Baby-led weaning is a popular route that many parents are taking when transitioning their child to solids. I was so intrigued when I first heard about it, but honestly, I was so concerned about the risk of choking. So, I did my own research and in this post, I will tell you all about the benefits of baby led weaning and how to stay safe.
What is baby led weaning
It’s a respectful approach to introduce infants to solids. They are able to freely explore the textures, taste, and color of different foods. Purees limit the texture that children are able to investigate therefore limiting their preference in foods simply because of the texture. The best time to start baby-led weaning is around 6-7 months, this is when infants can sit upward with no assistance. The word weaning can often sound like we are rushing our children to wean from bottle or breast. However, our children will still receive most of the fulfillment from bottle or breast and not from the solids until much later.
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What are the benefits
- You actually have free time to eat yourself
Since your focus isn’t on hand feeding your child you can use that time to eat your lunch or dinner. It’s a perfect time because we will still need to be around to supervise them as they eat but you won’t have to play such an active role in the eating process.
- Your child learns hand-eye coordination
With the constant motion from picking up the food and bring it to their both, your child is able to learn and strengthen their hand-eye coordination.
- Fine motor skills
They are able to also strengthen their fine motor skills and perfect that pincer grasp from feeding themselves.
- Saves time and money
You don’t have to spend extra time puree your child’s food or buying “baby food”. Many families allow their infant to eat some of the same foods they do.
Should I be concerned about choking?
The risk of choking is a natural concern for many parents considering baby-led weaning. It’s important to note that there is a difference between gagging and choking. Gagging is a reflex that keeps whole food from reaching too far into their throat. Gagging will help them chew first and then swallow. Choking, on the other hand, is an actual blockage of air. I’d advise all parents to be informed about Infant & Child First Aid and CPR.
Foods to try
When choosing foods to start out with remember the softer the better. Here’s a quick list of foods to try.
So many thoughts ran through my head when I first learned about baby-led weaning. What are your thoughts? Comment below
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