My little monster is turning 6 months in a week’s time and although he isn’t able to sit unassisted yet, which is part of the signs of readiness for solid food, I’m sure he isn’t far off. I am one overly thrilled mom as I’ve been looking forward to this milestone.
Lately though, I’ve had a dilemma on which method of weaning to adapt. Being a first-time mom, I join tons of Facebook groups and I’ve learned that there’s another method aside from the traditional way that involves spoon-feeding with pureed or mashed food. This other method is called baby-led weaning.
BLW is a feeding method in which puree is skipped completely. The baby is fed real food or about the same food that the rest of the household members eat.
What are the advantages of adapting BLW?
- It is time-saving because you skip the mashing and pureeing part. You can opt to just serve whatever you’re serving the rest of the household members as long as you go easy on salt or other seasonings and skip honey. You just need to make sure that the pieces are sliced into finger-sized bits that your little one can manage to grasp.
- Your baby is introduced to different textures, so getting them to eat larger lumps eventually will be a breeze. Also, they get to experience the various smells, look and tastes of food in contrast to spoon-feeding him a pureed or mashed food in which the consistency is almost the same each time.
- Allowing your baby to be in charge of feeding himself also gives him the liberty to stop stuffing food into his mouth when he knows that he is already full. He’s in full control of which food to eat first when given a plate with a variety of food slices and he stops when he wants to. This contributes in promoting healthy eating habits in the long run.
- His motor skills are developed because his pincer grasp is practiced while eating. His dexterity is improved and his hand-to-eye coordination is significantly boosted.
And the disadvantages..
- BLW is hands-down messier than the traditional way. It is expected that there will be plenty of food slices ending up on the floor especially when you’re just starting up.
- Your baby is in control, which means that it can take a while before he can finish his meal. If you are tasked to feed him before heading for work, you have to allow an ample amount of time for his meal time.
- The idea of feeding him bigger chunks instead of mashed or pureed food is terrifying because of the hazard of choking. However, there is a study that found out that the level of choking hazard in BLW and traditional feeding methods are just about the same.
I’m eager to give BLW a try considering the advantages, but I think I have to wait it out until the big day. Maybe I’ll offer him big chunks initially, and if he refuse to grasp it, I’ll just mash it and spoon-feed him instead. But then again, I really hope he’ll be more comfortable with the BLW method.