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A study is currently underway here at the University of Otago to address the many questions around BLW. This contrasts to the WHO guidance that solid feeding should begin by the age of 6 months, at which point breast milk is unlikely to be able to meet nutrient needs.4 This may not be a problem in a child who has plenty of reserves and is continuing to breast-feed, but if slavishly applied there could be nutritional risk to the child. 2. Abby Craden, A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep, By: The best source of information about what BLW is and why it makes sense is the original Baby-led Weaning. Not a fan of the narrator, but still a great book! Jessica Shortall, By: By: Not paying attention to the infant’s cues of satiation can encourage over-eating and increase the risk of early childhood obesity.3 Mother-led feeding encourages the infant to depend on external cues, rather than to develop internal cues of satiation. Gill Rapley was first to coin the term “baby-led weaning” when she observed children were able to feed themselves when starting solids at the older age of 6 months, compared with the previous recommendation of 4 months. Despite considerable interest in BLW from parents and health workers worldwide, very little research has examined this style of infant feeding. This may reduce fussy eating in children firstly due to more positive first experiences with food and secondly because children recognize food in its whole form. [email protected]ac.uk). Another group where BLW could be disastrous is families where there are low levels of supervision. Do infants who follow BLW get enough iron (if they aren’t being spoon-fed an iron-fortified cereal), if so, from what sources? Gill Rapley, a public health nurse for 20 years and the mother of three, originated the theory of baby-led weaning while pursuing her master’s degree. Offer him the same healthy foods that the rest of the family is eating, in sizes and shapes that he can manage (stick-shaped pieces and/or strips of food will be easiest for him to grasp, at first). Stream or download thousands of included titles. LJ Ganser, By: Alexis Dubief, Narrated by: 1. Dr Gill Rapley is the author of Baby-led Weaning, Helping Your Baby To Love Good Food. A further benefit is the type of food that babies will be offered. Leslie Schilling, 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, By: In addition, the use of the individual (normal) infant’s manual and oral abilities as a guide to his overall developmental readiness ensures that solid foods are introduced at the right time and pace for him. In particular, it is important for the infant to learn to self-regulate and identify when full; mothers need to pay attention to those cues and allow infants to guide their feeding. Probably the most common misconception about baby-led weaning worldwide is that it refers to weaning the baby off the breast, since this is how the word “weaning” is understood in many countries. If a mother is very anxious, mealtimes are unlikely to be positive. Simone Davies. This site uses cookies. Yes these things are important but actually I think the “baby-led” element is the most important. Parents who have chosen not to do BLW also often view it as too messy, or too expensive because of the food wastage. The authors explain - and make accessible - the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Instead of the traditional method of spooning pureed food into the baby's mouth, the baby is presented with a plate of varied finger food from which to choose. A key benefit is the inclusion, from the beginning, of a range of textures and tastes, rather than bland-tasting, homogenous-textured foods. How does the Montessori method of hands-on learning and self-discovery relate to the youngest infants? For example, there is anecdotal evidence that the encouragement of self-feeding promotes the development and self-confidence of infants with Down syndrome, discouraging their tendency to passivity (and that of their parents to do things for them). Great information and makes starting solids seem possible! Baby-led weaning is also not going to be a fast process. It also allows him to control the pace at which he expands his diet and relinquishes milk feeds. By: Elizabeth Pantley, Narrated by: By: By 6 months of age, children need more calories than what breast milk can provide, so introducing solid foods into the child’s diet is important. Pushing an infant or child to eat or finish foods beyond satiation can lead to child obesity. Create a link to share a read only version of this article with your colleagues and friends. Thus, infants born pre-term may need additional supplements (eg, of iron and zinc) before they are ready to feed themselves with sufficient foods to complement their intake of breast milk or formula. Before commercial baby foods (and even after for most parents in most parts of the world), babies were simply offered … Jessica Shortall, Narrated by: Concerns have been raised about the suitability of BLW for use in developing countries, mainly because, to the uninitiated observer, it may appear to be a laissez-faire approach. 2. Wendy Jo Peterson, Narrated by: Our participants are Gill Rapley, Renate Forste, Sonya Cameron, Amy Brown, and Charlotte Wright. I would certainly like to see more research on infant-led feeding practices and their benefits to child health—particularly obesity. We don’t know. 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