What is baby led feeding

What is Baby-Led Weaning? - Solid Starts

Baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solid food to babies whereby purées and spoon-feeding are skipped entirely in favor of finger foods that a baby self-feeds.

Pictured left to right: Steamed broccoli floret; a sardine filet from a can, an avocado spear, and a banana spear.

Coined by Gill Rapley, a former public health nurse in the U.K., baby-led weaning (or baby-led feeding as it is sometimes referred to) offers parents a way to bypass the idea of baby food entirely. Growing in popularity, baby-led weaning is particularly popular with parents who want to avoid raising picky eaters, as well as parents who subscribe to Montessori-type philosophies of child-rearing where children are encouraged to be self-sufficient.

At its core, baby-led weaning emphasizes independence of the baby. A parent is to wait for their baby to show signs of readiness for eating and to follow the baby’s cues in all matters of introducing solid food. Babies are brought to the table for family meals, encouraged to pick up food with their own fingers, and trusted to eat as much or as little as they need. Babies introduced to solids with baby-led weaning also continue breast or bottle feeds and are permitted to determine when those milk feeds should be reduced.

Research studies are just beginning to analyze the impacts of baby-led weaning, but we know there are many benefits to letting your baby self-feed.

Of primary importance is fostering independence: with baby-led weaning, your baby will learn to eat on their own and have control over what—and how much—they eat. Our experience is that babies who are given this control over what they eat early on are less likely to become picky eaters in the toddler years and beyond. With baby-led weaning, food is less likely to become a lever for control or power in the child-parent relationship because the child is in control from day one of starting solids.

Other benefits of baby-led weaning include the opportunity for your baby to practice critical motor and oral skills. Self-feeding a variety of food consistencies and textures enables your baby to work on tongue movements, jaw strength, and swallowing as well as the fine motor skills required to pick up different sized pieces of food with their fingers.

Lastly, current research shows that babies who are started on solids with finger foods (or “baby-led weaning”) are no more likely to choke on food than babies who are spoon-fed.1 

Juliet Rose, 11 months, eats pulled pork and radish.

Benefits of Letting Your Baby Self-Feed

  • Independence: Baby learns to eat independently and is in total control.
  • Development: Baby practices critical motor and oral skills.
  • Appetite Control: Baby is in charge of how much to eat and learns to stop when full.
  • Ease: Baby (mostly) eats what you eat. Less special meals.
  • Variety: Baby can eat a variety of textures and flavors, which may reduce picky eating later on.
  • Less Expensive: Baby eats real food. No pricey jars, pouches or blenders required.
  • Family Meals: Baby is part of your family meal, eating with you.
  • Dining Out: It’s easier to eat in restaurants as baby can eat whole food.
  • Fun! Babies enjoy touching, inspecting, and tasting a different flavors and textures.

While our preferred mode of introducing solids—Finger Food First—builds on the wisdom of baby-led weaning, it offers a bit more flexibility. For example, with a finger food first approach, you can employ a combination of feeding methods, with an emphasis is on letting your baby self-feed a variety of textures and flavors.

Hungry for more? Head over to our comprehensive video library with topics from how to get started with baby-led weaning to how to prevent picky eating.

This page has been created with typically developing infants and children in mind. If your baby/child has underlying medical or developmental differences, including but not limited to: prematurity, developmental delay, hypotonia, airway differences, chromosomal aThese pages have been created with typically developing infants and children in mind.  The information here is generalized for a broad audience and is for informational purposes only. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. If your child has underlying medical or developmental differences, including but not limited to prematurity, developmental delay, hypotonia, airway differences, chromosomal abnormalities, craniofacial anomalies, gastrointestinal differences, cardiopulmonary disease, or neurological differences, we strongly recommend and encourage you to discuss your child’s feeding plan and when and how to start solids and finger food with the child’s doctor, health care provider or therapy team. Close consultation with a feeding and swallowing specialist can provide safe guidance for the child’s feeding journey.  Always seek the advice of your doctor, health care provider or therapy team with any questions you may have regarding your child’s development and capacity for starting solid foods.

