Inside: An evaluation of the pros and cons of baby led weaning
Today, I want to go into the pros and cons of baby led weaning.
First, I will start with the pros and cons of my personal baby led weaning experience. Then, you can read the pros and cons from other mamas who have embarked on their baby led weaning journey.
Did you do baby led weaning? If so, let us know your experience in the comments below!
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Pros of Baby Led Weaning:
1. Encourages better eating. Your child will most likely be less picky eaters.
This is why I praise baby led weaning the most. Lennox took to baby led weaning very well. He enjoyed trying new foods every day and very rarely did he not like something. His adventurous eating carried over into toddlerhood.
I am curious to see how Lennox’s palate would be today if we would have continued down the puree path. We originally started Lennox off with homemade purees at four-months-old and what’s interesting is that he despised carrots. However, once we stopped purees and started baby led weaning, carrots became one of his favorite foods.
2. Increases motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
It allows your baby to use all of her senses while eating and exploring with different colors, textures, and shapes.
Once Lennox started baby led weaning at six months…
he loved being able to grab at his own food and bring it to his mouth. It improved his eye-hand coordination, as well as fine-motor skills. It was an awesome experience being able to watch Lennox develop and learn new skills each day.
For a baby…
eating is so novel, every part of it; the different types of foods, their tastes, learning how to chew, how to hold the food, use utensils, etc.. They need to be able to have the liberty to play around and understand their food to promote healthy eating skills
3. It allows your baby to decide when he is done eating, promoting appetite control.
Since the baby is in control of his eating, baby led weaning allows the baby time to digest and feel full, unlike purees, which are fed to the baby. A baby could feel too full if fed a puree too quickly which could put him in an uncomfortable state, especially if he has Gastroesophageal Reflux.
4. It allows your child to take an active part in mealtime and encourages socialization.
Related: Four Benefits of Baby Led Weaning
5. It is less time consuming.
You offer your baby exactly (minus the condiments) what you are eating, eliminating the mess and time of having to blend purees.
6. It teaches independence and confidence.
7. It allows you, mom, dad or guardian, to be hands-free and enjoy your food while baby enjoys hers.
8. It encourages healthier eating on behalf of the parent.
At least for me, anyways. I wanted Lennox to be a healthy eater so in order to do that I had to change my bad eating habits at mealtime.
9. It’s cheaper than store-bought purees.
Since day 1 of our baby led weaning process, meals always happened at the table, together. It was a sacred time of enjoying and exploring our food.
While Lennox benefited socially and nutritionally from eating around the table, I benefited also because I was able take a much-needed break to sit down to enjoy a meal with Lennox. I started noticing myself enjoying my food, instead of inhaling it.
Furthermore, I started cooking healthier items. I wanted Lennox to eat healthily, so in turn, I had to change my bad eating ways.
It was less time consuming as well because I was only preparing one meal each time, instead of having to blend purees.
Furthermore, I could enjoy my meal because I didn’t have to feed Lennox. He was feeding himself! The only thing I had to do separately for Lennox was cut his food differently, and not add any condiments.
10. It aids your baby in understanding what is edible and what isn’t.
Cons of Baby Led Weaning
1. It’s extremely messy
I recommend using a plastic wipe-clean bib or even better, let your baby eat in just a diaper.
Related: Baby Led Weaning Must Have Products
2. The reactions of family members and bystanders
The older generations and people who think they know it all will constantly nag you that your baby is too young to be eating this type of food or is going to choke. You do you, mama. You know your baby the best.
3. My hypothesis: baby led weaning may make teething more uncomfortable
I am not sure if this is BLW-related or not— or if Lennox just has stubborn teeth— but, I hypothesize that baby led weaning makes the baby’s gums harder from chewing solids so early on.
This might cause teething to be a bit more difficult for them if their teeth are late bloomers.
Has anyone else experienced this? Comment below and share your experience, if so.
More baby led weaning posts:
- Baby Led Weaning Must Have Products
- Baby Led Weaning First Food Ideas
- What to Know About Purees and Baby Led Weaning
What other mamas think about the pros and cons of BLW
Kassandra at Adelaideandi
I love how fun it is! Seeing Adelaide’s reaction to new foods is the best. I hated (and still do sometimes) how messy it can be!
Taylor at Mindful.mom_ents
I don’t really dislike anything, it made it easy when cooking dinner and made me make better choices for myself as well. Reading labels is key… just because baby eats what you eat doesn’t mean they should be eating the processed, pre packaged food available.
Jessica at HeyMamaJess
My son is a good eater. Dislike the mess!
Emily at This Crazy Maze
Overall, I like BLW. It is messy so I really don’t like feeding my son solid foods. Breastfeeding is just so easy! And I’m super picky about organic food – trying to keep my son organic for the first 2 years, but it’s tough when I don’t always eat as good as I should.
It’s so easy! No need to pack baby specific food, they can always eat off my plate at restaurants and they have both been great eaters of fruits of veggies
Brooke at Simply Well Family
Baby-led weaning is natural for babies. I like that children are introduced to a variety of food textures & colors with baby-led weaning. I also like that it helps to foster independence, since children feed themselves instead of relying on a caregiver to spoon feed them purées.