Baby Led Weaning What does the evidence say?

What is baby led weaning?

Baby led weaning (BLW) is a method of introducing solid foods into a baby’s diet that skips the purees and goes straight to finger foods. Because purees are skipped, children should not start on solids with baby led weaning until they are 6 months of age and are developmentally able to feed themselves. Make sure you read the Foublie article on how to know when your baby is ready for solids. Research suggests that by 6-7 months, 87% of babies will be able to reach out and grab for food. For the first few months of baby led weaning, the goal is primarily to give the child exposure to food. Most of their calories will still be coming from breast milk and/or formula.

Now to the research on BLW

The BLISS study used a modified approach where parents were educated on ways to address nutrition, choking, and growth and found that micronutrient intake, choking, and growth were comparable to traditionally/spoon-fed infants. Here’s a summary of what we know from this and other studies:r

Pros of Baby Led Weaning

Cons of Baby Led Weaning

Baby is in control of how much they eat – less likely to overfeed

Very dependent on parent nutrition knowledge – great opportunity to learn from your Foublie coach!

More likely to experience responsive feeding (child chooses how much/what they will eat)

Underweight more common

Less risk for overweight in some studies, though a recent randomized controlled study showed no difference in weight

High risk foods offered if family eating high in sugar, salt, and highly processed foods (may be due to lack of nutrition knowledge)

Self-regulated, self-paced feeding

May not offer appropriate foods to get micronutrient needs (specifically iron)

Later introduction of solids (longer time exclusively breast or bottle feeding)

Increased risk of choking with inappropriate foods offered

Reported decrease in picky eating

 

Bottom line: Pick what works for you

Foublie will support you to do puree all the way or BLW (or even a combo which we call baby-led feeding). If you are interested in baby led weaning for your infant, current research recommends speaking with a healthcare professional to ensure adequacy of the diet. A Foublie coach or class is a great place to start!

We put together the ultimate starter pack

Classes are the perfect way to get started. Watch at your own pace and when it works for you. Check out our 3 topics…

Our experts put together some pretty awesome videos that cover the evidence and tell you what you need to know to nourish yourself and your family.

Are you a lister? We’ve got shopping lists, check lists, how-to pictures and more!

Our Foublie coaches have professional quals. They are registered dietitians, lactation consultants and occupational therapists. At home they are food allergy moms, moms who have down BLW and honestly, they just get it.

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