  1. Arantes A et al. The Baby-led Weaning Method (BLW) in the Context of Complementary Feeding: A Review. Revista Paulista de Pediatria 36, no. 3 (2018): 353–63.

The content offered on SolidStarts.com is for informational purposes only. Solidstarts is not engaged in rendering professional advice, whether medical or otherwise, to individual users or their children or families. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or your medical or health professional, nutritionist, or expert in pediatric feeding and eating. By accessing the content on SolidStarts.com, you acknowledge and agree that you are accepting the responsibility for your child’s health and well-being. In return for providing you with an array of content “baby-led weaning” information, you waive any claims that you or your child may have as a result of utilizing the content on SolidStarts.com.

What You Need to Know – Cleveland Clinic

During their first few years of life, babies reach many important milestones: first smile, first laugh, first crawl, first steps. In between all these, babies also learn an abundance of important life skills, such as how to feed themselves. In the process, what they eat evolves. 

“Babies will gradually transition off of a full breast milk or formula diet to a varied diet of solid foods,” says pediatrician Kimberly Churbock, MD. 

What this transition looks like varies because there are multiple ways babies can learn how to feed themselves. One option is baby-led weaning, or baby-led feeding.       

What is baby-led weaning? 

When babies are learning how to feed themselves, they’ll commonly start eating exclusively pureed foods and then progress through different (and increasingly more complex) stages of pre-made baby foods before graduating to solids. Until babies are strong enough to eat on their own, parents focus on spoon feeding.  

Baby-led weaning flips the script and puts babies in charge of mealtime. 

“The basic idea behind baby-led weaning is that parents and caregivers can follow a baby’s lead,” says Dr. Churbock. “This means watching for signs of developmental readiness and, when a baby is ready, allowing them to self-feed.”  

Babies are also skipping many traditional baby foods such as purees, Dr. Churbock says. “With baby-led weaning, instead of buying or making specific foods to feed your baby, you’re preparing the same meal for the whole family, ​with modifications as needed for your newest eater.”  

This doesn’t mean that babies are starting off chowing down on whole pieces of pizza, of course. “You’re incorporating baby ​into family mealtime from the get-go, allowing your baby to eat some of the same foods that the rest of the family is eating,” she says, “but being mindful of portions for your littlest eater, and what is going to be safe and appropriate for them.” 

The benefits of baby-led weaning 

Baby-led weaning offers multiple advantages for families and babies alike. 

It saves time and money

Not only are you cutting down on meal prep time because everyone’s eating similar things — but you’re also hopefully saving money. “Baby food can be expensive,” says Dr. Churbock. “If you’re preparing the same food for the whole family, you’re not necessarily having to buy something separate and special.”

Babies experience valuable social interactions

Baby-led weaning introduces babies to the idea of family mealtime, which offers positive social and developmental reinforcement. “Whenever possible, it’s wonderful for families to eat together,” says Dr. Churbock. “That way babies can see a role model for how to chew, how to swallow. They learn a lot by watching us eat.” 

They are exposed to diverse foods

Both pureed and pre-packaged baby food have soft textures. With baby-led weaning, babies are exposed to a greater variety of foods — and, by extension, a much broader array of tastes and textures. 

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It helps hone important developmental skills

Allowing babies to gauge their own appetite — and sense of hunger and fullness — is enormously valuable. “Over time, they can self-regulate,” says Dr. Churbock. “They’re not going to overeat because they’re in control of what’s going in their mouth and what they’re swallowing.”  

Babies also have a chance to try out tasks requiring the use of fine motor skills. 

“They’ll ​practice picking up a piece of food, bringing it to their mouth, manipulating it to get it into the mouth, chewing and swallowing,” Dr. Churbock adds. “All of those ​actions require fine motor skills and oral motor skills.” 

When to start baby-led weaning 

A baby is ready for baby-led weaning when they display certain signs of developmental readiness. Dr. Churbock says these include the ability to sit upright, with minimal to no support from a parent or caregiver, as well as reaching for an object — and then picking it up and bringing it to their mouth — and a diminishing tongue-thrust reflex (that’s the term for when they use their tongue to spit something out of their mouth).  

