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Baby Led Weaning 101

Are you interested in Baby Led Weaning but also kind of intimidated by it? Questioning where to even start? Or what it even is?

Well, you’re in the perfect place. I swear by Baby Led Weaning. My son is a little too good of eater at 18 months (he’s obsessed with food.)

We get the craziest looks from servers when we place our sons order. When they see that he’s cleared his plate, they are in shock! How even?!

Lemme tell you mommas, Baby Led Weaning is the answer.

So what exactly is Baby Led Weaning?

Put simply, BLW (short for Baby Led Weaning) is when you let your baby eat finger foods from the beginning. No baby foods, no you feeding baby cereals or oatmeal. They eat real food with their tiny fingers!

Skipping the soft and mushy food while teaching your baby to manage bigger portions and learn to chew from the beginning.

To most this sounds kind of scary. To your parents they’ll think you’re crazy because ‘how can baby chew if he has no teeth.’ Well guess what, babies don’t need teeth to chew! So read on and I’ll answer your BLW questions and give you the confidence you need to go down this feeding journey!

First things first

I started my journey with this book.

Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater

I bought the book through my Kindle Unlimited App and read it on my phone! You can click here to look more into the app! It’s definitely worth it.

Want to know a free way to listen to this book?! (I love free!)

Audible Membership” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=”If you don’t have time to sit down and actually read you can get the book for FREE through on Audible. (opens in a new tab)”>If you don’t have time to sit down and actually read you can get the book for FREE through on Audible.

I’d definitely recommend Audible if you need to listen on the go! You can sign up for a FREE 30 day trial and listen to your book for free PLUS any other book that interest you! You can cancel at anytime.

This book taught me so much important information and defintly gave me the confidence needed to go forward with the BLW journey.

#1 When can I start BLW?

It’s very important to not start BLW before 6 months AND when your baby shows every sign of being ready. Please keep in mind that every baby is different and not all babies are ready at 6 months.

Signs of Baby Led Weaning Readiness

  • Baby can sit up well WITHOUT support.
  • Baby has lost tongue thrust reflex.
  • Baby is willing and ready to chew.
  • Shows interest to meal time.
  • 6 month olds

It is important that your baby meets ALL of these, not just one.

#2 What about choking?

First you need to learn that gagging and choking are not the same thing. Gagging can be scary but’s it’s actually very common. Even if you’re feeding you baby purees they tend to gag. The gag reflex is actually a safety mechanism that prevents your baby from choking.

Your baby has a risk of choking anytime they eat. You should never leave baby alone while eating, always stay up to date on you First Aid/CPR class, make sure your baby is sitting up and in a safe place to eat food.

Don’t freak out if baby start gagging. Sometimes rushing and sticking your finger in your babies mouth can lodge whatever it is further back into your babies throat. Stay calm; most of the time your baby can push whatever they are gagging on out on their own.

#3 What’s the big deal about baby led weaning?

First of all, it’s convenient. You don’t have to prepare baby a different food than you or worry about buying purees. Plus table food taste way better than purees do anyway.

It develops your little ones hand/eye coordination at a young age which in turn encourages them to be self- sufficient.

It also introduces your baby to texture, color, taste, and taste. When you feed your baby purees they have no idea what they are eating. Everything feels and looks exactly the same to your baby; when you use Baby Led Weaning you are teaching your baby all the varieties of different food and textures from a very young age. Which is great because it can steer them away from being picky eaters! Ps- no matter what though 90% of kids WILL go through a picky stage.

Another plus is that it helps your baby develop the ability to know when he is full. We all tend to overeat. Spoon feeding your baby gives them no independence to control how much they eat. It teaches them at a young age that they should just eat until the food is gone. It can help prevent your child from being an over eater in the future.

#4 Okay, so how do I start?

Start off with soft, easy to hold foods.
We did bananas and steamed vegetables. Cut everything into the shape of your finger so that’s it’s easier for baby to grasp.

Avocado, watermelon slices, scrambled eggs, and chicken strips are also great starter foods!

We bought the ” target=”_blank”>Ziploc Zip N Steam Bags so that we could easily steam the veggies. I’ll link them below! We’d buy a big variety of veggies, steam them, chop them into finger size pieces for Colt and we’d eat the others with our dinner. Makes dinner super simple when everyone is eating the same food.

” target=”_blank”>Ziploc Zip N Steam Bags – Link for Steam Bags

Also!! This blog post from Our Little Nest is extremely helpful on how to prepare and what to feed baby. She even provides videos!

#5 Okay but how does a baby eat with no teeth?!

Have you ever without a person without dentures in chow down on some food like it was nothing?

Babies don’t even get most of their molars till almost 18 months. Those tiny front teeth that come in are not helping your baby chew up food.

Yes, babies can use their gums to chew up food! Don’t underestimate them.

#6 What about the mess?

That is something you should be prepared for. It is messy. We quickly learned to just wear diaper the first few months of eating. Because food get’s everywhere.

I’d recommend getting a highchair that’s easy to wipe down. We had the inexpensive Cosco highchair and it did the job but I wouldn’t recommend it–we always had to put pillows behind our son because it made him lean back…which is NOT safe while eating.

My in-laws had this one at their home and I loved using it! Clean up was a breeze because there is no fabric.

I also kept these in our diaper bag 24/7 so that if we were ever out at a restaurant I could just stick it to the table and he could use the table top as his high chair. It made clean up super easy too!

I hope this helped you! These were the most asked questions I received when we started our BLW journey. I hope you look more into it! I wouldn’t do it any differently.

Feel free to share with any mama’s that you think would be interested!

Comment below if you’ve tried Baby Led Weaning or what your biggest concern is!

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