Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Journey
With our little baby experiment we were introduced to the idea of BLW by a friend who was introduced to it by her pediatrician. I am so grateful we did it we love it and I don’t ever want to go back. We used a combination of baby led weaning and traditional method.
What is Baby Led Weaning? “BLW is an alternative method for introducing complementary foods to infants in which the infant feeds themselves hand-held foods instead of being spoon-fed by an adult” (source)
We started when Aroha was 5 and a half months. Aroha was already grabbing things and putting them into her mouth and she could pretty much sit on her own in her chair. Generally they say to wait till kids are about 6 months. But start when you feel is right for your child. We first started by just getting her to lick and suck on fruits we were eating such as watermelon. We didn’t let her eat them fully yet.
First foods we introduced to her: Bananas, Avocados, Mangos, Strawberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Steamed Cucumbers and Bell Peppers. Next time round I would avoid the melons seeing even with her gums she could bite off chunks that would be hard for her to chew and make her gag which scared me a lot! I should have also incorporated more veggies in the first week.
Now Aroha is nearly 6 and a half months and she eats everything that we eat. She has had chicken and salmon. We also give her chickpeas and eggs. She loves all types of fruit. I love that she can pick up her own foods on her own even small cheerios. If we just put it on her plate she will eat it. I guess we have been pretty lucky as we haven’t come across any allergies. Because we used a mix of the traditional and BLW method we also feed her oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast which is way too messy for her to grab on her own.
- She eats at her own pace
- She gets a full on sensory experience so she explores with a variety of different textures
- She learns hand eye coordination
- She eats with me and what I eat
- I don’t have to buy baby food
- I don’t have to pureed foods regularly
- Helps me eat healthier as well
- Choking and Gagging if you don’t make sure their foods are soft enough.
- Some foods were too slippery and difficult to handle
I like using the mixed method because sometimes if we are out and about feeding her myself is a lot more practical. But starting with BLW helped her master the chewing motion first which meant going back and forth with normal foods and softer foods was not a problem. For me its the best of both worlds!!!
What works for me may not work for you so do experiment and see what is suited best for your family needs. All the best xx