The majority of babies reach the above developmental milestones around 6 months. However, “every baby is different,” Dr. Churbock says. Babies who were born early or premature especially might start doing these things at a later age. “You may be watching more for these signs of readiness closer to their corrected age of 6 months (if they had been born on their actual due date), rather than their chronological age of 6 months.”  

Luckily, baby-led weaning meets babies where they are. “This is an approach to feeding that can work and meet children of different ages and abilities where they’re at,” says Dr. Churbock. “At its best, the idea of baby-led weaning should really follow and meet the needs of an individual baby.”  

How safe is baby-led weaning? 

In general, when babies are learning how to feed themselves, they should always be seated upright and well-supported, and they should always be supervised. Parents and caregivers should also limit distractions, Dr. Churbock says. “Avoid eating with the TV on whenever possible.” 

And while a baby gagging can be quite frightening, this is actually perfectly normal. “It’s part of a baby actually using muscles properly and protecting their airway,” Dr. Churbock says. 

As with any new skill or milestone, parents may have concerns about safety. For peace of mind, Dr. Churbock recommends parents and caregivers take a child infant CPR course, which will cover important things such as choking management. 

Baby-led weaning itself specifically shouldn’t be cause for great alarm. “For babies who are learning a new skill, we want to make sure that it’s as safe as it possibly can be,” says Dr. Churbock. “Studies have shown baby-led weaning, when done properly, isn’t a higher risk for choking.”  

However, if babies can’t sit upright with minimal or no support, or if they’re not quite yet reaching for objects and bringing them to the mouth, those are signs they aren’t ready for baby-led weaning. 

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Babies who still have a prominent tongue-thrust reflex, which is commonly seen in infants up until about 6 months of age, also likely aren’t quite there yet.  

Great first foods 

Cut soft foods into “finger-sized” slices that are made for grasping, says Dr. Churbock. “The food is firm enough that they can pick it up and hold it, long enough that they can have a little portion sticking out of their hand that they can see, ​and soft enough to gum and chew.” Some examples include:

  • Spears of soft ripe fruits, such as banana, pear, avocado, kiwi and mango.
  • Strips of roasted, baked or steamed vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots and squash.
  • Ground meat or soft, shredded strips of meat that you can move your fingers through

You don’t have to avoid pureed textures completely to do baby-led feeding. “As adults, we eat soft-textured foods, too,” says Dr. Churbock. “Soft foods like oatmeal, applesauce, and plain whole fat or Greek yogurt are great early foods for babies.”

Foods to avoid 

Because baby-led weaning exposes babies to foods with different textures, you should avoid serving up foods that are choking hazards. These include:

  • ​Firm, round foods, such as whole berries and whole grapes. 
  • Hard, crunchy foods like tortilla or corn chips, popcorn, nuts.
  • Raw, hard-textured vegetables like carrots. 
  • Peanut butter ​offered alone, which can be too sticky for babies to safely manage. 

Dr. Churbock does add that some of the foods above can be served if you prepare them differently. “You’d mush a blueberry to make it a little bit softer or cut it into smaller pieces. For older babies, you’re going to quarter grapes rather than offering them whole.”

Babies under the age of 1 also should never ingest certain foods, including:  

  • Honey, because of the risk of botulism. 
  • Whole cow’s milk to drink, because of the risk of digestive tract bleeding and not having the right mix of nutrients. However, small amounts used in cooking or food preparation are generally acceptable, as are other dairy products like yogurt and cheese.

When to introduce allergens

Peanut butter and yogurt can also be allergens. Talk to your child’s pediatrician to learn more about introducing allergenic foods and for further advice on the best early foods to feed your baby. “For most infants, potentially allergenic foods are also important to incorporate early on and often,” says Dr. Churbock. “Some are also great textures for early eaters, like soft strips of egg omelet, or pieces of moist flaky fish like salmon.”

How do I start baby-led weaning? 

