Baby-led Weaning vs. Traditional: Which is Right for You?

The world of parenting is full of choices and decisions. From the type of diaper to use to the ideal bedtime routine, parents are faced with numerous decisions that can feel overwhelming at times. When it comes to introducing solid foods, two popular methods stand out: baby-led weaning and traditional weaning. Both have their merits, and the choice often boils down to what feels right for the parent and the baby.

But first, let’s understand what each method entails.

Baby-led Weaning (BLW):

Baby-led weaning is an approach where babies are encouraged to self-feed. This means that instead of feeding your baby purées with a spoon, you provide them with soft, graspable foods that they can pick up and eat themselves. The idea is that the baby sets the pace and chooses what and how much to eat.


  • May promote better hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
  • Allows babies to explore different textures and tastes at their own pace.
  • Can help in developing a positive relationship with food.


  • Can be messier as babies are still mastering their motor skills.
  • Parents might be unsure about how much their baby is actually consuming.
  • There’s a potential for more food wastage.

Traditional Weaning:

This method involves feeding the baby with purées using a spoon. Parents or caregivers decide what and how much the baby eats.


  • Allows parents to have a clear idea of how much their baby is eating.
  • Can be less messy.
  • Might be perceived as a safer approach, especially concerning potential choking hazards.


  • Babies might get used to only one texture.
  • Less involvement from the baby in the eating process.

Finding the Right Balance: A Personal Perspective

As a mother myself, I believe there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. For our family, a mix of both methods was the key. There’s an undeniable comfort in knowing the exact amount your baby eats, which traditional weaning provides. On the other hand, watching our little one explore, taste, and sometimes humorously reject certain foods during baby-led weaning was a joy to witness.

Yes, with BLW, there were times when more food ended up on the floor than in their mouth. But this process allowed them to discover their likes and dislikes and fostered a sense of independence. On the other hand, traditional weaning gave me peace of mind on days when I wanted to ensure they received adequate nutrition.

The introduction to solids is a beautiful stage. It’s about growth, exploration, and some hilarious facial reactions to new tastes. Whether you choose baby-led weaning, traditional weaning, or a combination of both, the most crucial aspect is to enjoy this journey with your little one and to do what feels right for your family.

In conclusion, while there are ardent advocates for both methods, it’s essential to remember that every child and family is unique. What works for one might not work for another. Stay informed, trust your instincts, and relish in the joys of seeing your baby embark on their food adventures.

Please note that I speak from personal experience. For substantiated information, i always recommend that you take a look at the World Health Organization.

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Margaux Luyten


Adventure-loving mom blogger. Breastfeeding from December ’21. Sharing her insight on pregnancy and motherhood while embracing a healthy & active lifestyle. 

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