Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning

Is your baby eating solids yet? If so, have you tried baby-led weaning (BLW)? Before my baby started eating solids, I was prepared to make her pureed food every day. Our friend gifted us a baby food maker, which makes the perfect portions. I was ready to steam, puree, and serve, pretending the spoon was an airplane all day – neeeeeeeeeer. 

Then I learned about BLW, where baby feeds herself and eats what mom eats.  I began thinking – hmmmm, this is how babies have been eating for 100s of years all over the world. Of course, it makes sense to feed my baby this way. 

For weeks before baby turned 6 months, I spent hours watching videos on Youtube of babies eating solid foods. If I were going to try BLW, I wanted to make sure I was prepared. I wanted to know what to feed her, how to feed her, and what to do if she choked. 

Now, we are 5 months into BLW and absolutely love it. It was the perfect decision for our family. 

Here are some benefits of BLW.

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1. It saves money.

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know that I love saving money and cutting costs. Since BLW allows baby to eat exactly what you eat, there are no additional costs – no need to buy baby food, food to make baby food, or any extra ingredients. 

Baby eats very small portions, so instead of you having second dinner or leftovers, she will eat what you don’t. And there may still be leftovers which are great for baby the next day.

2. It saves time.

BLW saves time. You won’t be standing in the kitchen for hours at a time, pureeing baby food and cleaning extra dishes – you save yourself some time. Serve baby what you’re eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you’re good to go.

3. BLW teaches self-control.

Since baby feeds herself, she is in control of her intake – how much and how quickly she eats. Having control of her appetite will benefit her for years to come, preventing obesity, eating disorders, and other diet-related illnesses. Overall, BLW promotes healthy eating behaviors.

4. BLW is great for sensory play.

This is one of my favorite aspects of BLW – sensory play!  And yes, this is also the messy aspect of BLW, but it is great for your baby’s cognitive development. Baby studies each new food you put in front of her. She may squish it in between her fingers, smack it with both hands against her tray, grunt at it, or just leave it be. 

Allowing baby to play with her food introduces her to a variety of textures that she wouldn’t know if fed purees. Since she receives sensory play with her food, there’s no need to set aside a time for it. No more sensory bins, pails, tables, etc. Of course, you can still have those if you want, but she receives enough through playing with her food. 

5. It travels well.

While messy in the beginning, BLW travels well – on the road, at grandma’s house, and to your favorite restaurants. Since baby is learning to feed herself, all you have to do it set her in her high chair, place food and a utensil on her tray, and she’s ready to eat! We really like Avanchy plates and bowls for traveling and at home. They are easy to carry around because of their small size and are perfect for tiny hands. We have one of each and wash them after every use.

Have you tried BLW? Do you love it? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments below.

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