The study looked at 20 mothers who were doing BLW with their babies from the age of 6 months. Findings revealed that while the mothers were happy with their decision to Baby- led wean they were:
'following guidelines they had gleaned themselves either through others, literature or the internet'
While the mothers felt positive about their experiences with BLW the health professionals the spoke to were less certain of the method. Many conceded that they could see potential benefits to BLW but were concerned that it could lead to choking and the babies not taking in enough nutrients.
Some health professionals also had concerns about whether it might cause problems with choking or low nutrient intakes.
Many supporters of BLW believe that it actually prevents choking since the baby learns to chew before it learns to swallow. They also argue that spoon feeding is more likely to lead to choking as the baby has no control over eating.
Apparently most of the reported choking incidents involved raw apple but most baby led weaners know to lightly steam hard fruit and veg in the beginning stages. I have to admit when I first started BLW I did have to fight hard to keep my nerve when J would gag on food. Already he seems to be doing it less as he gets used to eating but fingers crossed we have never had a choking incident- just gagging. I can understand why mums might confuse the two because you naturally worry about your baby, especially when they are doing something new.
The University of Otago plans to do further research into BLW and hopefully provide mothers with more information on the best ways to do BLW.
What are your thoughts on all of this? On the Baby Led Weaning Facebook group I am a member of we were just talking about health visitors and their attitudes to BLW. My HV has been very positive about it and even had a leaflet on it but others on the group have been told it is unsuitable as babies need purees to line their stomachs?!!
BLW Mama xxx