Baby Led Weaning (Intro to)

What is baby led weaning? Or as I prefer to call it, baby led solids.

It is basically trusting that your baby knows how to eat, and letting them feed themselves from their very first bite of solid food, and whole foods, no purees or mush. Offer a variety of whole foods for him or her to eat with their fingers, and allow them to eat as much or as little as they want. You never place food in their mouth, whether by hand or spoon. The idea is that the baby will get to decide what he wants to eat, and when he is finished eating. Place baby in the highchair, put some food in front of him or her, and let them go.

Read below to see if your baby is ready for solids. Keep in mind, food before one is just for fun, and is absolutely not necessary nutrition wise, so if your baby is not ready, that's OKAY! Breastmilk and/or formula should be babies main source of food and nutrition for the first year. Always offer the breast (or bottle) before a meal. There are many health benefits of delayed solids, so again, there is no rush. Your baby will let you know when he or she is ready.

Signs of solid readiness:

*Baby is at least 6 months old. This is recommended by the AAP, the WHO and many other health organizations. Before 6 months of age their gut is not ready yet.
*Baby is sitting up WITHOUT support.
*Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex (where baby will automatically push food out of their mouth with their tongue).
*Baby is developing their pincer grasp (uses thumb and forefinger to pick up food or objects).
*Baby can chew. As long as they can chew you will be surprised at what they can chew, even if they don't have many or any teeth!
*Baby is interested in foods and mealtime, and may even grab food and bring it to their mouth.

What are the pros of baby led solids?

*Babies really enjoy exploring and experimenting with food. It's natural instinct for them to eat this way.
*Mom or dad are hands free! Pull the highchair up to the table and let baby eat with the family, and learn as they watch you eat and mimic you.
*No making baby food or separate meals. Just serve what the rest of the family is eating (within reason of course).
*Less concern for food texture issues later.
*It's said that those who do blw have less picky children and it sets them up for healthier food choices. 
*Great for hand eye coordination. All that exploring and grasping of different shapes and textures!
*Less chance for obesity.

What are the cons of baby led solids?

*It's messy. Although, to be honest, my oldest child who did not do blw, was just as messy.
*Some food waste. Which could also go for a a baby who did not do baby led weaning.

Won't they choke on whole foods?

There is no solid evidence supporting pureed baby food. Pureed food started when it was giving to younger babies who were not ready for solids. Most healthy babies, when ready, should do well with baby led solids.

A babies gag reflex is closer to the front of their mouth as opposed to an adults. This is a safety mechanism preventing foods to travel too far back of the babies mouth. How awesome is it that our bodies, throughout life, are designed the way they are? So your babies gag response goes into action before food will lodge into their throat. 

One thing to remember, gagging and choking are two very different things. If your baby starts gagging, as scary as it seems, it means they are working the food out. The best thing you can do is sit on your hands, and stay calm. With gagging, noise will be present and your baby will act normal. If your baby is choking no sound will be present and your baby will look panicked. If your baby is choking, take action immediately.

For peace of mind, know what to do if your baby chokes. Take a class (which all parents should do regardless of whether or not you do blw) and watch some YouTube video's like this one here. Nothing replaces taking an actual class though. 

What are some good first foods for baby led weaning?

The first foods my son tried was bananas and avocado. Then very shortly after I just started giving him food right off my dish! Here's a list below for some starter foods to offer.

steamed veggies
organic peas
organic sweet corn
pasta & sauce
sweet potato fries
& much more

Are there any foods to avoid once you start solids?

The only food I avoided was honey. We are vegan but even if we wasn't, honey before 12 months should be avoided. The reason isn't allergies but it is because of infant botulism. It is very rare, but serious. Click here for more information on botulism. I would also avoid skins and anything stringy and nuts (do to choking hazards). My son started eating nuts early on (shortly after 1 year), but not as a starter food, but be sure to use your best judgement, you know your baby best. I never delayed peanut butter or stuff like that as we have no history of food allergies in the family.

