Baby led weaning xp

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Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261
Baby led weaning xp

What is it? How does it work? Is it good/bad?

I need all the info I can get if anyone can help me please!


mrs.doolittle's picture
Joined: 02/18/08
Posts: 1335

Dang...I was hoping for replies over here!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

We tried BLW with DD. Basically, you skip purees and just let them use their hands to eat manageable food items. The idea is to let the baby decide how much to eat. In my daughter's case, she decided to eat nothing. She didn't take to it but she also didn't take to purees. She still doesn't eat much food ....

Anyway, that's the gist of it. I posted about it on my board back in the day of first foods.

I know a lot people who've had great success with BLW. My kid just isn't a fan of food in general.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Basically baby-led weaning is totally skipping the purees, and putting bits of food in front of them and letting baby choose what and how much to eat. I see no issues with it at all as long as baby is either BF or bottle feeding well and you are NOT cutting out any BF or bottle sessions just in case baby does not eat much food.

I have never deliberately set out to baby-led wean. However, I've been forced into it a bit by DD. I introduced purees (homemade ones) to DD around 6 months. She barely took them, wouldn't open her mouth for all but a couple flavors (pears, apples). She did take them at daycare three days a week, but was also a struggle for the daycare providers. So I started feeding her bits of food instead. She took to that much easier. By 8-9 months I wasn't feeding her any purees at all and she was eating solid food. To this day (she's a week and a half shy of 12 months) she still won't take a spoon from me, so she eats yogurt and mashed potatoes with her hands. I have a bunch of friends with babies the same age and they are still eating a ton of purees, which now seems strange to me! LOL She eats the same food I eat (other than steak and pork which are too tough without molars). Makes dinner prep a lot easier, that's for sure!

From what I've read, many parents who want to baby-led wean start food a bit later 7-8 months or so because many babies refuse to feed themselves until then. Makes me wonder about introducing food to my next baby, I might go this route, and let the baby choose when to start eating solids.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

We did this with my son, and it was SO much easier than the puree route with my daughter. Kellymom has a section on it, and suggests food to give them. I mostly did large (baby fist) size chunks of food. That way I could even give him steak and harder foods, as he would just gnaw on it. The important part is that the pieces are either small enough not to choke on, or too big to get all the way into their mouths.

Oh, and I still fed after nursing to start with, and kept nursing as our main source of nutrients until 1 yr.

LMCH's picture
Joined: 02/05/07
Posts: 2031

We did this with Aaron (currently about to turn 10 months). He did great. I recommend checking out the facebook group "baby led weaning - let your babies feed themselves"!/BabyLedWeaningLetYourBabiesFeedThemselves

There is a lot of good info there. but like others have said you basically skip purees and go to table food. many pure followers of BLW feed baby everything the family eats. that isn't always feasible at our house due to certain dishes that were either spicy or hard to eat or take out food on late work nights :oops:

It is typically easiest to start with stick or spear shaped things that baby can easily hold in their fist and bring to mouth. at first baby will just gnaw on it, taste it, play with it, and eventually (some babies take longer than others) will start to get some food. for hard things like apples and carrots, for example, I put them in some water in the microwave to steam them so they were softer, but other things like melon, peaches, bread, crackers, pasta, I gave to him straight up. Now that he has got the hang of things, including picking up smaller things, I sometimes give him pieces rather than a large piece that he can gnaw on (mostly b/c it is not as messy). Be prepared for is part of the learning process, lol. also be prepared for gagging (not choking but gagging), as babies have a very far forward gag reflex and this is might alarm you, but don't freak out or baby will get scared. gagging is normal as baby is learning how to move the food around and teaches them not to choke, to clear their food, move it around. with some practice, the gag reflex will not be so far forward.

all babies are different and take time, but my little one, aaron, who does BLW is a great eater...eats a good variety, great fine motor skills, etc. my older one didn't do BLW and he is pretty picky...but that could be an age thing too. when we started this with him around 6 months, i thought i would be wiping up messes and having him get next to no food in him FOREVER...but he learned quickly and is able to polish off a good amount of food now

sorry that was somewhat all over the place, but i hope it helped...feel free to ask more specific stuff. oh the other thing that helped that someone else suggested was to look up BLW videos on youtube. those were helpful.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

That's from my blog about our experiences. Aiden eats almost everything we do. He's starting to get a bit pickier, but that's pretty much all toddlers. Lol. Tonight he had pizza for dinner (as in I sat a slice down in front of him and he figured out how to eat it). For the most part I do try to make our meals Aiden friendly. On my blog I post all of my dinner menus so you can see mostly what we've given him over the months.

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

Wow.. I had no idea about this. I learned something! Lol

I thought that baby led weaning was simply THEM ending the breastfeeding relationship instead of mom cutting out sessions slowly until not offering any more. I had no idea it was a solid food deal, too.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

"Nell4Him" wrote:

Wow.. I had no idea about this. I learned something! Lol

I thought that baby led weaning was simply THEM ending the breastfeeding relationship instead of mom cutting out sessions slowly until not offering any more. I had no idea it was a solid food deal, too.

Technically the introduction of solid foods is supposed to signal the start of weaning from BM/forula. BLW is letting the child decide when they want to start eating and letting them lead on how much. Therefore, they decide when to eat more food and when to BF less. Most babies won't slow down their BM intake for awhile though since they don't tend to eat enough calories as compared to BM.

It really has worked great for us. Hopefully it will for #2 whenever that kid comes. Smile

simer1mh's picture
Joined: 02/27/06
Posts: 235

Yep, what they've all said. Did it with my son and loved it. Doing it with my daughter and still love it. Smile They love exploring, in my experiences, and joining the family for meals. And, as an added bonus, mom isn't feeding baby something different or trying to spoon feed during her own meal. It really takes the pressure out of feeding times, IMO.