Trying to decide between spoon feeding or baby led weaning (BLW)?
There’s pros and cons to both. We’ll have a look at them here.
Spoon feeding is exactly like the name suggests, it’s where you introduce foods to your baby by literally spoon feeding them. Foods such as purées and mashes are fed to your little one with a soft spoon as a complimentary addition to their breast milk or formula. Spoon feeding teaches baby to swallow first, and then later down the line to chew.
There are a number of reasons parents choose spoon feeding over BLW. You may feel you have more control over exactly what your baby is intaking and you can ensure (to the best of your ability!) that baby gets all the food they need from each meal. Don’t forget that these are complimentary meals in addition to having their Breast Milk or Formula. In the beginning, baby is getting all the nutrition they need from their milk so don’t be too worried if most of the food ends up on their clothes!
You can provide baby with a wider variety of foods at a younger age through puréeing it.
The main con is that it is quite time consuming. You will spend a lot of time pureeing and mashing a whole host of foods you wouldn’t have thought of. It is important to remember that though it may feel like it, baby won’t stay at this stage forever!
If you choose to spoon feed, we suggest:
Give a few spoons of purée at first, don’t over do it.
Offer the spoon slowly at first. If baby isn’t interested, just leave it and come back later.
The aeroplane method is always a winner if baby is being difficult, but use it sparingly in case baby learns bad habits.
Baby Led Weaning (BLW)
BLW teaches baby to chew first, swallowing the food may come at a later date! A big perk of BLW is that is helps with the hand eye coordination of baby from a young age.
Some parents would use this method is the traditional spoon feeding method is rejected.
It’s great for baby’s independence!
It’s very messy,we would guesstimate that 90% of food ends up on the floor!
If you choose to BLW, we suggest:
Don’t bother with bowls, they’ll just end up on the floor, or the roof. Place the small pieces of food in front of them on their highchair tray or the table.
Invest in a good bib, preferably one that covers the entire baby! BabyBoo do fab ones that cover baby completely, and are obviously machine washable.
Most Important – Don’t Worry!
What seems to work a lot for most parents is a gentle mix of the two above, depending on the developmental stage of your little one.
Initially starting with purées and adding in finger food seems to be a popular option. A perk of this is that they can be preoccupied by their steamed carrots and you can spoon feed them at the same time! There is no ‘correct’ way of weaning your baby, it’s whatever is right for you and your little one.
Make sure you have fun! Share lots of laughs and giggles with your little and make sure you take loads of photos and videos to show at their 18th birthday! This stage will go by so quick, make the most of it!
Not sure when to start weaning? Check out our blog post that goes in depth on why, when and how to know when to start weaning from Breast Milk or Formula!