What is Baby Led Weaning?
Baby led weaning is basically a form of feeding babies solids that involves them feeding themselves.
It is great for developing motor skills and independence. Babies tend to be less picky eaters and more accepting of new foods when starting solids through baby led weaning.
To me, it seems like a more natural approach to feeding babies.
That’s not to say that spoon feeding purees is a bad idea! Some babies prefer it and that’s totally fine.
We started doing a bit of both with D but he really took to BLW, as I figured he would. So, we kept going with that.
The only downside is it’s really messy! But for me, it was worth it.
While some babies may be ready for solids before the 6-month mark (talk to your doctor!), it is recommended that you wait until 6 months to start BLW.
Babies need to be able to sit up relatively well, be losing their tongue-thrust reflex, and is showing an interest in foods, just like starting solids in any way.
If you are looking for more information, head to https://www.fortifiedfam.com/babyled-weaning-about and check out Baby Led Wean Team on Instagram!
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What we use for feeding
I love this highchair because the tray is super easy to clean. The seat cover is comfy and comes off for easy washing as well.
It has straps for holding D in and supports him well.
Plus, it’s a 3 in 1 so it will grow with him.
We’ve used a whole bunch of different bibs for D (as you’ll see in pictures) but these full body ones are awesome. They make cleaning up super easy!
I also really like these bibs because they are silicone, easy to clean, and have pockets for catching dropped food. It helps reduce waste!
Baby spoons and forks
I use these little spoons and forks sometimes to help D, or to give to him to practice with.
Right now, he just likes to play with them! But, I let him practice with them every once in a while anyway but putting food on them for him and allowing him to feed himself with them.
Baby Brezza steamer
This baby steamer is amazing for anyone starting solids with their baby, whether that be through BLW or purees. You can set a time depending on how soft you want the food and can either steam only or steam and puree.
It’s great for steaming food for adults too!
These Baby Mum Mums are the snacks I feed D if we are out or if I am looking to feed him quick and without much mess.
I try not to give him too many things that are packaged or not homemade, but these are some of the snacks I felt the safest giving him with their ingredients.
How we started with our son
We started out trying once a day to feed D and let him practice. That’s what BLW is all about – practice!
We gave him some steamed carrots his first day and he basically just picked them up and played with them. He didn’t swallow any.
A few days later we tried mashed potato and broccoli pureed to see how he would do, and he was not a fan of being fed at all.
So, we kept going giving him different foods, one at a time.
We gave him carrots, avocado, sweet potato, strawberries, eggs, watermelon… we wanted him to have a variety of tastes and textures to try!
It took about a week or two for him to really get the hang of picking things up, putting them in his mouth, and mashing and swallowing them.
Once he did though, this kid was a Rockstar! He’s been feeding himself ever since and his motor skills have noticeably improved.
It is definitely a messy process, but he loves feeding himself and I love being able to sit and eat with him!
Here is a list of the foods he ate in the first month of BLW. He basically loves everything we put in front of him.
- Sweet potato
- Rice and beans
- Toasted bread
- Halibut fish
Most of these things I just steamed, sliced it so he can pick it up and eat it, and gave to him. The apple I sometimes steam in a pot with coconut oil and cinnamon. He loves that!
For the meatballs I just roll ground beef into balls, bake, and freeze some.
He’s usually a pretty good eater, but I find he still has some difficulty with the meat and only has patience to get through one. I have to mash it up a bit for him too, but he eats it!
His favorites are strawberries, banana, sweet potato and fish.
Overall, I would definitely recommend baby led weaning!
The best thing about it is there are no rules! You know your baby best and allowing them to lead with your guidance makes things so much easier.
The idea that it’s more dangerous because of choking hazards is very common.
However, it’s actually been shown to not be any more dangerous than purees, as long as you educate and prepare yourself.
Babies’ gag reflexes are farther up than ours, stopping them from choking. It can be a bit scary to watch your baby gag, but it is sometimes inevitable. It’s completely normal and knowing what to expect really helped me.
D doesn’t do it often anyway, even less so now.
Things are a little different now that he’s 7 months. You can find out how here.
If you’ve tried BLW with your baby, let me know how it went in the comments below!