Put down your steamer and blender, because baby led-weaning will take the guess work out of feeding your little one. No longer do you have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing purees for your baby, only for them to turn up their nose and refuse to eat. You can now feed them straight from the dinner table with the baby-led weaning (BLW) strategy.
Babies should be at least 6 months old, able to sit up unassisted and be able to grasp and hold foods before you try the BLW method.
The hands-off approach does not mean you give them their plate and walk away. There are still some foods that you will want to be involved in like apple-sauce and when they get older, yogurt. It's important to note that they may not be able to get all the nutrients they need with the table food right away. So give them that pork chop to chew on, but take some of the food, process it and mix it with other ingredient for a different texture.
There are fewer incidents of choking with BLW because the baby is in control of what goes in their mouth. Unlike spoon-feeding purees, the baby can add more or spit out if they have too much in their mouth. *If they get too ambitious, they may still gag, but it's actually a great way to teach them how to control their bodies and regulate themselves. It's important to note what food you are giving them to reduce the risk of choking. As long as you offer safe foods, your baby's gums are quite capable of breaking down soft foods.
You can try different tools to make BLW an easier transition. I used the Munchkin Food Feeders in the beginning and filled them with fruit for baby to suck on. Watermelon was a great way to use them in the summer. They were easy to clean with a mesh netting that you could easily -wash with soap.
I also used the Munchkin Miracle 360-Degree Trainer cup filled with water at each meal to wash down her food.
Continue to the next page for meal suggestions for baby-led weaning.