What exactly does BLW mean and how does it work?
- "BLW" is an English word that stands for Baby Led Weaning and was coined by Gill Rapley in 2001, although the phenomenon has been around for a very long time. In Swedish, it can be loosely translated as "child-led feeding introduction" or "child-led weaning." It is a method in which the baby is allowed to eat all by himself from the very beginning, often as early as 6 months. Food is introduced at the pace set by the baby. So you completely skip the spoon feeding phase with pureed food. Breast milk/formula are still important food sources in the beginning and weaning occurs naturally as solid food intake increases.
- Plockmat, on the other hand, is a Swedish term and can be translated into English as "finger food." It is the food itself that is offered to the child when he eats by himself. It is not a method in that sense, but rather a way of offering/serving the food. This means that you can mix finger food with spoon feeding if you like.
- Finger food are soft pieces of food that the baby can mash in their mouth, even without teeth. Or pieces of food that the child can gnaw and suck on. The child can also bring the spoon to his mouth by himself. Finger food provides the child with a sensory experience that is good for the child's learning and enjoyment of food. It also practices motor skills and can simplify shared family meals. The children get to test many different textures and often many different flavors at an early age, which can give them a lot of enjoyment from food.
- Even though my Instagram account @Knatteplock is based on finger food, I advocate testing for yourself and seeing what works for your own child at the moment. Completely committing to how you will introduce your child to food before you introduce them can lead to unnecessary stress. It's better to "go with the flow" and let the process play out according to the child's conditions! For some, pure BLW works great, for others it's better to mix complementary foods with spoon feeding for a while.
- Then I will not rub your nose in the fact that there are many benefits to picking early. Many of them have already been mentioned. Among them, the child learns about the family's food at an early age and learns to appreciate many textures and flavors when the child is most receptive to them. This is good for future variety in the child's diet.
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