Tuesday, January 3

Making Baby-Led Weaning a Success

You might recognize the term "baby-led weaning" from articles you've read, websites you've visited, or friends you've spoken to. It's a type of weaning practice that has gained popularity over recent years as more parents look for ways to ease their children into solid foods.

 

baby led weaning
What is Baby-led weaning (BLW)?

But what exactly is baby-led weaning? And does it have any advantages over traditional spoon-feeding techniques? This blog post will discuss my experience with Baby Led Weaning. 

Hi!! I am Sanhita Ghosh, an experienced medical writer and a mother of two. All those who have had more than one child know how full of anxiety we are about everything we do for and with the firstborn. 

It's like a hands-on experience, and we are more prepared for the next, so – to say. I would love to blabber on and will do so shortly, especially after introducing you to Baby Led Weaning, in case you haven't read about it. 

What is Baby-Led Weaning? 

Baby-led weaning, also known as baby-led solids or self-feeding is an alternative method of introducing solid foods to infants. This method is considered an "extended" version of the standard process of spoon-feeding, where the infant is entirely responsible for consuming their food without assistance from their parents. 

As the name suggests, it is a process that is wholly driven by the infant's needs and curiosity. In other words, the infant is encouraged to feed themselves with their hands, with no assistance from a spoon or fork.

 

Baby eating with own hands.

This is usually done with soft foods and finger foods, which are accessible for the infant to handle, taste, and consume. 

Got that, right? 

As a first-time parent, I had doubts about everything. Whether my girl is sleeping just enough or more or less, is she meeting her milestones of turning, sitting up, crawling, blabbering, teething, and, most importantly, eating? 

So, I asked the doctor – obviously, but also my mother. She had taken care of three of us and was more than qualified to answer my queries – she was experienced. 

So yes, she and my doctor led me by knowledge and example.

Being a mother of two can be challenging. There were times I found it challenging to make it to the clinic, so I relied on technology, where I could connect with the experts for my queries. 

Below are a few pointers that I needed to make decisions on.

Read on; it'll help. 

What is the right age to start BLW, and why? 

The critical difference between baby-led weaning and traditional spoon-feeding is that the former allows infants to feed themselves with their hands. This is one of the essential benefits of BLW, and it is the main advantage of this feeding method over spoon-feeding.

 Regarding when you should start baby-led weaning, some parenting experts recommend starting at six months. Others recommend waiting until your baby turns one. 

There is no "right" age for baby-led weaning. Ultimately, you should be guided by your child's readiness and developmental milestones.

 If your child is ready for solids, but you're not prepared to transition them to a spoon-feeding method, then baby-led weaning might be for you.

 Also, there are a few things you should know before you start BLW.

 

Things to Know Before You Start Baby-Led Weaning or BLW

 

baby led weaning tips to know first!
Introduce BLW with care!

1.      BLW is not appropriate for every baby 

2.      The advantages of BLW are the same as spoon-feeding: Babies tend to eat more, eat better (more variety, better nutrition), and eat more quickly than those fed pureed foods. 

3.      The disadvantages are also the same as spoon-feeding: Babies fed with their hands are more likely to choke. 

4.      BLW is not a "no-fail" method - For parents who feel that spoon-feeding is too challenging, baby-led weaning might seem like a good alternative.

 

Rather than actively teaching the infant how to eat, parents allow the infant to take control of the situation. 

While this is certainly better than forcing solids into your child's mouth, it's important to note that there is no "no-fail" method when introducing solid foods. 

All babies are different and will experience some challenges when transitioning to solids. The key is to expect challenges and be prepared to overcome them with the help and support of your child's pediatrician.

 

1.      BLW should always follow the advice of a pediatrician. You need to take the advice of a pediatrician if you need more time or means to make it personally to their clinic. 

2.      Solids should only be introduced when a child is ready for them. There is no "should" when it comes to baby-led weaning. The only thing you should be doing is following the advice of your child's pediatrician. 

3.      BLW is not a shortcut - If your child is ready for solids, but you feel like spoon-feeding is just too tricky, and you're eager to switch your child to BLW, wait to do it. BLW is not a shortcut. It's a very involved and challenging process that takes time and patience.

If you want to make your BLW experience successful then follow the below-mentioned important tips.

 

 Important Tips before You Start Baby-Led Weaning

 Before you kickstart the process of baby-led weaning, keep the following essential points in mind-

1.      Start with easy finger foods 

2.      Once you've decided to try BLW, you should first sit down with your child and start with easy finger foods. These foods should be soft, mild, and easy for your child to hold, taste, and swallow. Some good starter foods include Grilled or steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, zucchini, etc.), Fruit (pears, bananas, apples, etc.). 

