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Baby Led Weaning

Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone had tried Baby Led Weaning? I've been doing it from the end of the sixth month, Tink is fully self feeding and will eat anything we put in front of her, usually some version of what we are eating.

Baby Led Weaning means no spoons, no mush and no fuss. It is giving babies handable pieces of food and allowing them to choose what they eat.


  • there is another post about it, i have said i would like to give it ago is it ok to start with pureed until they are 6 months i really dont know alot about it.
  • The idea is to wait until six months and not use purees at all. There is no research to support purees as a form of weaning, infact the evidence is against it. I would recommend that you have a look at the Wikipedia entry and the blogsite .

    Normally I could post pages of it, but I have a headache and can hardly see the screen. I think bed is really in order!
  • hi this sounds good but dont babies get more hungry at a few months old? i thought babies are started on baby rice or rusks if they arnt satisfied with milk or are greedy? my son is only 1 month old so i dont have any experience yet but my freinds baby started on baby rice and rusks etc at 12 weeks? x
  • Babies aren't able to digest solid foods before six months, which is why they are now saying to wait until then to wean. All that happens when you give a baby puree before then is that their tummy is filled up so they haven't got room for milk and then they poop it all out, which is why a lot of babies start losing weight when weaned before six months and often need to go onto hungry baby milk.

    If you are breast feeding then allow your child to lead demand, which may increase at four months as there is a growth spurt. If you are formula feeding then increase the quantity of milk with your baby's demand and think about changing up to the next stage formula.

    Before a child is a year old food is not essential, it is merely experience and the vitamins and minerals gained are just a bonus.

    Years ago we were told that breast milk was bad for a baby and to formula feed. In those days formula wasn't as good as it is now and couldn't sustain a baby for six months so puree weaning became popular. Unfortunately we have forgotten how we used to do it, it has become normal to give purees and the support has gone for weaning the natural way.
  • Mmm thats really interesting tinkerbellsmum, i hadn't heard of this but will certainly look into it. xx
  • I really like the idea of baby lead weaning, especially on the days when Millie is refusing to eat off a spoon but I am a little concerned about making sure she gets the right things. She is 9 months now and has been eating solids since she started trying to help herself to ours at about 5 months but she has always had purees and some finger food. What do you give Tink to ensure that she gets a good mix of nutrients? I can see that fruit and veg is easy but what about meat? I'm a bit worried that as Millie is breasfed she won't be getting enough iron without her meat and lentils but I don't know how to give them as finger foods, any ideas? Millie is not wild about milk, she only has 3 feeds a day now, so I need to make sure she is getting enough calories from her solids as well. Do you give things like fromage frais (which she loves) and what about carbohydrates? Sorry to ask you so many questions but you sound like it is working really well for you so I'd be intrested to hear what you think. Kerry xx
  • hi kerry.. there are plenty ways to get more iron into your lo other than meats.. just make she has lots of green veg like broccolli, you could also buy some formula milk powder and use make some milk up to mix in with her porridge/breakfast as that contains iron in it too. xx :\)
  • Do you know Wenders I already knew that and I do both those thing! Guess I must have my blonde head on this morning :lol:
  • heehee! lol :lol: xxx
  • Before a year old food is more about experience than nutrition, nutrition is an added bonus and whatever they don't get they will get from milk. As you say though, iron supplies run low at six months, so you do need to look into other ways of getting it into your child if you are not feeding meat from six months.

    We started off just giving her vegetable sticks - carrot, swede, parsnip, cauliflower, broccoli etc - and some fruit oranges, pears and bananas (with help). We added other things in as she got better at it, meat from our plate until she got the idea. She started eating meat around seven months. Eventually we gave her food more and more like we would prepare for her older cousins until she was eating the same as them.

    We will now give anything that we are eating to Tink, I have some cute pictures of her eating Spag Bol at the Wetherspoons last night! We don't do anything different to prepare her food ( we don't use salt, so that's not a problem) other than a couple of minutes in the fridge to cool down before we give it to her.

    Babies won't eat what they can't, if it is too big, they will push it forward until it is small enough, if they can't digest it they either can't pick it up or will spit it out. Don't worry about putting anything in front of your child, they know what to do instinctively. Gagging is worrying, but only to us, it is normal and probably won't phase them (just realise there is a difference between gagging and choking, it is highly unlikely your child will choke on solid foods, there is a bigger chance with puree).

    I'm sorry I took so long to reply, I've only just got back online but if you have any other questions, I'm happy to help.:\)
  • i have read up about Baby Led Weaning, but don't think it would have been for me. Freddie choked alot when first weaned & still does, whereas friends of mine have babies that eat all sorts of finger foods & have done since weaned. i guess its one of those things to give a try & see how it goes. Freddie now feeds himself most foods (he's 14months) including yoghurt etc. messy or what! lol
  • Only just seen your reply TinkerbellsMum as I have been on holiday! I was really worried about feeding Millie as she had been going through a bit of a fussy spell and teething badly and had hardly been eating. As it happens she seems to have decided that she prefers grown up food thank you very much. While we were away we tried her with pretty much everthing we were eating, Paella (minus the shellfish), tapas, fresh fish, chicken kebabs, she even managed some tiny pieces of fillet steak with alot of chewing! She thought it was wonderful and ate everything we gave her, her hand eye co-ordination isn't great yet so we are still giving her alot of it from a spoon but she is getting better at it every day. Before we went she had only put on 3oz in six weeks but I reckon she has gained nearly a kilo in the two weeks we were away! Getting her weighed tommorow so we will see but I will definatley be continuing to encourage her with the blw. Thanks for your reply, Kerry xx
  • CathyG, the sad thing about your post is you backed up the very reason BLW is so important!

    You see, babies have two safety mechanisms to stop themselves from choking. Firstly they have the tongue thrust reflex which pushes anything too big to the front of their mouth. Secondly if they don't manage that, their gag reflex isa triggered in their mouth, not the throat as with an adult.

    When you put a spoon in their mouth they can't push it out as well and you bypass the gag reflex, meaning a baby is MORE likely to choke with purees than if they self feed!

    Bedhead, how is the weaning going?

    I can't remember if I posted this before, but the idea that breastmilk lacks iron, is another myth. I know of women who have had their babies tested on a regular basis as a study into BLW and found no iron (or anything else) deficiency.

    A thought that came to me the other day, BLW is a misleading name as if you wait till six months, there's no "weaning" involved, they just start doing it. It's like saying they wean onto walking, no they might take it bit at a time, but they just do it because their body is READY!
  • This post has got me really interested into baby led weaning, I asked HV about it when went to group and they were talking about weaning, she didn't give me half as much info as you have so THANKS!! gonna find out more. lo is only just over 3 months so have plenty of time.
  • I too have found this very interesting. Kaan is 5 months now and is really taking an interest in food being consumed around him. No-one I asked had even heard of BLW and all said I should at least poach fruit first, not give it raw. Everyone seemed to think I was mad to suggest starting weaning by giving him finger food. 'What no baby rice???' Reading these comments make me realise I am NOT mad. He is thriving on breastmilk at the moment and I feel sure he can miss out on the puree stage of weaning.Food will be fun!
  • Hi,
    when my dd was 4 month old, she started to grap my food and put it in her mouth. I decided to put food suitable for her age in front of her and let her get on with that. She is now just under 6 months and is starting to swallow some food. Yesterday's hit was some vegetarian sushi. (basically some sticky rice filled with carrot sticks) DD loved it, but we did get some weird looks from other people. image
    We usually feed her whenever we are eating by putting some stuff in front of her and let her get on with it. She also started to demand her cup (filled with water) whenever we are having a cuppa. I guess she wants to feel a part of the family.
    As for hungry babies: my daughter had a growth spurt at around 17 weeks, wanting to feed every hour for a week and on the last day was on the boob for constantly without any pause (crying whenever I tried to take her of). I somehow got through it (ignoring anyone nagging about introducing formula or solids) and my lo was fine after that. She gained more weight in that week than in the 2 weeks before that.
    I found the advice about when weaning is allowed to start very confusing, as 16 and 17 weeks are quoted, but sometimes you hear that you mustn't start weaning before 20 weeks at all. Adopting a baby led approach and givimg her food to play with at mealtimes (without expecting anything to go in at first) made me far more relaxed. I find it ever so funny watching her pull faces when she tries something new than putting more in her mouth image
  • I think you have put your case forward very well. And obviously there appear to be many pros of this method. This is definitely something that many mothers would wish to look into, with the possibility of following BLW with their children.

    However, as with many parenting methods, I think this is about choice. Mothers who choose not to follow this plan, are not making bad decisions. I'm sure every mum does what she feels is right for her baby.

    You are clearly very knowledgable about this subject and I'm sure, will be a fantastic point of contact for mothers wishing to embark on the BLW journey, but I just wanted to point out that it isn't wrong to give puree and use spoons. This way of weaning is sucessful for many families, as is BLW. I just want to point out that what works for one, isn't necessarily right for another. And although informative, your post is swaying lightly to 'putting down' those who choose the puree weaning path. I'm glad this method has worked so well for you and undoubtedly many others, but it really is all about choice.
  • well said kathp, you said what i wanted to but a lot more diplomatically. Every parent has to chose the path for their child & if this way of weaning works for you then great but others, like myself, like the puree & gradual progression method.

    I would also like to see, for my own satisfaction & curiosity, some proof via medical research articles that food is not nutritionally benefical to babies under a year old.
  • this does sound very interesting but i want to no when you intro a spoon i mean yea at 6 7 8 9 months finger food is fine but i mean 2 3 years old you can go out for dinner with your lo and when the meal arrives poor it on the table and let them eat with their hands am confussed can someone fill me in as am interested but abit confussed x x x
  • @missmelanie
    Possibly the same time at which you would go to self feeding with the traditional method? I actually gave my daughter an empty spoon to play with from 4 months and now (6 months)give it to her sometimes dipped into sauce etc. and she puts it in her mouth and licks it. Not sure when the official guidlines recommend introducing a spoon, but I assume it is a lot about copying parents and wanting to belong. So if you do always sit down for a meal and eat with cutlery, chances are that your lo will start feeding herself using that method as well.
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