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Child-led feeding vs baby-led weaning: what is the distinction?

And why are some individuals so hardcore about selecting one method over the opposite?

“Child-led weaning” was coined by authors Tracey Murkett and Gill Rapley in 2008 after they revealed their preliminary ebook within the UK. It refers to a child beginning solids solely by self-feeding with meals they will grasp, with none purées or spoon-feeding. Within the UK, the place “weaning” refers back to the introduction of complementary meals, this time period makes plenty of sense, however right here in North America, most dad and mom hear “weaning” and assume it means stopping breastfeeding. That’s why North American child reference books are likely to discuss with it as “baby-led feeding” or “self-feeding” to keep away from confusion. (You’ll in all probability nonetheless see the “BLW” acronym in Fb teams, nonetheless.) Beginning solids doesn’t imply you’re going to cease or section out nursing or discontinue bottles.

Some individuals really feel baby-led feeding is a much less arduous core method than baby-led weaning. It’s typically known as “modified baby-led weaning,” wherein some smoother textures and purées are mixed with bigger items a child can decide up on their very own. Extra diehard advocates of baby-led weaning deal with unique self-feeding and no easy textures in any way.

Our present Well being Canada tips really suggest a mix method. “It’s vital that folks and caregivers present a wide range of gentle textures and finger meals from six months of age,” says Becky Blair, the Dietitians of Canada spokesperson and an professional on toddler feeding. “You may name this a partial BLW method,” she provides. Intention to reveal your child to a lot of completely different textures: lumpy, tender-cooked, finely minced, puréed, mashed or floor.

Dad and mom are sometimes involved in regards to the security of a partial BLW method, however this modified methodology permits for dietary must be met, whereas nonetheless letting the child self-feed with a low danger of choking. With a primary baby, dad and mom are sometimes a bit of petrified of self-feeding, however by the point they have a second or third child, they’re prepared to start out solids with no matter meals is already on the dinner desk—and a mix method occurs out of comfort.

In the event you’re beginning with fully liquified purées, transition regularly to a thicker consistency earlier than stunning your child immediately with strong meals. This helps them study to munch, chew and gag up the gentle however strong textures earlier than transferring on to tougher choices. Starting with a thicker mashed texture as a substitute of a completely easy, soupy purée usually means the transition time to extra strong meals might be shorter. Beginning with items which can be gentle and simple to your child to select up and self-feed can also be an effective way to go.

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