What is baby led weaning?

Your baby is coming up to 6 months old and you are starting to think about weaning, however you have heard about baby led weaning but are a bit unsure about what it is.

Firstly, don’t worry!

Baby led weaning gets your child used to food straight away, in that they will actually be feeding themselves. It is hard to imagine a 6 month old actually doing that, but babies will surprise you by what they instinctively know what to do. Baby led means you don’t need to spoon feed them, but by actually giving them soft finger food and letting them feed themselves.

Should you do puree food or baby led? The answer is, it is completely up to you! There is no right or wrong. Also, you don’t need to stick to one method or another. Again, do what works for you and your baby. If you want to try baby led weaning (BLW) and also do a bit of spoon-feeding, that is completely fine to do so.

What are the best first foods?

Soft food that are full of nutrients are great to start with. When you first start to wean your baby it is all about having fun and discovering new tastes and textures.

By starting with roasted and steamed vegetables you are giving them completely different tastes rather than going straight to fruit, as that is sweet, like their milk is sweet.

When you start your babies weaning journey they will still need the same amount of milk and then as the meals and snacks increase, you can decrease the amount of milk.

But I am worried they will choke!

Babies have a natural gagging reflex, so if the thought of them choking puts you off trying BLW don’t worry, know the difference between gagging and choking and check out baby first aid.

If your baby is coughing (and sounding like they will be sick) when they have eaten something and turning red – they are GAGGING.

(Though if you intervene then it could progress to choking, so as worrying as it can be when it first happens, this is just their way of learning how to move things around in their mouth and swallow).

If your baby is silent, struggling to breath and quickly turns blue then they are CHOKING and need urgent assistance.

Have a look to see if there are any local baby first aid classes near you, as this can also give you the peace of mind to know what to do if there is an emergency.

How will I know if they are actually swallowing?

Babies probably wont swallow straight away, as they are still learning how to do that, however you will be able to see if they have swallowed any food from the difference in their nappies.

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