My thoughts on Baby-led Weaning (BLW)
Below are my thoughts about my journey with Baby-led weaning. We started feeding early with #littlemiss, she had horrible acid reflux and the doctor suggested Pablum (rice or oat cereal). She got so constipated, being a trained chef I researched homemade food–it wasn’t too hard to do, the part that was annoying is getting the food into her. She did everything in her power to stop us–I called her the steel trap and that was that. It wasn’t later until she was around 6 months I heard of Baby-led Weaning. Now this isn’t for everyone and some people have told me that they 100% disagree. This is a blog of information and not meant to be controversial in anyways. If you want some information great, if you do not believe in it–then skip this and stop reading.
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is a controversial term in the “baby-world”. In laymen terms, it is a way of introducing solids that allows a child feed themselves, without anything like purees, spoons or parents getting in their way. Babies are ready to start trying solids at 6 month of age (recommended or advise by your doctor). Key points for self-feeding are:
- Baby should be able to sit unsupported
- Able to pick up and hold food in hands
- Baby should have outgrown the tongue thrusting reflex
- Start develop some type of chewing action
The term Baby-led Weaning was attributed by Gill Rapley. A lot of parents were probably doing this type of feeding before a fancy name was attached to it. There is so much information on the internet about this style. BLW is not for everyone, babies who are slower to mature may have trouble developing their pincer grasp, sitting later etc. Below I have researched the main principles of BLW.
- At the start of the process the baby can reject food, and it may be offered again later.
- The child can decide how much it wants to eat. No “fill-ups” are to be offered at the end of the meal with a spoon.
- The meals should not be hurried.
- Sips of water are offered with meals.
- Initially, soft fruits and vegetables are given. Harder foods are lightly cooked to make them soft enough to chew on even with bare gums.
- Foods with clear danger, such as peanuts, are not offered.
- Non-finger-foods, such as oatmeal and yogurt, may be offered with a spoon so the baby can learn to self-feed with a spoon.
The biggest worry for this type of feeding is the risk of choking. The BLW concept suggests, that provided the simple safety precautions are being met, choking is no more likely than any other method.
- Never leave your baby unattended while eating
- Only allow your baby to put food in their mouth
- Do not force feed
- Explain BLW to everyone that will be caring for your baby
- Cut smaller foods like grapes, blueberries etc. in half to make a perfect size for BLW
Having realistic expectations and communication with your partner of what the end goals are is key to success. A parent sees the baby playing with the food and discovering it, makes you want them to eat it. This may not happen for the first couple months of trying this. Just think, the baby is experimenting the food and testing what texture they like. The actual intake of food is low. I personally did a combination of BLW and spoon feeding of yogurt, pasta, etc. in the beginning to get them accustomed to the flavours and spices.
So, now the fun part, you want to give BLW a try, whether you choose to do a bit of this, mixed with some spoon feeding–the journey you are on is exactly that–YOURS. Do what your gut feels comfortable with. The foods I would start with would be:
- Well cooked eggs
- low mercury fish
I am new into this world of feeding a little and I am enjoying the journey so far. I will be showcasing some recipes–because being a parent is confusing. There is a vast amount of information, it is overwhelming. I will be blogging my tried and true BLW recipes (once your baby becomes more advance and you are looking outside of single ingredient things to offer). I am in the belief to develop the baby’s palette with spices, seasoning etc.
I hope you all enjoy–stay tuned for recipes to be coming!
Talk to you soon,