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Baby led weaning tips

3 min read

What is baby led weaning?
Baby led weaning is an interesting way of introducing your baby or your toddler to self-feed through fingers instead of spoon. Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is a natural method where babies naturally divert their interest from breast milk to solids. Being a parent, we introduce solids to our baby when they naturally decline to have breast food and show their interest towards other foods and flavours. To accomplish this we can:

  • Encourage the baby to self-feed with fingers during the family meal.
  • Choose foods  which babies can quickly and easily eat.
  • Give your baby a freedom to explore new tastes and textures without the pressure to eat a specific food.

When is baby ready for weaning?
According to the experts, we can delay the solids to our baby until the middle of the first year of life, this is the time when digestive system is mature. Some babies are ready to have their solids at 5 or 6 months of time, while others may not be ready until 8 months of age. So it is advisable to consult with your baby’s pediatrician for the signs of readiness. As per the study, the signs of baby weaning are –

  • When baby can start to sit up well without any support.
  • When baby has start pushing solids out of the mouth with tongue.
  • Baby develops motor skills to self-feed.
  • Baby is try to chew, even if the baby has few or no teeth.
  • Baby shows interest in food at mealtime, and starts grabbing food from the plate and put it in the mouth.

Benefits of baby led weaning?

  • It is easier for babies to eat mashed food.
  • BLW babies aren’t pressured into eating.
  • Babies feed themselves, so parent can also eat at the same time. It gives moms the time to relax and eat themselves.
  • Baby develops good eating habits
  • Baby learns self regulation.
  • It’s educational
  • Babies learn to chew food.
  • Babies learn to differentiate between various textures, sizes, tastes, and shapes of food.
  • Babies get lots of hand eye and fine motor practice to grasp food and move it to their mouth.
  • Eating food with family gives the babies chance to learn best by observing and copying.

How to get started with baby led weaning?
The best thing about baby led weaning is that it doesn’t require much to get initiated. The only thing you need to arrange is the safe place for baby to sit or a highchair, but actually the lap of a parent is best place. A BLW offers solids whole finger foods to the babies. Give your baby a healthy environment like family mealtime which helps to learn by observation. When everyone in the family eats together and eats the same food, then baby also feels included, and mealtime is become a fun time for the baby and you too.

Foods for baby led weaning
Always try to give your baby a healthy food. Try to give your baby a first food which should be a fresh fruits, healthy carbohydrates, soft cooked vegetables, and fats. Try to give soft and easy to swallow food. Some great solid foods for baby are:

  • Avocados
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Banana
  • Soft cooked apples
  • Pumpkin
  • Soft cooked carrots, green beans, zucchini, and beets
  • Very ripe peaches and pears, plums, and melon
  • Egg yolk
  • Green beans with the skins removed
  • Liver
  • Meat or poultry
  • Slices of sprouted bread, cooked pasta, brown rice

Tips for baby led weaning

  • Give your baby a bottle feed up to an hour before offering solids so that the tummy isn’t empty.
  • Don’t expect much; let it be a learning experience.
  • It will be messy. So be preparing for it.
  • Don’t serve small pieces of food but instead serve pieces of food large enough for baby to grasp easily.
  • Give the food to your baby which is easily smashed between your finger and thumb.
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