Before settling on baby-led weaning, Dr. Churbock says parents should first gather as much information as they can — you can often find books on baby-led weaning at your local library — and talk to their baby’s pediatrician.

“Around 4 months of age, start those discussions about how you hope to feed your baby, and what steps you can take for your individual child at that age,” she says. “​Talking to your pediatrician is going to be a great first step to go over what to look out for and resources that might be helpful.”  

This applies if you’re thinking about baby-led weaning or instead of starting your baby out on purees, Dr. Churbock adds. “Either approach can be appropriate depending on your goals and your individual child’s healthcare needs.”  

Looping a pediatrician or even a speech pathologist into your feeding plans is especially helpful if your baby has unique healthcare considerations such as prematurity; a disorder such as dysphagia, which affects swallowing and feeding; or drinks specialized or thickened formulas.  “It’s worth reviewing if there are modifications that can work for most children,” Dr. Churbock says.

Parents and babies can also ease into baby-led weaning together. For example, you might help a baby hold a spoonful of puree, but then allow them to move the spoon to their mouth on their own. “Even if it’s for a short period of time, many babies still do benefit from trying some purees to start,” she says. “You pre-load the spoon, and then your baby can hold the spoon. That’s a nice, easy way to get started.” 

However, don’t be afraid to let your baby eat with their hands. “Expect and embrace some mess,” Dr. Churbock says. “Self-feeding is a great sensory experience for babies.”

Dr. Churbock says you also shouldn’t worry if your baby doesn’t actually consume much food when first starting solids. “It can take some time for babies to figure out complementary food feeding, and breast milk or formula remains the most important source of nutrition through the first year of life.”

And, above all, if baby-led weaning is slow-going or even isn’t working out, that’s perfectly OK. “There are multiple healthy ways to feed your baby,” Dr. Churbock says. “Feeding methods aren’t ​always one-size-fits-all, and you don’t have to do things in a certain way.” 

Breastfeeding on demand

You can often hear from a nursing mother: "I feed on demand, my baby requires a breast every 3.5 hours." Or: “I have always fed on demand. In a year, we already had 1 feeding in the evening, and my child calmly refused to breastfeed. Before talking about the demand of the child, it is necessary to find out what modern women mean when they say - "I breastfeed. "

Modern mothers consider breastfeeding necessary for feeding their baby. Just for feeding. Breast milk is food, the mother supplies the baby with the nutrients necessary for growth and development. When a baby suckles at the breast, he eats. Breastfeeding makes sense only as a process of supplying proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and microelements.

During suckling, the baby receives the nutrients it needs with mother's milk. This is the absolute truth. There is another unconditional truth, which is not given any importance in modern society, it is not taken into account and is not considered. Breastfeeding for a child is communication with the mother. We need to figure out how the child understands feeding on demand? Can he understand anything at all? Is there any difference for him how he is fed, for 15-20 minutes after 3.5 hours or in some other way?

What is on-demand feeding

On-demand feeding of a newborn baby means putting it to the breast for every squeak or search. Squeak and search movements in newborns, even as early as the second or third day of life, begin to appear much more often than after 3.5 or 2.5 hours. The need for attachments increases rapidly, and by the 10-12th day of life, the need to attach to a child may occur 15-16 or more times a day. Applications vary in duration. The baby can fall asleep and sleep while sucking for, for example, 1.5-2 hours. Can release the breast after 1-2 minutes. And then ask her again. Why does a child need such frequent contact with his mother's breast?

That's why. Being in the mother's belly, in a calm, familiar environment, listening to the noises of the mother's body, being in a warm, cramped, confined space, the baby sucked his fist, fingers, loops of the umbilical cord, swallowed amniotic fluid. Learned to suck and swallow. After birth, experiencing discomfort for any, the most insignificant reason, the baby tries to get rid of it. You can get rid of discomfort by getting into the usual conditions of a comfortable stay. The only place where the baby after birth can feel the sensations familiar to him is in the arms of the mother. The only familiar action is sucking. The only familiar taste and smell is the taste and smell of milk and lube in the areola. Milk and lubricant have an odor and taste similar to the taste and smell of amniotic fluid. Therefore, experiencing discomfort, the baby squeaks, or begins to look for an object to suck with his mouth. Ideally, it is immediately applied to the chest. The baby becomes warm, cramped, he hears the beating of his mother's heart, breathing, grumbling in the intestines, he sucks and feels the familiar taste and smell. If such an action happens constantly, the baby gains confidence, no matter what happens, he will solve all his problems with his mother. The place of comfort is now under the breast, and you can suck on the breast.

