Baby Led Weaning in France

“Hmm… that’s not very French!” is what I hear whenever someone asks me about the way BabyinProvence eats. We are doing Baby Led Weaning as our preferred method of introducing solids and I have received countless raised eyebrows and dismissive comments!

SO what’s it all about? Baby Led Weaning (or BLW as it is often referred to) is the gradual weaning from breast milk or formula to solids. There are no purées and spoons involved.

The BLW Bible ... every parent should read this!

From around 6 months, when your baby can sit up unassisted you start by offering the same food you are eating (provided it is fresh, salt free and unprocessed). You allow your baby to choose what they are eating by offering a balanced diet and allowing them to feed themselves. The method is fun, at times messy, but amazingly, allowing your baby to take control of their dietary needs results in healthy and enjoyable mealtimes. As a parent you think more carefully about what you put on your plate and in turn, the whole family starts eating a healthier, more balanced diet
More information on BLW can be found here

Now that we have that covered, BLW was my choice for BabyinProvence’s weaning to solids, a decision that was met with quite strong reactions as I have mentioned. My paediatrician was keen for us to start on a traditional method of purees and stages, all of which contradict the BLW ethos. Eating out was fun for us all yet many stared at BabyinProvence in shock at how a 6 month old baby with no teeth was able to gum a steak and enjoy every bit! Yes its messy but it is also fascinating – it blows the food pyramid you see in every doctor and nutritionists office out of the water! BabyinProvence has days when all she wants is protein and other days she binges on carbs – these binges usually correspond to what she needs versus what she wants. I have yet to meet a single person in France who has heard of BLW which led me research this further, and in turn become a bit obsessed with the whole thing.

How do I get started with BLW my baby?
Firstly, I suggest buying the book Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett

How do I describe this to my French friends and family?
A good description in French is here although the translation is lacking it does give the vocab needed to explain your stance

I have yet to have found any support in France for BLW but that has not deterred me. BabyinProvence enjoys her food and has sampled more foods than many adults I know!

If you have any questions about BLW please do not hesitate to ask me … I promise to reply!

Bon Appétit!

5 Responses to Baby Led Weaning in France

  1. Caribette says:

    Hi Ameena,
    I started BLW with my son about 3 weeks ago and we both really enjoy it. It all started when from the first time we tried solids, he refused that I spoon-fed him and grabbed the spoon from me. He also started picking pieces of food in my plate. It’s only when I described this to a friend that she mentioned BLW. Oh well, I guess he’s a natural. Now comes the trouble. See, we’re French, from France, but live in Canada. As I come to discover reading through forums, seems like Frenchies are not very open-minded to this method and on my end, I have a freaked out family who thinks I’m going to get my baby to choke. That’s without talking about “playing” with and “wasting” food, bad behaviors. Anyhow, I’m not surprised. Now my question is: do you know any resources in French regarding BLW? I’d like to send them some (they mostly don’t read English) and get them more educated on the matter.
    Thanks A lot!

  2. I found your page looking for a translation of BLW for a friend in France, but I am under the impression it’s not very common. I was born and bred in France but had my baby in Australia, and I wasn’t sure how much ‘up to date’ France was on alternative feeding and caring for children. When I left I was not interested in the subject. It seems, from your post that they don’t have access to the information the English-speaking world gets. I was quite appalled at what I saw when I went there in March with my 20 months old, still breastfed toddler. I had the feeling that, while in Australia the fact is still debated, in France it’s just not done. On the 1 side, I don’t know anyone who can afford to not work full time by the time their baby is a toddler. It’s even worst in the US I think, most people don’t have any maternity leave, at all!

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