There are a lot of conversations happening about baby led weaning (BLW). Parents considering this approach to the development of their child’s feeding face a variety of often contradicting advice. By using this more natural approach to a baby’s introduction to solid foods, parents can see the rapid adoption of healthy habits, but mistakes are still common. There are three common mistakes that parents make when it comes to BLW. If you’re considering your babies transition to solid foods, but you’re wary of making an error that will affect their food intake, then here are the mistakes that you need to avoid.
Healthy Foods Only
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make with BLW is solely focusing on healthy fruits and vegetables. While these are certainly healthy, they do not contain everything that your baby needs. Iron is certainly something that your baby requires to be healthy and well-developed, and that means preparing foods that go beyond fruit and veg. Proteins and carbohydrates need to be included in their diet. Another benefit to offering your baby a wide variety of foods from the beginning is that it exposes them to many different textures and tastes, meaning mealtimes stay interesting and exciting for your weaning baby. If you are developing a baby led weaning routine, consider adding fats (butter is very useful) and other nutrients to their healthier options. Iron can be tricky for the body to absorb, if you’re wanting to get clued up on Iron for your baby, we some great detailed advice on the topic so Lets Talk about Iron for your baby here.
Here are some fun recipes, perfect for those Baby Led Weaning First Tastes. Try these super delicious Fruit and Oat bars for a healthy weaning breakfast. Lunchtime can often be on the go, these broccoli & lentil bites are a fantastic weaning lunchbox addition. Round off the day with Salmon Fishcakes for the perfect Weaning Dinner that can be enjoyed by the whole family and are packed full of various nutrients.
If you look at the #babyledweaning hashtag on Instagram, then you will see just how much food parents are giving their children. It’s a common mistake to think that baby needs to be consuming the food you provide. However in the early days of BLW food should be offered as more of a sensory experience for your baby to explore and learn how to independently feed themselves. It is best to offer too much then too little so that baby has plenty of food for exploring.
As they become more confident at self feeding you will be able to serve portions intended for consumption rather then play. Try to follow your babies lead throughout the BLW process. If you're wanting to grow your own confidence for BLW in 15 Points then click here for a fantastic guide that explains everything you need to know to get started in just 15 simple points.
One of the most common mistakes for parents adopting BLW is constantly wiping their child’s face while they are eating. A good rule to remember is that you should NEVER wipe your babies face during the feeding process. No babies enjoy having their face wiped, and if you do so when they are eating, you will be interfering in their experiments and the pleasure that they are deriving from their food. Even worse, because having their face wiped can be unpleasant, by doing it during feeding time you may even create negative correlations between food and face wipes. Don’t panic if your baby gets covered in food when they are self-feeding. Clean up afterwards, and your baby will be far more likely to develop a healthy relationship with their food.
If you’re soon to begin your weaning journey or have just started BLW then check out this really handy article written by parents, listing all the Weaning Essentials that have helped to make life easier for them during BLW.
Baby led weaning can work very effectively to ease the transition to solid foods, but it’s important that you rush neither the process or meal times themselves. Take your time and make sure that you avoid these common mistakes. The more that you allow your baby the freedom to eat at their own pace and in their own way, the more likely that they will develop a healthy relationship with food that BLW encourages.