This whole process is biologically justified. A newborn child does not feel the feeling of hunger, this feeling is not formed in him. It will begin to form at about two months of age. How to feed a creature that does not experience hunger ?! How to encourage him to take some action to get food? This can be done only at the expense of some other incentives. This stimulus for the newborn is constant bodily discomfort, thanks to which he wants to suckle all the time! The most intense, frequent and prolonged sucking in infants is observed in the first two or three months of life. It is in these first months that the main weight gain of the baby occurs.

Feeding in the first month

Baby falls asleep with breast in mouth, sleeps sucking for a while. Falling asleep deeply, lets go of the chest. After sleeping for a while, he wakes up, and is applied on waking. After sleep, he can stay awake for some time, for example, an hour and a half. During wakefulness, he may feel discomfort 2-3 times, for example, from a completely natural desire to pee, and having called his mother for help, having kissed for a couple of minutes, he will do his deeds. Then he will want to sleep, feel discomfort and, kissing his chest, will again fall asleep sucking. After some time, he will wake up and attach again. Then again a little "walk". And after some time, he will fall asleep at the chest again.

The daytime naps of a one-month-old infant feeding on demand vary in duration and number. There can be 4-6 dreams during the day, and they can last from 5-15 minutes to 2-2.5 sometimes 3 hours. "Around" each dream, the baby is applied to the chest, and applied between dreams several times. At night, the child falls asleep at the breast. Usually in the early morning hours, he begins to fuss and apply. In the morning, he almost never fully wakes up. The baby sleeps, from time to time, sucking on his mother's breast. Waking up in the morning, the baby is again applied to the chest. If you count all the attachments that have happened in a baby of one month of age, then approximately 16-20 attachments are obtained. This is how a newborn human cub behaves if it is given the opportunity to behave in accordance with physiological and psychological needs, which, by the way, are genetically determined. The child of the first months of life does not separate his personality from the personality of the mother and from her breast. Mom and her breasts, and everything connected with them, are the universe of the baby and himself.

In most cases, a modern woman, being afraid to “accustom a child to hands”, strives to limit his requests for sucking. A pacifier and a bottle of tea or water come to her aid in this matter. They, too, can be sucked ... The need for sucking seems to be satisfied. But only the need for communication with the mother during suckling is not satisfied, the peculiar chain of mutual assistance and cooperation between mother and baby is destroyed, the formation of maternal affection and concentration is disrupted. Is the difference in the two actions noticeable to the reader: the baby cried, the mother took him, put him to her chest and started rocking him, or gave him a pacifier and started rocking the stroller, even with the words “Why are you crying, my sun?”

The modern woman who gives a pacifier and pumps a stroller is not a bad person deliberately harming an infant. She is simply in captivity of prejudices regarding the relationship between mother and baby. She does not know how to behave correctly, does not know what to do in accordance with the natural needs of the child. If you tell her what the child really needs, she will exclaim in horror: “What is it, don’t let him get away with?!” Indeed, the child of the first months of life must not be let off the hook. For a woman who does not know how to comfortably carry a baby, and who does not know how to feed him in various positions (sitting, lying, standing and even moving), this can be very difficult. Especially if she is not sure of the correctness of her actions.

An action that should become automatic for the mother of a newborn: when the baby cries or shows other signs of anxiety, put the baby to the breast.

What's next?

The baby is growing. A fairly stable rhythm of daytime sleep begins to form in him, and a 3-4-month-old baby behaves quite differently from a newborn. Feeding on demand at this age looks something like this...

