What is Baby-Led Weaning? If you would like to learn more about I'm not gonna go into too much detail here as there are loads of websites and blogs out there already where you can find all you need to know. I have linked to all the good ones I know of here.
Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) is a relatively new method of weaning that involves bypassing the puree stage and giving your baby real, whole, solid foods. You never feed your baby but instead let them feed themselves. Because you are giving your baby solid food you have to wait until your baby is at least 6 months before you begin weaning but that's OK because that's when you are supposed to wait til anyway.
What are the Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning? There are numerous benefits to BLW which you can read about in more depth here
The main benefits to BLW are:
* No pureeing involved so less hassle * Baby learns to chew before swallowing * Baby goes at own pace so learns to self regulate food * This in turn is linked to lower rates of obesity * Baby experiences the real flavour and texture of food so is a less fussy eater * The whole family can eat together- mum doesn't have to sit feeding the baby while everyone else eats as baby feeds herself! * Baby learns to eat and feed himself from a very early age
The Draw Backs to BLW:
* It is messy- probably more messy than traditional weaning- there are things you can buy to help you deal with this and they are linked to on this site.
* At first your baby will use her gag reflex a lot as she gets used to chewing and eating- this is fine and perfectly safe but you have to have a strong nerve and remember they are not actually choking.
* Sloppy food is harder to introduce with BLW but many baby led weaners get round this by dipping fruit,vegetables, bread etc in the said sloppy food. Also you can offer a loaded spoon and let your baby spoon feed himself.