Nowadays, even babies as young as several months old eat on their own. However, there are mothers who do not allow this, out of fear for their safety. How to deal with this?
More and more mothers are aware of the benefits of their baby eating on his own. However, many are terrified at the mere thought that their several-month-old toddler could be given food in pieces. They fear choking and reject the BLW method. How to overcome this fear?
BLW, or “baby led weaning,” is a method of feeding young children that focuses on their individual needs, following him. The baby gets foods in pieces, usually several different ones, and decides for himself how much and how to eat. You have to reckon with the fact that by the time the foods land in the toddler’s mouth, they will also be all around. Often, when expanding the diet using the BLW method, the baby prefers to play with the food before it starts eating it at all. Therefore, it is necessary to be patient. The most important thing, however, is to overcome fear.
With the BLW method, the child not only learns to control the food he takes in, but also gets to know it better through touch. The toddler learns to chew and bite, which will certainly translate into later learning to eat. In addition, the child also learns to recognize his own needs and preferences.
Fear of giving your child food in pieces can be managed. To begin with, it is worth learning the rules of proper dietary expansion, which minimizes the risk of choking. First of all, the child should sit stably during such a meal, he must not be bent over. He must have his back supported. The food served should be properly cooked, for example, cooked broccoli, which is quite soft and easy to hold in a small hand, works well for a start.
Raw vegetables and fruits should definitely not be given, nor should whole grapes, blueberries or chickpeas. A mistake that parents often make is putting food in the baby’s mouth. The toddler should decide for himself when to take a piece and how to place it on his tongue. Research shows that proper preparation for the BLW method does not increase the risk of choking at all, contrary to popular opinion.
Regardless of which method you expand the diet – it is worth taking first aid training. This will make every parent calmer and know how to react in case of a possible emergency. Such training can be done online or in various organizations, and can often be taken at birthing schools.
The key is for the parent to sense whether their child is ready to expand their diet. If he pushes it out with his tongue and is not at all interested in anything other than milk – it is worth waiting a few days and trying again.
main photo: unsplash.com/Chris Benson