It’s possible you might have heard the term baby-led weaning, but you might be unsure what it is and the benefits it can bring to your child.
Gill Rapley, a health visitor, coined the term baby-led weaning in 2003, which is used to describe the unstructured approach to encouraging a six-month-old baby to feed themselves solid foods.
Keep reading to find out what baby-led weaning is and why it is growing in popularity.
What is Baby-Led Weaning?
Baby-led weaning will require parents to place manageable chunks of food onto a baby’s plate or highchair, which they might attempt to pick up to feed themselves. For example, you should place soft pieces of food in front of your baby once they reach six months. They also should be able to easily hold the food in their hand, rather than providing him or her with food on a spoon.
Why is Baby-Led Weaning Popular with Parents?
Baby-led weaning is becoming increasingly popular with parents, as it provides a number of benefits. For example, it is believed to potentially improve a child’s eating patterns while helping them to regulate their hunger cues. It could, therefore, lead to a healthier weight gain and less irritable outbursts for food.
What are the Best Foods for Baby-Led Weaning?
As mentioned, it is essential to provide a baby with various soft foods that don’t require a spoon. However, rather than handing them a chocolate bar, you must provide them with products that are filled with essential nutrients.
For example, you could place the following foods in front of your son or daughter for them to try:
· Soft fruit (banana, ripe peaches, soft-cooked apples, etc.)
· Steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green beans, etc.)
· Fingers of toast
· Plain pasta
· Boneless chicken
· Soft potatoes
Present them with foods they can easily grasp in their small hands, which can encourage them to eat unaided and when they want to.
How to Prevent Mess
It’s no secret that baby-led weaning can be much messier than traditional spoon-feeding. Yet, you don’t need to worry about ruining your child’s clothing, highchair or the floor when embarking on the popular tactic. All you should do is invest in a weaning bib from BIBaDO, which catch any foods that would otherwise fall through the gap on their highchair and land on the floor.
What are the Common Mistakes?
Many parents believe they should cut their baby’s food into small pieces to encourage them to eat unsupported. However, this can be a big mistake, as your little one will not have the refined motor skills to grab a tiny piece of food and place it into their mouth.
Instead, you must ensure it is large enough for them to grab in one or both hands, and it should be soft enough for them to digest with ease. If a baby can pick up an item of food easily and quickly bring it to their mouth, it’s probably the appropriate size for their needs.