The Do’s and Don’ts of Baby-Led Weaning

A unique approach to starting solid foods, baby-led weaning involves jumping straight to finger foods and bypassing purees. Here’s why you might want to consider it — and how to get started.

What is baby led weaning?

BLW is basically letting your child eat all by himself. Visualize your youngest member of the family sitting in a high chair and attempting to put finger food into his mouth. Expect your mealtimes to be a little messy so make sure to grab a baby dinner set that includes a pocket bib to catch the crumbs falling from your little one!

Moreover, this practice can be started at the 6-month mark or when your child is able to sit up unassisted and has good neck strength.

This practice bears great benefits, says registered dietician Clancy Cash Harrison, author of Feeding Baby. It helps develop the motor skills of your  little one. "Baby-led weaning supports the development of hand-eye coordination, chewing skills, dexterity, and healthy eating habits," she says.

Let them try to pick up baby food or purees by their baby feeding spoon into their mouth to practice their coordination. Just make sure that the utensils they use are safe such as bendable baby fork and silicone baby bibs. Also, they experience different textures, aroma, color and tastes of a variety of foods at a young age making them less picky eaters later on.


It is also very important that your baby practices self-regulation. Meaning stopping to eat when they feel full which is the opposite of traditional feeding where parents (sometimes) force their toddler to finish their food not knowing that they are already full.

Also note that “weaning" is actually a bit of a misnomer. "Breast milk or formula will continue to be a baby's biggest source of nutrition until he or she is 10 to 12 months old," says Stasenko.


The Best Baby-Led Weaning Foods

Start with a single-ingredient food to pinpoint if your toddler has any allergies.

For starters, you may want to try bananas, avocado, steamed veggies like potato and broccoli, pasta, chicken breasts or omelets. Just keep in mind that these foods must be cut into small pieces to avoid choking.


Also make sure that it should be soft enough that you can smash it between your thumb and forefinger. With foods being smashed you might want to grab a waterproof bib or silicone bib to easily clean up after mealtimes.

You can start your journey with these tableware goodies

Once your baby has tried a variety of foods, you can try to mix it up. It’s also good to not include so much salt or sodium in it because babies cannot process these substances just yet. 


What should I do if my baby chokes?

Stay calm, this is common in BLW feeding.

Your baby can sense the tension from you if you act that way they will be scared about it too. It’s a normal and reflexive safety mechanism that might cause watery eyes, coughing, or sputtering.

Gagging is a safe reflex that gets rid of the food that might cause watery eyes and coughing.

Choking is when a food is stuck in the airway of your baby.
When this happens they will not be able to make a sound or effectively breathe. To avoid this scenario, stay away from choking hazards such as grapes, raisin, peanuts and raw vegetables. PLUS, make sure that you’re with your baby when they eat.


Here are more tips for safety: 

  • Always stay with your baby while he eats.
  • Make sure your baby is sitting up when eating.
  • Serve foods that are not too hard. Raw apples are one of the biggest choking hazards for baby-led-weaning babies.
  • Take an infant-first-aid class so you’ll be prepared.
  • Do not rush to help your baby if she gags. Babies sense parents’ panic and can develop negative associations with eating. Instead, stay calm and give her time to work it out.
  • Use safe utensils such as silicone bib, silicone baby plate set and weaning spoons. You can get one from here! 

     Image by Brunoko

    Tips for Baby Led Weaning 

    Mixed approach.  

    This means combining the traditional spoon-feeding and baby self feeding. For starters in BLW self feeding, you may want to try this option to slowly introduce the self feeding process. Doing this ensures that your baby still gets the nutrients they need and also practices to eat by themselves.


    Get ready for the mess. 

    Remember that the goal of BLW is to make your baby lead the way. They should explore different textures and tastes by smashing it and tossing so make sure to grab a pocket bib so you’ll deal with less mess.

    We recommend getting waterproof baby bibs and baby suction plates to help you deal with mealtime mess.


    Equip them with Silicone utensils.

    Of course we want to make our babies safe during self feeding and the best option is Silicone Utensils. It’s soft for their teething gums and free of toxins. Invest on a good baby plate, baby bib and baby spoons and your child will surely thank you for it. Get your complete set through this link!             


    These products will last forever and can be used for your next baby! (#momtips!) Plus it’s easy to clean, perfect for the mess of self feeding.

    Eat with your baby.

    Include your little one on family dinners and try to make food with the same ingredients as your food. You want to introduce to them that eating is a family bonding and nothing to be scared about. So grab your baby dinner set and feeding bibs to start your bonding now. 

     Get your BLW essentials now to kickstart your journey! Equip them with the best and safest tableware to accompany you throughout the way. Click this link purchase these goodies!



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