Inside: What is baby led weaning and how to start. I also have a great post that shares how to introduce food to babies to prevent food allergies.
Pros and Cons of Baby Led Weaning (BLW)
Are you looking for an easy alternative for pureed baby foods? Stumbled across baby-led weaning but think it’s too radical? Honestly, we do a lot of things differently. One of our favorite sayings is “who wants to be normal, anyway?” So here are baby led weaning pros and cons.
From cloth diapers to early potty training, BLW to positive and free-range parenting, we’ve taken “normal” out of our vocabulary. Would you be able to tell from looking at us? I don’t know – what does your average family with eco-friendly and child-centric values look like?
BLW, specifically, is a great way to introduce your child to real foods while still relying on breast or bottle feeding for the majority of his nutrients.
Oh, and for the record, we didn’t even start at the “recommended” time. My kids wanted to eat so early – I had to hold them off until I was comfortable giving them hunks of meat. Yep, that was their first foods! And they love it. My little carnivore cave-babies.
If you’ve read a bit about Baby-Led Weaning, but aren’t too sure about it yet, let me help you out with a very scientific and analytical Pros + Cons list.
Pros of Baby-Led Weaning
- Budget-friendly – no extra “baby” food
- Super beneficial to the baby
- Motor skills
- Gag reflex
- Family meal environment
- Texture exploration
- Flavor exploration
- Stinkin’ easy
- Less stressful
- Easy to feed on the go
Cons of Baby-Led Weaning
- Messy, but learning is fun!
- Lots of looks and comments from hella judgy people
- Takes a wee bit of planning
- Your child may start to enjoy food too. Meaning, you’ll be going through more food because she just adores it. Is this really a “con”?
- You have to share off your plate a lot of the time.
- You’re probably going to get bitten
- You may be seen as a rebel
Now that you’ve read about the good, the bad, and the ugly, why don’t you be the one to decide if baby-led weaning is right for you. The only way to truly know is to test it out. Biggest hindrance? The choking issue. Don’t worry, it’s super rare. Do a bit of research about it and you’ll learn that BLW is actually better for children and helps them to develop their gag reflex; preventing choking.
Now, I realize not every parenting decision is right for everyone, but this works and makes a whole lotta sense for me and my science-loving brain.
Get started Baby-Led Weaning today with these easy tips:
- Lay out a plastic tablecloth or drop cloth under the high chair for easy cleanup
- Start simple – feed him off your plate
- Don’t put a lot of choices on his tray at first; he might get overwhelmed
- Help her out by placing the finger-like piece in her hand. She’ll know what to do
- Trust your baby but keep a close eye on her. If she starts to gag, let her work on hit herself. Obviously, intervene if it’s gone past gagging and on to choking.
Here’s a list of great baby-lead-weaning first foods. These baby led weaning foods help you get started when your baby is ready.
And when your mama tells you that you’re doing it wrong, smile and say “thanks for your concern.” She should get the hint to back off.
I’m Katelynn, an (almost) 27-year-old stay-at-home-mama to 2 precious miracles – Sweet Girl (20 months) + Pip (3 months), as well as our fur baby – a Blue Heeler x Great Pyrenese, Silver. I’m married to my best friend & love of my life (how cliché, right?). Together, we live on a very special yard, close to the family farm and my husband’s home “town” of about 25 people. We’re part of that community, as well as the one I grew up in (300 people), about 10 miles from home. I enjoy a simpler way of life – getting back to nature, reusing + recycling, gardening + preserving. My hobbies are sewing, dirt biking, reading, spending time at the lake cabin, hunting and watching my kids learn and grow.
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I wish this was a big thing back when I had my oldest. It makes so much sense. I did it with my tw youngest and it was so much easier than trying to start with set foods for so many days then adding foods.
That’s the allergy recommended route though so you know if something triggers a reaction
Krystal Miller says
I didn’t officially do Baby Led Weaning, but we did let them try foods off ours plates that they were interested in as they got older. I frequently had toddler in my lap eating off my plate. It worked well for us.
I kind of did a combination of some purees and some try what we have. He’s super picky and doesn’t eat anything so either way didn’t seem to do it lol
We did BLW with my second. It was great but there were definitely some tense moments. For some reason, she always gagged on apples. I’m not sure if it’s related, but she is and always has been a fantastic eater (now almost 4) and will try almost anything!