Answering Questions about Baby-Led Weaning

an image of a child eating solid foods baby-led weaning

What is Baby-Led Weaning?

Baby-led weaning or BLW is an approach to starting solid foods and involves offering your baby finger foods instead of puree. This approach advocates bypassing purees/mashed foods and offers babies control over the amount of foods they want to eat.


Is BLW suitable for all babies?

BLW is not suitable for some babies, especially those with special needs, who have not mastered their pincer grasp, or are unable to chew foods on their own safely.

If parents would like to try BLW, the baby should be at least 6 months of age, able to pick up things on their own, and should be supervised at all times during feeding (in case of choking)


What precautions should you take to ensure your child is safe?

Foods which babies can choke on easily should be avoided: e.g. whole grapes, whole cherry tomatoes, nuts, cherries, raisins.

Foods offered should be around the size that your baby can hold easily. 6 month old babies tend to use their whole hand to pick things up. Your baby will need to be able to close their hand around the food, so avoid making the pieces too wide.

Parents should supervise the child at all times. The child should be sat down and focused on eating – remove distractions such as TV etc. It is important to be cautious when starting BLW, as some babies could end up choking, which may develop into food aversion in the future.


How can you ensure that your child is getting enough nutrition?

Remember that breastmilk or formula will continue to satisfy your baby’s hunger in the first few months of eating solids. Do not expect solids to replace milk feedings at this age.

Please consult your dietitian to ensure your child is getting enough nutrition whilst on BLW, as the amounts taken are up to the child, and will not be adequate to meet his/her nutritional needs alone.

It is important that young infants get sufficient and adequate nutrition.


What advice should parents know with regards to BLW?

Please consult your doctor/dietitian if you are unsure about BLW, and are concerned that your child is not putting on weight well.


Ms Suzanne Khor
Principal Dietitian
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Asthma, Lung, Sleep, Allergy & Paediatric Centre)
Nobel Gastroenterology Centre (Gleneagles Medical Centre)
Nobel Gastroenterology Centre (Mount Elizabeth Novena)

Our Specialist
Suzanne Khor has been practising as a clinical dietician for the past 18 years. She obtained her postgraduate degree (Masters of Health Science Education) from the University of Sydney Australia. Her special interests are nutrition in feeding difficulties, diet therapy for neurological disorders, eating disorders and weight management.