Connor and I chose to do baby-led weaning with Camdyn. After a lot of research, I really liked the idea of Camdyn being able to explore textures and tastes on his own. I will say that the BLW approach isn’t for every family and that is O.K! I also don’t believe in the “all or nothing” approach to baby-led weaning that says if you give baby any purée at all you have failed. We actually chose to introduce purées for the first week while Camdyn got used to having food in his mouth and swallowing. This is simply for the fact that my faint heart can’t handle the (normal) gag reflex very well.
In order to begin baby-led weaning your baby should be at least 6 months old and displaying ALL signs of readiness: able to sit independently (but doesn’t have to be a pro), loss of tongue reflex, and an interest in food. Camdyn had been displaying an interest in food since 4 months, was able to sit well independently at 5 months, and we got the go-ahead to introduce solids at the 5 month mark from Camdyn’s doctor. But since I knew we were going the baby-led weaning route, we waited.
Baby-Led Weaning Foods for 6 Month Olds
- Broccoli (steamed)
- Sweet potato (steamed)
- Butternut Squash (mashed)
- Carrots (steamed)
- Zucchini (steamed)
- Potatoes (mashed)
- Eggs (scrambled/hard boiled)
- Shredded chicken
- Toast (with Jam, Peanutbutter, or mashed avocado)
- Cooked penne
- Whole milk plain yogurt
The biggest choking hazards when baby-led weaning at this stage are raw veggies and raw hard fruits (like apples). When preparing a dish for baby, you want the food to be firm enough that baby can grasp, but soft enough for their gums to mash. You should be able to smush the food between your thumb and forefinger with some light pressure.
Babies have a natural gag reflux to help prevent them from choking. When baby gags, it is important to remember that it is a NORMAL response. Choking is usually silent. It is a good idea to educate yourself in infant CPR and choking vs. gagging prior to introducing solids.
Tools + Utensils
The best part of baby-led weaning is that baby eats what you eat – no special tools required. But there are a few tools I definitely recommend to make things a little bit easier.
Crinkle cutter: allows you to crinkle cut veggies that make it easier for little fingers to grasp
Fresh food feeder: helps with mushier foods that baby can’t pick up
EzPz Tiny Cup: perfect for tiny hands and learning to drink out of a cup. I give a few sips of water with each meal to help prevent constipation.
Baby-led Feeding Book: this book helped get me started with baby-led feeding. It includes a lot of information about the origin of baby-led weaning, choking vs. gagging, and recipe ideas! I am not the most adventurous eating, so it is helpful to have some ideas of foods to introduce to Camdyn in order to expand his palate.
I also have a short video on Youtube all about How to Get Started with Baby-Led Weaning.
What are your favourite foods for BLW? Until next time! XX