Until I had Joshua, I never heard of this BLW term. Baby Led Weaning is introducing supplementary food to babies starting 6 months. The key here is to not mash the food. It is giving your baby the control to try and eat the food. As their slogan says “the mush stops here!”
When Joshua turned 6 months, I prepared mashed squash for him to eat. I used a small plastic spoon to feed him, and boy did he enjoy it! I loved preparing food for him. But it always required making them into a thick stew or some thick smoothie. This worked well for Joshua.
However, for my little girl Anna, it’s a different experience. She did not like mashed food. In fact, she gave us that weird face everytime we gave her mashed food! She did not like squash, she did not really enjoy other mashed food too. I got a bit worried because she turned 6 months and was not interested with food.
However, I was wrong! She was interested with food. She just wants to hold it herself, and put in her mouth to suck and nibble. I only discovered that when I gave her a piece of jack fruit and she went crazy nibbling and chewing it on her toothless gums.
Oh, then I tried to give her a chicken wing and she loved it! She seemed like a champ biting that wing and nibbling on it. She did not get a lot of food in her tummy, but she surely enjoyed taking some small bites out of that wing! At this point, I understand that she still gets most of her nutrition from breast milk but she too is qexploring other options with her own hands and chewing it on those little jaws!
Come to think of it, with Josh he did not chew much at 6 months. He swallowed food more than chewed. With Anna, I notice her chewing, swallowing, or spitting out food. She seems more in control about her food! So we continued to explore!
The principle on Baby Led Weaning or BLW is allowing the child to eat the same food as what the family is eating. Of course they have to be to monitored and also be given in slices or sizes that they can hold and control. So far she has not choked and many (including myself) worry about that.
I enjoy watching her eat like a little pro. It seems messy too when she eats for now, but I am more hopeful that this method will help her be less picky with food and become an independent eater too!