What is baby-led weaning?
Baby-led weaning (BLW) is exactly what it sounds–it is the process of adding complementary foods to your baby’s diet of breastmilk or formula by allowing him/her to do the leading, with your guidance of course!
Why should I consider BLW?
Experts say that littles who start solids at an early age may develop a more sophisticated palate and are more likely to eat a wider variety of healthy foods when they’re older.
Okay, I'm in! How do I know when to start BLW?
If you’re unsure about when to start BLW ask yourself these questions: Is baby almost six-months-old? Is baby starting to sit up on his/her own and able to grab and hold onto objects?
These are indicators it might be time to discuss BLW with your little’s pediatrician.
I'm nervous. What foods are safe for my little?
Products Pictured: Colorful Silicone Grip Dishes
BLW-friendly foods that are soft and gentle on baby’s gums and easier to swallow include:
- Thin banana slices
- Small avocado pieces
- Cooked pasta
- Boiled chicken
All foods should be mashed or cut into small, easy-to-swallow pieces for safety.
PRO Tip: If you’re unsure whether something is soft enough for your LO, try squishing it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. If it passes the squish test it should be soft enough for baby to eat.
Things can get really messy with BLW. Here are a few tips to avoid mealtime messes and cut cleanup time in half.
Our babies have a way of growing so fast! We recommend investing in your little’s mealtime essentials before he/she starts the self-feeding journey. A complete mealtime kit includes:
- A set of good bibs
- A bowl with a strong suction base
- A dish with a strong suction base
- A mat to protect floors beneath the high chair
- Easy-to-grip training utensils
- Snack bags
Food might fly but dishware doesn't have to
As your baby works toward becoming familiar with self-feeding it is likely he/she will freely experiment with the foods you offer and the dishware it is served on as well. Do not be surprised if your kitchen turns into the epic food fight scene with food flying across the room and dishes ending up on the floor.
To keep mealtime messes to a minimum opt for bowls and dishes designed with suction bases to keep food on the plate and off the floor. Bumkins dishware products are made out of food-safe silicone and come in a variety of fun colors. The First Feeding Set comes with a bowl and spoon. The Silicone Grip Dish has three divided sections perfect for toddler-sized portions.
PRO Tool: Personalize your little's BLW experience with a microwave and dishwasher safe silicone stretch lid to reduce waste and keep leftovers fresh at home or on-the-go.