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Baby-Led Weaning. Our experience

I found out about Baby-Led Weaning from a good friend of mine, a mom of two. She recommended this feeding method to me so I thought, why not try it?! I read a lot about it online and also bought a few books to get familiarized with it and after a while, we were ready to start with our Baby-Led Weaning journey!

We started with BLW when our little one was about 6 months old and had shown developmental readiness signs, like grabbing my piece of bread or trying to get some food from the table, he was able to sit with support, and he would put his hands in his mouth, etc.

I am by no means an expert in BLW but in this post, I will share with you our experience with this method that became popular about a decade ago, in the UK.

So what is Baby-Led Weaning?

BLW emphasizes the independence of the baby, babies can explore the food at their own pace, and they can feel the smell, the taste, the texture, the color, but also the size of the food. With BLW, babies also acquire skills in hand movements (motor skills), eye-hand coordination, and feeling independent.

According to doctors, the main food for babies in the first year of life is milk. Baby Lead Weaning adds complementary foods and focuses on the family meal while making the eating process an interactive experience. Food is offered in thick finger-size pieces, it is soft and can be squished between fingers. This way, the baby can easily hold the food and feed himself. Cutting foods in the right way depends on the age of our baby and we should be aware of foods that could cause choking, like grapes (to be quartered lengthwise), blueberries, cherry tomatoes, and more.

Most babies will get quite dirty while eating, they will throw their food on the floor (cause and effect) but do not worry, as this is all part of their development.

Is there a risk of choking? Well, choking doesn’t depend on the BLW method or on giving puree foods. However, we should be familiar with the gagging, which happens when the food stops in the mouth of a baby. You should not freak out, as it is pretty normal to happen. If this happens too often to your baby and you don’t feel ready for BLW, you can always offer puree food and continue a bit later with BLW. Baby-led also means that babies are in charge of how much food they would like to eat, which helps to fight obesity, unfortunately, is something very common in young children. In any case, I think that before starting with any feeding method, it is important for parents to know about providing first aid to their baby due to choking hazards.

We started with BLW when my son was 6 months old (which is usually the recommended age) and the first solid food he tried, was broccoli. First, he played a little bit with it, then he tried some and he end up having an organic broccoli face mask! The first week of solid foods was a bit like this but later on, he started eating small portions and mama was happy again! Here I should mention that I use the steamer for almost all vegetables, as this preserves more nutrients compared to boiled vegetables.

During teething times, my little one didn’t want to touch any kind of food. I thought of helping him out a bit and offered him some vegetable soup while I had slightly mashed the veggies with a fork. There was still texture in his food and it was really helpful as soft foods can reduce inflammation in the gums. I am mentioning this because I believe it is important to adjust based on the circumstances.

When my little one was 7 months old, he often wanted to grab the spoon with which I would give him soup or yogurt. He loved eating with the spoon by himself and after a month of BLW, it was clear that his motor skills had developed nicely. Choosing BLW does not mean that we will not offer a spoon or a fork to our baby. Yes, they do start eating with their hands but soon enough they show readiness signs for eating with a spoon or a fork.

For the first six months (6 to 12 months), eating solid foods was quite successful and we were all very happy at home. My little one was accepting all vegetables and fruits I would offer him and did not refuse to try any food ... until he was 1 year old. At the moment, the frequency of food rejection is more intense but this is also part of his development and I just have to spend more time in the kitchen, while cooking and guessing which food he will not reject!

It is normal for them to have their preferences in food and if you would ask my little one, he would not mind eating blueberries all day long!

Some ingredients that could make baby food tastier and could also make your life a little bit easier, are adding butter, herbs, fresh lemon juice in salads like broccoli or cauliflower, or offering yogurt dip with carrot, celery, cucumber, etc. For more ideas on how to make baby food tastier, you can read my post "Gourmet food for your baby or toddler".

Of course, as with everything else, BLW has advantages and disadvantages. The only thing I did not like, was that I had to clean the floor 3 times a day.

We bought a floor mat placed under the high chair, but there is always food around the mat too! These types of mats are usually waterproof and also machine washable, but in my experience, you should have at least 2 or 3 of them. You could also check my post ‘’What equipment do I need for Baby-Led Weaning’’.

Concluding, feeding a baby can be a challenge but I have always tried to be patient, calm, and in a good mood while having a meal with my little one. Being calm in front of them can have a great impact on their mood too and helps us tackle any difficulties we might have to face, regardless of the feeding method we have chosen for our baby. I have another relevant post that could help you in case you have a picky eater at home, which is called ‘’How to get my fussy baby to eat’’.

I will be happy to receive your tips and republish them, to facilitate other moms and dads.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and see you soon!

All the best,




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I’m so happy you're here. This is where I share stories & tips to help make motherhood & parenting easier and more fun. Life’s not always perfect, but it’s important to stop and enjoy those little moments with those you love. Join me on my journey.

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