*This start baby led weaning conversation is sponsored by World Port Seafood but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Sincerely Onyi.
We’ve hit the 6-month mark with our littlest one and like clockwork, he is waking up at all times of the night. For us, this signifies that his little tummy is primed and ready for solid foods. With our first, we tried the purees and slowly progressed to other foods. There was a struggle to find foods he would actually enjoy and now, as a toddler, he is a very picky eater and all about the sweets and little else. We decided to go for a different approach with our 2nd born.
Baby led weaning has become pretty popular these days. If you are unfamiliar with baby led weaning, it is simply aiding in your infant learning to self-feed. You cut up foods that are in nice sizes and offer them for your little one to eat. You skip the purees and go right into soft foods that your little one should be able to munch up, even if they don’t have teeth. In a way baby led weaning is a way to let your baby choose when they are ready to eat and learn how to eat on their own. It is a bit messy, but your baby will love experimenting with new flavors and textures along the way.
Age Range Most Parents Start Baby Led Weaning
Generally, most parents start the weaning around 6 months. This is a good time to introduce solid foods to any baby whether it be purees or the baby led wean approach. Some parents though start out as young as 4 months old. If you are unsure it could be something to ask your pediatrician about what they recommend is best. You want to make sure your baby can sit up by themselves, and also grab and hold on to foods on their own.
Reasons Why We Chose Baby Led Weaning
If you are wondering why it’s a good idea to skip the purees and go right to solid foods, I have some insight below. Remember: baby-led weaning may not be perfect for all babies, but so far it’s working for us so you might decide to give it a try!
Textures and Flavors
When you start with baby led weaning you really open your child up to more textures and flavors than what they would get from purees. This can help give them a wider palate of food they will eat later down the line. That isn’t a guarantee but it has been known to help. Our little one did not enjoy our attempts with baby purees but he was all for the flavorful Tilapia he tried from World Port Seafood.
When your little one starts learning to pick up and get the food in their mouth it helps build hand-eye coordination skills as well as dexterity. This is good to start early so they can learn the skills early and grow from there.
Eat Same Foods As You
For the most part, your baby can eat the foods you make for dinner. Say you make a pasta dish, just keep some of the plain pasta, to give your little one. I look for foods with subtle flavor that are not too bitter, salty, sweet or spicy. It’s been so convenient to share our daily meals with him. With minor modifications such as spice and cut.
No Small Pieces
It is natural to want to cut things up into small pieces so your baby won’t choke, but you can’t do that. Babies don’t have fine motor skills that work at picking up small pieces and getting it into their mouth. You want to make sure that they can grasp the food firmly and eat. Look for foods that are soft so they will not choke. Avoid foods like hard vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grapes, etc.
1st Foods To Start Baby Led Weaning
- Ripe Soft Fruit
- Cooked Pasta
- Puffed Cereals
- Shredded or moist proteins like the tilapia we received from World Port Seafood
- Cooked Vegetables
Make sure that when you sit down to feed your baby, you never leave them alone. Avoid foods that are choking hazards like I listed above, and only give soft foods. Be aware of foods you give to make sure they don’t show signs of an allergy, just like if you were giving your baby purees. Let them eat a food wait two days and then start another.
Baby led weaning isn’t for everyone, and I think it is up to the parents to choose if they feel it is a right fit for them.
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