We’ve written concerning the fundamentals of baby-led weaning earlier than — what it’s, why some folks choose it, and whether or not or not you must attempt it along with your baby. If you want a great, foundational understanding of these fundamentals, take a look at this “What is Baby-Led Weaning?” post.
Here, we’ll discover 7 steps to get began efficiently with baby-led weaning (or BLW). As with anything in life, planning and preparation is a key half to getting off on the suitable foot with baby-led weaning. So use our 7 steps beneath, and begin your baby-led weaning journey in the present day!
7 Steps to Successful Baby-Led Weaning
1. Educate your self.
Before you embark on one thing model new, it’s a good suggestion to be taught as a lot as you possibly can about it. Same goes for baby-led weaning. Here are a number of sources to assist you educate your self about all issues BLW:
2. Don’t begin too quickly.
While it’s potential to begin spoon-feeding your baby purees earlier than she’s six months (although it’s not recommended), you actually can’t begin BLW till the 6 month mark. It’s typically really useful that you just wait to begin till your baby is ready to sit up unassisted (which means he doesn’t want to lean in opposition to the again of the highchair for help.) Some infants are in a position to do this at 6 months; many don’t develop that talent till later.
If the thought of ready till your baby’s 6 months or older has you feeling anxious (“But doesn’t he need to eat solid food?”), take coronary heart. Remember that “food is fun before age one!” In different phrases, for the primary yr of life, breastmilk and/or method is your baby’s major supply of vitamin. Food is for observe. As lengthy as your infant is nursing or taking his bottles nicely, he’s possible getting the nourishment he wants.
3. Start massive and small.
Yes, that’s a contradiction in phrases. 😉 Here’s what we imply…
In the start, supply one “meal” a day. You don’t need to overwhelm your baby with meals proper off the bat! And supply the meal between nursings or bottle feedings; this’ll be certain that your baby isn’t so hungry that she shortly turns into annoyed.
Place little or no meals in your baby’s highchair tray — a number of items at most. Remember, she’s new to this! Having a number of items of meals can be much less distracting and can assist her give attention to studying to feed herself.
In the start, supply massive items of meals. That might sound counter-intuitive (“Won’t my baby choke?”), however that is the most secure manner to begin. At 6 or 7 months, your baby received’t have developed his pincer grip and received’t have the ability to decide up small items of meals. Instead, you’ll need to give him massive chunks of meals that he can decide up and gnaw on. Think entire carrots, entire apples, lengthy strips of meat, and so on. Later, as soon as his pincer grip is developed, you possibly can transfer to small items of meals that he’ll put into his mouth entire.
4. Don’t supply (a lot) assist.
The largest distinction between BLW and conventional strategies of beginning solids is that BLW places management within the palms of your baby, proper from the start. Instead of you feeding your baby, your baby begins off by feeding herself.
A basic BLW rule of thumb is that you must by no means put meals into your baby’s mouth for her. You may help information her hand (stuffed with meals) to her mouth, and you may mime the chewing and swallowing motions you need her to do, however you shouldn’t be the one really feeding her.
5. Supervise, supervise, supervise!
Now, simply since you’re not feeding him doesn’t imply you must set a number of celery stalks in your baby’s highchair tray after which stroll away. Remember, one of many objectives of BLW is to reinforce that mealtime is a social time. Sit along with your baby whereas he eats (and even higher, eat one thing your self!)
You’ll additionally need to stick shut to look ahead to gagging and choking. Lots of infants gag within the early levels of BLW, and whereas it is a regular and secure response, you’ll nonetheless need to be close by to be certain that your baby isn’t really choking.
6. Work within the utensils (ultimately).
Once your baby has gotten good at hand-feeding himself, begin incorporating a spoon into his meals. Offer him a dish of one thing “spoon-able” (like applesauce or yogurt) and a spoon, and see what he does!
At first, he’ll most likely get way more meals on himself (and the partitions, and the ground) than he’ll get in his mouth. But so long as you give him a lot of alternative observe, you’ll discover that he will get higher and higher at feeding himself with utensils.
7. Embrace the mess, buddies!
In case you haven’t come to this conclusion but, allow us to supply it right here: BLW is a sticky, goopy, drippy, messy course of. Food is messy in any case; hand it to a novice with no self-feeding expertise, and it turns into exponentially messier!
But that is okay. It’s a part of the educational. Instead of making an attempt to keep away from the mess, embrace it. Arm your self with a high-chair that’s simple to wipe clear. Feed baby in a room that has wipe-able flooring. Consider stripping baby down to his diaper at time for supper (if it’s heat sufficient), or wrapping her in a big, cover-all model bib.
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Anything to add? What steps have you ever taken to do baby-led weaning along with your baby?