Chewing food for your baby fad?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Just saw Alicia Silverstone's video of feeding her 10 month old his food by chewing it for him and feeding him by expelling it directly into in his mouth.

    Pediatrician had nothing good to say about it and talked about viruses that otherwise would not be transmitted to baby by kissing or other means (she specifically mentioned herpes but said "and others") and stunting the child's development with respect to eating properly and safely by himself.

    I'm not a parent and am feeling a little nauseated by the video.  How do moms react?

    ETA:  Can anyone see the poll?  I thought it would be fun, but I don't see it myself...

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Kar, I can't see the poll either. :(

    But, it's kind of bizarre and gross to me. What's the purpose of doing it? I saw a clip on the news today and something like "form of bonding" was mentioned....but, I'm pretty sure I bonded just as well with all 4 of mine when they were that age, just by reading a book. I didn't need to spit in their mouths. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Chewing their food? Yuck! How are they going to learn to eat? Normal mothers give their kids age appropriate foods which they can learn to chew on their own.  If it's too hard for baby to chew it needs to be cooked to a softer texture or avoided until baby is older.
    What could Alicia Silverstone be feeding her kid that he can't eat himself? Isn't she a vegan or something? Doesn't she have a steamer?
    This would be funny if it weren't so sad.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    That is just gross.  Never did that with my DD.  You just make sure you cut the pieces into very small bites they can't choke on. Common sense. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Nope, it was all just regular food - nothing special.  That's just how she feeds him.  It's not regurgitated, thank goodness, but it looked like a mother bird feeding her chicks or a short "quick breath" version of CPR.

    I guess I did something wrong with the poll...oh, well.

    I'm glad that the fact I'm not a mother isn't the reason I'm totally grossed out by this. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    My first thought after I read the subject was germs!   Even dogs have cleaner mounths than humans, right?  

    I wouldn't unless it was some dire curcumstance and the only way to get food into my baby.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Here's the video, by the way.  I should have put it in the OP


    ETA:  I put the link in the OP.  

    Yes, that was the pediatrician's main concern, too - GERMS.  She said it was a filthy practice (in so many words).  There are the parents that go hog wild with hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial soap, Lysol, etc.  And, who knew, there are parents who spit chewed food into their baby's mouths.  I wonder if there is a subset of parents who do both, sanitize the heck out of the high chair but spit into their kids mouths.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml26202. Show ml26202's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Um, they've done that for thousands of years all over the world and continue to do so every day. My neice and nephew are adopted from Korea and their foster mothers did that for them.

    I understand the spitting in the mouth is kind of gross, but these are little babies still breast feeding, their mother's germs and their germs are exactly the same.

    I'm not grossed out and think nothing of this. I might have even done this myself (not the spitting though) at some point when we were out eating during that short baby food phase.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Of course, you're entitled to being OK with it; enough people agree and are doing it  here that they called it a fad.  But, even so, the pediatrician totally disagreed about the germ issue and specifically said that there would be lots of germs transmitted that way that wouldn't otherwise be by breastfeeding, kissing, touching, or any other means.  She specifically mentioned herpes not generally being transmitted from mother to baby, but it would be by this practice.

    ETA:  One of the poll answers I created was, "It's wonderful and I'd do it myself."  Too bad the poll didn't work.  

    Would you still be OK with it if your pediatrician told you personally that it was a practice that would expose your child to a lot of germs they wouldn't otherwise be directly exposed to?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml26202. Show ml26202's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    If a mother's given birth, she knows if she has herpes or not, that's grasping at straws at best.

    And the pedi could very well be a pedi that insists on slathering every baby with anitbacterial lotion.

    This is just one case where everyone going "oh, that's so gross" just doesn't jive with my own experience and knowledge.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    She didn't seem out on an anti-bacterial vigilante limb.  

    I know it's not PC to say that anything a parent chooses to do with their child is "gross," and I wondered if anyone would.  My poll had every possible reaction, and it would have been anonymous...I'm ticked it didn't work, and I can't add one once the OP is posted.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    My first thought was that it seemed gross, but it does make sense. Food processors have only existed for, what, maybe 60 years? Almost everyone feeds their baby purees and that's nature's way of pureeing food. How is it all that different from putting a spoonful of puree directly into a child's mouth?

    It wasn't that long ago that many people thought breastfeeding was "gross" and insisted on formula as the better way, sanitized bottles and all. This isn't all that dissimilar, to me anyway.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    My main concern with this practice would be the very real possibility of harming the baby's teeth.  Plaque, which leads to cavities, is proven to be contagious.  Once plaque enters the mouth, it is likely there for good, meaning that the baby will be susceptible to a lifetime of dental issues that it might not otherwise have had due to major advances in dental health/hygiene. 

