BLW is a method where you let the baby eat on his own. Cut the food into a size the baby can manage with and watch him eat it. The major difference between BLW and traditional feeding is the order they learn to eat in. Baby Led Weaners learn to chew and then they learn to swallow their food. Spoon fed babies first learn how to swallow their food. That causes a struggle in the chewing process.
- The baby motivates the feeding because he’s learning that way. As parents, we need to encourage this learning and trust that they know when they feel satiated. Trust their judgment – they know what they like to eat and if they like the food texture.
- The baby’s food should be 4-5 cm or long enough so half of it will be in the baby’s hand and half of it sticking out. Start with soft foods: cooked carrot sticks, broccoli, sweet potato, and banana wedges. In the beginning, soften the carrot to not be too mushy so the baby can hold it at his fist.
- Wait for the baby to grow teeth, then feed him with harder foods. Harder foods can be raw carrots or portions of your family meal without the salt.
- Use a crinkle cutter to cut your baby’s food and vegetables. it’ll make it easier for them to grip the food and even more fun to chew on.
- Don’t overload the baby’s plate with food options. Put a few pieces of food on the plate or small portions of the family meal.
- To make the feeding easier choose an easy cleaning high chair with a wide tray. Or choose a high chair without a tray and push it close to the table.
- Let your baby lift his food with his fingers when starting BLW. Babies need to learn how to move food safely around their mouth, so don’t put food in their mouth. This way they’ll only choose foods they can deal with.
- Before he turns 1 don’t let your baby have:
– Mould-ripened soft cheeses
– Whole cow’s milk (or goat’s / sheep’s milk) as a main drink. You can introduce a little into your baby’s foods from six months, once he’s started on solids.
– Shark, swordfish or marlin (due to high mercury levels)
– High choking-risk foods like whole grapes and whole/chopped nuts. You can give the baby nut butter at six months.
– Stimulants like chocolate or sugar
– Unhealthy and processed foods
– Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cola.
- Never leave your baby alone while mealtime!
- Make sure they’re sitting in an upright position.
- Make sure your baby swallowed all his food and hasn’t stored it in his cheeks.
Take as many pictures as possible of this messy and funny time period. This phase will be over in no time! Share the pics with your friends and family and enjoy comments like:” did your baby eat this?”