Baby led weaning is a very sought after technique for babies when they are ready to start solids. When you are a first time mom, it can be tough with so many resources floating around the web, with multiple ideas to contribute. I jumped on the train to BLW when my daughter was around 8 months. Pretty late, but i think it is better late than never. Benefits are beyond amazing!
What has Baby led weaning and the best time to start?
This term was first introduced by Gill Rapley and since then has been a technique favored by many moms. You can read more about baby led weaning and understand how it helps. Moving aside from the traditional method of pureed foods, it encourages mothers to present different varieties of food to the baby and let him explore the food items through sucking and licking, with gradually moving towards chewing.
The best time to start BLW is 6 months as per WHO guidelines. The baby gut is ready to process food apart from breastmilk or formula between 4-6 months. It is better to wait until 6 months and then start with the process. The only concern that moms who have started BLW mostly have is that the baby eats very few morsels of food initially. Though this is true for the beginning of the BLW process, gradually as the baby gets the hang of the entire picking and putting food in the mouth, the amount of food consumed also increases. The most loved part about baby led weaning is discovering new food and in process learning to understand their appetite. Force feeding is completely eliminated.
DO NOT forget the most important sign of readiness is when the baby can sit upright in your lap, a highchair or unsupported. This is essential along with ability to bring hands together to grab food.
Benefits of baby led weaning
- Textures and tastes introduced are varied
- Promotes oral motor skill development
- Helps baby understand the whole cycle of how hungry he is
Top resources for information on baby led weaning
- Babyledweaning.com – Recipes, pictures and a wonderful blog full of insights about how the author went ahead with blw.
- Wholesomebabyfood – What an exhaustive compilation of recipes based on vegetables, meat or dairy. Though the site also features purees, there is a whole list of how to serve and cook food that is ready for the baby.
- Mylovelylittleluncbox – Recipes here are so yummy that even an adult can be tempted with it!
- Blwindia – This group is full of mother around India and the world exchanging ideas and recipes related to baby led weaning. Wonderful resource!
- Babyledweaningblog – Another great resource who also have their book published. Many food ideas to choose from.
- Pinterest – This awesome pinterest board has more than 100 resources and ideas from recipes to discussions.
Don’t be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of knowledge spread across the internet. Just go with your baby’s speed. You are the best judge of how accepting your baby is of this change. Don’t lose hope if you are steaming veggies everyday, but your baby is just taking a few nibbles here and there!
When you become a parent, patience just becomes a quality that is rediscovered Have patience with your baby and you will be thankful at a later stage in his toddler years for this choice that you made.
What are your favorite resources for baby led weaning ideas?