The acronym BLW comes from the English Baby Led Weaning, which means “weaning guided by the baby” . It is a food introduction method that has been increasingly used and recommended by nutritionists and pediatricians. Want to understand how this method works? This article provides an overview of BLW, how it came about, how to get started and the main questions of parents.
The Food Introduction phase
Having a child at home is always learning. Babies come into our lives and along with them a series of doubts, discoveries and a new world full of news (for them and for us). But even in the first few months, most parents can feel lost in the midst of so much new to learn to take care of their child.
As the age of introducing new foods to the baby’s diet approaches, it is common to see parents super scared and afraid of making a mistake in this very important step.
How did it come about?
The BLW emerged from a joint effort between mothers and researchers. The idea arose and developed through collective experiences over time.
The central idea revolves around creating an environment where baby feeding serves as another element of development and a stimulus for growth. Providing the baby with greater contact with food will help to develop not only motor coordination , but also help in the acceptance of different foods and flavors .
Although there is no definitive authority on the subject, it is common for new concepts and discoveries to emerge and be incorporated into the method. Families themselves adapt and share their experiences, which makes learning collective.
There is no specific age for you to start BLW. Each child will develop at a different pace and this is perfectly normal.
Most children begin to show signs of being ready to feed around six months of age. But the baby may be ready a little sooner or a little later.
The ideal time is quite simple to identify, just start paying attention to the signs. One of them is for the child to be able to remain seated without support – or with minimal support .
It is also at this stage when the little ones start putting things in their mouths and it is this instinct that makes BLW so effective. It will naturally bring the food to the mouth and smell, taste and texture.
How does it work?
The BLW method works by offering solid foods to the baby’s routine. The idea is to give your child a more attractive and sensation-rich alternative than simple baby food.
Through BLW you provide greater sensory development for the child, the main point is to offer small pieces of solid food. Usually vegetables and fruits cut into pieces that can be eaten by the baby directly with their hands.
In addition to autonomy and psychomotor development, nutritional gain is also important. When eating food in pieces, nutrients and fiber, for example, are better preserved than in baby food.
fear of choking
Many parents are afraid to use BLW because they consider that offering solid food to such a young child might pose a risk of choking. But actually this is a very small risk.
All children have a defense mechanism called the gag reflex . It is common for parents to think that this reflex is a choke, sometimes it can be quite frightening. That’s why it’s important to recognize him.
The truth is, nature is wise and the baby is not as helpless as we think. To start BLW with more confidence, study about safe cuts, be always with the baby when feeding and know maneuvers to act in a real choke.
Although the BLW method has the word “weaning” in its name, this process happens in a very gentle way, in the baby’s natural time. Up to 1 year of age, milk is still the main food, the foods offered will be as a complement.
The idea is that foods are introduced gradually, as a way to diversify your baby’s nutrition without withdrawing the consumption of breast milk. Little by little, he will change milk for food, in his own way and in his own time.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.