Important update! I'm receiving a lot of comments saying "food before one is just for…
It’s good to be aware of the risks of baby led weaning when it isn’t done safely. But if it is done well, there are tremendous benefits for your baby!
1. Pressure Free Eating
Under the ideals of Baby Led Weaning, getting food into the baby’s mouth is entirely up to the baby. This allows her to stop eating when she’s full, without the pressure of a well-meaning parent shoving food down her throat. Babies and children have an instinct that tells them how much food they need. Some days they’ll be ravenous, while on other days they’ll eat like a bird.
This can be stressful for parents, who usually feel responsible for how much their baby eats. Their worry is generally unnecessary. Babies grow and develop according to their genetic makeup, and they eat accordingly. It can be damaging to their natural process if parents (or medical professionals!) interfere and try to control their intake.
It’s incredibly important for parents to trust and follow their child’s feelings of hunger and satiety. In Baby Led Weaning, this is highly encouraged, and it’s a great reason to try letting your baby feed himself with appropriate foods.
2. Same Meal for Everyone
Under Baby Led Weaning, everyone in your family, including your baby, eat the same meal. It may sound crazy, because obviously babies have different nutritional needs than adults and older children, and yes it is important to offer the right foods to your baby, but this can still be accomplished with some careful planning of the family’s meals.
Starting this practice young can prevent the habit of preparing separate food for children and adults, a dangerous practice that only further promotes the dreaded state of “picky eating.” Avoiding picky eaters is one of the major draws for Baby Led Weaning.
3. Family Meals
Since you’re eating the same food as your baby, you’re more likely to be eating your food together with your baby, and the rest of your family. Meals were made to be enjoyed together. I love it when I see families setting the time apart to eat together.
There are many benefits to family meals, both nutritionally and behaviourally. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to maintain and protect it as children get older.
Not A Bad Fad
So, as a whole, Baby Led Weaning isn’t a fad that needs to be avoided entirely. As long as you acquaint yourself with the risks, feel free to jump aboard the bandwagon. There are many positive aspects to take away from this newer food philosophy.
And if you’re seriously curious about adopting BLW and want to learn ALL the ins and outs, check out this course, Solid Steps to Baby Lead Weaning, taught to Jennifer House.
Jennifer House, Registered Dietitian from First Step Nutrition, specializes in maternal and infant nutrition and is an expert on the topic of Baby Led Weaning. She is passionate about helping parents develop confidence in feeding their children. Her course, Solid Steps to Baby Led Weaning, is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in applying BLW but wants to ensure they are doing it in a safe and nutritious way!
Here is a sample video from her course highlighting the benefits of baby led weaning!
Sign up here for Jennifer’s FREE video on the “Top 3 Mistakes Parents Make When Using Babyled Weaning….And What You Can Do To Avoid Them!”