Food for thought:

Think about this for a minute. Homemade baby purees sounds awesome, and it is, no fillers or junk added to them and you know exactly what is in it. Think about the process though; you cook it all up, make crazy concoctions, freeze it, thaw it, cook it again (many by microwave, and that could be a whole separate post) , and let it cool for baby. Now really, how fresh, nutritious and tasty does that sound? Freezing and cooking foods eliminate so much of the nutrients, and not only are you freezing it but you are heating it up TWICE! So while I think doing homemade baby puree's is a great alternative to store bought jars and pouches, for us, baby led weaning was the best choice.


For viewing pleasure, here is my son, on the first days of baby led solids. :) Then the apple video at around 9 months of age. He is currently 21 months old and eats everything now, has never choked, very rarely gagged and is an AMAZING healthy eater.


If you have any other questions, or think I missed something, let me know in comments below!

Welcome to (the new) EcoModern Mom

am a mom to two children, a daughter, Tehya, born in 2007, and a son, Maximus, born in 2013.

I practice extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, bed sharing, baby wearing, erf (extended rear facing and harnessing), and do not believe in letting a baby cry, vaccinations, spanking or ric. I also am 110% for homeschooling and while I tried and can't (do to custody arrangement) homeschool my daughter; my son will absolutely be homeschooled. 

My son and I eat a vegan diet and are working on transitioning to raw vegan. My daughter is vegetarian (but mostly vegan) at home, when at her dad's she is omni. She wants to go vegan but struggles as she only has the support when she is home with me. She is not old enough to buy or prepare her meals when away. 

I also have a niche for finding only eco and modern products for my family and my home. This blogs original purpose, modern and earth friendly product reviews. No (well, little to none) plastic, character themed, battery operated toys and no cheap itchy clothing that every other kid has on from a Walmart rack. Individuality!  I am also a minimalist which kind of butts heads with my thing for researching and finding eco/modern products. ;) 

 I've just journeyed out to not just buying all natural cleaning and bath & beauty products, but to making them as well.

We try to be as natural as possible (but are for sure not perfect) in all aspects of our life. We would like to share our journey with you and learn more along the way, and make some connections. 

This blog still needs updating and maintenance, so please bear with me while I bring it up to date and rearrange things. Also, look forward to a youtube channel in the future, it's all set up just not put to use quite yet. :)

Feel free to contact me with questions or things you would like see on this blog.

Joovy Room - style meets functionality

The thing with a buying a playard is you are going to be looking at it constantly. Maybe it's set up in your living room and it'll also be traveling wherever  you go. This has got to be something you don't mind seeing around. So looks are definitely a factor when it comes to choosing which playard to get. A lot of times to get high quality you have to settle on the look factor but like all Joovy products, the Joovy Room Playard combines both good looks and functionality. I had my mind set on the Joovy Room initially but to give the rest a fair chance I browsed over a dozen other playards on the market and not one made me stop in my tracks like the Room did; none of them compared.

I love orange so of course I choose the bold "orangie" Joovy Room Playard with Bassinet and Changing Table. Don't want to be bold? They offer other colors as well.

You are not going to find any "baby" prints at Joovy, aka monkey's and rubber ducks or the dreaded primary or pastel colors. Joovy offers sleek, fresh and contemporary design and colors. Design that you are okay (and proud!) to look at throughout your home through the years.

Aesthetics aside, let's get started on what this product features and offers. The Joovy Room full feature nursery is a bassinet, changing station and playard, all in one. There is nothing I love more than multifunctional products.

Don't let the price tag scare you (it did me at first) because this playard is super high quality. It's what sets it apart from all other playards out there. With high grade 600D nylon fabric, it is durable and stain resistant. Just compare the fabric side by side another brand, you will see the difference.

The bassinet holds 15 pounds and a 100% cotton sheet is included. The (removable) changing table with a wipeable vinyl top holds up to 25 pounds so it will be usable for most of your diaper changing days. There are pouches around the table part, great for stuffing diapers, creams and other essentials at an arms reach. At the opposite end is a parent's organizer to place other items as well. It has 9 storage compartments (including a hard plastic top for wipes); it holds up to 9 lbs. Mines got tons of items with room to spare...

