BLW versus purÃ©es(10 Posts)
What are the differences between Baby led weaning and purÃ©es, I don't mean exactly but what are the supposed benefits of each method?
I don't know anything about spoon feeding, but there is a good discussion of the plus sides to BLW here:
Baby-led weaning is associated with less parental control of children¹s eating and lower BMI p14-15 Mar13.pdf This pdf from the NCT has a summary of some of the research.
There was also an article that I read about BLW being associated with better hand eye coordination and spatial awareness but I can't find it online at the mo.
The cons to BLW are the mess/waste to begin with, plus some people find dealing with possible gagging to be unnerving (people worry that gagging is actually choking and panic).
Another couple I've thought of:
With spoonfeeding, you know how much they've eaten whereas you don't really with BLW. (I remember thinking DS had eaten a whole omelette once only to find most of it in his highchair when I got him out!) It really depends on your personality which of these is an advantage. Some people find it stressful not knowing but others prefer not to get hung up on amounts.
With BLW, as they self feed, you can get on with your meal rather than watch it go cold while you're spoonfeeding. I also found it easier not preparing special food for DS as I just made one meal for everyone. (Although tbh, you can basically give the same food if you're spoonfeeding too.)
BLW makes a number of longer term claims too such as they'll be less fussy. Definitely take these with a large pinch of salt! But I do think it helped to make me less anxious about feeding DS, especially when he had spells of not eating much.
Finally, don't think you have to choose between pureeing everything or avoiding spoonfeeding completely. Traditional weaning starts with purees but advocates introducing finger foods fairly soon too. Imo most people do some spoonfeeding alongside some finger foods.
Finally, don't think you have to choose between pureeing everything or avoiding spoonfeeding completely. Traditional weaning starts with purees but advocates introducing finger foods fairly soon too. Imo most people do some spoonfeeding alongside some finger foods
Totally agree with this.
Spoon feeding is fine if the baby wants feeding. You'll have some babies who want instant control of what goes near their mouth, so go with it.
What I have seen with spoon feedin parents is the desire for the baby to finish the meal / jar and that's where I think it can go in the wrong direction. Letting the baby decide when they're full is a great start to having a healthier attitude to food.
I did BLW and didn't spoon feed at all mainly because I'm lazy but mostly because dd wanted utter control over the spoon from the minute we started weaning.
Benefits (of BLW) - easy, entertaining, made me think about our meals / diet, all of us sitting at the table to encourage dd to learn 'how' to eat
Drawbacks - messy (but tolerable). And that's it. I never worried about choking. Gagging is normal.
My BLW child is by far the fussiest
I found mashing food for some meals more convenient with DC2 and 3 as it was quicker/easier/less mess when we had to get everyone fed and out somewhere on time. However sometimes it was easier to give the baby toast and a banana for breakfast while you get older child dressed, or let them feed themselves dinner so we could all eat together with no time constraints.
BLW must help with fine motor skills - lots of practice picking up blueberries and peas and manoeuvring food into their mouth.
I've done both - BLW felt like much less work. We just modified our meals to make sure there was some DD could share.
I don't know if it's much more practice though - it isn't self-feeding vs. spoon-feeding in practice, it's only self-feeding vs. a mixture of spoons and finger foods. I doubt there's much of a difference in motor skills after about 9 months.
I doubt there's much of a difference in motor skills after about 9 months
I disagree with this from my experience of seeing dd's cousins and her friends weaning at the same time as her, they were spoon fed and she was BLW. Dd was using cutlery at 9 months - actually scooping up her food; stabbing it on a fork or picking it up and putting it on her fork. Her cousin and a couple of friends dc were expecting to be spoon fed so when food was put in front of them, they didn't know how to eat it (I'm on about small pieces of food like pieces of apple, blueberries, cheese, not chunky finger foods)
Your experience sounds quite unusual on both counts, a 9 month old using cutlery or a 9 month old not being able to pick food up.
Most people I know give a mixture of some mashed foods on a spoon AND some finger foods, pretty much from the start, depending on what each meal is like and what kind of mood they and the baby are in (and how much mess they feel like dealing with at that particular meal).
And that's pretty much how babies have been weaned since the human race began. Don't overthink things!
There is no evidence that Gill Rapley's BLW system makes babies "better eaters" or that it is more "natural." Of course picking up food can help babies develop motor skills, but you can quite easily offer finger foods as part of their diet without sticking to BLW "rules" about never spoon-feeding etc.
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