Baby-led weaning: Academic joins international expert panel discussion

Dr Amy Brown, of Swansea University joined an international panel of experts for a feature on baby-led weaning in the current issue of the ICAN (Infant, Child and Adolescent Nutrition) journal.

Dr Amy BrownICAN asked Dr Brown, of the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences  at the College of Human and Health Sciences for her views and research findings on a number of issues for the feature entitled Baby-Led Weaning: A New Frontier?

The wide ranging article featured a number of topics on baby-led weaning including:-

 

  • Common misconceptions and barriers
  • Developmental and nutritional benefits
  • Key points for success
  • Future research topics

‌Dr Brown’s research explores the importance of nutrition during the first year of life upon longer term child weight and eating behaviour, and she has a particular interest in the factors that influence whether infants are breastfed or formula fed and when and how they are introduced to solid foods. In particular, her work examines how complex psychological, societal and cultural factors can affect maternal experiences at this time.

Top Tips

Dr Brown’s top tips for successful baby-led weaning were:-

  • Trust your baby
  • Don’t worry about the mess, waste and time
  • Allow your baby to join in at mealtimes

Dr Brown also called for more research support from the Department of Health saying: “It is logical that a baby-led approach may promote healthier child feeding practices and lead to healthier eating habits and weight gain but we now need to conduct larger, clinical studies and potentially rigorous randomized controlled trials of the method to explore this.”

The article also featured Gill Rapley, Renata Forste, Sonya Cameron and Charlotte Wright.