Generally, there are two ways to wean the baby and introduce new foods – either you use the traditional approach or the BLW or baby-led weaning methods.
But how are these two different from each other and what’s best for your baby?
Traditional Weaning Method
Traditional weaning means mothers take a more proactive role in introducing new and solid foods to their babies. You can do this by buying puree or mashing foods, and then spoon-feeding them to your baby.
In traditional weaning, you can:
- Easily monitor how much your baby is eating as they can be readily measured.
- Avoid wastage; since you are feeding your baby, there is less risk that the food will land on the floor.
- Check the labels (for store-bought cereals and puree), so you will know its nutrient contents and easily gauge if your baby’s nutrition is balanced.
- Worry less about choking as puree and cereals are thinner.
Traditional weaning means you:
- Either need more time to mash the food or spend a little more money for the store-bought cereals and puree.
- Might not enjoy mealtime together as you need to spoon-feed your baby.
- Might struggle when it is time to introduce real, solid foods as they are already used to the smooth texture of the puree.
Many mothers are tempted to try baby-led weaning as they believe that it will make their baby more adventurous when it comes to eating a variety of food.
When we say baby-led weaning, it means that your baby will self-feed. Of course, it does not mean that you will leave them to their own devices. But generally, you will have to leave small bits of solid foods in front of them during mealtime.
Your baby will then take their time to explore the food and then take them in their mouth to eat.
In BLW, you can:
- Ensure that your baby is having foods with different textures.
- Have less difficulty in the future as your baby may be less picky or fussy in their eating habits.
- Enjoy mealtime more as BLW encourages the baby to eat together with the family.
- Have more time for other things as you don’t need to mash foods for puree.
Baby-led weaning means you:
- Might deal with a lot of mess. Since your baby will self-feed, they will get food on their clothes or drop them on the floor.
- Will have a harder time to track how much they are eating.
- Could worry more about the risk of choking.
- Must be patient and wait until your baby is 6 months or older.
Best First Foods for Babies at 6 Months