Baby-led weaning: a thematic analysis of comments made by parents using online parenting forums.

PEARCE, Jo and RUNDLE, Rachel (2022). Baby-led weaning: a thematic analysis of comments made by parents using online parenting forums. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

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BACKGROUND: Baby-led weaning (BLW) centres on making the baby an active partner, rather than a passive recipient of complementary feeding. Key features of BLW include self-feeding foods in their natural form, eating with the rest of the family and consuming family foods. This differs from traditional weaning (TW) where parents initially spoon feed purees, alongside finger foods, before graduating to more textured food. Previous research, however, has suggested parents may not fully adhere to one weaning style. This study aimed to explore how the meaning and interpretation of BLW may contribute to the weaning style used. METHODS: Messages and responses posted on three UK parenting forums, and relating to complementary feeding, were analysed using an interpretive thematic approach. RESULTS: The characterisation of BLW by parents was varied but they described BLW having an ethos which included trusting the baby, role modelling, developing confidence with food and sharing the social aspects of mealtimes. BLW also offered an alternative to those actively seeking something different or a default for those whose baby refused purees or spoon feeding. BLW felt like a natural progression, with low parental effort for some, and a source of anxiety, stress, choking risk and mess for others. Many parents struggled to find a process (what to eat and when) within BLW, that they could follow. Finger foods were used synonymously with BLW but many mixed/blurred aspects of both TW and BLW. CONCLUSIONS: The interpretation of BLW varies considerably between parents and a broader definition of BLW may be required, along with guidance on the process and purpose of BLW.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complementary feeding; baby-led weaning; infant nutrition; parenting; parenting forums; traditional weaning; Nutrition & Dietetics; 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology; 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2022 09:14
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:15

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