Baby-led weaning is a family food-focused approach for the discerning – and hungry! – independent bub.
Baby-led weaning hits the ground running, skipping the traditional mushy purees and heading straight for more solid foods. This allows your tot to take the snacky lead – and share the kinds of foods the whole family enjoys eating.
It’s a no-extra-meal-prep win-win all ’round!
While it may seem like this puts the onus on your child to ensure they’re well fed, it’s really a team effort. The “baby-led” part of this term simply indicates you watch and learn from your baby’s cues, as you continue to feed them via the breast or bottle.
Here’s ten points to note on your baby-led weaning adventures:
1. It's a sitting and chewing masterclass
Your child needs to be able to sit comfortably and without assistance in a high chair – and move their mouth with up and down jaw movements to self-feed. If your baby still has a “tongue thrust” reflex, pushing any food you put in their mouth straight back out with their tongue, wait a little longer to begin solid foods. Baby-led weaning refines chewing skills, so don’t worry if things start off a little clumsily!
Most babies start the process of baby-led weaning at around 6 months of age and if your baby starts reaching out for the food you are eating, it’s a sign that they may be ready for more than milk on the menu.