    Besides, at what point do you stop it and let the child learn to chew his own food? It's a slippery slope.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    The latest report I just saw on it said, "some are lauding the practice as an effective way to bond, but health professionals are in agreement that it will transmit more diseases from mothers to their babies."  (emphasis added - the news report was impartial)
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    I apologize for using the word "gross." I can understand that it is something practiced in many cultures around the world, and didn't mean to disrespect that. I was thinking about the germ factor, too! I am also unclear about why someone would choose this method over, say, cooking options or mashing with a fork or other ways to soften food for a baby (cultural/family traditions aside). I'm just curious, I guess, why this particular celebrity has chosen this over a food processor, which, although a relatively new invention in the context of human life on Earth, is certainly available widely. Clearly, she is not doing it because she has to. Again, my big question is -- what's the benefit?

    Then again, to each his own.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    It apparently seems undebated by doctors in this country that it's a dirty, germy practice with no benefit.  Usually, we call dirty, germy practices, "gross."  But, is nothing a parent can do with their baby gross if "some cultures" do it?  What if it's culturally acceptable somewhere to prepare baby's food in the toilet bowl?  That wouldn't be gross?  How gross does it have to be before it's OK to say so?

    But, yeah, to each his own!  It's a free country.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    I wouldn't do it, but I don't really care if anyone else does.  How many parents have shared an ice cream cone or popsicle or lollipop with their kids?  Presumably the same germs would get passed that way.  What about sharing feeding utensils?  What parent hasn't taken a baby-spoon-ful of their kid's applesauce or pear puree, stuck the spoon back in the bowl/container and then given their kid a spoonful.  Again, if the issue is transmission of germs from inside the mouth, I don't see how sharing food in more socially-accepted ways is much different than this.  For generally healthy parents and children, there's too much worry over germs and the passing of germs.  (Kids with compromised immune systems are entirely different but that doesn't seem to be the case here.)

    I agree that this is probably excessive given the kid's age and I agree that a food processor or mashing could provide a similar result, but whatever.  From a biological/ethno-biological standpoint, I'm wondering if there are enzymes present in the mother's saliva that may not be present in abundance in the kid's saliva that would aid in the kid digesting the food more easily?  Are there anti-bacterial/immunologically-beneficial properties in the mother's saliva--built up over a lifetime--that would have a potential benefit to the kid?  I'm just speculating here and don't have time or interest to research the answers, but I suspect that the pediatricians' response is more of a knee-jerk reaction than a well-thought-out, well-researched response.  Apparently the practice is harmless enough that people in other parts of the world have done it for centuries and continue to do it, so it can't have too many horrible effects.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    What about this from the American Academy of Pediatric Denistry

    "Babies are born without the bacteria that causes caries- the disease that leads to cavities. They get it from spit that is 
    passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own. Caregivers pass on these germs by sharing saliva- by sharing spoons, by 
    testing foods before feeding it to babies, by cleaning off a pacifi er in their mouth instead of with water, and through other 
    activities where saliva is shared. 
    These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before babies have teeth, so it’s important to avoid sharing 
    saliva with your baby right from the start."

    And, should we really assume the doctors who are weighing in against this practice aren't aware of enzymes in saliva?

    ETA:  I'm certianly not just being argumentative for argumentative's sake, but with all this medical evidence and the doctors weighing in and saying it has no benefit, only harm, what is so appealing about being for it?  Accepting that people are going to do what they're going to do, to each her own, everyone is free to raise and feed their babies they way they want to is one thing.  Being pro anyone giving a baby the maximum amount of mother's spit is another.  I'm intrigued and confounded by the support it gets in the US, a country with a second to none medical community that is completely against this practice...not even neutral on the subject, 100% against it.

    It's not the worst thing someone could do by far, but there are no medical pros and plenty of cons...I just don't get defending the practice rather than merely tolerate that it happens.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    In other cultures it might be traditional, but in American culture I think the debate over the practice might might fall under the category "Rich People Problems."
    We just had a thread that discussed how difficult it is to breastfeed, especially while trying to balance work and pumping and all that as well.

    It makes sense in a situation where that's the best/most practical way to start transitioning to solid food, since baby food from a store or a food processor to make your own baby food might not be available.  But it's kind of a silly question to pose to a person who's working 40 hours a week, plus commute, plus laundry, errands, pumping, and all the childcare responsibilities and the sleepless guilt about not doing enough. 
    Some movie star posting videos of it doesn't really count as a logical source of inspiration for starting the practice.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    I was all ready to jump in that this is common practice elsewhere, but ML beat me to it.  :)
    I think concerns about germs are legit (and the dental caries thing I have heard and am tuned in to), but as Daisy pointed out, almost every mother licks spoons, shares drinks, et cetera.  Personally, I've been trying not to do that lately, but that's for my own interest because I keep getting every daycare cold!
    But anyway, I think a medical professional should comment that it's best not to share *any* saliva rather than singling out this one practice.