Other notable features are the two wheels making it easy to move around your home, a built in mp3 player for those lullabies or babies favorite music (which I have not used yet) and a built in night light. Included is also a zippered travel bag.

Playard Weight: 34 lbs.
Playard Dimension Folded: 10.5" x 15" x 31"
Playard Dimensions Unfolded: 34"H x 35.5" W x 49"L
Playard Minimum Age/Maximum Height: Birth/35"
Bassinet Maximum Weight: 15 lbs.
Parent Organizer Maximum Weight: 9 lbs.

Purchase the Joovy Room at Joovy's website. Practical. Functional. Stylish. Also check them out for many other great products.

Hold It Baby :: On-the-Go Toy Organizer

When I first found this next product my initial thought was where was this product when my first baby was a toddler? It probably would have saved my sanity a little bit and is one of those, "why didn't I think of that?" products. The Hold It Baby On-the-Go Toy Organizer is a must have that will keep all of your child's things tethered to a stroller, car seat, high chair, shopping cart, backpack carrier, etc. I remember the days when my daughter went through that stage where everything "accidentally" flung to the ground followed by an innocent "uh-oh" and a big smile as mommy picked up that toy from the ground or floor for the 20th time in a row. I can also remember toys that had gone missing after walks with the stroller that if I'd had this product would have stayed tethered to the stroller and would had not falling out. There is many different scenarios I can tie this to including car rides, trips to the market and what not. No more pick up games or lost items, and no more toys hitting the dirty ground. Your baby can fish their toy back in with a tug of the Hold It Baby.

Not only will this hold a sippy cup but it will hold things like small books, a crayon box, small toys, action figures, stuffed animals, loveys, a drink bottle, snacks. The larger sized silicone band will hold items a little larger. This will even hold your smartphone securely! Easily tossed in the diaper bag for on the go use.

To purchase the Hold It Baby to keep your child's favorite items within reach you can find them here. You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Safety note:

Secure the connector to an immovable object that is at least five (5) inches below the child’s chin. The Hold It Baby is not a toy and should never be used by a child without an attending adult. Do not use this product in a crib, playpen, or port-a-crib. Do not use this product if your child is unrestrained. This product conforms to all government safety requirements (mechanical testing, toxicity, and flammability). This product is to be assembled by an adult. This product is intended for ages 18 months and up in the USA, and 3 years and up in Europe, Canada and Australia.

Thank you Hold It Baby for providing product for review.

Modern Twist : bringing art to the table

Modern-twist is a San Francisco/Oakland based company, founded and created by Kat Nouri who grew up in a community that was passionate about nutrition, spirituality and organic farming. She was raised by a father who was a world-class athlete and produce importer and a spiritual mother with a PHD in Nutrition. Following these values Kat created a company that thrives on the great multi-cultural and diverse community.

Modern-twist offers placemats and other kitchen and dining accessories. As a mom of 3 Kat believed that what you eat is as important as what you eat on. Using minimalist aesthetic and food-grade, hand-silkscreened silicone the placemats are free of bpa, lead, latex, phthalates and other harsh chemicals and are recyclable.

I was in search of a placemat that was eco and non toxic, modern plus high quality which is nearly impossible if you think about it. You either get eco placemats that are just blah and unattractive or you get lucky and find a decent print but it reeks of chemicals. But most of what I find is just poor quality and I find myself repeatedly replacing my placemats, or better yet I put them on my table just for looks because they can't handle the wear and tear of being used and washed. This is where Modern-twist placemats come in, they are simple, clean, and eco-chic. With beautiful designs and patterns they are also practical with optimal functionality with an easy to clean, germ free heat proof surface. I have washed and wiped these down several times already, my daughter likes to use them for every meal, and these are definitely not going to wear down or ruin anytime in the near or far future. They have also been picked and toiled and folded in the hands of a 6 year old and I have had to scrub off nail polish thanks to a particular little girl and they still look as good as new and I'm confident these will last awhile while giving my kitchen table a new elegant look.