  • At three months, the baby has 10-12 feeds during the day and 2-4 at night. There are frequent applications for a short time, but their number is reduced. There may be a long night break in feedings, about 5 hours, but this is very rare. Much more often the night break is 2.5-3.5 hours. By this age, the baby's body is noticeably rounded.
  • At four months, the baby begins to breastfeed noticeably less frequently. The main feedings are associated with sleep: the baby suckles before bedtime, during awakening and during sleep, both daytime and nighttime. In this regard, he has a fairly accurate feeding regimen. And many babies stop breastfeeding when they wake up after daytime sleep, sometimes as early as 2.5-3 months.
  • At five months, the baby has 8-10 daytime feedings and 2-3 nighttime, attachments as well as in the fourth month of life, are organized around dreams - the baby eats when going to bed and some babies suck during awakening.
  • At six months, the feeding regimen changes. The most active sucking shifts to the last 2-3 hours before waking up from a night's sleep. The period of daytime wakefulness can be divided into two periods: in the morning, when the baby sucked during the night is rarely applied to the breast, and in the evening, when attachments become very frequent. In total, there can be 7-10 day applications and 3-4 night applications. At this age, the baby begins a period of acquaintance with new food - pedagogical complementary foods. Sometimes there are attachments associated with the introduction of complementary foods, the baby “washes down” samples of new food with mother's milk. But many children do not want to drink complementary foods. When complementary foods are introduced to an on-demand baby, it is never meant to replace feedings with complementary foods. This is practically impossible, because the main feedings of the baby are associated with sleep, and mother's breakfasts, lunches and dinners, during which the baby gets acquainted with new food, are located between the baby's dreams, during his wakefulness.
  • At seven months, the frequency of application is about the same.
  • At eight months, the feeding regimen changes. Since the baby shows high motor activity and is very busy exploring the surrounding space, in the daytime he forgets to breastfeed. In this regard, the number of daily feedings can be reduced to 6-8 times. The baby compensates for the reduction in daytime feedings by increasing the frequency and duration of nighttime feedings up to 6 times.
  • In the second half of the year, babies who stopped breastfeeding when waking up after daytime naps recall this habit again. The baby’s daytime sleep in the second half of life, as well as in the region of a year and older, looks something like this: the baby falls asleep sucking, sleeps quietly for a while, for example 1-1.5 hours, then starts tossing and turning, fiddling, worrying, at this moment the mother lies down next to , gives him a breast and the baby can fill up 10-15-30 minutes sucking. Mom may well use this time for her own rest - lie down, read, while the baby sleeps while sucking. I know my mother, a lover of embroidery, who used this time specifically for embroidery ...
  • Breastfeeding becomes more frequent at nine to ten months. In the daytime, this is 4-6 full feedings and about the same number of attachments for various reasons. The baby has new reasons for attachment. If, during active actions to master the world, the baby fills a bump or gets scared, he calms down with his mother's breast. There may be situations when you can comfort the baby by sitting next to him and hugging him. At night, 4-6 feedings remain, the baby begins to suckle more actively in the morning between 3 and 8 hours.
  • At eleven months, a baby can already have 2-3 complete complementary foods. Initiation to adult food in the mind of a child is not associated with breastfeeding: attachment to the mother's breast is something other than the desire to get enough of the product they like. As a rule, after the baby has eaten, he feels the need to attach himself to the breast. The number of daily feedings remains the same in the child, but the number of short-term attachments increases. There are active mid-morning feedings between 4 and 8 o'clock in the morning.
  • At ten or twelve months, the baby, if he is already walking, can sometimes breastfeed every time he comes to his mother, i.e. about every 15-30 minutes. Attachments around dreams and night sucking persist. Therefore, if a mother says that a child suckles once or twice a day, this means that there is no feeding at the request of the child. There are restrictions imposed by the mother, with which the baby has come to terms. He treats breast sucking like food, sucks on a pacifier or a finger to fall asleep or soothe, or falls asleep just like that, without calming down.
  • At twelve months, the baby is applied in about the same way.
  • At the age of one and a half years, there may already be one daytime nap, so there are fewer attachments associated with sleep. Preserved for morning sucking. The baby is very free with his mother's breasts. Sometimes it happens that he comes up to suck just for fun. For example, like this: he comes up, climbs on his knees, looks into his mother’s face, smiles, starts to swarm in his shirt, gets breasts, smiles at his breasts, sucks for 30 seconds and leaves.

