Saturday, July 27, 2013

Baby Led Weaning

So I have been having a lot of people ask me about what I do with my daughter and introducing solids. Well, I am doing what is called Baby Led Weaning (BLW). The purpose of BLW according to Gill Rapley "Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solid foods that allows babies to feed themselves - there’s no spoon feeding and no purées. The baby sits with the family at mealtimes and joins in when she is ready, feeding herself first with her fingers and later with cutlery." My daughter absolutely loves it I only started this week because she is barely 6m old. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends waiting to start solids until 4-6 months (but preferable closer to 6 due to the possibility of digestive tract issues). But BLW is not to be started until 6 months. Since BLW is skipping purees, most moms choose to wait a full 6 months. This is because you want to make sure your child is ready for it. They should be able to sit (assisted or unassisted), be able to grab food (you are not supposed to spoon feed them, they need to experiment on their own and learn what they like). Spoon feeding has been linked to possible over feeding because some moms don't know when baby is full and just finish a whole jar.

The practice of BLW lets baby eat as fast or as slow and when to finish. Since I am still breastfeeding I still nurse about ever 2-3 hours. I let her try something solid once a day. Because breastmilk is very filling (she only eats about 3-4oz at 6 months old) she does not eat alot of solids. for example, I cut up a banana and she only ate about 4 peices and she was done. You should always offer the breast (or bottle of formula) first to make sure they are getting all their nutrients. That is VERY important. Do not replace a meal until your child is eating a full course meal with all nutrients (after one year old). I follow the practice "Food before 1 is just for fun", meaning I will continue to breastfeed for all her meals, but allow her to experiment with different tastes and textures. AAP states "The AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. When you add solid foods to your baby’s diet, continue breastfeeding until at least 12 months. You can continue to breastfeed after 12 months if you and your baby desire."

Today I gave my daughter a slice of apple. I cut the peel off because that is a little more difficult and i didn't want her to not be able to gnaw on it. So I cut it up in a large slice that she could hold, and she just sucked on it and used her newly growing bottom teeth to kind of scrape it. She really likes it. She obviously can not bite off a piece or  so she basically was just getting some flavor. That is what BLW is about in the beginning. Not nutrients because she gets that from breast milk, but just being able to taste different things. It's so much yummier than baby food. Have you ever tried baby food? Bland and non yummy. If you wonder about all the different flavors not being good for baby (spices and such) how do you expect to give your baby bland, tasteless food and then at 1 year expect it to be fine. I would think that would be more drastic. This way, she is introduced to anything she wants. The only limited thing is honey and too much added salt. She can eat anything she feels like.  Just put it in front of her and she will choose. Don't expect her to eat too much, remember she is still reliant on breast milk. This is just something for her to experiment with.

This is Melodie with her apple this morning. :)

I hope you have learned something new from this entry. I never knew about BLW with my son and I think he would have loved it. I plan to continue with this, and don't really plan on giving her any purees. Comments, questions, or concerns? Write below or email me at

No comments:

Post a Comment