Baby-led weaning, or BLW, is the practice of allowing babies to feed themselves whole foods from the very beginning. That means babies use their little hands to grasp, mash, and feed themselves whole, natural foods without special preparation. It also means there's no need for you, as a parent, to stock up on hundreds of jars of pureed baby food (or spend hours making your own), or to sit and spoon food into your little one's mouth. BLW does away with lots of the time-consuming parts of baby feeding by allowing your baby to feed him or herself.
There are many reasons why parents might decide to try baby-led weaning with their children. There has been quite a bit of research lately that deals with the developmental benefits of BLW but there are also many more practical reasons why parents might be enticed to try BLW. Perhaps they, themselves, were picky eaters and they are hoping to raise children with more adventurous palettes. Maybe they are trying to save money on their family's food budget and they want to avoid having to purchase expensive baby foods. Or maybe they care about obesity issues facing people-particularly children-and want to instill in their children a healthy relationship with food. Any of these reasons are great ones for exploring baby-led weaning with your children. Maybe all of them make sense to you. Or maybe your reasons are entirely different. Whatever the rationale, A Mom's Practical Guide to Baby-Led Weaning is thorough enough to answer your questions and give you the confidence to succeed!