Read an interesting article on BBC news recently clocking some early research into baby-led weaning (BLW). The study indicated that spoon feeding babies may result in babies developing a sweeter tooth than non-spoonfed babies. Results also indicated a higher incidence of obesity in spoonfed babies. My own sense from reading through the article (haven’t read the full research on this…sorry!) is that the sample size was very limited and more research needs to be done on this, but interesting to see a bit more on BLW in the news.
For those of you who haven’t heard of BLW (you’re not alone…it was a complete revelation to me when I started feeding my child solids!), the basic premise is that you allow your little ones to feed themselves. Pretty simple! You start by offering them stick-shaped food that is soft enough for them to “chew” with their gums. When babies are given pureed food, they learn to swallow first and then chew. This is fine, until you move onto food with “lumps”, and then they have to learn how to deal with these lumps in order to swallow. In the case of BLW, babies are learning how to chew first, and swallowing comes later.
Additionally, babies are in control of what they put in their mouths, and how much they eat, which I suppose is what the above-mentioned study is on about…babies tend to eat as much as they need to eat, and will stop when they’ve had enough.
I’ll write more on the BLW approach in a later post. For now, just to flag up this news piece. If you’re interested in finding out more in the meantime, check out the BLW website. The book is great too! Full of very useful information.