3.     Give your child plenty of time and space to eat. One of the biggest challenges of feeding your baby with their hands is that they usually eat more slowly than when spoon-fed. Babies fed with their hands tend to eat more, eat better, and eat more quickly than those fed pureed foods. That said, it takes more time to eat with your hands. 

4.      Giving your baby enough time and space to eat is your job as a parent. You must be patient and allow your baby sufficient time to eat on their terms. 

This will not be easy, but it will be important in helping your baby transition to BLW successfully. Also, there are a few advantages and disadvantages of BLW that you really need to consider.

 

                             

Pros of Baby-Led Weaning

 Here are the major advantages of BLW for babies, check them now-

Increases brain development

Letting your baby feed themselves with their hands helps them develop the dexterity and control they need to pick up food and feed themselves as adults.

Stronger jaw muscles

 Babies are born with weak jaw muscles, so parents are often advised to avoid spoon-feeding them purees. The chewing motion required for finger foods strengthens the jaw, which helps develop strong muscles. 

Better communication skills

Strong jaw muscles are crucial to normal speech development. Feeding your baby finger foods instead of purees also improves their ability to use language.

Better eating habits

Feeding your baby finger foods makes them more likely to eat a balanced diet as an adult. This is because they control what they're eating and can decide whether they like a particular food's flavor.

Allows infants to transition to solid foods at their own pace 

The main advantage of baby-led weaning is that it gives infants the freedom to transition to solid foods at their own pace.

No pressure to eat or meet a particular milestone

Another benefit of BLW is that there is no pressure to eat or meet a specific milestone. There is no wrong time to start baby-led weaning; babies can take as much time as they need to get used to eating with their hands before moving on to more advanced foods.

Babies can eat a wider variety of foods

Babies fed with their hands tend to eat a wider variety of foods than those who are spoon-fed. This is because parents tend to offer a more comprehensive array of finger foods to babies eating independently. 


                         Cut Time, Quilt More

Cons of Self-feeding Baby

 Though BLW offers several benefits, however, it has certain drawbacks too, do check them out and make a conscious decision for your baby-

1.      Requires a lot of patience - The main disadvantage of BLW is that it requires a lot of patience from parents. During the transition period from pureed foods to finger foods, you will need to be patient with your child, especially when it comes to eating. It takes time to learn to eat with your hands and finding the right foods and techniques can be challenging, especially for younger babies.

 

2.      Risk of choking - The most significant shortcoming of baby-led weaning is the risk of choking. Because babies eating with their hands don't have much stimulation from the taste and texture of food, they are less likely to chew as much as babies being spoon-fed.

 

How to make baby-led weaning a success 

1.      Don't force the issue - If your child isn't ready for baby-led weaning, you can't force them to eat with their hands. This method is all about the baby and what they want or need. 

2.       Offer a wide variety of foods - One of the most important things you can do to make BLW a success is to offer a wide variety of foods. Make a meal out of it: Let your baby explore different flavors and textures by serving various foods.

3.       Prepare ahead: Make a few different finger foods and store them in airtight containers in the fridge to quickly grab a snack when you're short on time. 

4.      Offer drinks from a cup: If your baby is over six months old, offer them water or other healthy beverages such as breastmilk, formula, or fruit juice. 

5.      Be careful about choking: Be mindful of how much your baby puts in their mouth at once. 

6.      Make sure your child is ready. 

7.      Finally, make sure that your child is ready for solids before you transition them to BLW; if your baby has accepted a small bite of semi-solid food and enjoyed the experience of taking a bite and relishing the taste, and successfully chewed and swallowed it – it may be the time to transition to BLW.

 

Frequently Asked Questions on Self-Feeding by Babies 

Here are some common questions parents ask about baby-led weaning:

 

Q. Will baby-led weaning cause the baby to get constipated?

 

A. Some parents worry that BLW will cause the baby to get constipated because they aren't getting as much fiber as they would with a spoon-feeding method. 

This is usually not the case, as babies still get plenty of fiber from vegetables and fruits, which are common finger foods.

 

Q. What is the best way to introduce solids to my baby? 

A. This depends on the method you choose. If you're starting with baby-led weaning, you can start with finger foods and purees. If you're starting with spoon-feeding, you can begin with purees and gradually add finger foods.

 

Q. Can I feed my baby whatever I want? 

A. Yes and no. Babies' digestive systems aren't ready to process many healthy foods for adults. You can provide your baby with a wide variety of foods, but ensure they're fit for infants. 

