3 Reasons to Do “Baby-Led Weaning” to Introduce Solids
What is baby-led weaning?
“Baby-Led Weaning” means giving a baby table food and allowing him to feed himself, rather than spoon-feeding him purees. A baby’s gums can mash the food before any teeth come in. I’m talking about steamed broccoli, avocado, zucchini, etc. Not pizza, fried chicken, or French fries.
Why should I do baby-led weaning?
- It’s easy. Baby can eat with you, and eat what you eat. You don’t need to feed him/her, or buy/make purees.
- It’s safer. A baby’s gag reflex is further toward the front of the mouth, helping to prevent choking. The gag reflex moves back as baby gets older. This helps him/her learn how to eat safely.
- It creates better eaters. Baby develops a taste for the food your family eats. This leads to easier mealtimes in the future. Baby also learns to stop eating when he’s full.
Starting around 6-months of age, cut healthy foods (steamed carrots, steamed broccoli, etc.) into pieces around 2-inches long. This enables the baby to grip it on one end and gnaw on the other end. Once the baby can pick up small things with his thumb and pointer finger (“pincer” grasp), you can give smaller pieces (like peas).
Is there anything else I should know?
- It will be messy (see above picture).
- Learn the difference between gagging and choking.
- I recommend reading the book:
What do you think? Would you do baby-led weaning with your kids?