Baby led weaning: What is it?
Baby led weaning is a method of adding complementary food items to your baby’s diet of formula milk or breast milk. It facilitates and helps the development of the oral activity and bone structure. It is a period where babies are introduced to new food items other than milk. However, keep in mind that weaning here does not mean that you stop feeding them milk. It means that you add solid food like smashed carrots, potato, peas and similar food items to their diet. It is an approach where you give them finger food and encourage them to feed themselves instead of feeding them purées using a spoon.
Now let’s look at the benefits and reasons for baby led weaning.
1. It is easier on the parents to give them solid food that you prepare for yourself. Making purées takes a lot of time.
2. The babies get to decide how much, what and when they want to eat. This eliminates the fear of overfeeding or underfeeding your little one.
3. It saves a lot of time as parents don’t have to spend more time feeding children when they don’t want to eat.
4. It develops healthy food habits.
5. Babies learn to handle food well.
6. Eating food together helps children learn from their parents. Children are the best imitators and this method of learning has more effect on them.
It doesn’t take much to start weaning your baby. All you need is a safe place to seat your baby and feed them food. A high chair is safe and secure for the baby of course, but your lap works as well. Give them healthy finger foods like avocado, banana, carrots, pumpkin, and egg yolk, which are easy for them to swallow and digest.
Lastly, it is important to remember that:
1. These babies are encouraged to join the family at mealtime.
2. They feed themselves.
3. They choose what, when and how to eat.
4. They are given the freedom to explore new tastes and textures without any pressure.
5. They are never forced to eat.6. You never stop feeding them milk, and instead introduce new food items along with it.
6. You never stop feeding them milk, and instead introduce new food items along with it.