As for the number of feedings per day when feeding a child on demand, their number is almost never less than 12. A newborn has 12 or more attachments, mostly they are all associated with dreams. And a child, say 1.5-2 years old, can also have about 12 attachments, only 3-4 are associated with sleep, and the rest are short-term attachments for various reasons. I suggest to all mothers reading this text - do not count the application, do not notice their duration. Breastfeed your baby as often as he asks, when you feel the need to.

Moms who don't think about breastfeeding without looking at the clock may get the impression that when breastfeeding on demand, the mother can do nothing but feed the baby. This is not true. After the birth of a baby, a mother begins another life, she is called life with a baby. That's all. The child is with the mother, not the mother with the child! Feel the difference! You need to be able to organize your life in a different way, in the first months, of course, the help of loved ones is very necessary. In the tradition of many peoples, it was customary for the first 40 days after childbirth to remove a woman from any housework and household chores, she was engaged only in a child. In some nations, objects that the mother of a newborn touched were considered “unclean”, therefore, they preferred to protect the mother from the rest of the household, allocating her a separate “corner” of the house, where no one bothered her and she did not interfere with anyone. Among the Slavs, such a restrictive custom was called a six-week. By 1.5-2 months, the rhythm of daytime dreams begins to form, and the baby has a kind of “regime”, the mother becomes more free.

For a mother who can't imagine breastfeeding without looking back at the clock, and who is sure that the “right” baby is the baby lying quietly in her crib all the time, feeding on demand will be a complete hassle. It will be much easier for such a mother if she stops looking at the clock and ties the baby to herself with a large scarf or uses a patchwork holder (sling). It will become easier for her if she stops running between the nursery and the kitchen, but takes the baby with her to the kitchen and carries him around the house with her, doing housework, in a box, a cradle, a special chair, if she tries not to put him off often, and pick up as soon as possible, postponing the baby only in case of emergency and not for long.

Breastfeeding is not the same as house arrest. In the conditions of modern society, it is possible to organize the exit of a nursing mother to work from about 6 months of age of the baby. If necessary, you can start working from the age of 4 months, but, of course, it is better not every day of the week and not full time. It is the responsibility of a breastfeeding consultant to help a mother organize her return to work.

Sometimes, when I advise mothers on breastfeeding, I suggest that they forget for a second that they are already living in the 21st century. I propose to return, for example, to the cave and ask what they will do if the child woke up at night, how to calm him down? If you are walking through the forest and trying not to attract the attention of predators, how to make the baby silent? If the child is thirsty, what will you give him? What is the baby used to, for thousands of years of its existence? To the fact that he sleeps on his mother while she wanders through the forest with a digging stick in search of roots, and wakes up when mother stops. Since mom stopped, then there is time to wake up and suck. Therefore, even now the child sleeps well, tied to the mother with a patchwork holder, wakes up when the mother, having done a few household chores, sits in a chair to take care of the baby.

Some mother, reading about the cave, will be offended, saying that she is a civilized creature. But please think. Man, mother's breast and mother's milk have been created by evolution over millions of years. They are made for each other. Baby food has created progress and more recently. The skills of motherhood and breastfeeding have also been lost by our society quite recently. A person is not physiologically adapted to artificial feeding and a pacifier. The mother's breast will not produce enough milk at 6-7 feedings per day. Nature did not know, when creating man as a mammal, that the time would come when the need for breastfeeding would be satisfied by some kind of pacifiers and nipples.

Changes that occur during the formation of the personality of a child who did not have full contact with the mother during prolonged breastfeeding are noted by modern research by psychologists and sociologists. These are changes with a minus sign. It would be better if they were not, these changes.

