The benefits of baby led weaning are vast! By helping your child learn how to self feed early, you could be reducing the risk of obesity, pickiness and more! Keep reading to read about the pros of BLW and self feeding.
The Many Benefits of Baby Led Weaning
If you’re looking into starting baby led weaning, it’s probably because you’ve heard of the many benefits of BLW. If you’re on the fence, these benefits may tip the scales for you.
Reduced risk of Obesity.
Because the baby is feeding himself, he learns his body’s cues for when he is full. Studies have shown to result in lower BMIs and a decreased risk of obesity in children who were introduced to solids via BLW and self feeding as opposed to parents spoon feeding purees. Parents who choose to practice baby led weaning are also less likely to pressure their children to eat or feel stress about feeding their children.
In my opinion, there are few things more interesting, adorable and fun to watch than a baby feeding himself and learning about food. It’s a great way to bond with your little – introduce her to your own favorite foods, eat together, and build a positive relationship around food and eating.
Can recognize feelings of fullness.
Because baby is feeding herself, she is can stop when she is full. This is a skill that will continue to be honed as she grows older, but studies show self fed babies are better equipped to recognize feelings of fullness. When spoon feeding a baby, It’s easy for parents or caregivers to give a spoonful or two of food that the baby isn’t hungry for, since they can’t feel hunger cues.
Since you are generally eating at the same time (mom and dad won’t be busy with a spoon, so they can eat too!) baby led weaning promotes family meal times. We all know that eating as a family is incredibly important, and BLW can help cement the habit early one and make baby feel even more included. Not to mention, it’s easier considering the family and baby will generally be eating the same meal.
BLW babies are exposed to more textures, flavors, and tastes. By exposing children extensively as young as possible, we are helping them to build more diverse palates. Studies show exposing children to a wide variety of foods as young as possible may result in less picky children.
Improved fine motor skills.
Allowing a baby to practice fine motor skills repeatedly shows an impressive increase in these skills. In the case of BLW, the repeated, encouraged “practice” of eating allows for an increase in these skills. With both of my boys, parents and pediatricians alike were always impressed with their hand eye coordination and fine motor skills and pincer grip development early on.
Check out some great pincer grip foods for babies here.
Potentially Less Expensive.
Let’s face it – those baby food pouches and premade jars, while convenient, are less expensive. And if you’re looking to grab food with no additives, preservatives, etc, the price will only be higher, By choosing baby led weaning, you’re less at the mercy of the baby food manufacturers.
Okay so tell me = which of the benefits of baby led weaning are the most important to you!?