Baby Led Weaning is an incredible option for your little one and we have used it with both of our girls. The basis behind BLW is skipping cereals (which have virtually no nutritional value- I’ll touch on this another day) and purees as your baby’s first foods. Instead, you introduce regular table food that the rest of the family is eating, just using smaller pieces that are manageable and small enough (or large enough) to prevent choking hazards.
Instead of spoon feeding your baby, BLW allows them to self-feed using their hands. Not only does this allow you to introduce a wider variety of tastes and textures early on, your baby is able to use their hand-eye coordination and their senses. Crucial skills such as swallowing, tongue movement, and jaw strength can be practiced. With BLW, our girls ate well and loved so many different foods that they never would have been able to eat with pureed baby food. We still used some purees in the form of squeeze pouches for quick snacks (especially when out and about!) but the majority of our kiddos’ food followed baby led weaning. This made planning meals so easy with little ones and we could all eat the same thing and our girls didn’t really need help with their food, unlike spoon-feeding them purees would have required.
If you need some inspiration for some easy BLW meals and “recipes”, you can find some below:
Check out some more benefits to Baby Led Weaning below from Solid Starts!
Benefits of Letting Your Baby Self-Feed
- Independence: Baby learns to eat independently and is in total control.
- Development: Baby practices critical motor and oral skills.
- Appetite Control: Baby is in charge of how much to eat and learns to stop when full.
- Ease: Baby (mostly) eats what you eat. Less special meals.
- Variety: Baby can eat a variety of textures and flavors, which may reduce picky eating later on.
- Less Expensive: Baby eats real food. No pricey jars, pouches or blenders required.
- Family Meals: Baby is part of your family meal, eating with you.
- Dining Out: It’s easier to eat in restaurants as baby can eat whole food.
- Fun! Babies enjoy touching, inspecting, and tasting a different flavors and textures.
Did you follow Baby Led Weaning with any of your kiddos? Did it work well for you?