During BLW, mealtime frustration is a common experience for both parents and little ones. Understanding the causes can help create a more positive mealtime environment.


Common Causes of Mealtime Frustration


Limited Motor Skills

BLW encourages self-feeding, which can be challenging for babies with developing motor skills. Babies in the early stages of BLW may not have the finely tuned motor skills needed for self-feeding. Their tiny fingers are still learning coordination, and their hand-eye coordination is evolving. Struggles to grasp or bring food to their mouths can lead to frustration. These challenges are part of the learning process, and patience, support, and appropriately sized and textured foods can ease their frustration.

Texture and Taste Exploration

Exploring new textures and tastes can be overwhelming. BLW introduces babies to a wide variety of textures and flavors from the start. Babies may express frustration when encountering unfamiliar sensations in their mouths. Parents should have a supportive and patient approach with their babies as they explore these new sensations. Over time, babies will develop a broader palate.

Hunger and Impatience

Babies may become frustrated when they’re hungry and can’t get the food into their mouths quickly enough. Self-feeding can take more time than breastfeeding, leading to impatience. Hunger-related frustration can lead to fussiness during mealtimes. Offering a small snack or drink before the main meal and maintaining a consistent mealtime schedule can reduce impatience.

Expectation vs. Reality

Babies might have expectations about how food should taste or feel based on previous experiences with milk. Transitioning to solid foods introduces new flavors and textures that may not align with their expectations. Parents must support and encourage food exploration with patience, even when babies get frustrated. Over time, babies will adapt to the diversity of flavors and textures.

Choking and Gagging

BLW involves allowing babies to explore a variety of foods, which can sometimes lead to choking or gagging. Gagging is a natural and protective reflex that helps clear the throat when something triggers the back of the mouth. Babies may become frightened when they experience gagging, and parents may experience fear and concern. It’s essential to understand that gagging is a normal part of the BLW process and be prepared to respond calmly and effectively if a choking incident occurs. With time, babies will become more adept at handling different textures, leading to a safer and more relaxed BLW journey.


In conclusion, mealtime frustration is a common part of the BLW journey. Parents should be patient, supportive, and understanding as their babies navigate these challenges. Over time, mealtime frustrations will decrease as babies develop their motor skills and expand their palate.