Also, if you want to learn more about it, you can ask such questions at this online Q&A platform

 

 

Author details: 

Sanhita Ghosh is a medical content writer with over 15 years of experience in the field. Also, she is a mother of two beautiful kids.


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Wednesday, December 28

Modern Indian Baby Names with Meanings

 Many modern parents search for meaningful baby names that not only signify their love for their child but also sound contemporary and synch better with the modern era. Here we have shortlisted some of the most popular modern Indian baby names that are unique and trendy. 

modern Indian baby names
Discover modern Indian baby names for your baby!


New Indian Baby Boy Names

Gone are the days when parents used to name their baby boys after the names of celebrities and warriors. Instead, modern Indian baby boy names are more rooted in nature, divinity, and religious references. Take your pick from the list below:

 

Name

Meaning

Advik

Unique

Arhaan

Ruler

Adhrit

Free or unrestrained

Bhavin

A Blessing

Chitaksh

One with attractive eyes

Divij

Born in heaven

Divyansh

Part of Devine

Gauransh

Part of Goddess Parvati

Ikshit

Regarded

Ishaan

Sun representing Lord Shiva

Kanav

Compassion

Ojas

Grandeur

Pranay

Affection

Reyansh

Part of Stream

Satvik

Pure

Shaan

Peaceful

Taksh

Devine Mountain

Tejas

Sharpness

Vihaan

Morning

Zeeshan

Dignified

 


                        


Latest Indian Baby Girl Names

There was a time when parents used to pick timid, pretty names for their baby girls. Now, the focus is on nature, beauty, divinity, and religious references. Here are some of the most unique Indian baby girl names for the twinkle of your eye. 

 

Name

Meaning

Aadrika

A celestial being

Aarya

Noble, Respectable

Advika

Unique

Ahana

Dawn

Amyra

Princess

Akshara

Speech

Anika

Grace

Aarna

Goddess Lakshmi

Dhriti

Lightening

Eenakshi

Doe-eyed

Ishani

Goddess Durga

Kashvi

Shining

Kiara

Dark-haired

Lavanya

Grace

Mahika

Frost

Mishika

A medicinal plant

Naira

Glittering

Nitara

Deeply rooted

Ojasvini

Energetic

Saanvi

Goddess Lakshmi

 

Other Unique and Modern Indian Baby Names for Your Munchkins


name of your baby
Choose wisely name of your baby.

Sometimes parents want to pick something as a name that is rare, often never heard of, yet unique, meaningful, and classy. Here is a list of some names you can pick for your bundle of joy.
 

Name

Meaning

Aahnik

Prayer

Anay

Without a leader

Aryaman

The Sun

Anvi

To follow or seek

Bhamini

beautiful

Divij

Born in heaven

Drisha

Mountain Lord

Eshana

Longing

Hitika

Lord Shiva

Hrisha

Lord Vishnu

Ishir

Fire, powerful and strong

Ivaan

God’s glorious gift

Inaaya

Protection from almighty

Ira

The Earth

Krishiv

Krishna and Shiva

Kiaan

Grace of God

Zeeshan

Respected, Dignified

 

 Related Post- 15 Must-Have Baby Products and Factors to Consider Before Purchase


Things to Consider Before Picking A Name For Your Baby

Although you can pick any name for your baby, it is paramount to consider several parameters to select a perfect baby name. Ask yourself the following important questions before you indulge in the joyous occasion of naming your child.

 

      Learn about the meaning of a name before you pick one. A meaningful name not only sounds better but also reflects your love and the importance of the child in your life. It conveys a deeper message to your child and the people around you.

 

      Make sure the name sounds just right. It should not sound harsh when called out loud. Pick classic over trendy. Do not go overboard in finding a rare or unique name that has no meaning or sounds irrelevant, to just mix and match. Further, the name should sound equally attractive when the child grows up.

 

                             

      Ensure that the name blends well with your surname or middle name if you have one. Do not pick baby names that rhyme with your last name.

 

      Explore the shorter versions of the chosen baby name because that’s how most people call out your baby. Nicknames often stem from the existing name of a baby. Also, make sure the initials of your child do not sound funny.

 

     Be gender specific. If you do not follow this rule, you may end up with a name that sounds cute for the moment but may turn awkward as your child grows.

 

   Pick a name that resonates with your culture and traditions. For example, Christian baby names may sound unfitting in a Hindu family. Many astrologers even suggest picking a name starting with a letter that aligns with the stars.

                                

      Lastly, keep it short and less complicated so that anybody can pronounce it right and spell it correctly. You can always name your child inspired by a famous or legendary personality that inspires you the most. Make sure that name fits according to geography and your social setup. 


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