    It's sort of funny that ancient child-rearing practices that have been put aside in the US keep coming back as "fads".  Co-sleeping is the other big one.  Learning to walk without shoes.  Basically, we kept thinking we could improve stuff with our technology and it turns out we are not as fancy as we think!
    Anyway, this doesn't bother me (although for reasons of our society it probably shouldn't go on too long), and goes in that category "you do what you want and I'll do what I want."
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    There are debatable things out there like co-sleeping.  There are medical professionals who say it's terrible and others who laud it highly.  It will be debated forever and fall in and out of fashion.

    This is not one of those things - there is not one medical professional that would give this even a neutral score.

    There's celebrating freedom of choice, and there's celebrating bad choices.   Do we have to celebrate every parenting idea, or is there really no such thing as a bad idea?  Is nothing intrinsically a bad idea (given its legal) when it comes to raising kids?
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    There is middle ground between celebrating something and ridiculing it.

    It's a #firstworldproblems debate. However, I would guess that medical professionals would rather a child be fed than not. If this happens to be the most effective way that a mother has, either by choice or by necessity, I don't think it's fair to condemn her. It might not be something that medical professionals agree with, but the practice has been around since the dawn of time.

    I don't get why she chooses to do this, but I'm sure she has her reasons.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    Kar, I respect your perspective.  However, it's not true that there is no debate in the medical community about this.
    Granted most mainstream doctors (and agencies) will be against this practice due to the risks from germs, but others say it may provide benefits.  Here's a link to an article that talks about a piece of research on this:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2012/0328/Alicia-Silverstone-taps-long-tradition-of-pre-chewing-baby-food

    I'm not advocating or denigrating the practice, per se.  I just know that you're a respecter of research and wanted to point out that there is still debate around this.  I think most US doctors will react based on the germs, but since this is newly popular here, they won't be aware of ongoing research on whether or not there are benefits as well.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    If medical research ever shows that trasmiting as many plaque germs as humanly possible from mother to baby (not to mention oral herpes which is not at all uncommon) is worth it for a proven medical benefit that outweighs the cons to this germy practice, I'd be willing to change my position for sure.  Thanks, med.  They were not presenting ANY positive medical opinions regarding this on any of the reports about it this morning.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Chewing food for your baby fad?

    As far as caries and plaque and other mouth/disease-type things go, I agree that that is a risk of sharing saliva.  But as I speculated and in the link medford posted, there are references to the possibility of increased immunity and better digestion.  So I think the bottom line is that this isn't necessarily "all or nothing" and that the jury may still be out on some of this.

    I'll offer a similar medical example.  At my last physical, my doctor asked about amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and I gave her that information.  She then told me that certain levels of alcohol consumption have been shown to be preventative against heart disease...but those same levels can increase breast cancer risk.  (This was non-lecture-y--she was just passing on information.)  My response to her was "so either way, I'm screwed."  It was good information to have, but b/c of the ambiguity and no clear benefit either way, it's not going to change my behavior.  If I had a strong family history of either disease, I might change my behavior in the hopes of tipping the scale one way or another, but even then, it's no guarantee that the outcome in 20 or 30 years would be any different.

    So with the pre-chewing stuff, yes, there is a risk that she could pass some nasties on to her kid, but there is also the possibility that she's passing something good to her kid as well. 

    Have you asked every person you've ever kissed to be checked for carrying the caries bacteria and plaque?  (rhetorical, of course, and only bringing it up b/c of the saliva-exchange issue)  I'm guessing you haven't, but it's a risk you take.  In exchange, kissing a romantic partner could cause you to have a surge of oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that provide you with a sense of well-being and happiness and bonding that, in theory leads to a certain level of contentment which can trigger the release of other good neurotransmitters and hormones are released that may lead to better immunity, etc. BUT you might end up with some cavities and more-frequent trips to the dentist or maybe a cold or flu or stomach bug or mono if your partner's mouth wasn't completely sterile.

    All I'm saying is that most of these medical things aren't black-and-white and there are trade-offs at times.  While I'm improving my heart health with an occasional drink and lessening the chance of having a heart attack or stroke, I'm increasing the risk that I'll get breast cancer.  OR I could choose to abstain from alcohol to protect myself from breast cancer, but then my risk for heart disease will go up.  In the end, one can't shield oneself from everything all the time and a certain amount of life has to be left up to fate.
     

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