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Baby Led Weaning, Modern Feeding Method, Is It Safe?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends giving exclusive breastfeeding to infants from 0 to 6 months of age, followed by providing complementary feeding (MPASI) by paying attention to aspects of timely, adequate, safe, and responsive-feeding nutrition.

There are 2 methods of giving complementary foods, namely the conventional method by feeding with a spoon or Spoon Led Weaning (SLW) and the latest is the modern method of self-feeding using hands or Baby Led Weaning (BLW).

The BLW method was first introduced by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett in 2008 in the book "Baby-Led Weaning: Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods and Helping your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater". In this method, the parents determine what is offered to the baby to eat in the form of "finger food", but the baby determines what they choose, how much, and how quickly to finish it. Because in this method the baby chooses his own food with his hands, then giving soft-consistent food such as porridge is not done, but directly uses solid food that the baby can grip.

The BLW method has several positive benefits such as practicing fine motor development; train hand and eye coordination; practice chewing skills; practice the exploration of taste, texture, and aroma; and train babies to be more independent.

However, there are also negative effects such as the risk of choking because the baby has not been able to control the pieces of food he swallows; at risk of experiencing nutritional deficiencies because the baby determines the type of food and the amount eaten; less able to meet the needs of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and micronutrients, and reduces the bonding between mother and baby.

Currently, the BLW method is still causing controversy because IDAI stated that this method has not been proven as a method of giving complementary foods that is safe and better than SLW.

Consult MPASI issues, nutritional needs, and baby growth and development with our doctors through the mDoc application.