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Why Is Everyone Talking About Baby Led Weaning?

Baby led weaning is gaining traction as a feeding method with numerous benefits.

Nov 20, 2020

Photo by By MANDY GODBEHEAR from Shutterstock

You might’ve heard the buzz surrounding baby led weaning, which is gaining traction as a feeding method with numerous benefits. So, what exactly is baby led weaning? Weaning is the process of transitioning babies from soft foods to solids. And baby led weaning is exactly what it sounds like--a method that allows babies to take charge of their weaning process by letting them eat solids on their own as soon as they are capable of self-feeding (typically, babies need to be at least six months of age). 

Though parents choose baby led weaning for a variety of reasons, here we talk about some of the most popular reasons why this method has been touted as the new way to feed!

• Allows kids to develop their fine motor skills: One of the prime benefits of baby led weaning is the opportunity to help further develop your child’s oral and manual motor skills. In addition to handling and picking up foods during meals, they’ll also have the chance to practice chewing, keeping food in their mouth, and using their tongue and jaw. Meanwhile, a full coverage bib like Bibbrella can help contain the mess while your babe develops these skills.

• Fosters independence: As you might imagine, being able to freely pick, handle, and eat their food encourages independence. Baby led weaning helps create a positive eating environment by letting your child take a more active role in mealtimes. Not only are they able to have more control over their food choices and habits, they have a chance to “explore” foods (such as banana peels). By figuring out how to peel, chew, or tear food on their own, babies can exercise independent problem solving skills.

• Easier mealtimes: Because baby led weaning allows your child to feel more in control of how and what they are eating, you’re more likely to have smoother mealtimes! Letting your babe take the reins can even reduce fussiness because food choices are no longer being imposed on them. When parents take a step back from managing food intake, babies can eat at a pace that feels natural for them and their body. In addition, they can choose what combinations of foods to eat together and how. Bibs like Bibbrella can make this an even easier process. Knowing that you have a bib that provides more coverage and reduces cleanup can also help you let go of the urge to control mealtimes.  

• Promotes healthy eating habits: When you give your child control over what and how much they eat, they develop healthier responses to hunger cues. This helps them form healthier relationships with their body and to food as they grow older. For this reason, studies have shown that baby led weaning prevents obesity and unhealthy eating habits in the long run. 

Remember--baby led weaning should only be done once your child is developmentally ready. They should be able to sit upright unsupported and be showing interest in the food you are eating. For more information on how to safely start baby led weaning, check out Bibbrella’s Baby Led Weaning 101 guide! 

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