For a sustainable planet without compromising style and class you can purchase these top quality placemats and dining accessories at Modern-twist. Be sure to find them on facebook and twitter as well.

thank you modern-twist for providing products for review.

Hugg-A-Planet : combining play and education + GIVEAWAY

hugg a planetI'm always keeping my eye out for toys that are not just fun but but provide and educational experience, especially the kind where learning is happening without your child even realizing it. From toddlers through early elementary schoolers most of the learning that happens comes from play and hands on. This is where Hugg-A-Planet comes in. Hugg-A-Planet offers a line of soft eco American made toys (globes, stars and state map) that encourage learning through play.

The classic Hugg-A-Planet Earth is a 12" real stuffed globe with over 600 labeled places. Printed in attention grabbing vibrant and non toxic colors it is sure to catch your little ones eye. This globe will promote and encourage hands on learning, environmental awareness and geographic literacy. Pick a location, toss it and have them find it and toss it back. My 6 year old likes to pick an animal and find which country it is from. Her newest craze is penguins! She was also astonished to find our state on the map and see that it was so little, "wow, we are tiny". Compared to a majority of the other states we are. The globe helps her to see that there is a big world out there; we are working on better understanding the differences between cities, states and countries because I think right now, it is all just one to her so this globe invites her to see the big picture.

Not just for small kids, Hugg-A-Planet products are great for use in the classroom, middle and high schools, dorms and great just keep on a desk for a quick reference. They even have a little globe rattle that would make a unique and great baby shower or baby gift.

hugg a planet
Hug it, toss it, have fun with it. The globe is available in English, Spanish and French and a tag is including in each globe with important facts about our Planet Earth and the Universe.

You can order your Hugg-A-Planet toys here from Peace Toys and you can also enter to win your own classic Hugg-A-Planet globe below!" rel="nofollow" target="_BLANK2">Entry

product was provided for review purposes. all opinions are 100% my own. .

GIVEAWAY Tummy Talk Pregnancy Book:: all-in-one album, scrapbook, keepsake journal

The Tummy Talk Pregnancy Book is a complete all-in-one album, scrapbook, and keepsake journal you can use from the moment you get the good news until your baby’s first homecoming. When I was pregnant with my daughter the only pregnancy journal I had was this calender type one that didn't leave me a ton of space and then I never really filled it out often because with the lack of space and it's vagueness it didn't appeal to me. Well I'm really kicking myself now because I wish I had had a special journal and captured this magical time to look back on and share with my daughter. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice of not keeping a journal I browsed all the pregnancy journals available and Tummy Talk was one that kept screaming at me with it's elegant yet classic design and all-in-one format. I'm not huge on scrapbooking because I'm so not crafty and too lazy for that but this book is perfect with a touch of everything and not too much scrapbooking that would make me too overwhelmed but enough to add a personal touch.

Tummy Talk was started by Angela Horiuchi-Yvkoff and Karen Vardeny, two women who came up short on finding the perfect pregnancy journal so they created their own that had it all. The Tummy Talk pregnancy book "provides moms-to-be and new families with a specially designed journal to chronicle all their feelings and intimate thoughts throughout the pregnancy and birthing process, while also providing space to keep special memorabilia and photos". Instead a record keeping fill in the blank type book this one is more personal and intimate, a journal, scrapbook and album all wrapped up in one.

pinkspreadThis book is a beautiful keepsake to record all your memories, photo's and a way to capture "every kick and craving". This book has 105 unique pages and the pages are heavy weight so they do not tear and are great for pasting memorabilia, inserting photos and chronicling thoughts. In the back of the book is 3 pieces of coordinating blank letterhead for the first letters to your baby for placement inside the cover pocket. In addition, 3 pages of really beautiful scrapbook cut-outs are included for baby’s first love notes that can be pasted on album pages. This book also has durable spiral binding which I love because it is flexible and you can lay it flat and not lose the backing.