Breastfeeding is important not only for the baby, it is also important for the mother. During on-demand feeding, the woman's feelings change, a stronger attachment to the baby is formed, the woman becomes more sensitive to the needs of the baby. Deeper affection and understanding are not only preserved in infancy. They persist for life. For clarity, imagine what happens to a woman’s feelings if she tries to “withstand” a child, endures his crying, anxiety. What happens to a woman if she uses the recommendation from one very popular parenting book: "Go to the child if he cries for more than 15 minutes"? Speaking in abstract terms, humanity is interested in reviving the practice of breastfeeding. The revival of this practice is impossible without mothers realizing the true reasons for the child's need for attachment to the breast.

Lilia Kazakova, pediatrician,
breastfeeding and child care counselor manager

How LED lights are powered

Any electrical appliance must have a power source: battery, battery or mains power. High demands are placed on the power supply from which the LEDs are powered. This is where the problem arises. Our electricity supply is 220 volts. LED lamps require the forward voltage specified in their specifications. Its value depends on the design and color of the LED and ranges from 1 to 2.2 V. Current ratings vary from 5 to 20 A. Connecting directly with possible voltage drops will lead to unstable operation and reduced product life. What to do to avoid this? Buy a power supply, it is also called a driver for LEDs. Let's figure out how it works and how to choose a device.

Features of power supply of LED lamps

The service life of LEDs depends on the quality of the crystal, the value of the operating current, operating conditions. Usually they operate on a current whose maximum value does not exceed 2 A. However, the established characteristics require an optimal value of 0.35 A. The desire to have a limiting luminous flux leads to an increase in current. Because of this, there is a risk of overheating of the crystal. Therefore, for LED lamps it is not recommended to use a conventional power supply without an adapter as a power source.

What problems appear when connecting the device to the network directly:

  • The LED will have a floating operating point, due to the negative dependence of the voltage reduction on the temperature of the crystal.
  • To equalize the current, you will need to at least add an additional resistor to the LED power circuits. In addition to stabilizing the current, it will dissipate power.
  • In addition, the instability of the output data of the source will make its contribution.

All this will lead to a significant reduction in the operating life, especially when working at the limiting current values.

Power supplies for LED luminaires

The use of high-frequency converters will help solve the problems that arise. They are included in the design of power supplies for LEDs. The duration of operation and the quality of illumination of the lamps connected to it depend on the characteristics of such devices. It is especially important to include a PSU in power supply circuits for high-power LEDs. This is due to the need to stabilize the power supply. The voltage supplied to the device at the output is converted into a stable current. We do not need to understand the device of the equipment. It is more important to find out what types can be found on sale.

Depending on the location, the power supply can be internal or external. The first are in the case of the device itself. An external PSU may be included with the product or you will need to purchase it yourself. When using several lighting fixtures, you can save money by installing one unit for all.

In the event of a power outage, emergency power supply of LED lamps is possible through a special BAP device. When the mains voltage fails, the device operates on battery power for 1-3 hours. All this happens automatically, including recharging. Such products may additionally be provided with a battery charge indicator.

How to choose a power supply

Before buying a power supply for LED lights, it is advisable to draw up a wiring diagram. On it you need to specify all the devices and the necessary parameters. If you cannot do it yourself, contact a specialist.

When choosing a product, pay attention to the following indicators:

  • Power consumption. This takes into account all the fixtures connected to the device.
  • Supply voltage of the LED lamp. The range within which the product is able to function optimally without loss of brightness is indicated in the specifications. For example, 176-264V or 150-250V.
  • Tight. This indicator depends on the installation location of the device. More protected products are used in damp and dusty areas.

When determining the power, you need to add at least 20% "in reserve". Why is this needed, you ask? And then, that the effective power tends to decrease with fluctuations in ambient temperature. Moreover, this can happen both with its significant decrease and with an increase.

So let's sum it up. Except when self-powered LED lamps are used, a power supply is required. The device allows you to improve the efficiency and extend the life of LED devices. We hope that the article turned out to be useful for you and you will correctly set up the lighting fixtures in your home.

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