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Baby-Led Weaning - All you Need to Know

Infancy is tricky to deal with! You always want your baby to be independent and trust me, self-feeding is the first step. So, all questions answered.
Vinita Tahalramani
Food is fun until they are infant and even more fun when they become self-sufficient.
Clean tables to messy ones are worth when take their spoons on their own.

When to Start?

When they start sitting without your support, so here, using a cushioned good support baby chair will help.
Note: Ensure the infant can control their head and neck.

Important Points to Remember

Baby-led weaning is happy eating and not forced eating, so don't keep other distractions and make them eat. Distractions like toys should be avoided.
They are going to mess around, firstly, don't frown; in fact serve them a clean plate and space.
Homemade is necessary. Don't buy or make different food. Instead, make modifications to your family pot.
Benefit: They will get used to what kind of food is cooked at home and feel among the smart eaters like you.
Variety is the spice of life. But, variety can be confusing. So, go slow and one at a time.
Let them explore each and every food separately with textures.

Important Part of the Entire Process!

Patience is something you need to have. It is a massive transition from breast milk to solids, and these little fingers will adapt to it soon, but not very soon.

What to Give the Baby to Eat?

Big question with simple answers.
Earlier said, serve the baby with food from your family pot. But here, don't have too much seasoning; keep it simple, like boiled, to help them identify the taste of the veggie you are serving.
Example: boiled carrot. Now, you need to be careful while serving boiled veggies. These fall under finger food and should be cut finger sized. Not too mushy and not too hard is the thumb rule.

Foods You can Give:

  • Avocados - This can be given as slices in the initial 6-8 months and cut into cubes when the infant turns 9 months.
  • Sweet Potato - Roasted wedges
  • Apple - Boiled, but hard enough to hold for the baby.
  • Broccoli - Boiled finger sized.
  • Banana - Whole or half cut.
  • Finger millet balls or sticks (my baby's favorite).
Note: The list is subject to differ. You can choose your fruits and veggies according to the weather during weaning.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Nuts, similar textures, and sized fruits, or food (grapes, berries).
  • Sugar or food with artificial sugar or Salty food is a BIG NO!
  • Honey can lead to reactions or allergies.
  • Soft, slippery food will lead to disinterest while struggling to hold the food and also might choke (jelly, overcooked and boiled veggies).
  • Hard or raw food, which is difficult to chew.
Your concern and fear discussed.

Difference Between Gagging and Choking

Choking: Is serious, where food gets stuck in the throat and leads to difficulty in breathing or coughing.
Gagging: Is a common and natural reflex when the baby cannot handle food in mouth.
Signs of gagging
Baby will cough and try to push out food.

What you can do:
Hold the baby in a tilted position to help them clear the obstruction.
Don't use finger as that might choke the baby.
Signs of choking:
Baby will gasp for air.
Will not be able to make any noise.

What you need to do:
Seek medical or expert help immediately.
Before starting with baby-led weaning learn the technique to deal with emergencies.

Tips at Help

  • Choose the meal times when the family is eating.
  • Keep encouraging and not distracting.
  • Keep adding different food every 2 days.
  • Keep it enjoyable and give time for the transition.

Happy Part

Once your baby starts eating food and understanding the textures, they will enjoy self-feeding and have fulfilling meal each time.
Disclaimer: The images/media used in the web story are for reference and do not claim any success story of baby-led weaning under any face.