The Pros and Cons of Baby-Led Weaning

On the fence about baby-led weaning? Here are the science-backed pros and cons of the baby-led weaning to help you pick the right approach for you and your little one.

Pros of baby-led weaning:

  • Promotes oral and fine motor skill development
  • Reduces the likelihood of picky eating later in childhood [1]
  • It’s easy and cuts down on food prep time in comparison to purees
  • Facilitates curiosity about food, and sensory exploration
  • Promotes self-regulation of fullness and satiety [2]
  • Associated with advanced language development and earlier crawling [3]

Cons of baby-led weaning

  • It can be messy: Self-feeding often means that food ends up on the floor and all over your baby. 
  • It’s not always practical when you’re away from home: Spoon feeding may be more practical when you’re at someone else’s home and don’t want to make a mess. 
  • It can be time consuming at first: Baby-led weaning is predicated on letting your baby play with and explore food and they need lots of guidance from you in the early days. 

Ready to start baby-led weaning? Get the complete guide to baby-led weaning including 60+ pages of handouts, printables, recipe ideas, and more HERE.


[1] Coulthard, H., Harris, G., & Emmett, P. (2009). Delayed introduction of lumpy foods to children during the complementary feeding period affects child’s food acceptance and feeding at 7 years of age. Maternal & child nutrition, 5(1), 75–85.

[2] Brown, A., & Lee, M. D. (2015). Early influences on child satiety-responsiveness: the role of weaning style. Pediatric obesity, 10(1), 57–66.

[3] Webber, C., Blissett, J., Addessi, E., Galloway, A. T., Shapiro, L., & Farrow, C. (2021). An infant-led approach to complementary feeding is positively associated with language development. Maternal & child nutrition, 17(4), e13206.

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