Baby-led Weaning

Baby-led Weaning: Helping your baby to love good food

About the Book

What is Baby-led weaning? - The benefits of Baby-led weaning - The secrets of success

The Secrets of Successful BLW

  • Think of mealtimes as playtimes in the beginning. They are for learning and experimenting Ė not necessarily eating. Your baby will still be getting all her nourishment from her milk feeds.
  • Keep giving milk feeds on demand, so that your babyís solid foods add to them rather than replace them. She will reduce them gradually, in her own time.
  • Donít expect your baby to eat much food at first. Many babies eat very little for the first few months.
  • Try to eat with your baby and include her in your meals whenever possible, so that she has plenty of opportunities to copy you and practise her new skills.
  • Expect some mess! Remember, sheís learning, not trying to make work for you.
  • Keep it enjoyable Ė for all of you. That way your baby will be keen to try new foods and look forward to mealtimes.
Six things you should do
  • Ensure that your baby is supported in an upright position while she is experimenting with food. In the early days you can sit her on your lap, facing the table, or use small cushions or rolled-up towels to keep her upright in her highchair.
  • Start by offering foods that are easy to pick up. Thick sticks are easiest. As far as possible (provided they are suitable) offer your baby the same foods that you are eating, so that she feels part of what is going on.
  • Offer a variety of foods. Offering her plenty of different tastes and textures will provide her with a wide range of nutrients, as well as helping her to develop her eating skills.
  • Carry on offering your baby breast or formula feeds as you did before and offer her water with her meals. Expect her milk-feeding pattern to change only very gradually as she starts to eat more.
  • Discuss the introduction of solids with your health advisers if you have a family history of food intolerance, allergies or digestive problems or any other concerns about your babyís health or development.
  • Explain how BLW works to anyone caring for your baby.
Six things you shouldnít do
  • Donít offer your baby foods that arenít good for her, such as Ďfastí foods, ready meals or foods that have added salt or sugar. Keep foods that present an obvious danger of choking out of her reach.
  • Donít offer your baby solid food when she is hungry for a milk feed.
  • Donít hurry your baby or distract her while she is handling food Ė allow her to concentrate and direct the pace of what she is doing.
  • Donít put food into your babyís mouth for her. Letting the baby stay in control is an important safety feature of BLW.
  • Donít try to persuade your baby to eat more than she wants.
  • NEVER leave your baby alone with food.