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Can food feeders be used as first steps to baby lead weaning (6-7 m.o baby)? Or there is really no connection? If not, is there any benefit in food feeders over puréed foods?

I mean food feeders like Kidsme Feeder or Munchkin Fresh food feeder

Fresh Food Feeders

This award-winning product allows your baby to enjoy lots of delicious foods without the choking risk. Simply put a piece of fruit, vegetables or meat into the mesh bag and snap shut. Your baby can chew, suck and enjoy all the whole food goodness and taste, with only the tiniest, digestible pieces coming through. Your baby gets great flavor and you get great peace of mind.

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I'm not an expert (we did BLW but not in a terribly organized manner), but I would tend to say, not very much. Baby-led weaning, from what I know, is mostly about teaching the baby to learn how to eat; and while feeders are nice to use for teething (which is what we used them for), they don't really teach the baby how to eat very well.

To the extent that they do help with baby led weaning, they probably are most useful early on when the baby is first learning how to move the gums/jaw to chew as an alternative to soft foods. Once that has been learned, they don't really offer very much in terms of help in that regard. In addition, it would be better to learn to chew on bananas or other soft foods so that the baby can get used to swallowing chewed food.

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I always considered a spoon to be the only "food feeder" a baby needs. Why have her learn to use a mesh bag unless that's what she'll use as a grown up? It doesn't make any sense to teach her to use one gadget (which is gross and really hard to clean, BTW) only to have to teach her to use another later.

I think the most effective "food feeders" for babies are the ones they come equipped with at birth: fingers.

Also, in terms of teaching a baby to chew and swallow food, these mesh bags will not help at ALL. They encourage sucking, which babies know how to do already, and, which is not how they should be processing solid (or semi solid) foods. In order to learn to chew and swallow they must be able get the food in their mouth and move it around with the tongue. This is impossible if the food is incarcerated in the mesh bag.

In my experience, the only thing these "feeders" are good for is to allow your baby to have foods she is probably not ready to eat yet, such as apples, for the purpose of teething (as mentioned in another answer), not for eating.

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