This is how it goes: Mum's interested in BLW, but then she makes the mistake of telling someone. Her Paediatrician, Child Health Nurse, Mum, Day Care Centre or even Hubby, and she suddenly finds herself being told that it's a choking risk.
Now we could link the science, or talk about why the NHS has adopted BLW as their recommended approach. But if you look at things logically, you don't even really need to.
So Let's look at the "choking risks" logically
The gag reflex is so much further forward in the mouth at 6 months, making the chances of choking LESS likely than at 9 months (the age when traditional weaning introduces lumps and chunks)
You haven't taught your child to override their gag reflex (by pushing a spoon past their gag point in order to produce an artificial swallow reflex) so it's still actually working as a safety mechanism.
Baby is in charge of what goes into their mouths - try letting someone else feed you or brush your teeth and see how you react when you aren't in control ;)
You are allowing baby to learn about all textures and shapes from the beginning, so they aren't going to be freaked out when food suddenly has lumps they don't know what to do with.
They learn to chew and move food around their mouths first, not swallow first, which is also protective against choking
They get to use their muscles correctly, building the strength needed both for safe eating, and accurate speaking.
Food is given in chip-shape pieces, that extend being the baby's hand, far too big for them to shove in their mouth all at once.
Foods that can break into small hard-pieces (such as apple) are steamed to begin with (so the texture is like avocado) so that this doesn't happen.
Logically the higher risks of choking all lie with "Traditional Weaning"
C eating a lamb chop aged 6 months.
There are some foods that present higher choking risks than others. Grapes, Blueberries, Peas, Popcorn. Anything small and round, or that can break up into small and roundish pieces like raw apple and carrot.
But these aren't given until the baby has mastered chewing and moving food around their mouths, and can be either cut (lengthwise for grapes) or slightly squashed to mitigate the issue. (Which is that they are both round and small enough to look the airway.) Raw apple or Carrot again isn't given until baby has the skills to cope with it.
And of course you absolutely need to be able to tell the difference between gaging and choking, know what to do *if* chocking occurs, (see video at the bottom of the blog) and stay with your baby actively supervising them when they eat. But you should know/do those things anyway even if you are puree feeding.
Meanwhile far far too many people start their kids on purees too early, some when they can't even sit up properly, which is a huge aspiration risk.
Link - Is Baby Ready For Solid Foods? KellyMom
Link - 6 Unreliable Signs That Your Baby Is Ready For Solids BellyBelly
Link - Why I Chose Baby Lead Weaning Dirt & Boogers
Link - How To Do Baby Lead Weaning (And Why You'd Want To) Mama Natural
Link - Do's and Don's of Baby Lead Weaning Parents
Link - Baby Lead Weaning (book) Gil Rapley
Link - A Complete Guide To Choking and Gaging BLW Equipment Blog
Link - Gaging vs Choking Baby Lead Weaning Ideas
Link - Gaging vs Choking Learn Baby Lead Weaning
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