The so-called BLW method (Baby Led Weaning) is a transition from milk to food, where the child largely controls what and how much he or she eats. From the age of 6 months, or when the child can sit up on his own, he is offered much the same food as the rest of the family, and is then allowed to play and taste his way through the new world. But is it always safe to drop the porridge and let the child eat on his own with the BLW method? Find out here.
The principles of the BLW method are quite simple. Baby must be allowed to eat, grab the food and play with it. If you go all in on the BLW method, there's no such thing as baby food, millet porridge or mashing food with a hand blender before letting the little one eat. Junior has to be at the table on an equal footing with the rest of the family, and is largely served what everyone else eats.
Thinking about BLW for you and your baby? Or does your baby not want to be fed oatmeal and you are looking for other options? Then read on to find out what you need to be aware of if you're taking the plunge into BLW.
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Advantages of the BLW method
Research has shown many benefits of the BLW method, both in terms of the baby's relationship with food and the parents' thoughts and experience of the transition period, which is called the time when baby goes from breastfeeding/bottle feeding to eating on his own. Here we have listed some of the main benefits of using the BLW method.
It should be mentioned that there has not yet been much research in this area, but we have found these results via the site Sundhedsplejerske.nu.
- Babies fed BLW become less fussy later in life
- BLW mothers stressed and worried less about their children's diets during the transition period, compared to mothers who fed their children
- The child is introduced to solid food through play and its own pace
- No special food is prepared for the child, but the child is on an equal footing with the rest of the family during the meal.
Disadvantages of the BLW method
As with anything, Baby Led Weaning has its advantages as well as disadvantages. So before you embark on the project, it's always useful to consider both the pros and cons.
- You need to be aware if baby gets something wrong in his throat - it can be an unpleasant experience if baby has to get up and shake to breathe again
- BLW messes - you need to be ready to change clothes often, wash the floor and maybe wash your baby after meal
- You may find that your healthcare professional is critical of the method and you have to defend your choice
- The BLW method is not recommended by the Danish Health Authority
Baby Led Weaning food - Ideas for finger foods
Although the idea of the BLW method is that baby should eat whatever the family eats, it may still be necessary to seek information and inspiration for good baby led weaning recipes and other baby led weaning foods. That is, food that is super baby friendly but that baby can sit with on their own and explore.
Here are some ideas for finger foods that are perfect for babies from 6 months.
Soft fruit and vegetables cut into slices or pieces
Avocado, banana, mango, cooked carrots and broccoli, cucumber slices are all suitable for baby. Cut the pieces into stems or chunks that are easy for a baby's hand to grasp. The starting point here is that the food should not be very hard so small pieces can stick in baby's throat and pose a choking hazard.
Although babies have a very effective vomiting reflex, it's still a good idea to be on the safe side. It is therefore recommended to boil or steam hard food before serving it to baby.
Cakes made of oatmeal
Instead of serving the healthy oatmeal in a bowl with a spoon, why not make sponge cakes that baby can eat himself? Simply mix your oatmeal with eggs and maybe a little liquid and cinnamon sugar for flavour. You can also add fat. Take about a tablespoon at a time onto the pan and fry until firm and cooked through. Once cooled, a nice snack for baby, which you can also easily carry in your changing bag.
Other delicious BLW food for babies
- Cold pasta crusts
- Soft buns with butter
- Fish cakes
- Homemade fries (without salt - see the Health Authority's recommendations on salt for young children)
- Meat sausages
- Cheese slices or cheese puffs
- One boiled egg
- Egg muffins
- Healthy muffins
- Baked root vegetables in small sticks
- Banana pancakes
Find much more information by searching for BLW food on the web!
Want to know more?
There are many different sites where you can search for information about the BLW method and introducing your baby to food via the Baby Led Weaning method. The whole concept became well known when a BLW book was published.
You can borrow it from the library or buy it online - the book is called BLW - Baby Led Weaning.
You can also search for information on various forums, blogs and at Ammenet, which also advocates the method.
If you want to know more about giving your baby porridge and how and how much to do it best, read about start of porridge here.