tabsshotThe book size is 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" and page size is 9" x 10".The cover material of Tummy Talk is really soft and kind of feels like suede. Tummy Talk comes in 5 stylish colors (This Little Pinky, Binky Blue, Nap Thyme, Peaches and Cream & Silver Gray) and for an added touch of elegance a hand-placed Swarovski crystal on the cover of each book. Inside the book has 5 sections including pregnancy stories, prenatal visits, weekly journaling, baby shower and birth details. Each section has a pocket at the beginning for memorandums or whatever you like. Printed and made in the U.S.A. and is winner of the respected iParenting 2007 Greatest Product Media Award.

Tummy Talk also makes some really cute announcements and thank you cards.

Visit Tummy Talk here. Makes a special shower gift or gift to yourself. View here for where to buy.
One super lucky reader at EcoModern Mom has a chance to win a Tummy Talk Pregnancy Journal in green (retails for $75)!" rel="nofollow" target="_BLANK2">Entry

EcoModern Mom was contacted by to see if we would be interested in reviewing a couple of products and after digging into their website and reviewing their company I learned that their toys are completely safe, BPA free, lead and phthalate free and had recyclable packaging so I decided they would be a good fit for EcoModern Mom.

B. toys Mission:

"We create toys that inspire individuality. Our process is part joy. Part love. Part mischief. Part serendipity. And at the end of the day, our goal is to be bigger than a toy company. We want to be a voice to children that says it’s okay to be curious, to be pensive, to be loud, to be happy and sad all at the same time, to be generous, to be afraid, to be quiet, to be wild, to be fun, to be open, to be scientific, to be poetic, to be giddy, to be serious, to be smart, to be free, to be you. Just B. Just You. B. You." are inspired by the world around us, by children's faces, our own childhoods, travels, or anything that is or used to be a simple pleasure. Just buy browsing products you can see that their toys are all beautiful colors and eye catching. Being a family that owns a majority of wooden toys the first toy that we choose to review was the A-Maze Rain Rush.

"You'll be singing, marching, shaking, and dancing in the rain."

rain rush

The A-Maze Rain Rush is a really pretty hand stained wooden cylinder filled with 42 colorful wooden marbles. By rolling the A-Maze Rain Rush, or turning upside down it makes the sound of rain. Who doesn't love that? I noticed too as my daughter rolled it across the wood floors that it also very closely resembles the sound thunder and rain. After about 50 rolls into the closet doors and another 100 shakes and turns, I asked her nicely to set it aside for a little while and with it's gorgeous design is sits nicely on the coffee table and turns into a piece of art. Ages 18 months to 3 years but many children above the age of 3 will enjoy this as well as my 4 1/2 year old did.

The other toy that we received was the B. Pop Arty Beads. These were a huge hit and have multiple uses. B.s Pop Arty Beads contain 500 snap together jewelry pieces including 12 rings and 6 bracelets. Please beware that when we opened the container for the first time out came a bad, strong smell but after dumping all the pieces onto the table we have not smelled any "fumes" since. What is great about this bead set is that they "pop" together and apart, whatever you make can be undone and reused into something else later. The colors are really pretty and vibrant and there are many different shapes inside the container, I particularly liked the ones that looked like raspberries and flowers. Make necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc. We even made some bead strands that we can hang into the window in place of a curtain, or a cute doorway divider. This might require a second container of Pop Arty Beads though, depending on how long and spaced you make them. This is a wonderful product to work on those fine motor skills, creative play, color sorting and we also used them to do small hands on math problems. I love multi taskers. This product is for ages 4-10 but I must admit at almost 30 years old I played with these with these for a steady hour! Her 10 year friend enjoyed them along side the rest of us. My daughter also carted this product with her to dad's house and spent a lot of time there playing with them again with dad and grandma. Comes with a sturdy container for storage.
pop arty

Each of these products, the A-Maze Rush and Pop Arty Beads are both durable high quality products and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed each of them. Typically, in my experience, you can't find good quality, SAFE, unique toys at your local store but are widely available and you can purchase them at Target. Super! Also available at my favorite online place, Amazon, or click here for where to buy. For every toy purchased gives 10¢ to Free The Children. I love companies that give. Be sure to connect with B. toys on Twitter and Facebook as well. You can link directly to their site here.

