What is Baby Led Weaning?
Baby Led Weaning is a way to introduce solid food to the baby, where the baby is encouraged to self-feed and have solid finger foods, rather than being fed purees by spoon by their mom or dad.
The concept of Baby Led Weaning was first explored in the book Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods by Tracey Murkett and Gill Rapley and has since caught on among modern parents in a big way.
Can you tell me more about Baby Led Weaning (BLW)?
Okay. First, babies are encouraged to join the entire family at the dining table at mealtime. They are encouraged to self-feed with finger foods that are appropriate for their age.
Babies decide how much to eat and how quickly to eat. Adults only help them make the right decision. They are given full freedom to explore different tastes and textures and there is no pressure on them to have a particular amount of food.
Babies are encouraged to have solids as much as possible. Solid foods complement the milk. Gradually the solids are increased while is decreased, usually after the baby is at least 10 to 12 months old.
When is the right time to start Baby Led Weaning?
The best time to start BLW is when the baby is between 5 to 8 months old. By that time, their digestive system is mature enough to handle solid foods in small doses.
You know your baby is ready for BLW when she is capable of sitting up easily without support. She should be able to chew the food and not just swallow it.
Also, she should show signs of developing fine motor skills so that she can self-feed and is no longer vulnerable to the tongue-thrust reflex action – where babies automatically push out solid foods with their tongue.
Why should I start Baby Led Weaning for my child?
For one, BLW is much easier and consumes less time and feeding the baby purees. BLW teaches the baby to self-select and self-regulate. The baby learns to handle food in a much better manner; she gets to familiarize herself with the tastes, textures, shapes and sizes of the foods.
You should encourage the babies to feed themselves from an early age, as you want to bring up a smart, independent child, who is fully capable of looking after himself or herself.
Also, this gives you, mom and dad, some respite from constantly worrying about the baby. You can just relax and have your meal or enjoy coffee while the baby eats her food.
Which is the right way to start BLW?
Find a safe spot for the baby to sit such as a highchair or your lap, where there is no chance of the baby falling off.
Foods to have:
Choose the right kind of finger foods such as banana, avocados, soft cooked apples, sweet potatoes, soft cooked green beans, carrots, beets and zucchini, pumpkin, green beans, peaches, plums, pears, melon, egg yolk, liver, meat and poultry.
Avoid the following foods:
Anything that poses a choking risk: grapes, nuts, cherry, etc.
Anything that is allergic: egg whites, peanut, citrus fruits, seafood or anything that contains gluten.
Any processed foods: chips, gum, candy, chocolate, popcorn, breakfast cereals or anything that contains sugar.
…Get the right sort of baby feeding equipment such as silicone suction plates for babies that stick to the table, so that the baby has her food without doing creating a mess and dropping the plate on the floor.
We make as silicone suction plates for babies and toddlers as well as silicone baby feeding sets with silicone bib and silicone spoon. Not only are they adorable looking and come in many different designs, they are non-toxic, lead-free and BPA-free and 100% safe.
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