There are two traditional ways to wean a baby – Spoon-Led-Weaning or Baby-Led-Weaning (BLW). However more recently a third method has started to increase in popularity and it’s known as ‘the mix method’. We are currently doing the mix method with Max where we are spoon feeding him some purees whilst giving him finger foods to explore. Each choice is personal to you, and there’s no right or wrong.
If you’re about to embark on weaning then here’s some points on each method that may help you to decide which is right for you.
- It might be easier for you to introduce iron-rich foods, such as meat or green leafy vegetables at 6 months, which can be difficult for 6 month babies to chew
- If your baby is ready to start weaning before 6 months you can introduce some purees as your baby shouldn’t start BLW until 6 months
- It’s easier for parents who worry about gagging and choking as the consistency of purees is much smoother
- It’s not as messy as BLW, so is more suited to feeding on the go
- You don’t need to spend time making special purees, you can simply give your baby suitable bits of your family meals
- It encourages shared and social eating as BLW allows your baby to join in with family meals from the beginning
- It can avoid the sometimes difficult transition from purees to lumps as babies get used to chewing from the start
- Some research suggests BLW may reduce fussy eating and later obesity, although this still isn’t proven
The Mix Method
- As per the spoon feeding method, the mix method makes it easier to give your baby iron-rich foods from 6 months
- It helps encourage your baby to use a spoon to self-feed, developing onto cutlery use
- Your baby can discover new tastes and textures by playing and experimenting with finger food whilst you’re spoon feeding them
- Some parents may have different opinions on whether to try spoon feeding, or BLW. The mix method is a great compromise as it combines them both
So which method is most popular? A recent survey showed that:
- 60% of parents spoon feed purees
- 9% of parents use BLW
- 31% of parents use a mix of purees and finger foods straight away, and evidence suggests that the mix method is becoming more and more popular
Weaning can be a daunting experience for parent’s so you need to pick what you feel comfortable with. Be confident in your choice and enjoy the experience. It’s the start of a whole new (and messy) world for you and your baby.