First off, what is Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)?
This is the practice of introducing foods by having the infant feed themselves rather than being spoon-fed by an adult. We are also talking about solid foods that are provided in addition to breastfeeding or formula.
Things to know:
- If you choose to start BLW, it should be at a point when the infant can sit upright, and can hold their head up.
- Provide Iron-rich foods, examples include: Poultry, cooked tofu, legumes, enriched infant cereals, and pureed meats.
- During pregnancy, newborns have stored sufficient Iron for their first 6 months. Afterwards, they need to consume Iron-rich foods along with being breastfed, to maintain Iron levels.
Many people avoid this method because to the fear of their child choking.
General Rule for Avoiding Choking with BLW: width of infants' 5th finger (pinky) can be used to estimate the size of their airway. Keep this in may as a reference for size of food that can block the airway.
Cichero, AJY. (2016). Introducing solid foods using Baby-Led Weaning vs. spoon-feeding. Nutrition Bulletin, 41:72-77
Cameron, SL., Heath, M., Taylor, RW. (2012). How feasible is Baby-Led Weaning as an approach to infant feeding? Nutrients, 4:1575-1609.