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Getting Started With Baby Led Weaning

by | July 13, 2019

If you are a new mom, or mom-to-be, chances are you have heard about baby led weaning.  So how do you get started?  Learn more about it here.

Getting Started With Baby Led Weaning
Credits: Evgeny Atamanenko/ Shutterstock

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Getting Started With Baby Led Weaning

Baby-led weaning has increased in popularity over the last couple of years as a way to introduce solids to your little one. Instead of the more traditional route of rice cereal and puree, this type of weaning involves giving your baby whole foods so they can experiment with taste and texture. According to Emily Carrus and Jenna Helwig, this will also help tune fine motor skills. 

However, this can be a sticking point for a lot of parents, or cause a bit of anxiety. Purees are a simpler, straight forward approach for beginning solids. However, with baby led weaning, knowing the signs of readiness is important to then consider feeding your child whole foods. 

Signs of Readiness

The signs your child is ready to start weaning include: 

  1. Baby is at least six months old.
  2. Baby is able to support themselves in their highchair and has good neck strength. According to registered dietitian Clancy Clash Harrison for Parents, it is also important your child is able to move food to the back of the mouth with up and down jaw movements. 
  3. Your child has lost the tongue thrust reflex.
  4. Baby can pick up and bring objects to their mouth. 
  5. Your baby is showing an interest in solid foods. 

Which Foods to Start With?

If your child is meeting all the signs of readiness, which foods should you start offering? 

Some good options include vegan chickpea flour omelet, risotto, avocado, banana, steamed veggies, oatmeal, butternut squash, and pesto pasta. It all depends on how simple or fancy you want to make it!

Gagging vs. Choking

One thing to be mindful of is the difference between choking and gagging. Gagging is perfectly normal as a part of baby led weaning – choking is not! All parents, whether following this type of weaning or not, should be well versed in the infant Heimlich maneuver. A demonstration of this can be found on Harvard University’s website

A Rewarding Outcome

Baby-led weaning can produce a rewarding outcome for your child and will expose them to many tastes and textures, along with feeding their bodies with a variety of nutrients. With your assistance, your child can develop into quite a foodie early on!

Are you considering baby led weaning? Or have you successfully done this with your baby? Please share in comments.

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Amanda Goss

Digital Writer | Gold Coast, Australia | [email protected]

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