If you are ready to start your baby on solids look into baby-led weaning. Simply put baby-led weaning is letting your baby feed himself from the start.
Here are some tips to getting started with baby-led weaning:
- Only start baby-led weaning from 6 months of age and when baby is showing signs of readiness for solids.
- Don’t make special meals or puree anything for your baby. Forget “baby-food” and give your baby the same foods you are eating. The only thing to watch here is salt, leave the salt out of your cooking for a while
- You can cut the food into chip-sized pieces, easy to hold and manage for a baby still figuring out how to pick things up
- Let your baby choose what he eats, give him the same food you are having and if he eats it great, if he doesn’t don’t worry. He is still getting all he needs from milk.
- Yes there will be some gagging sounds, don’t panic! It is their way of moving food around their mouth.
- Make meals a social time when the whole family sits down together, baby can then copy you when you eat. This will be the beginning of teaching your child some table manners!
- Never put food in your child’s mouth, let them pick and choose what they want to eat.
- Only give a few things to try at a time or baby might become overwhelmed. Baby might also just use all the extra food as missiles to throw around the room!
- Baby-led weaning is messy, be prepared for that. Your baby will be experimenting and having loads of fun. Be ready with a cloth, broom and mop for after meals.
There are benefits to choosing baby-led weaning when starting your baby on solids:
- Your baby feeds himself, leaving you free to enjoy your meal.
- It is a lot less work for mommy. No more steaming and blending extra meals for baby, less dishes and preparation!
- Chances are good your baby will be a less fussy eater as he has been exposed to a variety of tastes and textures from the start.
- Your baby will learn to chew and then swallow from the beginning instead of having to first learn to swallow and then later learn how to chew.
- Less power struggles. Baby chooses what to eat and leaves what he doesn’t like.