Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning
Let’s talk baby led weaning and the introduction of solids to your baby. Weaning your baby off milk or formula and introducing solid foods is one of the biggest milestones in your baby’s first year!
If you were to google ‘how to introduce solids to a baby’, you are bound to find many different recommendations and suggestions which can become confusing and hard to determine which one is right for your and your baby. While many parents decide to introduce solids as purees, there is another approach you can consider which is baby led weaning.
WHAT IS BABY LED WEANING?
In a nutshell, baby led weaning is the introduction of solids by allowing your baby to feed themselves finger foods right from the beginning. This means skipping the puree spoon feeding stage.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BABY IS READY FOR WEANING?
One of the main concerns you might have about baby led weaning is when to start. It makes it all the more complicated when the recommendation for transferring your baby on to solids is an age range between four to six months.
Here are a couple of different signs you can look out for to know if your baby is ready for solids:
Your baby has good neck and head control
They are able to sit on their own or in a highchair / bumbo
Your baby keeps mouthing their hands or toys
They are reaching out or showing interest in your food
THE BEST BABY LED WEANING FOODS
Start simple by offering single ingredient foods for three to five consecutive days. This allows time for your baby to show any signs of allergies or intolerances.
Remember, you’re simply getting your baby used to new nourishments, textures and foods. Try not to panic if she isn’t eating a ton from the very start, your baby will let you know if they are hungry. Most of the eating is only for play and to become accustomed to the experience.
THE BENEFITS OF BABY LED WEANING
It gives your baby the opportunity to experience a greater variety of textures and flavours.
It’s an early and vital step for your baby to learn self regulation – figuring out how to stop eating when they feel full.
Your baby will also develop hand eye coordination and fine motor skills by figuring out how to grasp food and move it to their mouth.
It’s a lot more manageable to adjust what you are eating to suit your baby than to make a separate meal.
While your baby is eating, you can eat too.
ENCOURAGING GOOD EATING HABITS FROM AN EARLY AGE
Baby led weaning teaches your baby good eating habits from an early age – sitting up straight, feeding from a spoon, resting among bites and stopping when they are full.
Good eating habits are being encouraged during this process however make sure you are prepared for and embrace the messy plate, gooey hands, sticky hair and sauce covered face during this process. Find a designated space for your baby to eat that is an area that can be cleaned easily. The Freddy and Co Playmat is a great spot for your child to sit and explore different foods. They are non toxic and because they are waterproof and easy to clean playmats, you don’t need to worry about how much mess they make or don’t make as a quick wipe with a damp cloth with have it cleaned up in no time.