids did it. So if it had been him up there… you’d have had an equally authoritative but entirely opposite opinion. Which, of course, wouldn’t have made quite such a good show. ;D

April - It was obvious the doctor was only trying to scare the audience. Her responce to your thoughtful discussion was way to extreme and she knew she would only get one good sound bite on a talk show.

I have to remember that her response was probably good for the masses. Most people will not research before trying something new and many will give their children something and then not supervise them. Remember the recall on bumbo! Your comments will cause someone like me to do research and will give me the confidence not to buy into the ever increasing market of processed baby items. The Dr.’s comments will keep those that should not be left alone with children in the first place to abide by the safety restrictions in place for mass audiences.

tori - I love having smart friends! That is such a smart take on the show. Can I post your response on my Facebook Page? I love it! I think you are brilliant! I always love your input!

tori - Thank you! Thank you! You are sooo right! It made for good TV! I just wanted people to hear it, think about it and research it or tell a friend and I hope that was done. Not many people know about this here in the US!

tori - Thank you! Thank you! and Thank you! 🙂

Aitch - it was totally done! (and if a raised eyebrow can speak a thousand words, then yours did…)

tori - YAY! Thanks! Let me know if I can do a guest post on your site or if you want to do one on mine! Or if you want to use any of my pics or anything! I’d love to contribute!

April - of course.

Audra - You were at an unfair advantage from the get-go, since the first thing he did was call you “extreme.” It seems the whole purpose was for the audience to think you were nuts. You handled it beautifully. I, for one, did not come away thinking you were a crazy person who didn’t care about her baby’s well being. If anything, the closed-minded pediatrician seemed more extreme to me. And for the record, Aidan choked on mashed potatoes once, so nothing is 100% safe.

Jen - I think you did great on the segment. Media representatives will cut and edit however they want to spin their opinion. This is the first thing we are taught in any kind of ‘dealing with the media’ class. You specifically stated things that you didn’t feel comfortable with (meat on bones), and mentioned that you just did what felt natural supported by your research. You recommended people research options before doing anything. Those are extremely important soundbites that they did use. Good job!

Your blog introduced me to baby led weaning. I do use puree because I started her early (5 months) on food – at that point we had to eat dinner after she went to bed (and eat other meals when she was napping) because she watched us and cried. I still give her some things in puree that I make (like applesauce), and she likes it. As soon as she could feed herself, we let her. These things felt natural to me, supported by research and friends’ experiences. So thank you!!

Holly's Response | Baby Led Weaning on Steve Harvey - FIToriBLOG - […] was on the show with me. You can watch it here & read my reply if you missed it.  I told Holly after the show that at least if the show was a bust, I met a […]

tori - Thanks Jen! I think it makes sense to adapt anything to our families. We adapt workouts, diets, and parenting techniques to fit our family! I love that you’re having fun with BLW like we are. Thanks for the feedback on the show!

tori - Thanks Audra! I’m glad I didn’t appear like a crazy person. I do think anyone with kids can see that we are not irresponsible parents and that the dr didn’t get a good “argument”!

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