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Here is your How-to guide for baby led weaning!
Baby-led weaning is an approach to let baby self-feed. This is a method of adding complementary foods to a baby’s diet of breast-milk or formula. A method of food progression, BLW facilitates the development of age-appropriate oral motor control while maintaining eating as a positive, interactive experience. (link)
In short, no more mush! Within moderation obviously, but this method will overall help the baby be more independent during mealtime. This post will tell you everything you need to know about this process. I hope this post is helpful to you and your baby.
What age do I start Baby-Led Weaning?
Babies should be at least 6-8 months of age when beginning the introduction of solid foods. They should be able to sit up unassisted and be able to grasp and hold on to foods. Around 6 months of age babies also begin to take an interest in the foods that you eat. Subsequently, this was a big indicator to me when I started the process of baby-led weaning.
What Foods Should I Start With?
- Sweet potatoes
- Soft cooked apples
- Soft cooked carrots, green beans, zucchini, and beets
- Very ripe peaches and pears, plums, and melon
- Green beans with the skins removed
- Egg yolk
- Meat or poultry
- Slices of sprouted bread, cooked pasta, brown rice (Some decide to wait until molars come through before introducing grains. Wheat should be avoided until later in the first year.) Here is the website that helped me get started!
How to Prepare My Baby’s Food.
Since the baby is still learning how to handle and chew food the best way to prepare their food is by slicing it into strip-like pieces. The best foods to do this with is
- Roasted Apple Wedges (With Skin On)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Eggs (Fried hard to easily cut into strips)
Furthermore, when giving baby meat such as chicken or lamb give it to them with the bone on so they can suck on it. This method is perfect for introducing textures and savory flavors to your baby’s pallet.
Things to NOT do when Baby-Led Weaning.
- Don’t add salt
- Don’t add sugar
- No Cow’s milk (Baby shouldn’t have any until they’re 1)
- Anything too hard or crunchy (ie Nuts, raw carrots)
- No Honey (It can cause botulism)
- Nothing too sticky or slippery
Remember to always sit with your baby while they are eating. They will need guidance from you. Also, dine with your baby to let them see how you eat.
How to reduce choking hazards:
I understand that many parents might find this method of introducing solid foods overwhelming. Undoubtedly, the key to ensuring that this method will be successful is by starting slow.
The foods that you serve should generally be soft for your baby to squish in their hands.
Lastly, ensure your baby gets sips of water or milk in between bites. This will help your baby swallow their food better.
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you or another parent tried this method of weaning? Do you agree or disagree with Baby-led weaning?
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