The topic of baby led weaning is often a controversial one. What is BLW? In short, it is a parenting choice where the parent allows the child to feed themselves without using purees or baby food and typically the child will eat what the parent’s eat. Let’s talk about the benefit and the potential harm.
One of the most common benefits that parents claim with using the baby led weaning method, is that their babies and toddlers are less picky eaters than babies who are fed pureed food. Many times the parent will allow the child to eat whatever they are eating. The baby in return is slowly being accustomed to different tastes and textures that pureed foods don’t always allow for. This also allows the baby to have independence that they otherwise would not have. Another benefit parent’s love about baby led weaning is that they save time they would have spent making the soft food and storing them. We all know how much time taking care of a little one takes, and it is understandable why baby led weaning would be so appealing. One more fantastic reason parents like baby led weaning is because they can ensure their baby’s food is not processed. Out of the any reasons advocating for baby led weaning, there are some hesitations some people consider before choosing to let baby lead the way.
A major setback with baby led weaning, is that it can be very messy. Since the food is sometimes not being fed with a fork or spoon, many babies make a mess out of themselves which takes time to clean up. So the time you save not needing to make baby food and purees, you could spend cleaning up the baby, clothes, floor, and table. Another reason healthcare professionals don’t always recommend baby led weaning is because not every baby receives a proper diet unless they are still being breast fed or given formula. To ensure the child maintains a proper nutritious diet it is important to keep supplementing with milk if you plan on using the baby led weaning method, especially if you baby is younger than 6 months of age.
This was just a brief overview of the controversy surrounding baby led weaning. If you would like to learn more, I will encourage you to do research so that you can make an informed decision and of course, talk with your healthcare provider.