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Why Baby Led Weaning?

Baby Led Weaning

What exactly is it?

Why should you consider it?

Why is everyone talking about it?

and is it just another trend in this whole complicated, information overloading, super tough to navigate, parenting world?


Offering children larger solid pieces of food or different textures of puree or mash has been around for a really long time but the "trend" or "term", “baby-led” weaning was first described by Gill Rapley in 2005. From what we understand Rapley is a registered nurse and midwife who has studied infant feeding and child development. BLW (Baby Led Weaning) is a different method of feeding babies and promotes the child feeding themselves verses the traditional methods of adult led. Rapley defines BLW as an approach that focuses on a child's capabilities and how we view them.


BLW is about empowering the child to know their limits, knowing how to eat, how much, how fast and to share in family mealtimes. BLW supports children in holding their own spoon and feeding themselves with food that they can grasp.


So with that in mind, this is going to cause a lot of mess right?

So are there any real benefits?

How do we get Granny to jump on board?


This is a summary of what we believe are the key benefits!


Benefits of Baby Led Weaning


-Developing greater Independence skills


-Allows the baby to be in control (a baby in control is the core to happier meal times)


-limits picky eating


-fine motor development (have you seen the determination it takes to pick up a kidney bean?)


-hand-eye coordination


-jaw strength and swallowing development


-Research indicates that the child is less likely to choke (always supervise and have the skills required to provide first aid if required)


-Being part of the family meals (cheaper than providing separate meals)


-Fun, who doesn't wanna get messy!!


Our favourite benefit of BLW is having a child that is NOT scared to get messy and more importantly comfortable exploring their senses. Look out cake smash photoshoot time!!! If a child has not been exposed to BLW cakes smash photoshoots can be a little more difficult.


In summary;

Some families choose a combination method, some spoon feeding to ensure your child is getting the calories they need. Ultimately it's about making the right choice for your family. If it works, it works and if it doesn't that's okay too, it has to be right for your family!


With all of that being said have fun with it and get messy!


There are some amazing websites out there now that can support this process so you don't have to go it alone. Who would of thought google would be so handy in this parenting journey right?


One of our favourite sites to learn more are solids is solidstarts.com they have an app that you can download and search for any food and it tells you the best and most safe way to prepare for the age of your child. Gagging might be a little more confronting to deal with so we would always suggest that you are well and truly as prepared as can be! Definitely look into signing up to a first aid course specifically catered to young children. We have heard wonderful things about tinyhearts.com.au.


Our little disclaimer would be to always consult your child's doctor, maternal child health nurse or other feeding specialists for any questions you have getting started. This article was intended to simply provide some information and share our views with our community.


Written by Jem @create4me_




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