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What is Baby-Led Weaning? How to Help Your Infant Feed Herself or Himself

Talk to your child health nurse or GP before trying Baby-Led Weaning.

With baby-led weaning, your child is in charge. It might be the best thing to happen in the high chair since the invention of the bib.

Mummas could always use some tips for baby-led weaning success.  

Image of Posy Snuggle Bib - credit: @by_her_side_

Most are familiar with those aeroplane noises while we spoon feed our kids puree sweet potato - mealtimes with baby-led weaning looks vastly different. Its true your baby, you and the kitchen floor will likely look like a pro hart painting but your little one will also love the feel, taste and texture of a whole new sweet of foods.

Enthusiasm for baby-led weaning has grown in the last 8 - 10 years and my own child was fed puree until at the age of 6 months she would reach for my toast. We thought we would join the baby-led weaning journey and wow she was in food heaven. 

The Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning

The benefits can be great, says registered dietician Clancy Cash Harrison, author of Feeding Baby. Babies learn to fine tune their fine motor skills and provides babies an opportunity to explore the taste, texture, smell, and colour of a variety of foods.
  • May promote good eating behaviours - BLW puts the emphasis on letting your baby choose what and how much to eat, making them active participants in the feeding process rather than passive recipients. 

  • May protect against excess weight gain - better opportunity self regulate and to stop eating when full compared to spoon-fed infants, who may be at a higher risk of being consciously or subconsciously overfed.

  • May reduce fussiness around food - BLW is often claimed to reduce picky eating behaviours and promote the acceptance of a wider variety of foods, as more tastes and textures are introduced early on.

  • May make feeding your child easier - Parents no longer need to think about making or purchasing suitable purées. They can simply offer their babies BLW-appropriate versions of the family meals.

    In addition, the child is trusted to self-select what and how much to eat, which can take some pressure off the parents.

Some foods are more suitable for BLW than others.

Starting with foods of appropriate sizes and textures and avoiding potentially problematic foods can make it easier for your baby to eat and reduce safety concerns, such as choking.

While weaning your baby, breastfeeding or infant formula will continue to provide most of the calories your baby needs. Their intake of breast milk or formula should gradually reduce as their intake of solids increases.

There are certainly foods to avoid in the BLW journey.

Watch this video to see the signs your baby is ready for baby-led weaning.

Check out the perfect range of smock style and dribble bib for your babies baby-led weaning journey

 

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