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Baby Led Weaning – New Moms and Moms To Be

Okay JLC Moms and Moms-to-be, I want you to know about the new trends, classes and other things when it comes to parenting.

Today’s topic: Baby Led Weaning (BLW)

I heard about this method from other moms I’ve encountered on social networking sites. Simply put, it is a method of weaning where complementary foods in whole form are added to a baby’s diet of formula or breast milk.

The term ‘weaning’ is a British term for “self-feeding” which was the biggest thing about BLW that caught my attention. It allows babies to “self-feed” from the very beginning of their experiences with food. None of that feeding baby pureed foods with a tiny spoon, or buy or making baby food. I decided to interview two moms who have used this method to gain and share insight into how it works and what’s involved.

The thought process of this method is that at six months, babies should be given non-pureed foods to begin strengthening their facial muscles and learn to manipulate and explore food using teeth and tongues, with the tongue protecting the airway. Swallowing chunky foods is learned after chewing skills. Rachel Ware first heard of BLW from social media sites as well.

“I read a blog and was fascinated but was told to be sure to read the book, Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby Grow up a Healthy and Confident Eater.

Rachel went on to say that her daughter Maggie, did experience the ‘gagging,’ which is normal and not harmful, for the first few weeks but eventually caught on. “We started Maggie off with avocados, bananas and roasted sweet potatoes then as the weeks moved on we moved to different foods including steak!”

Baby Maggie eating
Baby Maggie eating
Photo Courtesy of Rachel Ware

Rachel said her advice to any Mom would be to read the book first and talk with your spouse before choosing this method of introducing solids to your child. Faith Stilwell, also chose BLW for her twin daughters, Kinley and Emery, and couldn’t be happier. Faith says her girls have progressed nicely but did mention the downside of BLW being that it’s messy, it can be hard to relax about your child’s consumption, and there is some food waste.

Picture Two
Baby Emery eating broccoli
Photo courtesy of Faith Stilwell

 

Baby Kinley eating sweet potatoes
Baby Kinley eating sweet potatoes
Photo courtesy of Faith Stilwell

So, what do pediatricians think of this method of introducing solids? I think the reaction is mixed. My pediatrician had never heard of it and didn’t seem to be too ‘keen’ on the idea. Faith says her pediatrician had not heard of it but didn’t seem concerned and said go for it. My advice would be read the book, talk to your spouse and pediatrician then make your decision.

-Deanna