Baby led weaning: How do I know my baby is ready?

Baby led weaning can be a very scary concept if you’re a first-time mum or have traditionally weaned with purees in the past.

Baby led weaning really appealed to me when my eldest was born. I had heard lots about the method thru different online baby groups and our health visitor advocated it. Allowing my child to learn how to feed himself by eating the same meals just seemed like a no-brainer.

In the olden days, mothers would have been advised to wean from 4 months with traditional purees.

Nowadays the advice we are given by healthcare professionals is quite different.

The guidelines state 6 months for the starting age and you unlike before you’re now afforded with choices, the following is available for you to choose:

1. Traditional purees
2. Combination of purees/baby led weaning
3. Baby led weaning

The idea behind baby led weaning is that your child eats the same solid food that you and your family eat.

This sounds crazy to some but it is possible, as a mum of 2 boys who has weaned the baby-led way I can vouch for it.

Is my baby ready for weaning?

I see this question in Facebook groups all the time and the answer is one only you can answer.

Here are a few things to think about before going ahead with any kind of weaning.

1. How old is your baby: Guidelines state 6 months for a starting age. With my eldest, we did combination feeding. The majority of the time we gave him “proper” food but when we were out and about we wouldn’t think twice about offering him a pouch. Max was weaned from 4 months, I made the decision to start offering baby porridge in the morning from 4 months to 6 months so he could get a taste for real food and the textures. With Kai we waited till he was 6 months, this was because I didn’t have the time for weaning like I had when it was just me and Max.

2. Can your baby sit unaided: It’s important that your little one can sit unaided before they begin to wean. They don’t need to be sitting for hours at a time but they do need to be sturdy. I would recommend trying them in a highchair, Bumbos are a no, no and I believe they have been found to be dangerous.

As with most things baby, there is a rhyme: food is fun until there one. This is something I agree with, try not to stress about how much your baby is actually eating.

Milk should remain the main source of nutrition unroll they are around the 12-month mark. I also used to put vitamin drops in Max’s milk and will do the same for Kai.

What if my baby chokes?

The gag reflex is much further forward in a child than in an adult. Many people mistake gagging for choking. I’ve been really fortunate to have two boys with a pretty good gag reflex, we have had no incidents of choking.

The saying is choking is silent and blue and gagging is noisy and red. St Johns brought out this fab nursery rhyme with information on what to do if your child chokes.

If you are feeling unsure about what to do if your child chokes then I highly recommend attending a paediatric first aid course to put your mind at ease. St Johns Ambulance offers courses, but you will also be able to find local courses.

First Foods

Thre is no right or wrong foods to introduce to your baby. Both boys started off with simple foods like sticks of cucumber and red pepper. They now enjoy a varied diet of meat, fish and pasta.

As with anything in life you do need to use common sense. Try and steer clear of anything high in sugar and salt.

Feeding my babies has never been easier with the help of the internet. If I’m ever in a pinch I know I can just type a quick search and have ideas in minutes.

Luckily some of my favourite blogger’s post, baby led recipes.

For more baby led resource please feel free to check out some of our weaning posts: http://maxandkai.co.uk/category/baby-led-weaning/   

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