First of all, what is baby-led weaning (BLW)? In very simple words, BLW means skipping purées and letting your little one feed themselves with finger foods. Sounds scary? Trust me, I know!
The first time someone mentioned BLW to me, I thought to myself, “Are you out of your mind? Luna chokes on her own saliva, there’s no way I’m giving her finger foods!” But fast forward to today and finger foods are all she eats.
I honestly never had the intention to do BLW with Luna. It was just too scary of a thought. I couldn’t imagine her, this little person with no teeth, eating actual pieces of food. So what made me change my mind? Luna refusing the spoon.
At the beginning, she was great at eating off the spoon. She would even grab it and try to put it in her mouth. But then one day, out of the blue, she decided she was no longer interested in it. We tried spoon-feeding her for a couple of days, but we had no luck. She would just turn her head away and wouldn’t open her mouth. And that’s when I knew that BLW was our last and only resort.
The first BLW foods we gave to Luna were avocado and banana. We wanted to start with something mushy because it just seemed less scary than things like meat. Once she learned how to somewhat chew and swallow that that’s when we felt more comfortable giving her soft-cooked food like carrots or apples. In other words, we did a gradual transition through textures. And now at 10 months she can eat anything, absolutely anything.
But our experience with BLW didn’t go without heart jumps. I remember vividly the first time Luna gagged - it was on sweet potato. I thought she was choking (I didn’t know there was such a thing as gagging), so I immediately jumped out of my seat and started giving her back blows. While this was absolutely terrifying for me, it seemed to be quite amusing for Luna. Confused by all of it, I started doing research and that’s when I stumbled upon an article that explained the difference between gagging and choking. It explained that gagging happens when food moves to the back of a baby’s mouth and then the baby coughs to push it back out. Once I understood this, I felt more comfortable practicing BLW.
So the point of this post? If you’re planning on doing BLW do as much research as you can to find out if it’s a good fit for your family.
Now tell me, do YOU practice BLW? If so, how has your experience been?