Five tips for baby-lead weaning
1 Follow your baby’s cues to assess when she is ready to begin. Sit her up with you while you eat; when she shows great interest in what you’re putting in your mouth, or even reaches out to grab your food, it’s time to start.
2 Continue breast-feeding (or formula feeding) as before, understanding the emphasis during the initial stages of BLW is on exploration and play rather than nutrition. This helps baby to develop their natural curiosity about food, while enabling parents to relax at mealtimes.
3 As much as possible, eat with your baby. Sharing meals and snacks together emphasises the social experience and enjoyment of eating, which in turn encourages baby to develop a healthy, receptive attitude to eating and trying new foods.
4 Offer a wide variety of fresh, safe foods at each mealtime. Cut foods in long stick shapes to start with so they are easy for a little fist to grab (remember, bite-size is too small for baby; if the fist completely encloses the food she won’t be able to reach it).
5 Allow time, and expect mess! Try to schedule mealtimes with plenty of time to allow baby to explore without being rushed. At first this may mean just one or two meals a day. BLW babies will take great delight in mushing, smearing, spilling and flinging their food. Understand this is part of the process; be prepared and enjoy the ride.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 27 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW