Many parents are now introducing their baby to solids through baby-led weaning. It is a way to introduce solids to your baby in a manner that is easy and fun, and where you don’t have to try to convince them to open up for some mashed pumpkin! Once you know how to introduce baby-led weaning, you can start trying it at home.
Here is all you need to know about introducing your little one to baby-led weaning!
What Is Baby-Led Weaning?
Baby-led weaning is a way to introduce solids to your baby where they are able to feed themselves from the day they try their first solid.
With baby-led weaning, you offer soft, squishable finger-sized foods to your baby and let them pick the foods up and eat them. Preparing the food this way makes it easy for your little one to pick up and eat the food, but makes it safe for them to eat it as well.
- You baby can hold their head up on their own.
- They begin to sit up unsupported.
- Your baby has at least doubled their birth weight.
- They show an interest in food, watching you eat, and reaching out for your food.
- Keep food in their mouth instead of spitting it right out.
- Can pick up items and with their fingers and move them towards their mouth.
How To Introduce Baby-Led Weaning
Giving your baby their first solids is so exciting, especially getting to watch them feed themselves! Once your baby displays the signs that they are ready to start baby-led weaning, here is how to introduce it to them safely:
- Place your baby in a high chair that allows them to sit upright, and has a tray in front of them where you can place their food. Strap your baby in safely.
- Choose one food to begin with, and offer this to your little one. Place a few pieces of the food onto the tray in front of them to pick up on their own.
- Place a training cup with some water on the table in case your baby wants to try some water while she or he eats.
- If your baby starts showing signs that they are not wanting to eat, or they start fussing, remove the food and take your baby out of the high chair.
There is no reason to panic if your baby isn’t interested in solids right away. Don’t force them, rather clean up and try again next week!
Food Ideas For Baby-Led Weaning
Here are some first finger foods to offer your baby when starting baby-led weaning:
- Steamed broccoli florets
- Mango slices
- Banana slices
- Toast sticks with mashed avocado on top
- Avocado slices
- Steamed carrot sticks
- Steamed apple pieces
- Large pieces of steamed dark chicken meat for them to suck on
Make sure the food is soft enough for your little one to eat easily but solid enough for them to pick up and place in their mouths. If your baby eats a piece of food down into a small size, remove it and replace it with a larger piece.