Michelle Embleton, inviTRA's biochemist, talks about the advantages and disadvantages of the baby led weaning in this video:
Baby led weaning has been around for a while now and it is gaining in popularity throughout the world as more and more parents try it and find it works well with the baby. Some of the advantages are: the baby themselves set the pace at which they eat and what to eat. It helps the baby to learn control over its own appetite, it helps to increase motor skills since the baby is feeding themselves and also helps oral development, because the baby is chewing foods and using their mouth in a different way. It could prevent baby from rejecting certain textures in the future and also it is thought it could help prevent overweight and obesity in later life. Another advantage for the family is that, since the baby will be eating the same as you and at the same time as you, it means that you will not be preparing extra sets of food for the baby, you won't have to prepare purees and mashed foods for the baby and feed them at a separate time to yourself. When we look at disadvantages it's more about the main concerns of choking and suffocation for the baby. For this reason, it is recommended that you do not leave your baby alone while eating. Always be there to make sure they are safe to ensure there's no choking hazard. You can make sure the food is cut up into sensible pieces and of the right texture that they can manage the food. Don't confuse gagging with choking: a gag reflex is quite normal and is really quite different from choking. Indeed, if you are worried about choking hazards, there are several first aid courses that are provided by different associations that could help you feel more confident in certain situations, not just with baby choking, so family first day courses may help you to relax in these situations. It's important to remember not to offer the forbidden foods such as the nuts and uncut grapes to avoid these choking hazards and, in fact, studies have shown that the choking hazard exists the same if you are doing a traditional spoon feeding method of weaning or you are trying baby lead weaning. Perhaps, one disadvantage we do need to look at is that you need to make sure the baby is fed a balanced diet. You need to make sure that the foods are rich in iron and preferably with iron-rich foods give a source of vitamin C as well to help with the absorption of the iron.