Tuesday, March 14, 2017

9 Baby Led Weaning Challenges & Tips to Overcome Them

We're still going strong on baby led weaning. There have been a few bumps in the road but generally, Little One has loved or liked everything she's tried. Her favorite food seems to be sweet potatoes (and cheerios). We had a our first (and hopefully only) allergic reaction, which is a post for another day.

Here are some of the challenges we've run into with BLW and tips for overcoming them.

1. Waste - We hate wasting food, we're pretty diligent about it. This is a huge baby led weaning challenge. Frequently, Little One either doesn't finish all the food or throws a bunch on the ground.

Solution: Do your best to try and catch everything and put it back on the plate. Also, don't put too much on their tray at once, less temptation to throw things around.

2. Choking & Gagging - Your Little One will gag and they might even choke. This is a whole new process for them, getting use to the texture, figuring out how much to eat at once and other challenges all have to be worked out.

Solution: Don't let the gagging bother you too much and don't let choking stop you from BLW. Just keep trying it, they'll learn.

3. Mess - Little One loves to mush banana or sweet potatoes in her hands. She also drops things on her belly all the time. It gets messy and that's part of the fun they're having.

Solution: Don't feed them in your favorite clothes. Little One is usually in just a diaper for her meals. It's not worth ruining a onesie, shirt or dress over. And she hates bibs.

4. Patience - Meal time can take FOREVER with Little One. Giving her small portions at at time so we don't waste too much food and letting her work things out on her own takes times. Have patience and plan for longer meal times.

Solution: Play music, color or do something at the table with your baby while they continue to eat. Little One usually eats better with company so sometimes I fold the laundry or enjoy another cup of coffee while she munches.

5. Creativity - We are super guilty of getting into dinner ruts. It's so easy to just make the same things over and over again. And we also realized that many of our meals are not necessarily baby shape friendly.

Solution: Plan ahead and look for meals that would be great for baby too. There are more meals out there than you could ever cook in your lifetime so try chicken different ways or something new with your veggies.

6. Explaining it to others - I hear this one all the time from my mom friends or in my BLW Facebook group. Either dad, grandparents, day care or strangers think BLW is crazy. Most of them haven't heard of it and some people are really against it. It might sound odd to them or they might not even get it at all.

Solution: Stay strong, do you what's best for you and your baby. Also, show them what it's all about. Nothing gets people on board quicker than watching your baby chow down on their favorite foods.

7. Phases - Little One goes through so many phases. A phases can be brought on from a growth spurt, weird sleeping patterns or who knows what. A phase can really throw off the BLW process, baby might not want to eat or their favorite food might change.

Solution: Don't give up. Try feeding at a different time or different foods. And remember, phases pass and they'll be back to your happy eater before you know it.

8. Teething - Teething affects everything and BLW is no different. If Little One is really teething, she generally doesn't want to eat much.

Solution: This is when I tend to give her stuff like yogurt, sweet potatoes or other really soft things.

9. Timing - The principle behind baby led weaning is that your baby eats what you eat. However, feeding a baby who's not hungry will lead to a lot of unsuccessful attempts. They might not always be hungry or even awake at your meal times.

Solution: Plan for their meals. Feed them when they're hungry and sit with them while they eat. 


  1. These are such cute tips! I don't have a little one yet, but I know I will definitely come back here to learn some more tips!

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  2. I'm spoon feeding my 7 months old purees because my husband doesn't agree with BLW. I wanted to try, him being my third child and all, but I have to also respect his wishes. Hopefully he'll agree when he is slightly older because it makes a lot of sense to me!

  3. I really don't know much about this so it was very interesting to read!

  4. Number 2 is SO scary! We still struggle with this at 13 months :(

  5. I think we did BLW with our Doll without knowing it ... I have heard of it, in passing, but I didn't know what it was. Doll refused to eat baby food (she didn't and doesn't like mushy mush) so we ended up just trying whatever we were having and she took to it really well! I had no idea this was a thing!

  6. Wow! i wish I knew it when I was introducing solids to my baby. Great compilation.

  7. Great tips! We did BLW and fortunately did not run into the issue of other people judging us or thinking it was bad to feed our baby whatever food we were eating. Your point on choking is good and I would add that it is a good thing if you hear your child choking because it means air is still circulating. It's a bad sign if they are silently choking. That was an important distinction I learned early on which made me feel much better when those situations happened!

  8. This is the best post- we've Been doing babyled weaning and so many of your tips work!

  9. Such an informative and helpful post.

  10. These are some awesome tips! BLW can seem a little overwhelming at first, but this really helps with a lot of those common challenges! Waste was one of my biggest struggles in the early days, but once you start to learn how much your child eats, things get easier. Thanks for sharing! <3

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