Baby-led weaning (BLW) is a common-sense, safe, easy and enjoyable approach to helping babies move from breast or formula milk
to family meals. It’s a way of introducing solid foods that allows the baby to feed himself from the beginning. With BLW, the baby sits
with the rest of the family at mealtimes and joins in when he is ready, using his hands and fingers at first and then moving on to cutlery.
There’s no need to purée or mash the food and no need for spoon feeding. Self-feeding allows babies to use their natural abilities to
explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence and helps to develop their hand-eye co-ordination
and ability to chew efficiently. Baby-led weaning is based on the way babies mature in their first year. From about six months onwards all
healthy babies naturally begin to develop self-feeding skills: sitting upright, picking up pieces of food and taking them to their mouths,
chewing them and then swallowing. So there’s no need for them to be spoon fed have mashed or puréed meals.
All they need is the opportunity to do it themselves.
Many parents have found the introduction of solid foods difficult and daunting; baby-led weaning makes the whole process easy and
enjoyable. Finger foods have always been encouraged from about six months but, until recently, most babies had already started
Purées before they reached this age. Leaving the beginning of weaning until the baby is six months means the purée stage simply
Mark-It TV’s three Baby-led Weaning DVDs are a useful resource for parents and professionals alike.
Baby-led Weaning: A Developmental Approach to the Introduction of Solid Foods is a fact-based DVD that
explains what baby-led weaning is and why it makes sense. It shows how to prepare food so that babies can
handle it and how to make sure they are safe while eating. It explains what to expect in terms of mess and how
to prepare for this, as well as how to know when to reduce milk feeds.