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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Baby Led Weaning: Teaching Your Baby to Self Feed!

Couple of month back I came across a group on FaceBook that was randomly mentioned on another forum. Out of curiosity and since Little A was 7 months old then we were already on solids and I wanted to start Little A weaning off Breastmilk. I joined the group, But instead what I found out was this amazing method of Introducing solids to your baby and what impressed me was the ability of a baby to self feed itself. 

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BABY LED WEANING is letting your baby self feed itself finger foods from the very start of weaning or when you introduce solids to the baby apart from Breastmilk. Babies start to show interest on food round 6 months when they start to grab food from your plate or hand. There is absolutely no puree / mashes involved. Its simply letting the baby self feed your everyday meals. The primary goal is to introduce new textures and taste to the baby letting them explore and to move to table foods. Another important aspect to keep in mind is before the baby's 1st birthday, solids SHOULD NOT REPLACE Breastmilk but it should just compliment. So you really don't have to worry about the quantity the baby eats since it gets all the nutrition, fat and calories from your breastmilk. 

To know What, how and when to start Blw, I suggest you visit the follow links before you start to get a better understanding.


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Now the reason I opted for BLW for Little A is that,it just seemed logical to me than Traditional weaning involving purees and mashes. In BLW the baby learns to self feed which helps in development of hand eye co-ordination. The baby learns to bite, chew and then swallow food. Whereas traditional weaning with mashes and purees only teach the baby to swallow first. In BLW the baby can see, smell, feel the texture of food offered. There is more exploration of food involved. In traditional weaning its just spoon after spoon of puree where the baby cannot see / feel what is being fed. This may create a fussy eating in toddlers when they are introduced new food and textures. BLW allows the baby to chew the food more which is broken down by saliva thus helps in digesting the food better (although you may find whole chunks of tomatoes / carrots from previous night's dinner since their gut is not fully closed until 18 months). There is no need to prepare a separate food for baby. Overfeeding a baby is not possible in BLW. The baby eats what it wants and rejects / refuses once done. Whereas in traditional weaning method you can easily overfeed the baby leading to overweight and obesity in future. And I love to watch Little A eat on his own with us during mealtime. 

So we have been BLWing for this past couple of months and I am amazed at the ability to self feed himself and that too being a toothless. He is capable of eating almost everything on his own now. And am able to introduce more variety and texture to him. Make sure you don't give salt / sugar / chili to your baby before 1 year at-least. 

If you are planning on doing BLW for your little one, I also suggest you join the Baby Led Weaning (Introducing Solids) India on FaceBook. There are many Pro BLW mums and they will be able to answer many queries and also lots of success stories and videos for inspiration. If you are a new mum or a breastfeeding mother, I would recommend you join Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms on FaceBook. Remember to exclusively Breastfeed your baby for 6 months and then introduce solids as a complimentary to Breastmilk and not to replace Breastmilk. No solid can provide your baby with the nutrition provided by breast-milk. 

Happy Baby Led Weaning! 


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