It is proposed that this control over their own feeding may allow the infant who is following BLW to respond better to hunger and satiety cues than a baby who is spoon fed by someone else.
It has also been pointed out that although the age at which it is recommended that parents start feeding their infant ‘solids’ has increased from 4 to 6 months of age,2 7 The exception to this is the UK, where recent National Health Service (NHS) advice is that first foods can include soft vegetables and fruit offered as finger food or mashed.8Despite increasing enthusiasm about BLW on the internet (8 960 000 hits in May 2015) and in the social media, health governing bodies9 and some healthcare professionals10 have expressed considerable concern that infants following a baby-led approach to infant feeding may be at an increased risk of choking and inadequate iron and energy intakes.
See: parents have been advised to spoon feed their infant puréed foods from ‘around’ 6 months of age, progressing to mashed, then chopped foods, so that they are eating family foods by 12 months of age.1 2 However, anecdotal reports suggest that an alternative method of complementary feeding, known as baby-led weaning (BLW), is becoming popular in New Zealand, the UK and Canada.
Inclusion criteria for this study were: infant 6–8 months of age when the WDR was completed, mother able to communicate in English or Te Reo Māori (the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand) and mother 16 years of age or older.
Methods Parents completed a questionnaire, and weighed diet records (WDRs) on 1–3 non-consecutive days, to investigate food and nutrient intakes, the extent to which infants were self-fed or parent-fed, and infant involvement in ‘family meals’.