As soon as a baby turns 6 months old, parents usually start giving them solid foods. Feeding babies pureed or mushy foods may have been the norm in the yesteryears but nowadays, more and more parents are opting to adapt to baby led weaning (BLW).
Baby led weaning
Baby led weaning is a method of solid food introduction in babies that skips spoon feeding of mashed and pureed food. In this method, infants are encouraged to consume soft and easy-to-chew food with their hands with no help from mum or dad.
The aim of baby-led weaning is to give babies the full control when it comes to feeding. As early as six months, they can decide what to eat, when they eat and how much food they eat.
The benefits of BLW
While some are skeptical about the benefits of baby-led weaning, there are parents who have reaped the rewards of BLW. These parents claim that their babies are passionate eaters. They are not picky and would eat anything that is placed on their plate regardless of texture. This also makes introduction of any vegetable or fruit very easy. Because the babies can eat most “soft” grown up food, and they can join the family during meal times.
Additionally, the baby’s hand-eye coordination and grip rapidly develops because of the constant self-feeding.
Skipping mushy food as baby’s first solid food raised a lot of parents’ eyebrows. While it is normal to be concerned about choking or gagging on food, baby-led weaning supporters claim that related accidents are almost non-existent. This is because babies who can sit up on their own can already handle bite-size food items in their mouths. As long as parents watch their children and are meticulous about cutting the food into small pieces, there is no need to be concerned about choking.
In the early stages of baby-led weaning, most of the food items that the babies grab do not end up in their mouths but on the floor. This worries a lot of parents because they think that their children do not get enough calories and nutrients. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. When the baby learns to adapt and the appetite increases, food consumption will increase too. Because they are also consuming milk, malnutrition and starvation fears are unnecessary.
Baby-led weaning tips
If you want to be successful in initiating baby-led weaning, you must understand how the method works. First, refrain from feeding the food to your child. You can guide the food to your baby’s mouth but do not put it in the mouth.
In the first few days of baby-led weaning, introduce several varieties of foods with different textures. Opt for pureed carrots, steamed vegetables and banana chunks. In a month or so, your baby can begin eating food that’s served to the entire family. Just make sure it isn’t spicy or really tough like meat.
Are you willing to try baby-led weaning? Tell us what you think about this method. If you want to learn more about this topic, watch this video: