Baby Led Feeding/Weaning means forgetting about spoons, purees, hours of blending and all those stressful feeding episodes and simply allowing your baby to feed them self.
There are no studies to suggest that pureeing food is the best option for feeding a baby. In fact, pureeing food came from the introduction of solid foods back when they were offered to babies as young as 3 months old. This has since been shown to be one of the leading causes of allergies later in life as a little baby’s digestive system has not fully developed by this age. Since then, the World Health Organization has changed the recommendation of starting solids foods to the age of 6 months. However, in most cases, we are still offering our babies purees as a first food.
The Baby Led Feeding approach allows baby’s 6 months+ the chance to experiment with tastes, textures, smells, to choose what they put in their mouths and to self-regulate when they are full. It brings with it a whole world of food adventure and is the start of a positive relationship led by the baby themselves.
Baby Led Feeding is easy! There are no purees, no trying to get a baby to eat one more spoon, no crazy combinations of foods most people wouldn’t eat themselves. A baby simply is offered food in the correct portions and is allowed to explore and feed themselves. The most amazing thing about this approach is that at mealtimes parents can enjoy their own food in peace while the entire family can sit together and eat. Babies who feed in this way are more inclined to be better eaters as they grow up because they are exposed to a wider variety of foods and textures that they have been in control of themselves since an early age.
They learn to chew their food right from the beginning even before they have teeth with their gums before swallowing rather than the normal way of letting a puree simply slide into their tummy. A babies hand-eye coordination and dexterity develops much quicker than babies that are spoon fed. At 7 months of age, my own son, Oscar, was able to pick up something as small as a raisin and put it from his plate to his mouth.