Baby-led Weaning; what it is and what the experts are saying

When I was given the honor of , Top 10 Mommy Blog of 2013, from Parenting.com, I was also invited to join their incredibly talented pool of freelance writers. (Gasp!) One of my favorite assignments was to research, Baby-led Weaning; what it is and what the experts are saying.  At first I thought that it would be easy, since I know all about it and did a form of it with my son.

I was so wrong. You all, this one got me...

I had such a hard time writing the article. I needed to stay objective, and not bring my preconceived notions into it. Which was hard, because to me, this was a big deal article. Writing about something as big as introducing solids to an infant, no matter what, I didn't want to screw it up. I also didn't want to mislead people, just to write a good (favorable) article.

For those of you who do not know, Baby-led Weaning (BLW) is a method of introducing solid an infant by allowing them to self-feed, rather than be spoon-fed. Yes, it's giving a six-month-old solid food in finger sized pieces to feed themselves with.  No purees or parent intervention.  BLW is all about offering healthy finger sized soft foods to the baby to touch, smell, taste and then eventually chew and swallow. The control of how much food the baby eats is completely up to them. Where as with the parent-led spoon method, parents often feed the baby until the food is all gone.

For me, BLW was a very scary thing.  All I could imagine was my son choking. For that reason, I fed Ollie purees for the first few months of his introduction to solids, then slowly switched to offering him finger foods. No, he never choked, but I was also VERY careful about what I offered to him, and probably didn't offer enough variety because of that.

All of the being said, I put my own opinions and experiences aside and did the research. I too wanted to know what the experts were saying.  Had things changed in the 18-months since I was researching baby-led weaning for my son?  My friends, it had. In fact, as I type there are a multitude of studies going on surrounding baby-led weaning.

The studies were showing the choking hazards were not an issue, the long-term effects led a healthier and happier approach to food, and most of all, a diminished risk for childhood obesity.  These are HUGE finds! You can read all about the studies in my article on Parenting.com (Link below)

What I really want to know from you is, did you do Baby-led weaning with your baby?  What was your experience? Is your child now a healthy thriving toddler?  Studies said the baby would not be a picky eater later in life. Is this true? Would you do it again with your next child? Any tips for parents giving it a try?

Please, share your story.

To read my article on Parenting.com, CLICK HERE.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com