Pros + Cons of Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)
Are you looking for an easy alternative for pureed baby foods? Stumbled across baby-led weaning but think it’s too radical? Honestly, we do a lot of things differently. One of our favorite sayings is “who wants to be normal, anyway?”.
From cloth diapers to early potty training, BLW to positive and free-range parenting, we’ve taken “normal” out of our vocabulary. Would you be able to tell from looking at us? I don’t know – what does your average family with eco-friendly and child-centric values look like?
BLW, specifically, is a great way to introduce your child to real foods while still relying on breast or bottle feeding for the majority of his nutrients.
Oh, and for the record, we didn’t even start at the “recommended” time. My kids wanted to eat so early – I had to hold them off until I was comfortable giving them hunks of meat. Yep, that was their first foods! And they love it. My little carnivore cave-babies.
If you’ve read a bit about Baby-Led Weaning, but aren’t too sure about it yet, let me help you out with a very scientific and analytical Pros + Cons list.
Pros of Baby-Led Weaning
- Budget-friendly – no extra “baby” food
- Super beneficial to the baby
- Motor skills
- Gag reflex
- Family meal environment
- Texture exploration
- Flavor exploration
- Stinkin’ easy
- Less stressful
- Easy to feed on the go
Cons of Baby-Led Weaning
- Messy, but learning is fun!
- Lots of looks and comments from hella judgey people
- Takes a wee bit of planning
- Your child may start to enjoy food too. Meaning, you’ll be going through more food because she just adores it. Is this really a “con”?
- You have to share off your plate a lot of the time.
- You’re probably going to get bitten
- You may be seen as a rebel
Now that you’ve read about the good, the bad, and the ugly, why don’t you be the one to decide if baby-led weaning is right for you. The only way to truly know is to test it out. Biggest hindrance? The choking issue. Don’t worry, it’s super rare. Do a bit of research about it and you’ll learn that BLW is actually better for children and helps them to develop their gag reflex; preventing choking.
Now, I realize not every parenting decision is right for everyone, but this works and makes a whole lotta sense for me and my science-loving brain.
Get started Baby-Led Weaning today with these easy tips:
- Lay out a plastic tablecloth or drop cloth under the high chair for easy cleanup
- Start simple – feed him off your plate
- Don’t put a lot of choices on his tray at first; he might get overwhelmed
- Help her out by placing the finger-like piece in her hand. She’ll know what to do
- Trust your baby but keep a close eye on her. If she starts to gag, let her work on hit herself. Obviously, intervene if it’s gone past gagging and on to choking.
Here’s a list of great baby-lead-weaning first foods.
And when your mama tells you that you’re doing it wrong, smile and say “thanks for your concern.” She should get the hint to back off.
I’m Katelynn, an (almost) 27-year-old stay-at-home-mama to 2 precious miracles – Sweet Girl (20 months) + Pip (3 months), as well as our fur baby – a Blue Heeler x Great Pyrenese, Silver. I’m married to my best friend & love of my life (how cliché, right?). Together, we live on a very special yard, close to the family farm and my husband’s home “town” of about 25 people. We’re part of that community, as well as the one I grew up in (300 people), about 10 miles from home. I enjoy a simpler way of life – getting back to nature, reusing + recycling, gardening + preserving. My hobbies are sewing, dirt biking, reading, spending time at the lake cabin, hunting and watching my kids learn and grow.