BABY LED WEANING (BLW) in the Philippines

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is a method of allowing your baby to self-feed with finger size solid foods rather than the traditional purees through spoon-feeding.

Since your baby can self-feed, they can eat together with the family during mealtime. They decide what, how much and how quickly they can eat.

When to start feeding your baby?

Experts agree that the best time to start feeding is when your baby is already 6 months old.

Also, your baby will show signs of readiness like:

  • They can sit without support and on their own.
  • They don’t have the tongue-thrust reflex anymore. A tongue-thrust reflex is when they try to push the food out of their mouths.
  • They are attempting to chew on their food.
  • They are participating during mealtimes like grabbing the plates or utensils.

BLW Benefits

  • Preparing BLW food is easier and less time consuming than purees.
  • Since the baby is self-feed, they can eat with the family at the same time.
  • BLW babies know how to self-regulate. They stop when they know that they are full.
  • They learn how to chew and swallow.
  • At an early age, they can already differentiate the textures, sizes, tastes, and shapes of food.
  • It can improve their dexterity.
  • It can also develop their oral-motor skills at an early stage.
  • BLW babies are less likely to be picky eaters.

BLW Risk

CHOKING

Before you start, here are the things that you should be aware of:

1. Your baby will gag and it is okay.

As early as 6 months old, babies are developmentally ready to eat finger size foods. They have a good natural gag-reflex that allows them to move the food back and forth to their mouth so that they will not choke.

Know the difference between gagging and choking

GAGGING

Your baby will open their mouth and thrust the tongue forward.

The face may appear bright red.

Your baby might cough. This is a good sign that they are working it out.

Children have a good gag reflex. This will keep them safe from choking.

Do not interfere.

CHOKING

Your baby will turn blue.

Your baby will be silent and unable to make a noise.

If your child begins coughing due to partial blockage, this is a good sign that they are trying to remove it on their own.

IF YOUR BABY IS SILENT AND TURNING BLUE PROCEED WITH STANDARD FIRST AID MEASURE TO CLEAR THE BLOCKAGE

LOUD AND RED, LET THEM GO AHEAD SILENT AND BLUE, THEY NEED A HELP FROM YOU

For your peace of mind, you should know infant CPR whether through actual classes or by watching Youtube videos.

2. Your baby can eat almost the same meal on your dining table.

I usually make simple Pinoy dishes with salt and pepper only. But babies’ kidneys are not mature enough to handle salt and sugar.

As an example, when I cook Chicken Tinola meal for us. I prepare the ingredients all at the same time. The only difference is the cut on her meal vs. on our meal. I cook the Tinola as usual. While I tenderized the meat, I steam her veggies and meat simultaneously using the same casserole.

3. Prepare for the mess

BLW is messier than the traditional weaning. 

TIPS!

  • Choose a high chair that is easy to clean and rinse off.
  • Choose a bib that’s made of silicone or plastic so you can easily wipe off excess food.

4. Make the food soft enough

To ensure that the food is safe for your baby, mash it between your finger and thumb.

5. Don't overwhelm

Avoid putting too many pieces of food on the table at once. Try offering them one by one so your baby can focus on each slice.

6. Avoid round food.

Cut grapes, cherry tomatoes, cherry in quarter sizes.

7. Cut food in long finger size strips

Make sure to cut the food in finger size so they can easily grasp them.

8. Know when they are done

They are done once they don’t show any more interest in food. They turn their heads away, close their mouth or start to get impatient.

Suggested Food to Introduce for BLW

6 to 8 months

Vegetables
Carrots
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Squash
Green Peas (Removed shell)
Zucchini
Beets
Broccoli
Spinach
Avocado
Steamed Apple
Banana

Fruits
Tomatoes


Protein Source
Boiled Egg (Yolk only)
Chicken Liver

Dairy
Greek Yogurt

Grains
Rice
Quinoa
Oatmeal

9 months onward

Vegetables
Cucumber
Cauliflower
Bell Pepper
Eggplant
Okra
String Beans
Bokchoy/Pechay
Cabbage
Corn

Fruits
Strawberries
Kiwi
Melon
Watermelon

Protein Source
Chicken
Fish

Mealtime Schedule

Mealtime schedule
(6-7 months)

6 AM Milk
8 AM Morning Nap
10 AM Milk
12 NN Meal Time
2 PM Milk
3 PM Afternoon Nap
6 PM Milk
10 PM Milk Dream feeding
2 AM Milk Dream feeding

Mealtime schedule
(8-9 months)

6 AM Milk
8 AM Morning Nap
10 AM Milk
11 AM Meal Time 1
2 PM Milk
3 PM Afternoon Nap
4 PM Meal Time 2
6 PM Milk
10 PM Milk Dream feeding
2 AM Milk Dream feeding

Meal Ideas

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DISCLAIMER

I am not a healthcare professional. This blog serves as guide if you wanted to know more about BLW. It’s better to consult your pediatrician to know the most suited weaning for your baby.

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know your thoughts below.
How about you? Is your baby weaned traditionally or baby led?
If traditional weaning, what were your challenges?
If baby led? How was your experience?

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