Baby-led weaning is a relatively new way of introducing solids to the baby. Many mothers who hear of this concept wonder about the benefits of baby led weaning over the traditional method. But before we get to baby led weaning benefits, lets first understand what exactly is baby led weaning.
Baby-led weaning is a method of weaning where the baby is encouraged to self-feed family foods. No spoon feeding and no purees and soups. Baby is offered family foods from 6 months of age.
What do you mean family foods? How do we modify family foods for baby? If you have more questions on this I would highly recommend you read my post on baby led weaning guide. For now, let us look at some of the benefits of practicing baby led weaning.
A special note for any hiccups that come along the way with baby led weaning and how to manage them.
Baby led weaning sets the tone for the family in terms of what is expected at the table. But the toddler years (sometimes coupled with teething and illness etc.) can bring with them a few hiccups. Your baby led weaned child goes through the typical toddler stages of development that bring with them everything from obsession with certain foods or sudden changes in liking.
My advice as an experienced mother would be to continue on the baby led weaning path, respecting your child’s choices but at the same time stay consistent in how you have always offered food. Don’t change too much in a bid to appease your child.
Keep an eye on nutrient intake and become a little creative about consistently introducing nutrient dense foods. One way is to continuously offer on the plate the food your toddler now dislikes (especially if it is nutritionally important). Don’t force them to eat, but talk about it in other instances and tell them how you love that food. Eat with them; show them how you enjoy it. And slowly they will start trying it again. When they do, congratulate them this motivates them to try again.
Other ways to foster a positive environment surrounding food is to take them to the market and show them fruits and vegetables. Get them involved in helping cook simple dishes with you. This gets them excited about food which translates into a smoother experience at the dinner table.
Most importantly enjoy and celebrate good home cooked foods with your child through your baby led weaning journey. This helps a long way in setting them up for success with eating. I hope this article gave you some insight into the benefits of baby led weaning and helped you decide on the weaning path you want to take with your child. Happy feeding!
Guest Post By, Ophira
Ophira is a mom blogger at Easymommylife.com. With a background in Clinical research, she now merges her science education with raising her little one. She has always been passionate about family health and nutrition. And carries her passion into her writing at Easymommylife providing tips to new moms on breastfeeding, baby led weaning, health, and nutrition.