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What is Baby Led Weaning?
A short introduction

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is a way of introducing solid foods (complementary foods) to babies. The traditional puree stage is skipped and babies eat pieces of food like meatballs, roasted vegetables and fresh fruit. The foods offered are complementary, so breastfeeding continues on demand. Babies are usually ready to start exploring with pieces of food at around six months of age.

Here is a 7-month old enjoying her first bite of pan-fried chicken liver.  Large pieces of food helps make self-feeding easier in the beginning stages.

Here is a 6-month old enjoying her first bite of pan-fried chicken liver. Large pieces of food helps make self-feeding easier in the beginning stages.

Babies typically start by playing with the food when they are initially introduced to solids and won’t actually eat much. However, don’t worry as this is all part of the process! Babies will explore the many tastes and they will eventually become better able to feed themselves. They didn’t eat much of a certain food the first time? Try offering it again at another time (without forcing). They may eat more of it the next time around (or maybe not and that’s ok). Babies will familiarize themselves with various types of shapes and textures, making use of their five senses. Many parents think of this as a discovery and learning process for babies where they practice their motor skills. Could babies be less picky and more comfortable with a larger range of foods with BLW?

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Here is a 6-month old biting into a piece of avocado. Leaving the peeling on part of fruits and vegetables helps them hold the piece of food in their hands. Just make sure you scrub the peel before serving.

When babies feed themselves, they will have the independence and autonomy to eat as much or as little as they need. Babies know when they are full and have had enough food. They’ve actually known since birth! With BLW, they are being given the opportunity to listen to their own hunger cues and appetite instead of the parent trying to decide how much their child should eat. Could BLW be part of the solution to the prevention of obesity?

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Here is a 7-month old discovering a tender piece of chicken cooked in slow cooker. With BLW, the baby is the one who decides how much he wants to eat at every meal.

With BLW, babies are also able to enjoy their meal at their own pace. This autonomy makes it easier for parents because they don’t have to spend time spoon-feeding them. The baby eats with the rest of the family. This leads to a pleasant, pressure-free atmosphere for babies to discover the many sensory experiences that come with consuming a variety of foods.

Check out this video of a 7 month old baby enjoying a curried chicken meatball. Notice the relaxed atmosphere.


BLW is contraindicated for babies at risk of dysphagia, such as babies who have an anatomic disorder (cleft palate, tongue tie), a neurological disorder (developmental delay, hypotonia, oral hypotonia) or a genetic disorder. Follow-up by a health professional (doctor, pediatric registered dietitian) is necessary for babies at risk of anemia such as babies born prematurely, babies with low birth weight (less than 3000 g), worries related to growth, babies born to an anemic mother, baby for whom cow's milk was introduced early and/or a vegan baby.

What next?

BLW Workshops

Get the personal experience and come to a live workshop given by Jessica Coll. Obtain all the information you need to get started including videos, pictures and digital handout. Get all your questions answered in person.

When is the next workshop?

Online Course

Access the BLW online course from anywhere on any device. It includes 30 bite sized videos to get started, over 30 recipes, over 30 minutes of food preparation videos and access to a forum to ask all your additional questions.

Check out 4 videos