I’ve just finished reading the book Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food.
Noteworthy bits about baby-led weaning (BLW):
- The book is based on common sense and the author’s empirical evidences, not on any medical science.
- Prerequisite: Babies need to be able to sit well and grab things firmly.
- Prerequisite: Until about 6 months age babies don’t have a fully developed digestive system so avoid giving food before (as per WHO).
- Breast milk is the food for babies. Make sure they are fed before introducing food solids so that hunger doesn’t distract them.
- Babies don’t know how to swallow solid foods first, they need to learn it. In the beginning they will just chew and taste things, not try to eat them. Whereas while spoon feeding, food is placed at the back of their mouth to trigger swallowing. However, since they don’t understand it’s for eating, it’s no surprise they often spit it out.
- Introducing solid food is sensory play for babies. They encounter new textures, shapes, colors, smells, etc. In contrast blended, homogeneous purees aren’t fun. Babies don’t have the motivation to eat in the beginning, they just want to explore.
- Babies develop their hand-eye movement through self-service. They gain confidence, and they love to be active players instead of just passively being fed. In fact, they don’t want to be fed. Again, they don’t need to eat yet, breast milk is for that.
- BLW encourages the baby to explore food at their natural pace and start eating when they are ready for it.
- Babies want to belong to the pack: BLW is a great way to include them in family meals.
- Finger foods of veggies and fruits are great starters for BLW.