When to Start Baby Led Weaning
Baby led weaning, also known as BLW for short, is a feeding approach for babies that allows them to feed themselves as they begin to experience food on their own. In this method, the food for the baby is prepared in soft, finger-sized pieces so that they are easy to hold and safe to eat with low risk of choking. Many parents worry about baby led weaning, but there’s just a few things to remember to make sure your baby enjoys his baby led weaning experience. In this article, you’ll learn more about cutting food for baby led weaning and some other important things to keep in mind.
According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), your baby is ready to start baby led weaning when:
- They have at least doubled their birth weight.
- They can hold their heads up and sit up unsupported.
- They show interest in food. (reaching for food, watching you eat, etc.)
- They are able to move food inside their mouth and don’t spit the food right out.
How to Cut Food for Baby Led Weaning at 6 Months
Most babies at 6 months don’t develop a good pincer grip, the ability to hold things with their thumb and forefinger. So, if you start introducing your baby to baby led weaning at 6 months, you need to practice cutting food for baby led weaning in a size that allows him to grasp it in his whole palm.
When cutting food for baby led weaning, use the rule of ‘finger’ – use your index finger as a guide to get the right size to cut food for your baby. Also, cut food into strips. The length should be long enough for your baby to grasp by his little hands. Keep a little bit sticking out of their palm, so they have something to gnaw on.
How to Cut Food for Baby Led Weaning at 8-10 Months
Between 8-10 months, your baby should be able to develop a good pincer grip, so around this time, you can start cutting food for baby led weaning into smaller pieces. You can cut food in chunks, about chickpea-size.
Babies develop at their own rate, so it’s important for you to learn what size they can handle at a certain point. They may still need larger pieces around an inch, or they may be able to pick smaller pieces of food like boiled peas with their fingers. While it’s great to let your baby practice his pincer grip at this age, you can keep serving food in sticks if that’s what your baby can handle.
How to Cut Food for Baby Led Weaning at 12 months Onwards
At this age, you can start introducing cutlery to your baby. He may be used to eating food with fingers, but you can use modeling as you eat with cutlery yourself.
Baby led weaning is a great way to help your baby transition from milk to solid food. Although you want to let your little one eat on his own, he still needs guidance and supervision, so make sure you stay close at all times for safety.