Top tips for successful baby led weaning
- Introduce family meals
If you don’t already, planning a family meal is a great way for your child to pick things up. They’ll love to imitate you and your partner, or siblings, as you eat. Plus, it’s a great way to laugh and play and have some (mildly) messy fun.
- Finger foods
As long as the food is suitable for your baby’s age, cut ‘chip’ size pieces as they are much easier for your baby to pick up and eat. Great first foods include banana, steamed carrots (to a squish them with your fingers consistency), peeled cucumbers, soft mangos and toast fingers. Buying a crinkle cutter is great too as it will help your baby to grip hold of the food better.
- Don’t worry
Try not to worry about how much your baby is eating. At first it is more about getting them used to the idea of self feeding and to try different types of food. Your baby will still need to mainly nurse or bottle feed for a while yet.
- Timing first
Rather than replace a milk feed, time your finger food sessions in-between feeds. This way baby is not hungry and frustrated when trying to get the hang of it. In time, you will notice them gradually eating more solids and taking less milk. It doesn’t have to be a quick process. Just be sure to monitor your baby’s weight gain and nutrient intake carefully.
- Accept the mess
Bits of food and a happy baby can only mean one thing. Try placing a wipe clean floor mat under your high chair to catch spillages. Most high chairs covers can be taken off and washed clean also.
Pros and cons of baby led weaning
Read about the pros and cons of baby led weaning on the next page…