What is baby led weaning?
Baby led weaning (BLW) is the process of a baby feeding themselves solid food without the help of an adult.
The approach was pioneered by midwife and health visitor, Gill Rapley back in 2003 and has gained huge traction in recent years.
Baby led weaning involves soft foods such as avocado, banana and mango being offered in a bowl or placed in a baby’s hand to suck, chew and explore for themselves, from the age of six months.
Is baby led weaning safe?
There are some concerns that baby led weaning can affect infant growth. There is also research that shows BLW babies are more likely to be underweight.
Some parents also have a fear of babies choking and concerns about how much food their child is actually eating.
If you have any of these concerns, it is best to speak to a health care professional to discuss your individual child’s health and nutrition.
Why choose baby led weaning?
There is research that found a link between baby led weaning and responsive feeding i.e babies controlling their own food intake. In a similar way to on-demand milk feeds, babies will in theory, eat when they are hungry. Parents need to respond to hunger cues and piece together an eating schedule. This enables infants to grow up managing their own food intake and weight gain.
If you are planning to follow the baby led weaning approach with your child, see what equipment you will need in advance.