BABY LED WEANING – The Ultimate Guide (AND BEST FIRST FOODS)

There are so many approaches to feeding babies that it can be hard to figure out what to use. This post will show you the basics of how to do the feeding approach known as “baby led weaning” and the best first foods for baby to make starting solids easy and fun.

On the whole, baby led weaning is a very safe and gentle approach to weaning. It does not involve adding foods to the baby’s diet that they have not yet been introduced to.

The approach of baby led weaning involves the baby having a wide range of foods from very soft and pureed to finger foods. It does not involve “forcing” foods into the baby’s mouth. Baby led weaning is a gradual approach to weaning.

WHAT AGE SHOULD I START BABY LED WEANING?

The baby can start with different foods at different times. In fact, you can start at around 4 months old and be doing baby-led weaning by 6 months old.

In the UK, baby-led weaning is often used from 6 months old. In the US, baby-led weaning is more commonly used from 9 months old.

In both countries, baby-led weaning is more commonly used from 9 months old. This is because the approach to baby-led weaning involves having the baby feed themselves.

HOW TO START BABY LED WEANING

Start baby led weaning when baby is at least 4 months old. This is when the baby is likely to be able to feed themselves and they are already showing signs of being ready to feed themselves.

If you start baby led weaning at a younger age, it will be more difficult for the baby to feed themselves. They will need a lot of help from you.

Start by making a selection of foods that you can offer to the baby.

Do not try to force the baby to feed themselves. They are not ready to feed themselves yet.

Give the baby a selection of foods that are safe for them to eat.

Start with the foods that the baby is most likely to eat.

There are two ways to start baby led weaning:

1. By offering foods at mealtimes

2. By offering foods before mealtimes

Baby led weaning is a gradual approach to weaning. It does not involve adding foods to the baby’s diet that they have not yet been introduced to.

BEST TIPS FOR STARTING BLW

  • Understand the gag reflex. Gagging is different than choking though and is most often a sign that baby is learning to move food around in their mouths—and to get it out of their mouths, which is a skill you want them to have!
  • Hence, don’t be alarmed when baby gags, they are learning how to eat.  
  • When starting baby led weaning, be sure to keep the baby’s diet varied.  
  • Do not offer baby foods that are too soft or too crunchy.  
  • Keep baby’s diet varied so they are not getting bored with the same foods.  
  • Keep the food offerings varied.  
  • Do not offer baby foods that are too spicy or too salty.  
  • Avoid offering baby foods that are too cold or too hot.

BEST FIRST FOODS FOR BABY LED WEANING

These are the best first foods for baby to start solids on.

These foods are also suitable for weaning babies at any age.

GRAIN BOWLS

It is best to use whole grain bowls because baby will need to chew on them before swallowing.

The whole grain is easier for baby to chew.

If the baby has already had cereal or porridge for breakfast, then it is fine to use the same cereal for dinner.

FOODS TO AVOID SERVING WHILE DOING BLW

The foods to avoid serving while doing baby led weaning are:

Hot foods (e.g. fried foods, soups, stews, and hot drinks)

Salty foods (e.g. chips, cheese, ice cream, and salt)

Crunchy foods (e.g. potato chips, crisps, and crackers)

Gelatin (e.g. baby foods made with gelatin, desserts made with gelatin, and ice cream)

Foods with artificial sweeteners (e.g. sugar-free candy, gum, and drinks)

HOW TO CUT FOODS FOR BLW

It is important to cut food for baby led weaning in the right way.

This is so the baby will be able to eat the food and also so the baby will not choke on the food.

When cutting food for baby led weaning, you need to cut food into small pieces.

Cut food into small pieces so the baby will be able to eat the food.

If you cut food into small pieces, the baby will be able to eat the food.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN BABY HAS HAD ENOUGH?

Besidesthe obvious cues, the baby should be full after eating. If the baby is still hungry after eating, it is a good idea to offer another snack.

If you are unsure if the baby is full, you can use the following cues to help you decide:

1. The baby should be full after eating.

2. The baby should have no more than two or three spoonfuls of food left in their bowl.

3. The baby should have stopped eating for at least 15 minutes.

4. The baby should be making sounds while eating.

5. The baby should be pushing food around in their mouth.

6. The baby should be smiling.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the baby-led feeding approach is a simple, natural way of introducing solids to your baby that is gentle on their tummy and digestive system. It’s a great way of introducing new tastes and textures to your baby, without using food that could be too big, too spicy, or too salty. It’s also a great way of introducing your baby to a wide variety of foods and flavors. The baby-led feeding approach is a great way of encouraging your baby to try different foods, and it’s a great way of getting your baby used to the idea of being fed by you.

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