You’ve probably seen the photos on Instagram of perfectly-posed babies sitting in high chairs with bits of avocado or banana precariously balanced on their chubby little thighs.
And you’ve probably also seen the photos of said babies with food smeared all over their faces, in their hair, and on their clothes.
If you’re like me, you looked at those second set of photos and thought, “Well, that looks messy and like a lot more work than just spoon-feeding my baby puréed peas.”
But then you did a little research and found out that baby-led weaning (BLW) has some major benefits over traditional spoon-feeding.
So you decided to give it a try. But now you’re wondering… is baby led weaning safe?
Is Baby Led Weaning Safe?
When it comes to deciding whether or not to do BLW, safety is obviously one of the biggest concerns for parents.
After all, when you’re dealing with tiny humans, even the smallest risk can seem like a huge deal.
But luckily, there have been plenty of studies done on the safety of BLW, and the verdict is mostly positive.
One of the main concerns with BLW is that babies might choke on the food they’re eating.
However, a study published in 2015 found that the risk of choking while doing BLW is actually no different than the risk of choking while eating puréed food.
The study authors concluded that “the number of reported events was low in both groups” and that “the vast majority were non-serious.”
So if your baby does choke while doing BLW, it’s likely that they’ll be able to handle it themselves and that it won’t be a big deal.
However, as with anything else in parenting, it’s always good to err on the side of caution and be prepared for anything.
That means knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your baby (just in case).
Another concern with BLW is that babies who are eating solid foods might not get enough nutrients if they’re not eating puréed foods as well.
However, a study published in 2018 found that “babies following a [BLW] approach consume diets similar in nutrient adequacy to those consuming [puréed foods].”
So as long as your baby is eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, they should be getting everything they need from their diet—purées not required.
So is baby led weaning safe? For the most part, yes! There are some minor risks associated with BLW (as there are with any feeding method), but overall it seems to be a perfectly safe way for babies to start solid foods.
So go ahead and let your little one dive face-first into that plate of roasted carrots—messy clothes and all!
But before you get started, you’ll need some supplies. Luckily, we’ve put together lists of the must-have baby led weaning supplies, so all you need to do is click the buttons below.
From high chairs to utensils, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Click the buttons below and get started on your baby-led weaning adventure!