Special thanks to for providing samples.

Zhena's Gypsy Tea :: you can taste the difference

I am not a coffee drinker, even if I liked the taste of coffee I can't drink it without feeling jittery and anxious, but I LOVE tea. I began drinking tea just on occasion because I liked it but the more I have been experimenting with different brands and kinds the more I am starting to love it. I can tell you now not to judge tea on the regular teas you buy at your basic grocery store, it is definitely not the same as buying premium organic teas elsewhere. Who wants to buy bland boring teas anyway when you can go to Zhena's Gypsy Tea and purchase all natural teas with a wide delightful range of flavors to choose from? Zhena's Gypsy Tea produces hand-crafted, premium quality, 100% organic and 100% fair trade teas that will please all your senses.

Offering only the healthiest and freshest teas, herbs and botanicals available, Gypsy Tea is a pro-active company who "work directly with small growers and out of the way tea gardens to effect change by providing these workers with healthcare, guaranteed maternity leave, childcare, literacy, better working conditions, and autonomy." Seems their teas are hand processed by tea artisans they are able to offer the finest grades of "unique and special" harvests.

Not only are these teas flavorful and all natural but teas actually have healing properties and are good for your body and mind. You can discover the many therapeutic benefits of Zena's Gypsy Tea by checking out this cool Aromatherapy Tea Chart below. For a better view, visit their site directly for full size.
aromatherapy tea chart

egyptian-mint-tinI received some of Zhena's Gypsy Tea tins containing single-serving sachets made from round, natural, hemp paper, and really enjoyed them. Plus the pretty and fully recyclable canisters are enough to want to go and buy some new teas. :) Buy refills and place them into your tins, very eco. Green teas are my favorite and one of the green teas I tried was Egyptian Mint. I choose this one because I love everything mint, including the smell. I love mint infused water, mint gum and I even have mint chapstick. So you can see why I choose the Egyptian Mint tea. This tea did not let me down, before I had even added the hot water I had my nose stuck inside the tin inhaling the scent, over & over. This tea contains caffeine (not all of their teas contain caffeine though, if you prefer decaf) but way less than a typical cup of coffee and the caffeine in these teas do not make me shaky and anxious like a cup of coffee would. This is a "relax and focus" tea and also promotes healthy digestion. Typically, with a lot of teas I add a hint of honey because it needs that extra but with this mint tea I did not add hints of anything to it and was perfect without it. Very flavorful. I had a lovely morning, reading my favorite book in a quiet setting while sipping my favorite flavored tea and inhaling the aroma all at the same time. Coincidence, maybe, but I was very calm and focused (no re-reading of pages here) while wrapped up in the taste and aroma of my tea and fantastic book. You can also steep and pour over ice, I can't wait to try it that way, I will more than likely try that tonight or first thing tomorrow.

At Zhena's Gypsy Tea you can purchase tea sachets, luxe leaves, loose leaf, seasonal sips and also tea accessories. I have a few other teas in mind from Zhena's Gypsy Tea that I can't wait to try so I am definitely going back for more. Be sure to visit Zhena's Gypsy Tea and find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you Gypsy Tea for providing samples.

DIY :: Travel Tin Dollhouses

I really love this idea I found at HomeSpun Threads. Mini dollhouses made out of Altoid Tins! Hello cute! The little bed and kitchen was made using scrapbook paper and ribbon (to cover the tin) and fabric scraps to cover the mattress and for a cute lil' blanket and pillow. The sink, stove and fridge for the kitchen are small boxes with the appliances sketched onto them and the table is a soda cap. Brilliant. Use this design or be creative and make it your own. I am super excited to make something like this for my daughter, I know she will love it. For compelte details visit here.
Altoid Dollhouse